Whenever we come across a viral beauty hack we greet it with a little bit of hopefulness and a whole lot of side eye. Case in point: The beauty vlogger who claims she uses mouthwash to rid her mane of dandruff.
[READ: The Best At-Home Hair Tricks]
Farah Dhukai has a gorgeous head of hair and revealed on Instagram that she spritzes Listerine on her scalp to squash any flakiness. Here’s her method: Wash and shampoo as normal, mist the mouthwash on your scalp only, then allow the breath freshener to sit for a few minutes. Wash out with water (don’t shampoo a second time) and voila – buh-bye, flakes.
Intriguing, but does it work? We took it to the experts:
“Listerine may just work for treating dandruff,” says celebrity hairstylist Daven Mayeda. “Flaky, dry skin is often caused by an overgrowth of yeast, and the antiviral and antifungal properties from Listerine can treat the disorder. The ingredients in Listerine like menthol, eucalyptol, methyl salicylate, and thymol contain antifungal properties. It's a great medication for minor cases, but might not be strong enough for moderate to severe cases.”
Hairstylist Tyler Colton, who has worked with the likes of Charlize Theron and Avril Lavigne, among others, agrees with Mayeda that the hack has merit, but he would actually recommend using a mouthwash that has one specific ingredient in it to help abolish the flaky stuff.
“You can basically use any mouthwash but I would use a tea tree-based mouthwash,” he says. “Tea tree has natural properties that will help with dandruff. And instead of buying dandruff shampoo, you could easily mix up your own batch of mouthwash and shampoo to create your own dandruff shampoo.”
Colton also wants to stress that dandruff is not dry skin, as commonly believed.
“This is the biggest misconception and this is where marketing for dandruff gets people,” he says. “With changing season, we can get a dry scalp that flakes white. This is just dry scalp and using a deep conditioner at the scalp will help cure dry scalp. Dandruff is an over-production of the oil gland which produces sebum. This oil/sebum builds up on the scalp getting crusty and flakes off. Anti-fungal and soothing properties found in mouthwash can help dry up and control dandruff.”
So there you have it — Dhukai is on to something. We never should have doubted her.