Dandruff is an embarrassing scalp condition that affects people of all ages, genders and hair types. The characteristics of dandruff include a dry, itchy scalp that produces large flakes of skin called dander. This dander falls from the scalp, coating everything in an embarrassing layer of dead skin. Treating dandruff is a fact of life for many people; however, eliminating the flakes in color-treated hair without stripping the dye is a bit of a challenge.

Things You'll Need

Wet your hair with warm water, and apply a generous amount of olive oil to your hair and scalp. Massage throughout your hair, taking care to rub the scalp vigorously with your fingertips to loosen the flakes. Cover with a shower cap, and leave on overnight.

Rinse hair with plenty of water. Be sure to use warm water, as it opens up the pores of your scalp and allows more dead skin to come loose as your rinse.

Apply a few drops of tea tree oil to your scalp, massaging it in gently to evenly distribute the oil. Tea tree oil is a natural extract that you can purchase at most health food stores. Let it rest on your scalp for a few minutes, and then rinse with warm water.

Lather your hair with a dandruff-control shampoo. Most dandruff shampoos are safe for color-treated hair and won’t strip dye from the follicles. Work the shampoo through your hair and scalp, rinsing and repeating for best results.

Towel dry your hair after washing. Blow-drying can actually make some cases of dandruff worse, as the high heat dries your scalp even further, resulting in more scaling. Wrap your hair tightly in a towel to remove most of the water, and then unwrap. Allow your hair to air dry.


  • Tea tree oil is safe for color-treated hair. It’s an effective moisturizer, and its antifungal properties are well-known for killing off Malassezia furfur, the most common cause of dandruff.

  • Test your tea tree oil on a small patch of skin before applying it to your scalp. Rub one or two drops into the skin on top of your hand to test for allergies. If you notice any itching, redness or blistering, don’t use it on your hair.