see also Hair Care
Dandruff (seborrheic dermatitis) occurs with the over
production of skin oils and cells that then die and flake
off in much larger quantities than is normal. This can
occur on the scalp, eyebrows, around the ears, or even on
the chest. The excessive dead cells appear as white or
yellowish flakes and may include some itching and some hair
loss. The condition is not considered serious although
it may be a source of embarrassment. About half the
population experiences dandruff at some time and it happens
equally among all races and genders. Among youth and adults
this is known as dandruff and with infants the same
condition is known as cradle cap.
With some the condition is chronic, for others
occasional. Triggers or increased risk come from
exposure to extreme heat and cold, stress, fatigue, use of
irritating soaps or lotions (e.g. containing alcohol), and
may be hereditary or a side effect of some diseases.
Dandruff is not an allergic reaction, is not contagious, nor
a result of bad hygiene.
An Important Note: Almost everybody
thinks all flakiness is dandruff, it rarely is. Rather, it
is almost always:
a build-up of hair spray that eventually flakes off the hair
cells damaged (killed off) by hair products. (Interesting
tidbit - Dandruff shampoos create their own "job security".
They are usually effective at lessening or stopping
flaking but they do that by "chemically scouring" the scalp,
however, as you might expect, that damages the next layer
of developing skin cells which creates more flakes, and the
beat goes on ad infinitum.)
normal sloughing off of dead skin cells that get trapped in
a build-up from poor quality shampoo, conditioner and/or
styling product and it finally all flakes off together
Oils, blends & products
Oils & Blends: Lavender,
Lemon, Melaleuca, Peppermint, Rosemary,
Essential oils based
Vitality supplements, dōTERRA®
Salon Essentials Protecting Shampoo and
2 - 3 drops Melaleuca or Whisper daily to dōTERRA® Salon
Essentials Protecting Shampoo or other high quality shampoo.
Massage the following blend into scalp nightly. Cover
with shower cap if necessary. Shampoo out the next morning:
teaspoon VCO or other carrier
Flaking from bad hair products:
Some note that harsh dandruff shampoos
and other products can damage the scalp and cause flaking.
A couple of suggestions to break this cycle:
Make a scrub for the scalp by mixing 4 -6 drops of
Birch, Rosemary, or Wintergreen
into 1/2 ounce shampoo, and rub it into the scalp by
applying in 1 inch partings in the air. Leave on for
5 minutes and process with normal shampoo and conditioning
• To complete breaking the cycle replace the harmful hair
care products with high quality shampoo and conditioner for
future hair care.
Basic hair health:
Eating well with Life Long Vitality supplements builds
strong and healthy hair.
Follow a good regular routine:
Shampoo with dōTERRA® Salon Essentials Protecting Shampoo, add 1 - 2 drops of Rosemary
to slow hair loss.
Condition with dōTERRA® Salon Essentials Smoothing Conditioner, add 1 - 2 drops of
coconut or olive oil for dry hair, only use on tips and/or
outer half of hair shaft for oily hair. Let the conditioner
remain in hair 2 - 3 minutes before rinsing for best
hair and spray (spray is especially effective after hair
coloring or perms.) with the following blend:
ounces of water
drops of Peppermint (or other oil of choice)
Experiences and Testimonials of others
Phil - Does anyone
have suggestions for dandruff, bad dandruff?
Kathy - Massage Melaleuca, Lemon
Lavender, or Rosemary with some VCO or olive oil into the
scalp nightly. Wash it out in the morning. If it doesn't
improve, there may be some candida or yeast to deal with.
Lil - Try Whisper with shampoo. Worked
wonders for someone I know, and fast too.
Phil - My friend had the dandruff
problem I asked about. I helped him make a mix of
Melaleuca, Lavender, Lemon, and Rosemary with virgin coconut
oil. He put it in a small jar and applied it to his head at
night, then washed it out in the morning. He said the only
bad part was his pillow got oil spots on it, but it wasn't
bad. After about 3 weeks it has nearly stopped being flaky.
He also said his hair just feels healthier. He now adds
Whisper to baby shampoo and washes with it. This was Lil’s
idea, and he says that not only does the dandruff seem to be
staying away, but he loves the smell of his hair.
