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Coconut Oil for Dry Scalp: Is Relief a Bottle Away?

August 7, 2021

Coconut oil can be used for a wide causes of dry scalp – from everything from dandruff to psoriasis. However, you do need to know just what this oil can do and how you should use it for the best results.

So, here is your guide on coconut oil for dry scalp…

The Benefit of Coconut Oil in Dry Scalp Treatment

Let’s take a look at some of the advantages associated with using coconut oil on a dry scalp:

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Adds Hydration

As you can imagine one of the top reasons for a dry scalp is, well, dry skin. Some people have skin with lower levels of oil production. Due to this, the skin isn’t naturally moisturized, leading to dried out patches that may itch or flake.

Well, there is evidence to prove that coconut oil improves skin hydration. One of the main ways that coconut oil does this is by improving the skin barrier function so that there is less water loss. However, for the oil to be truly effective at reducing dry skin, it is best for it to be used alongside another kind of scalp moisturizer. 

Useful Against Dandruff

Dandruff is an irritating issue that a surprising number of people have to deal with. It is estimated that up to 50 percent of the adult population around the world suffers from this scalp condition that is also referred to as seborrheic dermatitis.

For the longest time, scientists assumed that a fungus known as Malassezia was the main culprit for causing dandruff. It was presumed that the fungus eat the fatty substances in the oils produced on your scalp and, in turn, produce oleic acid which irritates the skin, causing it to dry out, itch, and flake.

These days, though, there is a different school of thought. Experts have now discovered that dandruff is much more likely to be the result of an imbalance of healthy bacteria and the dandruff-causing fungus on the scalp.

Well, this is where coconut oil for seborrheic dermatitis comes into play. Research has shown that coconut oil can help the healthy bacteria to flourish and work to keep the levels of harmful bacteria lower.

Having a higher population of the healthy bacteria can potentially work to keep the dandruff causing fungus in check. Therefore, if you were to use coconut oil for dandruff, there is a good chance that you will see improvement in your symptoms.

Can Treat Eczema on Scalp

Eczema on your body and scalp is caused by a gene variation in the human body. It can cause severe dry scalp, itching, and raised bumps that may crust over when scratched.

What’s great about coconut oil for eczema on your scalp is that the oil helps to hydrate and moisturize the skin. It can also help to improve the barrier on your skin preventing moisture loss and from your skin drying out too often.

As coconut oil also has antibacterial properties, it can work to reduce the risk of bacterial infections that are common with this kind of skin condition. All in all, this oil can counteract numerous symptoms associated with eczema.

You should be aware that eczema can present differently from one person to another. So, while this might be a good remedy for some, it may not always work for you. However, it is definitely worth a try given its positive effects.

May Help with Psoriasis on Scalp

Psoriasis is actually found on the scalp rather often. And, while it is easy to mistake this skin condition with eczema, the two aren’t the same. This is because psoriasis is an autoimmune condition that causes your skin cells to grow too fast.

Now, one of the side effects of psoriasis is a dry scalp and thick scales coming off your scalp. If you do have psoriasis, coconut oil can help to a certain degree. Moisturizing your scalp with coconut oil works to get rid of the dryness in specific areas.

At the same time, coconut oil helps to soften the scales associated with this disorder. It is then easier for you to gently lift the dead skin off your scalp without causing discomfort or doing any damage to the layer of skin below. This helps other medications used to treat psoriasis penetrate your scalp more efficiently.

When Will Coconut Oil on Scalp Not Help?

Clearly coconut oil can help your dry scalp to a significant degree. However, does coconut oil work for everyone or are there times when it doesn’t have as much of an effect?

The first thing you need to realize is that coconut oil may not be a good option for every person. For one thing, some people may have an allergy to coconut oil, although this is quite rare. Even if you aren’t allergic to coconut oil, it is not uncommon for people with dry scalp to have sensitive skin.

Due to this, there is always a chance that the skin on your scalp may become irritated or inflamed when you use coconut oil on it. To minimize the issue, make sure to always test a small portion of your scalp first. If there isn’t any redness, itching, or other side effect after 24 to 48 hours, you can proceed with this home remedy.

Another thing to keep in mind is that it often isn’t possible to cure dry scalp. This is because skin conditions such as dandruff, psoriasis, and eczema can’t really be cured. Instead, you can just treat the symptoms and reduce the severity of flare ups. However, the problem won’t ever really go away.

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Best Oil for Dry Scalp

If you do want to use coconut oil on your dry scalp, it is a good idea to use a virgin coconut oil. This type of oil has been carefully manufactured to retain as much of its nutrients and lauric acid as possible. As such, it offers many more health benefits for your scalp.

You will find that Nutiva coconut oil is a great option for you. It is a food-grade coconut oil product that contains a lot of nutrients. The oil is known for its hydrating features and is great for regular use on your scalp.

