5 Proven Home Remedies for Seborrheic Dermatitis on the Scalp

Hi Michael,
Thank you for such a brilliant collection of remedies for SD. What a great help guide!
I have been suffering from SD on my scalp for 17 years… A couple of years ago I decided to switch to natural remedies. It takes more time and effort but it’s all worth it in the end. I had a great success with honey treatment last year but then I made a break in the treatment routine and finding it hard to achieve good results this time. I decided to look at the alternatives. I wondered if you tried salt for scalp treatments? Thank you!

Hello Nina,

First of all thank you for the positive comment.

My experience was very much the same. One treatment could be working exceptionally, then one day it just stops.

I’ve written an extensive post on seborrheic dermatitis sea salt treatment. It doesn’t talk much about using it on the scalp, but has many general details and observations.

Using the sea salt on the scalp is quite the same as the baking soda. Personally I would just take a bit of sea salt in the hand into the shower, wet the hair,
scrub the sea salt into scalp and let it absorb for a few minutes. Once it has had some time to absorb, simply rinse off the sea salt and follow up with a natural moisturising shampoo.
At first I wasn’t following up with any shampoo at all, but this seemed to leave the scalp a bit dry.

If you have access to ocean or sea water give that a try instead. The natural concentration of salt in the water is perfect and it seems to be much higher in iodine.
The results from ocean/sea water were significantly superior for me.

The sea salt also seems to really mineralize the hair as it becomes much stiffer after the treatment.

Hello Michael,

Thank you very much for taking the time to reply in such detail. Much appreciated. I will try sea salt and hopefully sea water in the summer. Will be checking your website for new ideas!

All the best,



Thanks for your detailed post, it really helps a lot. I have two spots on my scalp having problem (near hairline at the back on both sides) - rash, itching, sore and small pimples. I tried ACV this morning, it seems quite good. How often should i do that?

Thank you so much.


Hi Josephine,
Thank for the feedback!
I used the apple cider vinegar every other day for the first week, then slowly decreased to a few times a week.
It helped quite well at first, but proved quite difficult to maintain in the long term. Also results seemed to be less consistent as time went forward.

Dead sea salt followed by a good natural moisturising shampoo was easier and more consistent for me.
You can see some details of that method here.

Currently, however, I have not used any special scalp treatments for over 5 months.
All I do is wash my hair with a highly moisturising shampoo (this one to be exact: http://andalou.com/argan-oil-shea-moisture-rich-shampoo) and follow my current regimen I wrote about here.
My scalp is absolutely clear most days, but I find that if I don’t shower for a few days and let my scalp get greasy the flakes start to appear.

Massage deeply while you apply the shampoo also seems to help. Likely due to increased circulation.
Previously I even read of people getting rid of dandruff by using a boar bristle brush and regularly massaging/combing the hair/scalp.

Hope these details help.

Hi Michael,

Thanks for your prompt and detailed response. Usually how any days after I will see the result if it works. The shampoo you mentioned are they organic and chemical free, sulfate free?
Thanks again^*^

Dear Josephine,

The shampoo has many organic ingredients, but also contains some non-organic ones.
Here is the ingredients list from their website.

During my childhood I grew up using mostly head and shoulders. Didn’t really pay attention to the ingredients list until I started experiencing seborrheic dermatitis on my facial skin.
Once I started to have seborrheic dermatitis on my face I was much more aware of the ingredients in the products I used (the facial skin just seems so much more precious than the scalp).
As soon as I became aware I started seeking much safer and natural solutions.

The first shampoo that I switched too was actually this one.
It’s a very strange shampoo as it does not foam. Using it is like massaging your hair with some cream. However, it worked very well. One bottle lasted me for about 3-4 months as my hair is very short and a tiny amount worked quite well. What kept me from using it again was the horrible availability and extremely steep price (about $30.00 for a bottle).

After this I decided to try the one I mentioned in the previous post and it’s been a pleasure to use. The only reason it caught my attention was because I was using a cleanser from the same company at the time. The ingredients looked promising and I got it from Amazon for about $10, so it was worth a try. It foams like a regular shampoo and smells fantastic. I’m not sure if it directly fights the seborrheic dermatitis causing bacteria, but for me it seems to help normalize oil production. The normalized oil production in turn appears to keep dandruff in check.

When I was using apple cider vinegar washes and/or salt washes I would see results quite quickly. When I first started, one or two days of use and my scalp would normalize. I found that very thorough massaging of the scalp really improved results.

All the best!

Hi Nina,

After spending so much time and money fighting seborrheic dermatitis the least I could do is provide all the information I learned to others.