I have a friend who has had seborrheic dermatitis (severe
dandruff) for years and is wondering if there are any oils
that might help.Or maybe diet? She has been told about
coconut oil and will try that, but are there any oils she
could mix with the EVCO? Thanks for any help anyone has had.
Pat – She should try doTERRA’s new
shampoo and conditioner? It’s a great start along with the
LLV. She can also add either Rosemary or Peppermint to the
Joanna - She could be allergic to sodium
lauryl sulfate. It causes really bad reactions and is in
most foaming shampoos. I am very sensitive to most shampoos,
but the doTERRA shampoo and conditioner are just awesome!
It's really worth a try. (I know it all seems like hype
with the shampoo and conditioner, but they really are good.)
Tinas - My Dad has
a scalp problem. He describes it as red itchy bumps
all over his scalp that go down his neck and back of his
ear. He says they dry up and scab over. He had them a
couple of months ago and went to the doctor and the doctor
didn't know what it was but prescribed him an antibiotic
which did take care of the problem but now they are back.
He called me because I introduced him to oils about a month
ago and was wondering what you would suggest he tries to get
rid of this problem. He can't sleep at night because
it itches so badly. I am pretty new to the oils and
still learning a lot so any help would be appreciated.
Loryjean - I would try either singly or
in combination-depending on what you have- Lavender, Basil
and roman Chamomile, and I would put three drops each in
about an 1/8 cup of fractionated coconut oil and apply that
to the scalp night and morning. These oils have soothing and
antibiotic/antimicrobial properties. You might also look at
the candida issue, because overgrown yeast often manifests
itself elsewhere in the body.
Robert - There are a number of oils that
might be effective. Your best bet is to start trying
them till you find the best. I would either mix the
essential oils with your shampoo. Likely 2 drops per
ounce. Or you could mix the oils with a carrier like EVCO
and apply to the scalp for about an hour before showering,
then shampoo and rinse. If it's really bad, apply with
scalp massage before bedtime, wear a shower cap to bed, then
shampoo in the morning. I would consider; Melaleuca,
Frankincense, Lavender, Sandalwood, and/or Geranium.
Patricia - I would make a blend of
Coconut Oil and Melaleuca and rub it into the scalp at night
before he goes to bed. He can wash it out in the morning and
repeat this procedure until clear. He also should do the GX
Assist Cleanse followed by the PB Assist.
Jan - There is an old scalp irritation
remedy I learned as a young hairdresser using aspirin and
shampoo. I'm not sure what it is about the aspirin that
makes it work but my guess is that 1 or 2 drops of
Wintergreen or Birch in a half ounce or so of toxin free
shampoo would do the same thing. The method is to mix up the
formula, before wetting the hair, rub it into the scalp and
complete the shampoo as usual. If your father tries it,
would you please let us know how it worked? Thanks,
Dian - The Birch oil is better than
aspirin. Aspirin is a synthetic form.
Jan - Yes, the aspirin is crushed and
mixed into the shampoo and I would definitely try the Birch
or Wintergreen first. More often than not, what we call
dandruff is simply dry, damaged skin caused by hair care
products which may or may not lead to low grade infections.
Aspirin contains synthetic salicylic acid. Birch and
Wintergreen contain extremely high levels of natural methyl
salicylate. The two chemicals are extremely closely
related and both are antiseptic in nature. I'm not a
chemist, however logic tells me it's the antiseptic agent
that usually clears the scalp irritation. I'll go for the
naturally occurring variety in Birch and Wintergreen! Note:
almost all dandruff shampoos contain coal tar and/or other
known or suspected carcinogens! No thanks!
