What about essential oils for dandruff?
So, what about essential oils for dandruff? I haven’t really talked about those yet.
There is some research on essential oils being quite useful for dandruff. The most popular one happens to be tea tree oil. In fact, most natural dandruff shampoos use tea tree oil!
Do essential oils feed dandruff?
They aren’t lipids. Essential oils are mostly terpenes which are another type of organic compound.
Many essential oils are produced through a method called steam distillation. The components of essential oils typically have lower boiling points than lipids. For example, Google says the boiling point of lauric acid (fatty acids are a type of lipid) is 289.9°C. Google says the boiling point of limonene (a monoterpene) is 176°C.
Steam distillation takes advantage of the different boiling points of materials to separate them.
Essentially, no essential oils don’t feed dandruff so that makes them promising right off the bat.
Tea tree oil
Tea tree oil is a popular essential oil. It’s another remedy that’s often recommended. Tea tree oil has proven to be effective against dandruff. But, it cannot be applied directly. It needs to be diluted. Essential oils tend to be too harsh to use on their own. It was proven to be effective when used as a 5% tea tree oil shampoo. If you want to go the tea tree oil route, I’d recommend an anti-dandruff shampoo with tea tree oil in it.
So tea tree oil works, but not all shampoos with it are winners. An example is a shampoo with tea tree oil in it, but other ingredients that make dandruff worse. Be careful when choosing any shampoo, natural or otherwise, if you aren’t sure of the ingredients.
Important note on tea tree oil. About 5% of people have an allergic reaction to tea tree oil on skin contact. So try a patch test before you apply it to your whole scalp!
Lots of folks with seborrheic dermatitis/dandruff have had luck with this tea tree shampoo.
Lemongrass oil, Rosemary oil, Lavender oil, Chamomile oil, Eucalyptus oil, Thyme oil, Peppermint oil. These essential oils have a whole host of dandruff fighting properties. They can be anti-fungal, antibacterial, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, and anti-microbial.
Just like tea tree oil, they must be diluted because they’re too harsh on your skin to use as is. Essential oils are very concentrated.
It’s fairly common that people make their own blends of oils to fight dandruff. For example, someone might use lavender, lemongrass, rosemary, and tea tree oil with a carrier oil to dilute them. Coconut oil is very popular as a carrier oil but, don’t use it for dandruff. Just remember that the percentage of essential oils in your mixture should be somewhere around 1-5%. I would keep to the lower end.
Never dilute oils with water. Water and oils do not mix well.
If you want to use water with essential oils, you’ll have to use an emulsifier. Emulsifiers can be:
Mix your essential oil into the emulsifier and then mix that into water.
Even better, the emulsifiers I listed above can work well for dandruff too!