Reader Nakeya asks,
“What oils are good for itchy scalp. I can wash my hair moisturize it wake up the next morning and it’s semi dry and I have flakes and the itching starts. It gets worse as the week goes on. I oil it, wash it and everything else. I’ve used tea tree oil which I love but the smell is a little over powering.”
Usually for an itchy scalp the recommendation is natural oils like coconut oil (which is anti-fungal) or tea tree oil. However, if what you are experiencing is a dandruff problem, you could potentially be making your situation even worse! I have collected information from scientific resources you should check out.
“If you’re not prone to dandruff and you’re using coconut oil to strengthen your hair, it may not matter how much of the oleic acid containing oils you use. You may experience more benefit than risk. However, the situation could be reversed if you are prone to itchy, flaky scalp. Natural oils may not be for everyone because they contain oleic acid which can worsen dandruff symptoms.”
“If you have dandruff or scalp eczema, it is very important to know that many natural oils actually contain the oil that feeds the fungus Malassezia that causes the condition. This oil, oleic acid is present in the popular four natural oils – coconut oil, shea butter, olive oil and castor oil. It would be worth your while avoiding using these oils so as to not exacerbate the condition.”
I also talk a little about this in my book Grow it Kinky: How to Grow Long Kinky Textured Natural Hair. I found an article from Live Science that discusses home remedies for dandruff:
“Home treatments for dandruff popularized on the Internet include applying oil — such as olive oil, vegetable oil or baby oil — to the scalp. But olive and vegetable oil may actually worsen the condition, researchers say. Dandruff is typically caused by an excess production of sebum (oil) in the scalp, and has been linked with an overgrowth of yeast, called Malassezia, which naturally occur on the scalp. The oil treatments are generally thought to help to remove the scales, but aren’t believed to treat the condition itself. “
So if you are experiencing a dandruff problem your best bet would be to purchase a medicated dandruff shampoo. Some popular brands I am sure you are familiar with include: Head & Shoulders and Selson Blue. However, there is also the option of Sage Shampoo for Heavy Dandruff that is sulfate free and has great reviews on Amazon.com.
If the over the counter methods do not work, you should see a dermatologist who can diagnose exactly what is the cause of your scalp problems. They can then prescribe medications to moderate your condition.
Look into Potential Causes
You also may want to look into the causes of why your scalp is itching. Dandruff can be caused by extensions like box braids or weaves. This can also happen when you wear styles like cornrows with your own hair. I typically do not experience dandruff problems but now that I am currently wearing box braids I had a touch of it. I use Sulfur 8 Medicated Braid Spray for this.
I hope this have been helpful to you Nakeya!