Neem - an effective oil for scalp problems

Continuing the journey through ayurvedic ingredients, today the focus is on Neem.

Neem is said to have been used traditionally to treat a variety of ailments. Isolation of the specific chemical groups in Neem in modern research reflects this with work on varied interests from anti cancer (tumour suppression) to contraception (Current Science, pp1336-1345, 2002).

Hair is our focus of interest and neem has been shown to be
1. Antifungal(Current Science, pp1336-1345, 2002)
2. Antibacterial(Current Science, pp1336-1345, 2002)
3. An effective treatment against headlice (Parasitol Research, pp 329-32, 2007)

It therefore appears to be a therapeutic ingredient and is recommended for scalp problems such as scaling and dandruff. From my research, neem is available as an oil and the seed extract is used in shampoo

Have you used neem as an oil or perhaps in shampoo? If so, tell us about it!


  1. I have been using a Neem face pack! I just mix the powder with some water(untill its a paste) and just relax for about 20minutes. Love it!


  2. I have neem powder and neem oil. I purchased the oil for my daughter who expiriences scalp issues from time to time. I have not used it yet (the smell is a turn off) but when I decide to go for it, I'll let give you my take on it.

  3. lol Callalily I read that it smells like garlic or french onion soup which is kind of odd for an oil. Apparently one company recommends adding fragrant essential oils to mask the smell. I think they said sandalwood and rose.

  4. where would you purchase neem from?

  5. Beauty - I just googled it and found it on sale on amazon here in the UK. I'm sure other people will respond and give some answers :)

  6. @ Jc - Thanks for the tip.

    @ Beauty - I purchased the powder from a local Indian market. I purchased the oil from Mountain Rose Herbs.

  7. Hmmm - my grandmother may have been right after all. She used Neem for everything. I am from Ghana, and when we would get malaria, she would boil the bark (and I think leaves)of the Neem tree in water and have us drink it. Bitterest thing on the face of the earth, I tell you. But it worked faster than chloroquine or doxycycline or anything my mother (who was a nurse) got prescribed for us, hehe.

    Now I find out it's good for hair too

  8. Yes. many ayurvedic powders and oils have a bad smell to it. It must really work for women to be putting that stuff in your hair. Im going to give it a go.

    @ Beauty you can find them at your local indian grocery store. Do a search on Google to find one in your area

  9. I loooove neem oil. It smells horrible but it has done wonders to my scalp, eczema and psoriasis!! loove it!
    I buy mine from

    in the UK, I get it from as she gets it from Ghana

  10. Callalily- yw :)

    Lady Jaye I did read a scientific paper too on the antimalarial activity of Neem!

    Alana, I am just discovering that these oils and powders actually have a bad smell. It seems many of them have a medicinal effect and most medicine stinks.

    Amina - Good to know that neem oil actually works.

    Thank you ladies for answering Beauty's question!

  11. I love Neem! I've been using the powder for a little over a year now...mix it in with my bentonite clay for a really good DC treatment...always helps with my scalp issues! Haven't tried the oil yet, but will be keeping a lookout!

    1. RE: mix it in with my bentonite clay for a really good DC treatment...always helps with my scalp issues!

      I was thinking of mixing it with bentonite clay!

  12. I have a neem shampoo I purchased locally--I've only used it once--but my husband uses it more often, as he has scalp issues that the neem continues to keep at bay.

    I do use Neem soap daily on my face and love it.

  13. I'm a neem addict....smells awful but my scalp wouldn't be the name without it. I use the powder in my ayurvedic hair packs and I use the oils in my weekly hot oil treatment.

  14. I have a dilemma. Neem oil kills dandruff fungus but it has oil in it witch the fungus nourish themselves of to keep growing.

    witch pourcentage of it do we need to get a result and how about the powder. What is it made of and how much can it be diluted and keep it's effect ? Thanks.

  15. Kadiane unfortunately like many herbal remedies the results and procedures vary. Neem oil is an effective antifungal which may mean although the fungus may be able to feed off the oil, the oil is more effective at killing off the fungus before it can multiply and begin to cause problems. (I do not know if this is true - it is just a theory).

  16. This has nothing to do with hair but, I thought of this post at the garden store this morning as I was choosing a spray to rid my roses of fungus and mites. I chose the neem oil spray. I can't wait to see how it works.

  17. PLEASE HELP ME!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Hi all, i have a major problem. A few days ago, on the 1st of July i decided to cut my hair becuase it was badly damaged. My edges were horrifically damaged and i didnt know what to do so i decided i would perhaps be best to shave all my hair off and let it regrow completely from scratch. After shaving all my hair off til it was Kojak smooth, i applied some after shave stuff i wasn't familiar with and later in the day washed my head with my usual conditioner. Anyway, my head was fine, i was confident with the decision i had made but then maybe 3days later my head became reeeeally itchy. I mean really incredibly itchy! AND I SCRATCHED! I SCRATCHED AND SCRATCHED because it was sooooo painful. Now im left with scabs all over my head and my hair doesn't seem to be growing at all!My scalp is covered in bumps and pimple-looking things and the itchiness is intense. My whole scalp feels really tight and like it did when i had eczema on my arms. I don't want to be a bald girl forever. Tears have taken over and i don't know what to do. I tried penicillin oinment but i saw the properties of neem oil and thought i'd try it.
    I wonder if anyone knows if neem oil will be effective on this kind of problem and to what degree will it affect my hair growth?
    PLus i just slathered the neem oil on without any dilution.....will this be a problem? If yes, what is the right way to apply neem oil to my scalp?

  18. Sammie you need to stop panicking. The first thing you should do is go and see a doctor or dermatologist. Please do not seek help from anyone and I mean anyone on the internet.

    Any reputable person would want to examine you in person. It is NOT and I repeat NOT possible for anyone to offer you a remedy without seeing what you are talking about and this means a physical examination, not a picture.

    It sounds to me like you may have ingrown hair from shaving your head, this is exacerbated by the fact that you say that you scratched your scalp.

    However this is only my opinion. You need a physical exam by a DOCTOR who will be able to help you. Applying random treatments to your scalp is not the way forward - Go and see a doctor.

  19. Thanks! I feel better having some idea what it is. Ingrown hairs sounds less scary than what i imagined. Do you know if it is reversable though? Can it be fixed or am i going to have them for good? Sob*

  20. Sammie my advice to you remains the same, see a doctor. I do not know that you have ingrown hair or if that is indeed the issue. I only suspect that it is.

    I would really hope that you take my advice and see a doctor, even just your family doctor if you do not wish to see a dermatologist.

  21. boil the leaves of neem in water and wash your scalp with it regularly. it will always have positive effect.

  22. I have just purchased product that has neem oil in in...

    Shea Moisture Coconut & Hibiscus Curl & Style Conditioning Milk

    I'm going to use it this weekend.

  23. Bery interesting post!

    My Shea Moisture African Clack Soap Shampoo has neem oil in it as well.

    I saw some neem oil at the Indian grocery store yesterday. I think I'll pick it up and use it for pre-shampoo scalp treatment.

    It's interesting that it has anti-malarial properties. I'll as my grandma about it (I'm Nigerian).


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