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While not medically concerning or contagious, dandruff is a pesky cosmetic issue that can add unnecessary stress to your life. This chronic skin condition is fairly common, but that doesn’t make the itchy scalp or white flakes on your shoulders any less frustrating. If you’re looking for a natural remedy to minimize symptoms, you’ll want to try one of the best hair oils for dandruff.
Maybe you’ve already tried some of the best dandruff shampoos or even natural dandruff treatments, and you want to add another element to your arsenal. But before choosing an oil remedy, you’ll want to figure out the cause of your flaking (and it’s not necessarily just dandruff). If it’s caused by psoriasis or something else more serious, though, you might want to discuss your flaking with a dermatologist.
But if you’re flaking because of dry skin, it doesn’t usually require medical attention to treat at home, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. While using dandruff shampoos is recommended by the AAD, anecdotally, lots of people have found that moisturizing oils (like coconut or jojoba) can also help by keeping the scalp hydrated. Even Debra Jaliman, M.D., an NYC-based dermatologist, recommends tea tree oil as a great treatment for dandruff treatment because it offers both antifungal and moisturizing benefits. And using some of the best hair oils in general can counteract the overproduction of oil on the scalp — another common cause of flakes.
Below, you’ll find the three best hair oils for dandruff. Regardless of the cause, the good news is that with the right products and care, a dry scalp is very treatable.
In a hurry? Here are the best hair oils for dandruff, plus another option that’s also great:
1. The Best Oil For Dandruff: Now Foods Tea Tree Oil
2. Great For Dry, Inflamed Skin: Kate Blanc Certified Organic Jojoba Oil
3. An Antifungal & Moisturizing Oil: Viva Naturals Extra-Virgin Coconut Oil
4. Also Great: A Dermatologist-Recommended Dandruff Shampoo
Tea tree oil is recommended by dermatologists including Dr. Debra Jaliman. And this bottle is my overall top pick based on quality, effectiveness, and reviews, is this 100 percent pure Australian tea tree oil by Now Foods. Not only is tea tree oil highly effective as an antifungal and antiseptic agent, it’s also very soothing and can help moisturize dry skin (another possible reason for dandruff). This multi-use product can also be used for aromatherapy or to treat a variety of hair and skin needs (like pimples!), as well as fungal infections and wounds. Now Foods’s option comes highly recommended by users, who say it works wonders for acne, scalp issues, dry skin, and as a first-aid tool.
One reviewer writes: "I love this stuff! I use a few drops of this in my deep conditioning treatments once a week and it has gotten rid of the dandruff that I have fought for years. I tried everything. Dandruff shampoos, oil [treatments], you name it. Even my stylist couldn’t help. This is what finally saved me."
Kate Blanc’s organic jojoba oil is a solid choice for treating super dry, inflamed, or irritated skin on the scalp that’s causing dandruff. Jojoba oil has been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties to soothe irritation — it’s also highly moisturizing and is often used for hair, skin, and nail health. This option is USDA certified-organic and made up of 100 percent pure jojoba oil with no additives. With over 1,600 Amazon reviews and a five-star rating, users rave over the versatility of this oil.
One reviewer writes: "I had clumps… of dandruff buildup in my hair… I applied it to my scalp and gave myself an oil scalp treatment using this stuff. Massaged it in. After about 5 minutes, it all loosened. Next, washed my hair. After shower, it was all gone. Wow," says one fan.
This unrefined, extra-virgin coconut oil by Viva Naturals is another amazing option to combat dandruff caused by dry skin or fungus buildup on the scalp. The fatty acids in coconut oil have been shown to boast antifungal and antibacterial properties while simultaneously being extremely hydrating. This option also comes at a more affordable price point than most other oils — only $10 for a 16-ounce tub. It’s important to note that since coconut oil is so moisturizing, this may not be the best choice for those who already have very oily skin or hair. With a whopping 14,000 reviews on Amazon, though, it’s clear that people love this product. Many users also noted that treating their scalp with this coconut oil really worked for eliminating dandruff and flakes.
One reviewer writes: "I had really bad dandruff and did some research with how to combat it and found that virgin coconut oil would do the job. At first, I applied it to my scalp and hair two to three times a week with a 30 minute massage. Sometimes I slept with the product still on my head and washed it out in the morning. It definitely works and I was happy to dramatically decrease my dandruff."
According to the Mayo Clinic, the active ingredient in Neutrogena’s T/Gel, coal tar, "helps conditions such as dandruff, seborrheic dermatitis, and psoriasis" which makes it an excellent treatment for all sorts of scalp flaking. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends using dandruff shampoos one to two times a week but warns that tar shampoo might not be the best choice for those with blonde, gray, or white hair because it might discolor it. However, it’s gotten more than 1,100 positive reviews on Amazon.
One reviewer writes: "Since I started using it my scalp has been clean, not even a spot of dandruff.10/10 would recommend, I’m sorry for not knowing about it earlier. I would be lost without it."
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