While having a dry, flaky scalp can be harmless, it can be annoying if it’s itchy, and embarrassing if others see the white flakes. Here are some natural remedy ideas including essential oils for dry scalp.
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Treating Dry Scalp Naturally
First, you need to determine if you have dry skin or if you are dealing with dandruff. While some of these remedies might also help with dandruff, it is more complex and needs a slightly different treatment.
Dandruff is often caused by too much oil, and the flakes are larger, yellowish, and harder to remove. Odor is another sign of dandruff. If you have dandruff you’ll probably need slightly more aggressive treatments.
Secondly, after you’ve determined you are dealing with a dry scalp, it is good to figure out what is causing the dryness. Of course you can start using the essential oils for dry scalp immediately; it’s just better to know the cause to prevent it happening regularly.
- Poor diet
- Season of the year/climate – cold and dry in the winter; too much sunlight in summer
- Harsh chemicals in shampoo, conditioner, styling, or other hair products
I’d like to caution you against using dandruff shampoos. The chemicals in those shampoos might actually make your dry scalp worse. Here’s my recipe for homemade shampoo that you can customize with essential oils for dry scalp.
Best Essential Oils for Dry, Itchy Scalp
These essential oils are known to help cleanse the delicate skin of the scalp and help with hair conditioning. This list of essential oils is a great place to start when figuring out which ones work best with you and your unique body chemistry.
- Lavender – Lavender essential oil is well known as one of the best oils for skin care. It’s gentle, yet powerful with antimicrobial and antioxidant components.
- Tea tree – Tea tree heals the scalp with its anti-fungal properties. Also stimulates hair growth.
- Rosemary – Rosemary has antioxidant and antibacterial properties that stimulate the scalp, and may facilitate hair growth.
- Cedarwood – This woodsy oil fights bacterial and fungal areas with its antiseptic properties. It can add shine and act as a heat protectant.
- Lemongrass – A favorite cleansing oil, lemongrass essential oil helps with oily hair and strengthens hair follicles. It has a whole lot of good qualities including anti-inflammatory and detoxification.
Apple Cider Vinegar Hair Rinse
A simple apple cider vinegar hair rinse can sometimes be all that you need to balance the skin on your scalp, help eliminate any bacteria that may be causing dry scalp problems, and give your hair better body texture. For many, it’s the only natural hair treatment they need to add to their routine.
- 1 part Apple Cider Vinegar
- 4 parts water
- Essential oils* (Note: 15-20 drops per cup is about right. Adjust as needed depending on how much rinse you make at one time.)
*Choose from lavender, tea tree, cedarwood, lemongrass, and rosemary essential oils.
- Mix one part apple cider vinegar with four parts water and essential oils as desired.
- Fill a squeeze bottle or repurposed shampoo bottle with the rinse mixture.
- Apply to clean, wet hair after shampooing in the shower.
- Massage it gently into the scalp of your head and hair roots and let it soak in for 3-5 minutes.
- Rinse thoroughly. You may not need to condition as heavily after your hair rinse treatment.
See all our Homemade Hair Care Recipes with Essential Oils Here! If you have experienced hair loss due to dry scalp here are my favorite essential oils for hair loss and regrowth.
Natural Hair Mask Treatment
If you find that your dry scalp needs more in-depth moisturizing treatments, this natural hair and scalp treatment will do the trick! Customize the essential oils you chose to see what works best for you and your skin. Remember that whatever you use it might take a couple applications and a little time to heal your scalp.
- 4 Tbl. Aloe Vera Gel
- 2 Tbl Apple Cider Vinegar
- 1 Tbl Carrier Oil or Honey*
- 10-15 drops desired essential oils **
* It is not recommended to use coconut oil because it tends to dry the skin. Jojoba, argon oil, almond oil, or olive oil are the best. Jojoba seems to especially give hair some extra shine. Honey can have a moisturizing effect as well, and often helps to smooth frizzy hair.
**Choose from lavender, tea tree, cedarwood, lemongrass, and rosemary essential oils.
- Mix all ingredients together to create the hair treatment mixture.
- Apply the dry scalp mask to your head, rubbing it into the scalp well so it penetrates the skin and helps clean away any bacteria or flakes that may be present.
- We find that beginning at the crown of the head, or natural part line and then working down the head works well. Use a wide-tooth comb to help work it into the scalp well, if needed.
- Cover head with a shower cap or tee-shirt towel and let it soak in for 15-20 minutes or as desired.
- Rinse out and shampoo or condition as normal, although you may not need the same level of conditioner as you typically used before treatment.
This is a great weekly hair treatment you can enjoy while soaking in a detox bath or just to rejuvenate the skin on your scalp.