A quick note about the kind of coconut oil that you shouldn’t use on your dry scalp. Now, most people will use fractionated coconut oil in their hair as this oil is readily absorbed into the skin. The downside, though, is that fractionated oil doesn’t contain lauric acid or other nutrients.

Due to this, it will not be as effective against the dry skin on your scalp. Due to this, you should use virgin or food-grade coconut oil for the best results.

Related Reading
The Best Fractionated Coconut Oils for All Your Needs
Best Coconut Oils in the Market for Stronger, Healthier Hair

How to Use Coconut Oil for Dandruff and Dry Scalp

Here is a breakdown of how to use your coconut oil for home remedies for dry scalp:

How to Apply Coconut Oil to Scalp

Your first move will be to melt the amount of coconut oil that you want to use for your scalp. You can use a water bath, microwave the oil, or simply rub it in between your palms. Make sure that the oil has cooled down before applying it to your head.

It is best not to saturate your scalp with the oil as it can lead to clogged pores. Instead, always start with a small amount and then add more as needed. After a few times of using the oil, you will have a better understanding of which quantity works for you best.

To treat your scalp in an organized manner, dip a large cotton swab in the oil, allowing it to absorb the liquid. Then, gently dab it onto your scalp. You can choose to only use the oil on the affected areas or apply it to your entire scalp.

If you are treating psoriasis, you may find it help to give yourself a coconut oil scalp massage. Once you have applied the coconut oil to your scalp. Use your fingers to massage the oil into the skin. You should make an effort to do this in area where there are scales or thickened portions of skin.

Massaging the coconut oil will allow the oil to really penetrate and soften these areas. As such, it will be far easier for you to pry these loose later on.

It is up to you to decide how long to leave the coconut oil on your scalp. In the beginning, you can leave it on for about half an hour to an hour. If you don’t see the results that you want, you can increase this treatment for a few hours.

Some people prefer to leave the oil on their scalp overnight – this is something that you can try as well. If you do this, make sure to wear a plastic shower cap on your head before going to bed. This may help to protect your pillows and bedding. Nevertheless, you should be prepared for there to be a bit of a mess.

If you do decide to leave the coconut oil on your hair overnight, make sure to monitor the state of your scalp. If you notice that it is feeling greasy or that you are dealing with clogged follicles, you may not want to leave the oil in for that long.

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Coconut Oil as a Carrier Oil

If your dry scalp is the result of dandruff, you can use tea tree oil as an additional remedy. Since you can’t add tea tree oil directly to your skin, you will need to use coconut oil as a carrier oil. Add a few drops to your coconut oil and mix well.

Then, apply to the affected areas of the skin. You shouldn’t leave this mix on your scalp for too long, though, as it may cause irritation. Simply leave it on for about 15 minutes at a time and then wash it out.

Removing Coconut Oil from Scalp

It can be quite tricky to remove coconut oil from shampoo. This is especially true if you already have a dry scalp as most tactics for getting rid of the oil can be even more drying. However, there are a few tactics that you can use.

One thing to try is to shampoo your scalp and hair in warm water. Make sure to use a hydrating shampoo or one that has been prescribed for dry scalp. Steer clear of anything that is designed to clarify or dry out your hair.

If you want to use something less drying, you can give conditioner a try. Apply a generous amount to your scalp and hair. As conditioner and oils have a similar consistency, the conditioner may do a better job of breaking down the oil without stripping your hair or scalp of moisture.

In case the above options didn’t work, you can use apple cider vinegar diluted in water. While vinegar can be used to treat dandruff, eczema, and even psoriasis, vinegar can also be rather irritating to a sensitive scalp. This is why you should always test out this remedy before applying it to your entire head.

Add about a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to a cup of water. Gently daub this where you have applied the coconut oil. You can also just pour the mix onto your scalp and hair but be mindful of your face and eyes. Then, wash it out with warm water.

This is your guide on how to use coconut oil for dry scalp, regardless of the skin condition that you may be facing. Now that you know all the tips and tricks you can give these DIY treatments a try yourself.

If you enjoyed this post, make sure to check out our Pinterest page. We have tons of other remedies and tidbits for you to check out.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Riya Borah
Nutritionist Educator | Riya Borah is a nutritionist educator and her job involves guiding people towards a healthier lifestyle. Growing up in India, Riya was aware of just how much coconut was used on a daily basis. This encouraged her to research the properties of this versatile drupe. It opened her eyes to both the limitation and possibilities of coconut. Her aim is to now educate as many people as possible about the best ways to utilize coconut in their own lives.
An Important Disclaimer
The information on this page should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice. Consult a doctor if you wish to consume any kind of tea regularly for the purpose of treating any condition or illness.
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