Best Essential Oils for Removing Dandruff

Removing Dandruff

Dandruff is a scalp condition that causes flaking of the skin and can also be accompanied by itching. This can lead to excess skin oil (sebum) causing the skin flakes to form small oily clumps. The increased oils and dead skin cells can cause the skin of the scalp to become red and inflamed, and scratching the skin and hair only aggravates the condition.

Most people are pretty quick to reach for the commercial remedies available to remove dandruff, which can be quite potent, but not necessarily effective. However, highlighted below is a range of natural remedies that can provide dandruff relief without stripping your hair of its healthiness or shine.

Dandruff_Essential oilsEssential Oils

Essential oils are the powerful essences of a plant-derived by steam distillation that have both the aroma and the health benefits of the plant they were extracted from.

One of the most fascinating aspects of essential oils for the hair and skin is that they deliver their benefits directly through the body’s natural barriers. This is because these oils are readily absorbed by the body when used aromatically, applied topically, or sometimes, ingested.

In addition to a range of other health benefits, some essential oils can effectively provide dandruff relief.

Causes of Dandruff

Skin Sensitivities

Sometimes a specific hair product can cause dryness or flaky skin. In the right conditions, this can spiral outward into full-blown dandruff. Consider looking over any hair treatments you have tried recently to determine whether it could have been the cause of your dandruff.

Not Washing Hair Often Enough

When the hair is allowed to collect a good amount of dust and dirt from the environment, this will begin to stew with dead skin cells and old hair oils. The result is a layer of filth that coats the scalp and base hairline and creates a perfect breeding ground for fungal and bacterial reproduction. Dandruff will be the first of the problems that arise when this happens.

On the other hand, washing your hair too often can strip the scalp of its natural oils, creating for a lack of sebum which can potentially lead to dandruff.

Bacteria and Fungus

The body is constantly at work fighting off harmful bacteria and fungus. Two of the most common bacterial invaders are Propionibacterium and Staphylococcus. Messenia globose is a fungus that lives on most scalps and causes no major problems but can cause irritations and dandruff.


When the winter chills come, the skin on your lips, cheeks, and hair can suddenly become very dry. If this dryness in the scalp is prolonged enough, it can turn into dandruff.

Diet and Stress

Poor dietary habits and high-stress levels can also contribute to dandruff. If you find yourself tugging or scratching nervously at your head and hair, your stress may be contributing to dandruff. Poor nutrition and circulation through the scalp also strip the body of the essential materials for balancing hair oils and optimizing skin quality, which also leads to dandruff.

Best Essential Oils for Hair

Lavender Oil


Clinical studies have just started to examine the effects of lavender essential oil on hair health. Lavender essential oil is a potent antibacterial and antifungals. If dandruff has resulted in itchiness or irritation, especially when caused by stress, lavender essential oils soothe the skin and the mind.

In a 2016 study on mice, lavender essential oils had a significant effect on the health of the skin’s thermal layer and the depth of hair follicles. It was even found to increase the number of follicles in female test subjects, possibly due to its hormone-balancing effects.

Rosemary OilDandruff_Rosemary

Rosemary essential oil is among the most versatile of natural hair treatments. Studies have found that rosemary essential oil can boost the rate of cellular metabolism, resulting in hair growth and restoration of the scalp and follicles.

Dandruff_ChamomileChamomile Oil

Chamomile essential oil is another useful natural hair treatment. Whether your hair is excessively oily or excessively dry, chamomile essential oils help balance out the conditions of the hair. Chamomile essential oil also effectively reduces inflammation and soothe the itchiness that typically accompanies dandruff.

Chamomile essential oil can even be used to lighten the tones of the hair when mixed with baking soda and applied topically. Hair treated with chamomile oil is shinier and softer than hair treated with synthetic lighteners which strip hair of their protective cuticles and cause dryness.

Dandruff_CedarCedarwood Oil

Cedarwood essential oil is a great treat after a long stressful day. By improving blood flow through the scalp, this essential oil improves the health of your hair from the roots. Cedarwood essential oil also has well-established antifungal properties.1

Scottish scientists set out to test the properties of cedarwood essential oil, used in combination with other essential oils, to remedy alopecia—hair loss on the scalp. The results showed a 44 percent improvement in comparison to control groups results. Furthermore, cedarwood essential oils are an effective remedy for lice, fleas, and ticks.

Removing Dandruff Infographic


There are many different ways to enjoy the benefits of essential oils for the hair. Shampoos, hair masks, and direct topical application with carrier oils are all great options. Remember that a small amount goes a long way and consistency always brings out the best results. Try using one or a mix of the essential oils mentioned for a safe, natural dandruff remedy.2

Photo Credit: ChamilleWhite/, SubbotinaAnna/, NataliaDeSante/, Scorpp/, Fascinadora/

Krista Burton

By Krista Burton

Krista is an aromatherapy enthusiast who enjoys writing and researching about all the new aromatherapy trends. When she’s not busy writing and researching you can find her dreaming about being on the beach.

Favorite MONQ blend: Ocean

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The above information relates to studies of specific individual essential oil ingredients, some of which are used in the essential oil blends for various MONQ diffusers. Please note, however, that while individual ingredients may have been shown to exhibit certain independent effects when used alone, the specific blends of ingredients contained in MONQ diffusers have not been tested. No specific claims are being made that use of any MONQ diffusers will lead to any of the effects discussed above.  Additionally, please note that MONQ diffusers have not been reviewed or approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. MONQ diffusers are not intended to be used in the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, prevention, or treatment of any disease or medical condition. If you have a health condition or concern, please consult a physician or your alternative health care provider prior to using MONQ diffusers. MONQ blends should not be inhaled into the lungs.

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