Jan - I absolutely agree!! To do the
scalp treatment, part the hair and rub a tiny amount of the
essential oil/shampoo mixture into the scalp. Continue the
process with half inch partings, massage the scalp a minute
or so and continue with shampoo as normal. BY FAR, it's
better to use a shampoo that's free of toxins, including
Amber - A friend of
mine does hair for a living and wants to incorporate some
oils into her routine when she washes her clients hair. I
would love to hear your suggestions for what oils or blends
you think would be enjoyed by her clients. I have
experimented with some of the oils on myself and my husband
but it has been hard to eliminate any oils from the list
since we loved them all! Do you know which oils are
particularly beneficial to the scalp and hair? I found a
suggested blend for dandruff (Melaleuca, Lavender, Lemon,
and Rosemary), does anyone have any recommendations for a
relaxing blend and maybe an invigorating blend? I was also
wondering if anyone has had luck using oils for balding men
Loryjean - I tried the coconut oil and
Peppermint treatment; it was really messy but my hair was
extra soft for days! Did take a couple of washings to lose
the oil feel, but I have thin hair and it weighs down
easily. I have thought about adding oils to my unscented
shampoo, but then I would be "stuck" with a certain
fragrance until the bottle was empty, and I'm having too
much fun trying out all the different options!
Denise - To help with the large bottle
of shampoo problem, use one of the tiny bottles of shampoo
you can get at a hotel or from the travel section at Target
or Walmart. That way I can use it for 2-3 washes to see if I
like it and what it does to me, then rinse it out and start
Jan - Ok, I don't use any shampoo and
my hair has never been cleaner or smelled better or been
more manageable. I actually use baking soda with a few drops
of Lavender oil. Then I rinse with raw apple cider vinegar
and a few drops of Lavender. 1/4 cup vinegar, 16 oz of
water, and 4 drops of Lavender. Then for extra shine, one
drop VCO rubbed into the palm of my hands and barely placed
over the hair. Put it on the fingertips and start at the
scalp. It works for me. You may have "icky" hair for a
couple weeks, but I never did. I love it. Experiment. It's
I essentially built my other essential oils business
while doing hair. I mostly used Peppermint and/or Lavender
for headaches, allergies, relaxation, and as a conversation
starter. With chemical services, after the last rinse and
before applying the conditioner, I liberally sprayed the
hair with "Peppermint water" mixed at the rate of 2 drops
per ounce of water. The Peppermint helps remove residual
odors from the chemicals, tightens the hair shaft and helps
close the cuticle layer which helps "set" the color or perm
and makes the hair smoother and more shiny.
Also I diffused a purifying blend or a blend somewhat
like Breathe or On Guard everyday in my shop. There are
other things one can do as well, but that's a good start and
certainly demonstrates the value of oils.
Pat - I have been using Rosemary with my
organic shampoo and find that I have new hair growing in. I
also use Peppermint for a stimulating experience, Lavender
and Balance for relaxation and Melaleuca for general hair
Rosemary is supposed to be a great oil to regenerate the
hair follicles, Peppermint and Melaleuca really give you a
tingly wake up call, and Lavender will relax you. You can
use the oils so many ways depending on what you want to
accomplish. I have even used Balance when I felt I might
pull my hair out!
Dehaas - Do you
have any experiences (or know of others) with Rosemary
working for men’s balding?
Loryjean - I am eager to try the
Rosemary on my thin hair. There's no point to pulling my
hair out, because it's falling out all on it's own. The
Peppermint I tried was interesting, but I think the coconut
oil had more effect; smooth and shiny. No blow away
straggles when I put it up, either, which was nice. Is there
an oil that helps to keep color in? My daughter uses henna,
and it washes out naturally; she'd like it to stay a little
longer each time.
Pat - I do not know about men, but my
hair is getting new growth on top where I am quite thin, and
I put Rosemary (a couple of drops) in my shampoo every other
Lynda - do you know of any other oils
that are good for thinning hair? Rosemary and Peppermint
are two oils that those of us who have had or currently have
seizures should avoid. I have very thin hair and would like
to find something that could help
Pat - I have been doing some research
for my own situation and this is what I have found, at least
the condensed version. Hair loss and thinning is caused by
hormonal imbalance (such as increased testosterone), or
inflammatory conditions, and genetics. Essential Oils are
excellent for cleansing, nourishing, and strengthening the
hair follicle and shaft. Rosemary, above all encourages hair
Single oils: Lavender, Rosemary, Sandalwood, Ylang Ylang,
and Clary Sage
Blends for thicker hair:
drops of Rosemary
drops of Lavender
drops of Cypress
drops of Clary Sage
drops of Lavender
I suppose you could try these without the Rosemary, but
it is the best ingredient that I have found so far. I am
still looking but this might help for now.
