If you are the victim of a flaky scalp, you understand the struggle. Although the white flakes on your shoulders are not cause for serious concern, they can be annoying and embarrassing. Dandruff is occasionally difficult to treat, but one way to address the problem is the use of essential oils. A 2015 review of studies found that several essential oils, which we’ll detail in this article, can be very helpful in controlling dandruff.
Although white flakes of any sort can arise, excess oil is what causes dandruff. Malassezia is a yeast that naturally exists on the scalp and feeds off the oil that the scalp produces. The excess of yeast creates yellow-is flakes that are hard to prevent. It’s important to note that dry scalp and dandruff are not the same thing. Your skin flakes off if your scalp is dry, and that can stem from using the wrong shampoo, soap, stress, or the weather. Dandruff may seem similar to dry scalp, but it results from an overproduction of oil and overgrowth of malassezia.
Many people with dandruff resort to anti-dandruff shampoos, but you can go a more natural route for experimentation. Several essential oils exhibit health properties that may help relieve symptoms of dandruff or improve overall scalp health. If you do experiment with the following essential oils, make sure to dilute them in a carrier oil prior to application. Additionally, always do a patch test on a small area of your arm to ensure that you don’t have a negative reaction.
Peppermint Essential Oil
The anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties of peppermint essential oil make it great for soothing an itchy scalp. Researchers note that this essential oil helps absorb excess oils on the scalp, which is why it exists in complex hair care formulas. Although it isn’t an anti-fungal treatment, it does work to clarify the scalp and improve overall scalp health. By absorbing excess oils on the scalp, some beauty experts believe that peppermint essential oil may help your dandruff problem.
Lemongrass Essential Oil
Lemongrass essential oil is another oil that exhibits anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties that may help control dandruff. One study found that a solution containing 10% lemongrass essential oil significantly reduced dandruff symptoms in participants. These participants applied the solution twice a day for seven and then 14 days. After seven days, there was a 15% reduction in dandruff symptoms. By day 14, the effects increased even more.
Rosemary Essential Oil
According to many studies, rosemary essential oil may help promote hair growth after consistent use. Additional studies note that rosemary essential oil has astringent, anti-fungal, and decongestant properties, all of which reduce excess oils, build-up, and flakes that accompany dandruff. The anti-fungal properties work to address the overactive fungal activity on the scalp, which is the origin of dandruff.
Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is one of the most commonly recommended essential oils to remedy dandruff. Studies show that tea tree oil has anti-fungal and antibacterial properties that work to ward off foreign invaders that try to attack your scalp. Tea tree oil also has antiseptic properties that work to alleviate the root cause of dandruff. You can add five to 10 drops of tea tree oil to eight ounces of shampoo. When you use this shampoo, let it sit on your hair before rinsing. That way the scalp can absorb the benefits.
Bergamot Essential Oil
Many hair care products can cause build-up on the scalp that can clog your pores, increasing the risk of dandruff. The antimicrobial nature of bergamot essential oil helps reduce that build-up and reduce the growth of bacteria. Add a few drops of this essential oil to your shampoo and massage it into your scalp. Let it sit on your head for five minutes before reining out.
Lemon Essential Oil
Lemon essential oil is known for its cleaning and antiseptic properties, making it a popular ingredient in DIY, non-toxic cleaning products. Those same properties work to gently cleanse the scalp and help remove oily debris. If oiliness contributes to your issues, or you are prone to acne, lemon essential oil may be the perfect oil for your scalp. Just make sure to dilute it in a carrier oil or shampoo for application.