Remove Fungal Dandruff with These Home Remedies

Dealing with dandruff is not only annoying but it can also be embarrassing. Dandruff is a skin condition characterized by flaking scales on your scalp. It can be caused by having dry skin, seborrheic dermatitis, not washing your hair enough, washing your hair incorrectly, shampooing too often, or scalp sensitivities [1].

You can use this infographic below as a quick reference or cheat sheet on how to remove fungal dandruff with various home remedies.

Home Remedies for fungal dandruff infographic

Dandruff can also be caused by a yeast-like fungus on our scalp called Malassezia. If you have fungal dandruff the best thing to do is use a shampoo and home treatments with ingredients that have anti-fungal properties.

This article will cover 6 great home remedies for fungal dandruff:

  1. Tea Tree Oil
  2. Jojoba Oil
  3. Coconut Oil
  4. Olive Oil
  5. Neem Oil
  6. Oregano Oil

I will teach you how to remove fungal dandruff with home remedies. Let’s first understand a little bit more about dandruff and fungus.

Is Dandruff Caused by Fungus?

Malassezia (also known as pityrosporum ovale) is a fungus that is found on the human scalp. Everyone’s scalp is composed of this fungus and it’s completely normal and healthy.

The seborrheic glands on our scalp produce natural hair oils, also referred to as sebum. Sebum is essential, as it waterproofs and lubricates our scalp ensuring that it maintains good health [2].

Malassezia reacts with sebum on our scalp. As a by-product, oleic acid is formed. 50% of adults have a sensitive reaction to oleic acid, which causes them to experience inflammation of the scalp. The inflammation is usually experienced in the form of scaly, itchy and red rashes [3].

Certain people suffer from various skin conditions such as seborrheic dermatitis or scalp psoriasis that can increase the amount of flaky skin. People with seborrheic dermatitis produce too much sebum. The increased sebum production creates increased amounts of oleic acid which can increase the amount of dandruff.

In other words, people with dandruff experience increased cell cycles. When new skin cells are created, the old ones die and flake off. This is normal and happens for everyone. However, people with dandruff produce new skin cells at an increased rate. The old skin cells start to flake off at a more frequent rate.

There are several ways to treat fungal dandruff. You may choose to use anti-fungal shampoos or try some home remedies that use ingredients which have anti-fungal properties.

6 home anti-fungal home remedies for dandruff

6 Effective Fungal Remedies for Dandruff

Home remedies that work effectively in treating fungal dandruff contain ingredients that have strong anti-fungal properties.

The anti-fungal home treatments work by killing off the fungal cells on your scalp that interact with the sebum. Mainly they will interact with the cells walls making them vulnerable, as they slowly die off. They can also inhibit or prevent fungal cells from growing or reproducing [4].

The goal here is to get rid of the excess fungus and sebum, while not causing your scalp to be dry. That’s why these home treatments are oil based to moisturize your skin in the process.

Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil is a great natural home remedy for fungal dandruff. The oil is used topically on the scalp and is known for its anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antifungal properties.

The high amounts of Terpinen-4-ol have shown to have positive effects on the inflamed area [5]. This is great for people who suffer from dandruff, as it relieves the itchiness and brings down the inflammation on the scalp. It’s also been reported to help with skin conditions such as seborrheic dermatitis, which can be the cause of dandruff.

Tea tree oil also exhibits antibacterial and antimicrobial activity, by damaging cell walls of bacteria. This keeps your scalp clean and bacteria-free.

One of the most important benefits of using tea tree oil to get rid of dandruff is its antifungal nature. The oil is known to inhibit the growth of certain fungi and yeast. It does so by causing damage to the cell membranes [6]. This kills the fungi and also inhibits further growth, ensuring that your dandruff is kept at bay.

Tea tree oil home remedy treatment:

  • Step 1: Mix a few drops of tea tree oil into your shampoo
  • Step 2: Mix them both together in your hand
  • Step 3: Apply evenly to your scalp and hair
  • Step 4: Massage your scalp and let it rest for 3 – 5 minutes
  • Step 5: Rinse hair thoroughly with water
tea tree oil in a bottle

Jojoba Oil

Jojoba Oil is another great anti-dandruff home remedy. It’s harvested from the seeds of a plant called Simmondsia Chinensis. Jojoba oil is said to have antifungal and antibacterial properties, which means it’s great for treating dandruff.

Although Jojoba oil works by inhibiting fungal growth and destroying cell membranes of fungi, it’s not known to be as harsh and some of the commercially available products.

The fact that it’s a natural ingredient and it isn’t harsh on your scalp, makes it a great fit for people who have a sensitive scalp.

The oil itself contains beneficial nutrients and vitamins that are good for the skin and keep your scalp healthy. Additionally, jojoba oil acts as a great moisturizer ensuring that your scalp does not get dry and flaky.

Jojoba oil home remedy treatment:

  • Step 1: Apply some drops of jojoba oil onto your scalp
  • Step 2: Spread the oil evenly using your fingers
  • Step 3: You may add other oils to the mixture
  • Step 4: Massage scalp and leave the oil in for around 15 minutes
  • Step 5: Rinse your hair thoroughly with water
Jojoba Oil is good for fungal dandruff

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is another alternative to get rid of fungal dandruff effectively. It has antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal properties of the medium chain taffy acids/triglycerides, also referred to as MCTs [7]. It has shown to inhibit the growth of certain bacteria, yeast, viruses, and fungi.

Coconut oil is also great for dandruff as it can help to moisturize your scalp, especially if you suffer from dry scalp. Its mild texture soothes the inflammation on your scalp and reduces the itching.

