Mouthwash for Dandruff | Does it Work?

Does that minty-fresh feeling you get from swishing mouthwash also help your dandruff? We discuss if mouthwash for dandruff is a viable treatment option and if you can take it from the medicine cabinet to the shower:

Dandruff is a scalp condition in which the skin on your head flakes off, and it can be caused by irritated and oily skin, a yeast-like fungus, dry skin, sensitivity to hair products or not shampooing enough. Some factors that can increase your risk of dandruff include naturally oily hair, dry climates, cold weather and age.

How can I get rid of my dandruff?

It’s important to know what active ingredients target dandruff:

  • Coal tar
  • Pyrithizone zinc
  • Salicilic acid
  • Selenium sulfide
  • Ketoconazole

These ingredients are commonly found in shampoos formulated to treat dandruff.

Should I use mouthwash for dandruff?

This viral DIY dandruff hack may do more harm than good because the active ingredients in mouthwash, like cetylpyridinium chloride, chlorhexidine, fluoride and peroxide are meant to kill bacteria in the mouth. If used on your scalp, it may cause irritation. 

Some mouthwashes containing essential oils found in peppermint, eucalyptus and thyme might sound appealing for an irritated scalp. However, a shampoo containing essential oils or a few drops of tea tree oil is much safer and can offer some relief to an itchy, irritated scalp.