Q&AHow can I use essential oils to help my dry, flaky scalp?

Every day we lose dead skin cells from our scalp, and when more than usual are lost they clump together forming the white or grey flakes we call dandruff. Dandruff can form when the scalp is either too dry or too oily. Recently a fungus called Pityrosporum ovale, which lives naturally on the scalp, has been implicated in the development of dandruff.

scalpTea tree oil is active against Pityrosporum ovale and in a clinical trial, a 5% tea tree oil shampoo proved to be an effective treatment for dandruff when used daily for four weeks. Other essential oils reputed to be useful in the treatment of dandruff include rosemary, lavender, Atlas cedarwood and Virginian cedarwood.

Wash your hair daily, massaging your scalp while shampooing, and rise thoroughly. In addition, try an oil treatment once a week before you wash your hair. Mix three teaspoons of olive oil, or other vegetable oil with five drops each of tea tree and rosemary oils. Massage into your scalp, and cover your hair with a hot, wet towel. Leave for 10-15 minutes then wash out, applying shampoo to your hair before water. Brush your hair daily. Treatment generally takes 4-6 weeks.