dandruff
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Many feel dandruff stems from dryness, but according to dermatologist Dr. Jessica Wu, that is not the case. “It’s a common misconception that dandruff is caused by dryness; in reality, it’s usually due to an overgrowth of a harmless yeast.” In some people, "the yeast starts to feed on the excess oil and dead skin cells on the scalp, causing the skin cells to shed more frequently and clump into flakes.” 

Other reasons for dandruff could be diet, skin irritations, psoriasis, eczema, and excessive, lack of, or improperly washing your hair and scalp. With a laundry list of reasons for a dandruff problem, it can be difficult to eliminate, especially if you are not aware of the cause. Many dandruff shampoos are often too harsh for curly hair. Many curlies are turning to natural forms of dealing with scalp conditions and it is only natural that we opt for natural methods as we rock our natural tendrils. I decided to get a professional opinion on the topics and enlisted the expertise of Dr. Kari Williams, trichologist and owner of Mahogany Hair Revolution.

Read more: 10 Dandruff Shampoos that Won't Dry You Out

Coconut oil

The health benefits of coconut oil are vast and that includes more than just hair. This edible oil extracted from the flesh of matured coconuts is naturally antibacterial, antifungal, amazing as a moisturizer and can penetrate hair better than many other oils. According to Dr. Williams, “the key ingredient in coconut oil that makes it effective in combating dandruff is lauric acid. This is a fatty acid that is antiviral and antibacterial. It can help decrease the inflammation caused by dandruff.”

Coconut oil and lime juice are a great combination to rid the scalp and hair of dandruff. Mix one part lemon juice to 2-parts coconut oil and massage into the scalp. Cover with a warm towel and leave in from 15 to 20 min. Shampoo or cleanse and style as usual.

Lavender oil

Lavender oil or Lavandural angustifolia is one of the most versatile essential oils in nature. Most commonly used for its relaxing effects on the body, lavender oil has anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antiviral, antiseptic, and antifungal properties. Lavender is revitalizing to the skin and hair. Dr. Williams adds, “this essential oil does not contain properties to fight dandruff but it is a healing agent, promotes hair growth, and softens the hair.”

Lavender oil and olive oil makes a great scalp massage oil to thwart dandruff. Mix 2 tbsp. of olive oil and 20-22 drops of lavender well. Apply to scalp and massage gently before covering with a shower cap. Leave on for 30 min. before cleansing with a gentle cleanser and style as usual.

Rosemary oil

Rosemary oil, also known as Rosmarinus officinalis, has been used since ancient times for a variety of purposes including culinary and medicinal. It has become popular in recent years because of its ability to stimulate hair growth, boost mental activity, and relieve respiratory problems. Rosemary has antimicrobial and antiseptic qualities, which make it ideal for eliminating eczema, dermatitis, and dandruff. Dr. Williams adds that rosemary “has anti-fungal properties that help it kill the yeast that's associated with dandruff. It also helps to soothe the itching associated with some forms of dandruff.” Fight the dandruff then soothe your scalp!

Rosemary oil and your favorite carrier oil can make a perfect dandruff fighting massage oil. One drop of rosemary oil for every tbsp. of favorite carrier oil (coconut, olive, etc.) and massage into scalp.  Allow to sit for 20 min. to overnight. Shampoo and style as usual.

Tea tree oil

Tea tree oil or Melaleuca alternifolia comes from a plant native to eastern Australia. Used for hundreds of years as a natural cure for various health issues, this amazing oil can heal such common ailments from acne to athlete’s foot. Dr. Williams notes, “Tea tree oil is a gentle but highly effective anti-fungal and disinfectant that makes it great for fighting dandruff and soothing the scalp, Dr. Williams reminds us: “It is also antibacterial and anti-inflammatory so it soothes a dry, itchy scalp while also healing it. A natural germicide and antiseptic, this essential oil kills just about any germ associated with scalp and hair ailments.”

Tea tree oil and eucalyptus oil create a potent mixture to rid your scalp of dandruff. Just a few drops of tea tree oil added to a few drops of eucalyptus oil and slightly warm prior to massaging on the scalp. No need for rinsing. You can even add few drops to dime-sized amount of shampoo and apply to several sections of your hair to relieve dandruff. Prior to implementing the CGM, I suffered from dandruff and once I started doing this method it disappeared

Olive oil

Olive oil is obtained from the fruit of olive trees. Curlies love olive oil or EVOO oils as it is unrefined and is the highest-quality olive oil you can buy. It has lower levels of oleic acid than other varieties of olive oil, but is does contain more of the natural vitamins and minerals found in olives. EVOO is an effective and natural moisturizer because it contains mono-unsaturated fatty acids, which help to coat the hair shaft and keep it protected. It possesses vitamins A and E to reduce the damage done by UV rays and hair care products and according to Dr. Williams, “Olive oil (is) rich in oleic acid, which is an antioxidant that restores and rejuvenates the hair and scalp. The oil provides the scalp with added moisture that can reduce the flaking from dandruff.”

Merely take ½ to 1 cup of olive oil and warm on the stove. Massage onto the scalp and then wrap hair in a warm towel. Leave on for 45 min. up or overnight before shampooing and styling as usual.

The expert has spoken so go forth and destroy that dandruff with a vengeance.

Read more: Oleic and Linoleic Acid: The Reason You Love Oils So Much