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9 essential oils for dandruff removal

Getting rid of dandruff can be quite a task. On International Essential Oils Day, we tell you some of the best essential oils for dandruff removal.

Dandruff is a common scalp condition that can leave you with white or yellowish flakes of dead skin on your hair and shoulders. They may be small and powdery or larger and more noticeable. It may leave your scalp itchy and irritated, which can be disturbing and annoying. Using anti-dandruff shampoos containing ingredients like zinc pyrithione, selenium sulfide, salicylic acid, and ketoconazole can help to get rid of dandruff. Or you can also go for a natural remedies for dandruff removal. On the occasion of International Essential Oils Day, which is celebrated on July 11, let us tell you about the best essential oils for dandruff removal.

What are essential oils?

Essential oils are concentrated plant extracts that capture the natural fragrance and beneficial properties of their source, shares cosmetologist and skin expert Dr Jatin Mittal. They are typically obtained through processes like distillation (often by steam) or mechanical methods, such as cold pressing.

Woman smelling essential oil for dandruff
Essential oil can combat dandruff. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock

Here are some key points about essential oils:

  • Essential oils are highly concentrated, containing the essence of the plant’s fragrance and active compounds.
  • They are volatile, meaning they evaporate quickly at room temperature and release their aromatic compounds into the air.
  • Pure essential oils should not contain any artificial substances or diluents, though they are often mixed with carrier oils for application.

Essential oils to get rid of dandruff

Essential oils can be effective in treating dandruff due to their antifungal, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties, says the expert. Here are some of them:

1. Tea tree oil

Tea tree oil appears to be effective and well tolerated in dandruff treatment, as per a 2002 study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. It has strong antifungal and antibacterial properties that can help in reducing dandruff caused by yeast and fungi.

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2. Peppermint oil

Peppermint oil provides a cooling sensation, so this can help to soothe an itchy scalp, which goes hand in hand with dandruff. This oil also has antimicrobial properties, making it a good home remedy for dandruff removal.

3. Lavender oil

Lavender oil is known for reducing frizz and improving hair texture. It is a good oil to balance the scalp’s oil production. It is also known for its calming and anti-inflammatory properties, says Dr Mittal.

4. Rosemary oil

It stimulates hair growth and improves circulation to the scalp. It might be effective in dandruff treatment because of its anti-fungal and astringent properties. Rosemary oil can attack the fungus causing dandruff, and also reduce the oil secretion on the scalp, potentially slowing down the effect of dandruff and getting rid of those stubborn flakes.

5. Eucalyptus oil

It has antiseptic and antifungal properties that can help in treating dandruff, says the expert. It can also take care of your itchy, and irritated scalp due to its soothing properties.

6. Lemongrass oil

Using lemongrass essential oil every day will help to get rid of dandruff within seven days, as per a 2015 study published in Research in Complementary Medicine. That’s because it is effective against dandruff-causing fungi and helps to reduce scalp inflammation.

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7. Cedarwood oil

It can balance the oil-producing glands in the scalp, reducing the occurrence of dandruff. This essential oil can also help in reducing and soothing an itchy, and flaking scalp.

8. Clary sage oil

Clary sage oil has antibacterial and antifungal effects, according to a research published in Scientific Reports in 2017. It contains linalyl acetate, which helps to reduce skin inflammation and regulate oil production.

9. Thyme oil

It has strong antimicrobial properties that can help eliminate dandruff-causing bacteria and fungi. You just have to mix thyme oil with a carrier oil and apply to the scalp, or add a few drops to shampoo.

Essential oil for dandruff
Always mix essential oils with carrier oils. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock

How to use essential oils for dandruff control?

Using essential oils for dandruff control involves proper dilution, application techniques, and consistency. You can use all these oils 2 to 3 times per week, says the expert.

Here’s how to use these oils:

  • Essential oils should always be diluted with a carrier oil to avoid scalp irritation. A typical dilution ratio is about 3 to 5 drops of essential oil per tablespoon (15 ml) of carrier oil.
  • Before applying any essential oil blend to your scalp, perform a patch test on a small area of your skin to check for any adverse reactions.
  • Apply the diluted essential oil blend directly to your scalp, focusing on areas where dandruff is most noticeable. Massage gently to enhance its absorption and stimulate blood flow.

You can also do the following:

1. Mix essential oil with shampoo

You can add essential oil to the shampoo of your choice. This method is convenient and ensures you get the benefits with every wash. Add 5 to 10 drops of essential oil to a bottle of shampoo and use as usual.

2. Overnight treatment

For a more intensive treatment, you can apply the diluted essential oil blend to your scalp, cover with a shower cap, and leave it on overnight. Wash it out in the morning, says the expert.

What are the side effects of essential oils?

Some of the potential side effects of essential oils are:

  • Skin irritation
  • Allergic reactions
  • Burning sensation
  • Toxicity if ingested
  • Photosensitivity
  • Headaches

You can use essential oils for dandruff control, but make sure to properly dilute it with a carrier oil or a shampoo to minimise side effects.

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