Seborrheic dermatitis of the scalp (or it’s mild form, dandruff) is a common scalp problem that can be challenging to treat. Hair oils don’t actually treat seb derm as they are not applied to the scalp. If you’re looking for a scalp oil to treat seb derm, then check out the 8 best scalp oils for seborrheic dermatitis and dandruff.
If you’re looking for a hair oil to hydrate your locks that won’t worsen dandruff, then you’re at the right place.
You really feel like you’re stuck between a rock and hard place sometimes. Anti-dandruff treatments can really dry your hair out and make it brittle. But when you apply hair oil, it makes your scalp oily and itchy, worsening your dandruff.
What is a girl (or guy) to do?
- Hair oil advice for seb derm and dandruff
- Best hair oil overall: L'ANZA Keratin Healing Oil
- Best hair oil for dry hair: Timeless Squalane Oil
- Best hair oil for thin hair: Goiple Organic Rosemary Oil
- Best hair oil for curly hair: Bulletproof MCT oil
- How does hair oil help to control seborrheic dermatitis?
- Precautions while using hair oil for seborrheic dermatitis
- Homemade hair oil for seborrheic dermatitis
- What are the best hair oils for seborrheic dermatitis of the scalp?
- To wrap up
Hair oil advice for seb derm and dandruff
For starters, choose the right hair oil. There are plenty on the market but most hair oils contain long chain fatty acids that can feed malassezia.
Then, use hair oil sparingly. A little really goes a long way. You only really need hair oil immediately after your wash. In the days after, your scalp generally secretes enough sebum and don’t need the extra help.
Make sure you only apply hair oil on the ends of your hair. There is absolutely no need to apply oil on the entire hair shaft. This way, you can also avoid getting too much oil on your scalp.
And lastly, instead of using a hair oil, maybe you can try a good quality leave-on conditioner instead. Just saying it’s an option.
Anyway, enough with the unsolicited advice.
These are the hair oils I recommend that is safe for seb derm and won’t make your dandruff worse:
Best hair oil overall: L’ANZA Keratin Healing Oil
- A little goes a long way
- Easily absorbed
- Repairs dry, damaged hair
- It's a little pricey
- Not 100% natural
- Contains silicones
The L’ANZA Keratin Healing Oil was an easy choice for the best overall hair oil. We all have a love-hate relationship with our anti-dandruff shampoos. On the one hand, it helps with preventing flakes and itch. On the other hand, it dries our hair out and makes it brittle. This is where the L’ANZA Keratin Oil comes in.
This oil contains keratin, ceramides, zinc PCA, abyssinian flower oil, acai oil, coffee seed oil and loads of other hair-loving ingredients to repair damaged hair.
Rub a coin-sized dollop onto the ends of your hair and it will help repair the damaged cuticles and keep your hair looking smooth and hydrated. Best of all, it’s safe to use even when you have seb derm.
The only problem I have with this oil is that it’s a little pricey compared to other hair oils. But since you only need a little bit at a time, a 50 ml bottle can last up to 6 months.
Best hair oil for dry hair: Timeless Squalane Oil
- Easily absorbed
- Prevents frizz and repairs breakage
- The pump could be better-quality
Squalane oil is my absolute favorite skin oil as it resembles our natural sebum. It’s a ‘dry oil’ that is easily absorbed and leaves your hair glossy but not oily. In fact, squalane oil may help prevent hair breakage and repair damaged hair.
The Timeless Squalane Oil is good value-for-money and easy to use as it comes in a large pump bottle. It’s 100% squalane oil with no added chemicals. The best part is that you can use the same squalane oil on your face and body as well. Talk about a multi-purpose product!
Best hair oil for thin hair: Goiple Organic Rosemary Oil
- Biotin, pro-vitamin B5, vit E etc.for hair repair
- Tea tree and rosemary reduces dandruff
- The scent can be overpowering for some
Rosemary oil is used as a natural treatment for seborrheic dermatitis and even have the proof to back it up. It’s also known to promote hair growth, prevent hair fall and breakage. If you have thinning hair from seb derm, using a rosemary hair oil is a no-brainer as it’ll kill two birds with one stone.
The Goiple Organic Rosemary Hair Oil may have a silly brand name but it contains a truck-load of other great ingredients to strengthen your hair including biotin, pro-vitamin B5, silk protein, wheat protein, soy protein and vitamin E. Tea tree and rosemary extract are also natural treatments for dandruff. Win-win!
Best hair oil for curly hair: Bulletproof MCT oil
- Established brand
- Pure MCT - only contains C8 and C10
- No scent
- Comes in a large unwieldy bottle
If you have curly hair and have always been a fan of coconut oil but can’t use it due to seb derm or you can’t stand the scent, MCT oil is your answer. MCT oil is fractionated coconut oil and contains only middle chain fatty acids that Malassezia can’t feed on. Since it doesn’t contain any essential oils and other additives, your risk of having a reaction to it is pretty low.
