Does Coconut Oil Help With Dandruff?
Does coconut oil help with dandruff? Dandruff is a common condition that occurs when excess skin cells accumulate and flake off the scalp. If you’re looking for a natural dandruff remedy, you may want to consider coconut oil. Coconut oil is an antifungal, antibacterial, and ultra-hydrating ingredient that may be effective for treating itchy, dry scalp.
Can coconut oil get rid of dandruff? Here’s everything you should know about using coconut oil for dandruff and whether or not it really works.
What Causes Dandruff?
Dandruff is a common condition that affects around 50% of the population. Here are two of the most common causes of dandruff.
Malassezia: This yeast-like fungus is a normal part of the human microbiome that thrives on the oils in skin and hair. When there’s too much Malassezia, however, it leaves behind oleic acid that can irritate the skin. This can then lead to scalp dryness and itchiness associated with dandruff.
Seborrheic dermatitis: This skin condition is a type of eczema that is caused by an overgrowth of Malassezia. It can affect any part of the body where oil glands are present. Seborrheic dermatitis can cause the scalp to become oily, scaly, and itchy, leading to yellow or white flakes (aka dandruff flakes).
Dandruff is commonly caused by forms of dermatitis such as psoriasis or eczema. Alternatively, it could also be nutritional deficiencies or an allergic reaction to hair products. Most often, however, it is related to the overgrowth of a yeast-like fungus known as Malassezia.
Does Coconut Oil Help With Dandruff?
Coconut oil can help to treat dandruff thanks to its moisturizing properties and antifungal activity. It’s also been said to promote hair growth. In terms of the benefits of coconut oil for dandruff, it can help in several ways.
First—by boosting good bacteria. According to a 2021 study, coconut oil application significantly reduced dandruff by helping to maintain a healthy fungal scalp microbiome. Another study found that this natural oil may alleviate inflammation, which can help soothe itchiness associated with dandruff and other skin conditions like eczema.
Alongside this, coconut oil is deeply hydrating. Coconut oil is effective at moisturizing the scalp and preventing moisture loss. This, in turn, wards off dry skin and itchy scalp.
Coconut oil contains fatty acids, as well as antifungal properties which can help to ease dandruff. It also boasts antimicrobial properties as well as anti-inflammatory properties to improve overall scalp health, prevent irritation, and combat dandruff. Most dermatologists only praise coconut oil as a natural remedy for dandruff.
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Benefits of Coconut Oil for Scalp and Hair
Coconut oil offers a number of benefits for the scalp and hair. Does coconut help with dandruff? It certainly can but it also does much more. Here are all the things it can do.
Improves Scalp Condition: Coconut oil is rich in fatty acids that can deeply moisturize the scalp. It helps prevent dryness and flakiness, promoting a healthier and well-hydrated scalp.
Reduces Dandruff: Coconut oil contains fatty acids, such as lauric acid, capric acid, and caprylic acid, which have natural antifungal properties. Dandruff is often caused by an overgrowth of the yeast-like fungus Malassezia on the scalp, and coconut oil may help combat this.
Strengthens Hair Follicles: The nutrients in coconut oil, such as vitamins and minerals, can nourish the hair follicles and strengthen the roots. This can help reduce split ends, repair breakage, and promote overall hair health.
Soothes Irritation: Coconut oil’s anti-inflammatory properties can help soothe a dry, irritated scalp. If you suffer from conditions like psoriasis or eczema that cause scalp irritation, coconut oil may provide relief.
Controls Frizz: Coconut oil can act as a natural conditioner, making hair softer, smoother, and more manageable. Applying coconut oil to the scalp and hair can improve the overall texture of your hair while controlling frizz.
Promotes Hair Growth: While scientific evidence is limited, some people believe that coconut oil can stimulate hair growth. Massaging coconut oil into the scalp can stimulate blood circulation and better blood flow to the scalp may promote hair growth.
How to Use Coconut Oil for Dandruff
Most shampoos and conditioners already contain coconut oil so it’s easy to incorporate into your daily hair care routine. These are typically better and more hydrating than conventional anti-dandruff shampoos.
You can also apply it directly to your scalp. Just make sure you’re using high quality, virgin coconut oil. Simply scoop out 2 tablespoons of coconut oil and massage it into your scalp. Let it sit for one hour, and then remove thoroughly with a gentle shampoo.
To get the best results, repeat the process two times per week. Besides treating dandruff, regular application of coconut oil can promote overall scalp health while preventing hair loss and irritation.
Alternatively, try making a DIY dandruff treatment using a blend of natural oils such as coconut oil, jojoba oil, olive oil, and tea tree oil. Simply mix them together to create a hair mask, apply all over your scalp, and let it sit for 30-60 minutes before washing off.
Tips for Using Coconut Oil
Does coconut oil help with dandruff? Check. Does it help with hair growth? Check. Honestly, there’s little this natural oil can’t do for your hair. Here are some helpful tips when using coconut oil for dandruff.
Heat it up: Coconut oil is solid at room temperature, which is why it’s best to warm it up before applying it to your scalp. You can either warm it up by rubbing it between your hands, or place it in a cup in a bowl of hot water to help it liquify.
Apply it in the evening: This is the best time to use coconut oil for optimal absorption. Let it sit for several hours before washing off in the morning. This applies to your skincare products too—active ingredients perform best at night.
Mix it with other ingredients: Combining coconut oil with nourishing essential oils like jojoba, tea tree, and olive oil will give your scalp some added moisture and prevent water loss. Just avoid using harsh ingredients like lemon juice which can irritate the scalp.
Can Coconut Oil Get Rid of Dandruff?
Coconut oil is a natural home remedy that can help to treat dandruff. With its antifungal and anti-inflammatory properties, coconut oil can get to the root cause of dandruff: a buildup of excess yeast on the scalp.
Avoid using too much coconut oil or applying it too often which may worsen dandruff. It’s also important to ensure you’re shampooing regularly to avoid a buildup of skin cells and product residue which may lead to a dry, flaky scalp.
Does coconut oil help with dandruff? Research shows it can. If coconut oil does not work for you, consider other oils such as olive oil, avocado oil, jojoba oil, almond oil, or tea tree oil. And if those don’t work, talk to your healthcare provider about your best options for treating dandruff.