Hope some of the stuff helps you.
Best of luck with your seborrheic dermatitis and will be happy to hear about your results.


Thank you so much Michael.

Hi Michael,

My scalp so itchy and sore last night after i apply acv (1:1) and waited 5 hours before wash hair. How often should i apply it and how many times a day?
I will try the andalou shampoo and conditioner, hope that can help.
Thank you!

This seemed to be the case for me as well when the skin was already damaged from previous itching. My best results were achieved with the ACV when I had thick scaling/flaking without much damage. Also when massaging, I made sure to apply pressure, but not tear the skin. ACV itself has quite a strong astringent effect, so as the pores tightened the skin felt quite tense and caused a strong tingling sensation. Previously I wrote a more detailed post in all the ways I tried to use apple cider vinegar (you can see it here).

The concentration you used seems quite strong for such an extended amount of time. At such concentration I wouldn’t leave it in for more than 5-15 minutes. If you are that dedicated, perhaps the raw honey will be more effective.

On a side note, I’ve seen the shampoo in local stores cheaper than I purchased it online. Here in Canada I saw it in a local SuperStore for roughly $8.

Best of luck.

Hi Michael,
I have never heard of using honey but I am very interested in trying. How often should I start off doing the honey & water treatment? Does it matter if the honey is raw or bought in bulk from costco?
Thank you.

Hi Ariel,
When I was using the honey treatment I started off with every other day. Then as it got better I would scale the treatment down maybe to once every 3-4 days.
Initially this treatment was extremely effective for me. However, the longer I used it the more inconsistent my results became. Additional it’s quite a lengthy treatment requiring 2-3 hours per treatment.
To be honest I’ve never tried using the regular Coscto honey. I have a feeling the results wouldn’t be very different. However, from everything I read online people swear that the raw honey is much more powerful. Even though I had Coscto honey at home I bought a few different jars of raw honey from the store and was using that. You would be surprised how common it is (almost every super market I checked had it), except sometimes it’s on a separate shelf then regular honey.

Additionally here is the regimen I’m currently using and it’s been working extremely well (haven’t had any breakouts since last summer). I’ve stopped supplementing with the glutamine about 2 months ago as well Also two other people have contacted me through the website. One of which is using ACV to successfully treat the dermatitis, while the other was prescribed an anti-fungal by the name of Nyastatin.

Hope that helps. All the best and good luck.

hi michael
I have just started the honey and water treatment but i was wondering should i continue the lotion and shampoo my dermatologist recomended (both lotion and shampoo contains beta methasone, and it really keeps my SD in control, it doesnt vanishes completely it just stops it from getting worse)

Hey Salman,
Hard to say. First time I actually heard of someone using Betamethasone for SD, but it’s a steroid cream, so that makes sense…
Overall it seems that steroids have caused more difficulty long term for most people.

What I would do is start the honey treatment and see if things improve enough so that Betamethasone can be discontinued.

If the honey doesn’t do much, consider checking out my Overview of Seborrheic Dermatitis Face Treatments post. It covers most things I attempted and lot’s of good info in the comments there as well.

Do you notice any correlation of your symptoms to food intake?

Best of luck and hope that helps.

Thankyou michael i took your advice and discontinued the steroid lotion and started the honey treatment and Its been 3 weeks since i started putting honey on my scalp, initially i didnt notice any improvement on my scalp for the first 2 weeks, but by the end of the 3 rd week i noticed that the flakes were starting to go away, theres no itching or any redness, i just hope that the hair loss will stop eventually as well
Again thanks alot for all the research and hardwork youve put through to help people like me suffering from SD

Hi Salman,

Thanks for the update. Great to hear things are improving. The biggest issue with the steroid creams is that long term use can really lead to some ill effects, so happy to hear your shifting away.

In terms of the hair loss, I’ve been doing lots of research lately. And even though I haven’t had any real issues with hair loss, much of the research I’ve done provides some insights into this as well. Will update once I have it down in writing.

Additionally, I’ve stopped using all products and have been making my own custom creation. It’s not perfect yet, but I think it’s almost there. If you like I can send you a sample to try when it’s actually done.

Hope that helps and best of luck mate. Look forward to any updates.

Thanks a lot for your really helpful post. I am trying the honey water approach as suggested by you and have a query. Is it fine to use normal honey in the absence of raw honey? Or do you think raw honey is an absolute must?

Hi James,

Personally, not sure. I remember one person on here had good results with Manuka honey as well.
The only one I tried was raw honey (one I bought from the store and one I got from Amazon). The one I bought from the store seemed to be more effective, but hard to really say…

Have you tried using it yet?