The stunning beauty blogger Farah Dhukai posted her most recent beauty hack to Instagram, and it’s a bit, um, suspicious. She claims that diluting Listerine mouthwash with water and spraying it onto your scalp will rid you of hair dandruff once and for all. It’s a real time and money saver, Dhukai claims.
Dhukai wrote, “Listerine has menthol, thymol, eucalyptol, and methyl salicylate — all [of] which make it an antifungal, antiseptic, and anti-inflammatory, and PERFECT for getting rid of dandruff.”
Before you go and try this in your own bathroom, though, don’t. No, seriously, don’t. Refinery 29 talked to Francesca Fusco, M.D., a dermatologist in New York who wants everyone to come to their senses about this supposedly genius hair hack. While you might think all of these ingredients would kill the germs on your scalp that are causing dandruff, it could actually cause the opposite to happen.
“I’d worry that use of a strong alcohol-based mouthwash could further disrupt the skin barrier on the scalp and exacerbate the dandruff,” Dr. Fusco said. Furthermore, it could really put color-treated hair in danger due to the amounts of alcohol in mouthwash.
Dhukai is far from the first person to think about alternative uses for mouthwash, though. Dr. Fusco says she has seen women use it on their heads before in order to get their hair to grow faster. But there’s no science to support that Listerine can do anything of the sort to your precious hair.
Dr. Fusco insists we should stick to traditional anti-dandruff products: “The most effective way to combat dandruff is with a clinically proven shampoo-and-conditioner regimen with zinc pyrithione.”
There are also some natural remedies that can zap your dandruff. Rub two tablespoons of fresh lemon juice into your scalp and rinse with water. The acidity of the lemon manages the pH levels of your scalp. This is such a safe treatment that you can do it every day. Another solution is apple cider vinegar. Put some in a spray bottle, dilute it with water, and spray on your scalp.
Of course, Dhukai’s dandruff claim doesn’t make her any less of a reliable beauty blogger. She’s got plenty of other useful hacks to share, like this turmeric papaya mix to slow facial hair growth. Whether or not it works, it’s at least a safe concoction to try.
If you’re suffering from a case of dandruff and don’t feel like making your own anti-dandruff formula, follow Dr. Fusco’s lead and buy a bottle of Head & Shoulders. It’s sold at Walmart for under $4.