5 Proven Home Remedies for Seborrheic Dermatitis on the Scalp

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?

Hi Michael,

I have been facing serious hairfall issues since I was diagnosed with Seborrhoeic dermatitis. I just came across your site and have started using the honey water solution. I have been taking medications for more than a year. The dermatitis goes away for a while but comes back soon. So, I was just looking for such a home remedy. How should I go about taking care of the hairfall?

Thank You

Hi Shivam,

Regarding hair-fall, personally I only experienced a tiny bit on my eye brows, which went away as soon as SD went away. However, from all my research so far, it seems that topical arginine (a non-essential amino acid) may be beneficial for restoring and stimulating hair growth. However, most of the information is contained in patents (example) and not medical trials. Perhaps you may want to look for arginine containing product. Additionally, it helps in wound healing and may even act as a antibacterial. The shampoo I use, the lotion I’ve made for myself and the Restoraderm lotion I used previously all contain arginine.

This medical paper may a good read as well.

A friend of mine swears by castor oil for hair-loss, however I haven’t done much research around it.

Also, it appears that medical anti-fungal shampoos (such as Nizoral, Head & Shoulders) can also stimulate hair growth and prevent hair loss. However, I’ve moved away from these products. Personally, I believe they were part of creating my issues in the first place.

Hope that helps. All the best.

Thank you Michael

I’m glad that you are helping us out here. Please update anything that you cognize about hairfall due to Sebborheic dermatitis and its cure.

Hi Shivam,

From everything I currently know it appears that the associated hair-fall is reversed once the infection of the sebaceous glands is resolved. The malassezia that is believed to be in part responsible for SD loves to reside in and around the sebaceous glands. This can result in the hair fall you are experiencing. However, the products that you are using must also be considered.

Hope that helps.

So, If I find this honey-water solution effective, then should I stop the medications, as they may cause side effects when used for a long period, from the dermatologist and continue with this solution and a mild shampoo?