The anti-bacterial properties of coconut oil also help to stimulate the growth of healthy skin cells and clear your scalp of unwanted bacteria. A healthy scalp also encourages healthy hair growth and prevents hair fall and protein damage to your hair.

As coconut oil is natural and gentle on the skin its often used for infants or babies, who suffer from dandruff or cradle cap.

Coconut oil home remedy treatment:

  • Step 1: Take a tablespoon of coconut oil
  • Step 2: Apply it to your scalp with a dropper or spoon
  • Step 3: Massage the oil into your scalp for 3 – 5 minutes
  • Step 4: Let it sit around 20 minutes
  • Step 5: Rinse with shampoo and conditioner afterward
coconut oil that is good for fungal dandruff

Olive Oil

Olive oil is not only a great and healthy choice for cooking, but it’s also a great anti-fungal home remedy for dandruff. It has antibacterial and antifungal properties that inhibit and destroy fungi on your scalp.

Olive oil also has other benefits such as promoting good scalp health. It’s also known to clean your hair follicles by getting rid of the dirt and bacteria. Additionally, olive oil also helps to moisturize your scalp. This is particularly helpful if you suffer from a dry scalp or have severe dandruff [8].

It’s also a very versatile home remedy as it goes along with other oils and ingredients. You can try to mix olive oil with eggs to make a scalp mask or even mix it with lemon juice and apply it to your scalp. I personally would recommend using olive oil as an overnight scalp treatment.

Olive  oil home remedy treatment:

  • Step 1: Apply some drops of olive oil onto your scalp
  • Step 2: Ensure your scalp and hair are covered in oil
  • Step 3: Use a wide-tooth comb to spread if required
  • Step 4: Place a shower  cap or towel around your head
  • Step 5: Sleep tight and rinse your hair thoroughly the next morning
olive oil is good for fungal dandruff

Neem Oil

Neem oil is extracted from the seeds of neem trees. For years it’s been a popular remedy for chronic skin diseases such as scalp psoriasis and seborrheic dermatitis that are known to be causes of dandruff.

According to a study, it was recorded that neem oil showed to have excellent antifungal properties. This is one of the main reasons why it’s often suggested as a home remedy against dandruff.

Neem oil is often an ingredient used in anti-dandruff shampoos, as it can improve your scalp’s health by promoting a balanced pH value.

So the next time you run across shampoos with neem oil, don’t be put off by its smell. Although it can give off a slightly pungent odor, it benefits in treating dandruff are nothing short of great. Neem oil also makes for a great overnight dandruff remedy. Try out the instructions below.

Neem oil home remedy treatment:

  • Step 1: Apply some drops of neem oil onto your scalp
  • Step 2: Ensure your scalp and hair are covered in oil
  • Step 3: Use a wide-tooth comb to spread if required
  • Step 4: Place a shower  cap or towel around your head
  • Step 5: Sleep tight and rinse your hair thoroughly the next morning
Neem oil in a bottle

Oregano Oil

Oregano oil is sometimes seen as an unconventional dandruff home remedy. Its potency is often overlooked, but it can work wonders when used correctly.

Oregano oil is known for its antibacterial, antimicrobial, antioxidant and antifungal properties [9]. That’s one of the reasons why you can see oregano oil as a common ingredient in soaps, shampoos, and cosmetics.

Using oregano oil on your scalp will help to kill unwanted bacteria and inhibit fungal growth. It’s also known to be anti-inflammatory, meaning that it will have a soothing effect on your scalp while reducing the inflammation and itchiness that you may experience with dandruff.

The oil will also moisturize your scalp, ensuring that it doesn’t get dry and start flaking. I recommend using oregano oil as an additive to other oils for your antifungal home treatment.

Oregano oil home remedy treatment:

  • Step 1: Mix some drops of oregano oil with other oils or into your shampoo
  • Step 2: Ensure that both are mixed well
  • Step 3: Apply evenly on your scalp
  • Step 4: Massage your scalp and let it sit for a while
  • Step 5: Rinse your hair thoroughly with water
Oregano oil in a bottle

How Long Does it Take to See Results?

You must remember that everyone reacts differently to these ingredients and not everyone’s dandruff is of the same type. Therefore, I can only give you a rough indication of when you should start seeing results.

In about 1 – 2 weeks of regular treatment (every other day) you should start seeing your dandruff getting less. Your scalp should also feel less irritated and inflamed. Ensure that you are also supplementing your home remedy routines with a good anti-dandruff shampoo, such as Nizoral A-D, which contains ketoconazole.

Generally, it’s best to do the home treatment right after your shampoo routine. Give it some time, but I can guarantee you that with the right routine, which your will find out soon enough you will get rid of dandruff in no time!


These anti-fungal dandruff treatments will help you eliminate dandruff. The great thing about a home treatment is that you can use them on their own or in combination. You can also try your own variations and even use them along with your regular shampoo routines.

A study stated that using certain fungal home remedies reduced the population of Malassezia, which means that the there is less fungus that your sebum can interact with. In turn, this can reduce the severity of your dandruff. However, after stopping some of the home remedies (and for some people even the shampoo routines) can lead to the reoccurrence of the initial fungal levels [10].

Therefore, once you develop a proper shampoo and home treatment routine you should continue them regularly to ensure that dandruff doesn’t reoccur. When I started trying out new home remedies along with my shampoo routine, I quickly got a feel for what worked best for me.

There are of course many more natural ingredients and oils out there, but you can start by trying out these 6 anti-dandruff oils. Make sure that you check how your scalp reacts to these home remedies.

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