Natural Remedies: Homemade Dandruff Shampoo and Poison Ivy Remedy

The Natural Remedies column shows you how to make your own dandruff shampoos using nettle and apple cider and garden parsley, and a natural remedy for poison ivy.

| February/March 1996

Nettles homemade dandruff shampoo

Nettle and apple cider vinegar will come to the rescue by creating a natural dandruff shampoo.


The Natural Remedies column shares information on how to create your own household remedies. 

Natural Remedies for Health

Homemade Dandruff Shampoo 

The process that causes dandruff, the shedding of dead skin, is a natural one that goes on all over our bodies. In fact, we get a whole new suit of skin about once a month. While the dead cells that flake off most of the body go unnoticed, the ones coming from our scalp and hair are trapped by oil from the hair resulting in those unsightly clumps—dandruff.

Commercial dandruff shampoos contain some ingredients that are helpful in removing dandruff, including zinc pyrithione, selenium sulfide, sulfur and salicylic acid. While sulfur is easily obtainable at a local pharmacy, the other ingredients present a much greater problem for the home remedy formulator.

Forget about those products. Make your own. They will be just as effective and much cheaper. Nettle is an herb of choice here. Nettle, known botanically as Urtica dioica, is sometimes called stinging nettle because the hairs of the plant cause a burning sensation when they penetrate the skin. One of the chemicals released is formic acid, which is the same chemical causing the stinging effect of the bee or ant sting. But don't let that deter you since you will not be working with the stinging hairs, but rather the dried leaves, which can be purchased at a local herb store. Add two tablespoons of the dried leaves to a small cup of boiling water. Allow the mixture to steep overnight. Strain through a cheesecloth and add a few ounces of apple cider vinegar. Apply this to hair and scalp. You have a super cleaner.

The lowly garden parsley, while being an excellent health food, is also a good external dandruff remover. Four a cup of hot water over a quarter-cup of chopped parsley. Let the mixture steep for half an hour, then strain off the parsley residue. Apply to scalp and hair following your shampoo treatment.

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