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How to Use Coconut Oil for Dandruff

jar of coconut oil for dandruff with green rope tied in a bow and a cracked coconut in the background

Did you know that you can use coconut oil for dandruff as a remedy and a preventable measure? There are benefits to using coconut oil for itchy scalp too!

What Causes Dandruff?

Before getting into how and why coconut oil prevents dandruff, let’s first start with what causes it. 

Dandruff is commonly the result of a few things, although it should be made clear that poor hygiene is not one of them. 

One of the causes is Malassezia, which is a non-harmful fungus that breaks down the oils in your skin. However, when there is too much Malassezia, it can result in both an itchy and dry scalp, conditions associated with dandruff.

Another source of dandruff is oily skin or seborrheic dermatitis, which is a kind of eczema. An indicator of seborrheic dermatitis is dandruff flakes that are oilier and more yellow in color. The condition can worsen because of things like not washing your hair frequently enough or using excessive oils.

woman scratching her itchy scalp

Myths About Dandruff

It is a popular yet huge misconception that poor hygiene is the cause of dandruff and an itchy scalp. In reality, unless you haven’t washed your hair for a very long time, the more likely culprit when it comes to the correlation between dandruff and hygiene is that you’re using poor-quality shampoo or conditioner. Luckily, using coconut oil for dandruff is an easy solution.

Other myths are that dandruff is contagious and can cause hair loss. Another one is that you should remove all dandruff flakes from your scalp before shampooing. This is actually a terrible idea as the harsh removal of flakes can be painful and lead to bleeding!

One other huge myth about how to best treat dandruff and an itchy scalp is to use everyday commercial dandruff shampoos and conditioners that you can find in almost any major grocery store. In reality, the majority of these kinds of shampoos and conditioners can actually be very drying and make your hair brittle, and they may have several other negative side effects

Coconut oil in glass jar with wooden scoop

Research on Using Coconut Oil for Dandruff

When you search for a remedy to treat itchy scalp and dandruff, one that you will consistently see pop up on almost every salon stylist’s website, blog, hair product company, and medical website is coconut oil.

Research has demonstrated that using coconut oil for itchy scalp has the potential to benefit those with dandruff in more than one way. When you use coconut oil for dandruff, a great side effect is it provides scalp hydration and can also help with hair growth. 

The Science Behind It 

Traditionally, coconut oil has been used as a natural antimicrobial product. In fact, it has been found to be helpful in treating scalp fungus (e.g., Malassezia) and eczema of the scalp (aka seborrheic dermatitis) at the same time. As such, it is helpful to use coconut oil for dandruff and to alleviate itchy scalp issues.

A study recently concluded that coconut oil can help to preserve the bacteria and fungi that keep your scalp healthy. Another study offered that the use of virgin coconut oil for itchy scalp and dandruff in addition to the fact that it is so readily available to sufferers makes it a great natural remedy to a serious issue that affects many people. 

How to Use Coconut Oil for the Scalp

There really is a simple way to use coconut oil for dandruff and/or an itchy scalp. The important thing to remember is to completely rinse the coconut oil out when you are done conditioning your hair and scalp. 

While there are a lot of recipes out there to create hair masks that combine other ingredients that can be helpful for your hair, here are a few less fussy directions to follow. 

Twice a week, use 1-2 tablespoons of coconut oil, like our Certified Organic Coconut Oil or our Cold Pressed Organic Coconut Oil - Virgin Unrefined, and fully work it into your hair from the roots to the tips and over your entire scalp. 

wildly organic craft oil certified organic

Some find that warming the coconut oil first makes it easier to apply. If you decide to warm it on the stovetop or in a hot water bath, do not heat it so that it becomes too hot. Instead, just warm it until it becomes liquid, and be sure not to apply it until it has cooled down enough for you to touch. 

If that sounds like too much effort, then simply rub the solidified coconut oil between the palms of your hands to melt it. You can then let it penetrate your hair and scalp for anywhere from 30-60 minutes before you rinse it out. Make sure to shampoo your hair to ensure that no oil residue remains.

If you don’t notice an improvement right away, do not worry! Severe dandruff can sometimes take a few treatments before you see any noticeable results. Note that if symptoms persist, it would probably be best to consult with your doctor. 

If you are wanting to create an aromatherapy-type spa moment, feel free to add a drop or two of lavender or peppermint to your coconut oil, or blend the coconut oil with yogurt, honey, avocado, or lemon for extra hair nourishment. 

Using coconut oil for itchy scalp is highly effective in preventing dandruff and providing relief. Wildly Organic is an industry veteran that offers high-quality coconut oils that are excellent for more than just cooking with. Sign up for our email to get 10% off your first order!

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.


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