Friday, 20 November 2015

DIY Dandruff Treatment: Glycerin/Glycerol

Dandruff is a huge issue for many naturals and I am always looking out for new science articles on it. This DIY recipe is based on a study done in Thailand and published quite recently (Skin Med, pp 155-161, 2014).

The Recipe

DIY 10% Glycerin  Scalp Leave On Lotion

10 ml Glycerin/Glycerine
90 ml base* of your choice

*Base can be water or a leave in conditioner of your choice. For a water base add 1 drop of sunflower oil to the final mix. For a leave in conditoner base, avoid high oil containing leave ins especially if it is a natural oil - this is why


1. Shampoo your hair and condition it as you would normally.
2. Apply the DIY 10% Glycerin Scalp Leave On Lotion to the scalp, ensuring that you shake the bottle with your lotion to mix the base and glycerin well.
3. For best results, carefully part hair and focus the application directly on the scalp and not the hair.
4. Reapply the lotion to the scalp daily or at least 3 times a week

Expected Results

You should see an improvement in scaling (dry skin) on the scalp any time from the first use to within 2 weeks of applying at least 3 times per week.

The Science of the DIY 10% Glycerin Scalp Leave On Lotion

The study in Thailand was based on 274 people both male and female. The scientists chose not to go down the antifungal route that is commonly used to treat dandruff (i.e the commercial dandruff shampoos). Instead they chose to tackle the loss of scalp hydration that is seen with dandruff with a humectant (a product that draws water to itself).

You may therefore wonder if this is a permanent solution since they are treating the symptoms rather than the cause. This is a valid concern and to address this, the paper did say that after 8 weeks of following the regime, the study subjects were asked to stop and the dandruff flaking did not return in the following week (with no lotion used in that week).

For clarity, please note that the recipe above is not the exact one used in the study, there were other ingredients in the product including fatty acids and sunflower oil which were proposed as additional moisturising ingredients. If you wish, you can read the full study online - starting from pg 115!

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