Coconut oil, is it good for dandruff?
Coconut oil is commonly listed as a good natural treatment and home remedy for dandruff. That could be false. However, it’s fantastic for dry skin and hydration, different from dandruff caused by oily skin.
Why might it be bad for dandruff? The same reason just about every vegetable oil is bad for dandruff. It feeds Malassezia, a dandruff causing fungus.
Isn’t coconut oil antifungal?
It’s true that Coconut oil is one of the top natural remedies that pop up for dandruff treatment. But, is it really good for your scalp? Yes, it is. It’s great for your skin and works very well as a moisturizer.
BUT, you may not want to use coconut oil for dandruff treatment.
It’s true that coconut oil has antifungal properties. It happens to be effective against a specific yeast species called Candida. You’d think that would wipe out our dandruff problems but, it can make things worse.
It doesn’t specifically target the Malassezia/bacteria imbalance that leads to dandruff in the first place.
There’s no active ingredient in coconut oil that’s specifically meant to fight dandruff. Malassezia feeds on oils so if you’re dandruff is due to oily skin it will be counterproductive to use it.
How does coconut oil feed dandruff?
Fatty acids with a carbon chain length or 11-24 seem to dramatically speed up the growth of Pityrosporum Ovale (Malassezia Furfur).
Coconut oil is bad for Malassezia (gives it more fuel) because of its lauric acid content. Lauric acid happens to be a medium-chain fatty acid with a 12 carbon backbone.
There isn’t enough research specifically on coconut oil to say for sure that it’s bad or good for seborrheic dermatitis (Severe dandruff). But, it makes sense that feeding a scalp overloaded with oil even more oil won’t work. Especially when it has one of the prime fuels for the fungus we’re fighting.
If you choose to go with coconut oil, proceed with caution. Reports on the effectiveness of coconut oil vary from being helpful to being the cause of dandruff flare-ups.
I would recommend against the coconut oil route. There are alternatives though!
As always do a patch test before applying to test for any allergies or sensitivities to coconut oil.