One of my friends called the other day saying she and her daughter had suddenly developed bad cases of dandruff. Was there an essential oil that could help? I knew there were all kinds of oils recommended for the hair and scalp so I told her I’d do some research.
What I found was surprising. There is a wide variety of proposed causes for dandruff: hormones, yeast and fungal infections, overactive oil glands, dry skin caused by harsh shampoo or too hot of water, stress, sugar, and low fat diets, to name a few.
Several of the articles advised making up a blend of oils and applying it to the scalp. Of course, there were lots of oils mentioned so I had to do some thinking on that, too. Since both of them started getting dandruff at the same time, I wondered if it might be a yeast or fungal problem, so I started with Tea Tree because it’s antiseptic, anti-fungal, and also fights bacteria – all of which can cause scalp irritation.
These are the essential oils I chose for this custom blend:
- Tea Tree is anti-fungal, antiseptic, and fights bacteria.
- Patchouli is great for treating skin conditions and reducing irritation. It’s said to promote cell regeneration and also helps regulate the amount of oil produced in your scalp.
- Cedarwood has traditionally been used for dandruff and other skin conditions. It is also soothing and grounding.
- Chamomile is a mild, calming oil that’s known to help with skin irritation and also dandruff, because of its strong antiseptic properties. Chamomile is used by people with light colored hair to cover gray.
- Rosemary has traditionally been used for dandruff and itchiness of the scalp and is also great for your hair, especially dark hair.
- Ylang Ylang is calming and also helps with skin regeneration and balancing oil production.
I often go by intuition when deciding which oils to use, and that’s exactly what I did here. I used about 15 drops of each oil, except for 10 drops of Patchouli. I had some Jojoba carrier oil on hand, so I put about two ounces in a flip top bottle and dropped the essential oils into that. I started with Cedarwood as the base, and added the others in this order: Ylang Ylang, Patchouli, Chamomile, Rosemary, and Tea Tree. (I’m working on some basic instructions for blending oils.) I don’t mind giving someone a pre-mixed blend of essential and carrier oils if they’re going to use it fairly soon.
This is how I would use the blend.
- Heat the oil mix slightly.
- Pour over the hands and fingertips and massage into the hair and scalp, getting plenty on the scalp.
- Wrap your hair in a towel and let it sit for at least 10 minutes – longer is probably better.
- If you start to feel a burning or tingly sensation, wash it off immediately with a mild shampoo.
- Use a vinegar rinse, instead of conditioner, to restore natural pH, remove build-up and residue from shampoo and hair products, and to relieve itching. You may not like this idea, but the vinegar smell doesn’t last long, and you can add a few drops of essential oil to improve the aroma.
Some of the articles I read said that it could take two weeks or so for the dandruff to completely disappear. I haven’t heard back, but if I do I’ll let you know how it worked.