Jan - The fact that good quality,
natural henna washes out over time is one of the benefits,
of course. To make it as stable as possible, I suggest
adding 2 or 3 tablespoons of fractionated coconut oil (FCO)
to the henna mixture at the time of application. Then just
before applying the conditioner, I'd spray Peppermint
liberally throughout the hair (2 drops per ounce of water),
leave that on for 3 or 4 minutes, then right over the
Peppermint use a non-toxic conditioner, rinse, and finish by
smoothing a VERY small amount of FCO through the hair before
Henna will also last longer if it is mixed with hot
water, apply it while it is still hot, and keep it hot with
a hair dryer or wrapped in a hot towel while it is
processing. From an ex-hairstylist, happy to be doing
Loryjean - That's really helpful;
thanks, Jan. We do the henna with hot water and wrap it,
plus apply heat about halfway through the processing time.
This next time we'll try your suggestions; I really
Samara - I had a
baby 7 weeks ago. My hair has been falling out since
then. I know they say it's normal, but there's got to
be something that will help. It's everywhere!
Also, my sweet baby girl cries from about 11pm - 2am.
Nothing seems to comfort her. DigestZen hasn't been
working. Any ideas?
Mindy - Not sure about oils for this one
but my guess would be reflux. Are you nursing? Have you
tried cutting dairy from your diet? If she is on formula try
switching to a dairy free one. Sooo many "colic" cases are
food related. Most of those are dairy, followed by soy then
gluten. Could also be the iron in your prenatal if your
nursing. I'd say a good 75% of moms I know had to cut dairy
from their diets for their newborns, and of the other 25%
most of those were blind or in denial.
Hopefully someone else has oil advice. I know gripe water
works very well too. Oh the hair is hormone related so use
oils to balance out your hormone levels.
Lina - I know for one of our friends
Lavender worked with her baby... just to relax.
Leah - I use Serenity on my baby, stops
the tears real quick! Still needs comforting and love, but
eardrums don't have to be blown. Another thing I've used on
my baby several times when he seemed to be distressed
(opposed to irritated, overtired or upset) is Deep Blue.
Usually on his back or the back of his head. Yup, straight
on... but he handles it fine and is usually smiling within
10 or 15 minutes later.
As for the hair, mine stopped falling out so badly when I
started using the SanoBella shampoo. Can't use the
conditioner, the Peppermint is too strong and hurts my milk
Ramona - I lost hair after all 6 of my
babies and it never would come back in. After my sixth
was born, I literally looked like I was balding-it was
awful! About that time, I found DoTerra. I
started taking the supplements and used Rosemary on my hair
(just put a drop or two in my conditioner) and rubbed it in.
Within about 2 months, not only did it stop falling out, but
it grew back. I looked like a six year old for a few
months, as I had new growth everywhere-but I wasn't
complaining! When they released the
shampoo/conditioner I started using that and now my hair is
better than ever! I LOVE these products!
Tanya - Congrats on being a new mom! I
second the Rosemary for the hair...my husband uses it for
his balding head and it's cleared up his dandruff as well.
I use most of the oils described above on my babies, but
the one that has become my go-to oil is Wild Orange. I find
a drop on the tunny does wonders for helping my kids sleep
and for any tummy issues. Usually I hear a few "toots" soon
after I give them a little tummy massage with Wild Orange an
coconut oil. Are you familiar with infant massage? Google
it...it's so easy and so effective, especially when used
with the oils.
And one more small pieces of advice that I was given with
my second baby...when your baby is upset and crying, try to
monitor your own breathing and tension. Your baby will feed
off of it. Try to take slow, deep breathes and relax your
muscles, and that will transfer to your child. It might not
stop it, but it really can help!
Samara - Thanks everyone! I tried
cutting out dairy yesterday and she was about 75% better
last night. I'm keeping my fingers crossed. I don't know
if slowing my breathing helped her or not, but it sure