Bulletproof is an established brand in the MCT oil arena. Yes, it’s the same company that started the famous Bulletproof coffee trend. With Bulletproof, you know you’re getting pure uncontaminated MCT oil. You can buy it on Amazon or directly on the website. Use my code MADAMEWELL20 to get an extra 20% off.
How does hair oil help to control seborrheic dermatitis?
Used correctly, hair oil can help to add shine to dry hair and reduce dandruff. It is also great for people with thinning hair or a dry scalp, as it helps to add moisture and reduce flaking.
Hair oil that contains essential oils that treat seborrheic dermatitis are a powerhouse for your scalp SD.
Tea tree oil is a powerful antibacterial, antifungal and nixes any foreign invaders attacking the scalp. When used in conjunction with other essential oils like lavender, it has been shown to work best.
Tea tree oil can be mixed with a carrier oil and then warmed before being massaged into the ends of the hair. The frequency of use will depend on your individual hair type, but it’s typically recommended to use it one to two times a week.
You can replace tea tree oil with frankincense oil, geranium oil, peppermint oil, oregano oil or rosemary oil. All these oils have antifungal and anti-inflammatory properties which helps soothe an itchy scalp while also fighting fungus.
Remember that oil is still oil. Use a light hand when applying oils to your hair. When you use too much of it, it will start to weigh your hair down and cause oily scalp.
Precautions while using hair oil for seborrheic dermatitis
Most people don’t experience any adverse effects from using hair oil. However, there are a few things to keep in mind.
For starters, be sure to check the ingredients list and make sure you are not allergic to any of the compounds. This is especially important if you have sensitive skin and allergies.
Make sure that the hair oil you choose is compatible with your scalp type. Rosemary oil, for example, is great for moisturizing dry skin and treating dandruff simultaneously. However, if you have a sensitive scalp, it may be best to avoid rosemary oil or use it sparingly.
Hair oils that contain essential oils like tea tree oil and oregano oil have strong antiseptic and antifungal properties. But if you overuse these oils or don’t dilute them enough, it can cause skin irritation and dryness. So always start with a small amount and increase gradually if needed.
Apply the hair oil on the tips of hair instead of on the scalp itself. Your hair ends are driest and most in need of oil. Don’t worry, oil have a tendency of working its way up the hair shaft anyway. If you apply hair oil on the scalp, it will leave it oily and can cause irritation and itch.
You also want to be careful when applying hair oil around your face and keep it away from your eyes.
Oiling your hair before heat styling isn’t a good idea. If you’re planning on using a blow dryer or straightener on your locks, it’s best to do that first before applying oil. Applying heat while the oil is still in your hair will just make things worse – the heat will cook the oils into your scalp and strands, making them greasy and heavy.
Unless you have super dry and frizzy hair, use hair oil sparingly and only after a shampoo.
Keep in mind that oils may not work for everyone because everyone’s hair and scalp is different. If you are experiencing any adverse effects, discontinue use immediately and consult a medical professional.
Homemade hair oil for seborrheic dermatitis
If you’re looking for a natural way to treat your dandruff, consider making your own homemade hair oil. This oil can be made from ingredients like tea tree oil, and jojoba oil, and it’s a great alternative to store-bought products.
One of the benefits of using a homemade hair oil is that it doesn’t contain any fragrances or colorants. This makes it ideal for people with sensitive skin or allergies. Plus, it’s easy to make and inexpensive!
It’s easy to DIY hair oil.
- Use a carrier oil that is safe in seborrheic dermatitis. My favorites are MCT oil and squalane oil.
- Dilute a few drops of your favorite essential oil in the carrier oil. You can use a combination of essential oils but don’t overdo it. My favorite anti-fungal essential oils are tea tree oil, oregano oil and geranium oil.
What are the best hair oils for seborrheic dermatitis of the scalp?
Hair oil selection is a personal preference. Some people may prefer to use an oil that specifically targets dandruff, while others may prefer an all-natural oil that provides general benefits.
Be careful what oils you buy, as some may contain additives or chemicals that are harmful to your scalp or hair. Always read the ingredient list before purchasing any product.
The best hair oils for scalp seborrheic dermatitis are those that uses MCT oil, jojoba oil or squalane oil as a carrier oil. Unlike some plant-based oils like olive oil and avocado oil, these oils don’t feed Malassezia, the yeast implicated in causing seborrheic dermatitis.
Further reading: Seborrheic dermatitis: common oils to avoid
To wrap up
Using hair oil is to treat scalp seborrheic dermatitis is a viable option for those looking for an all-natural solution. However, it is important to do research on which oil works best for your individual scalp type. By using an oil to treat dandruff, you can help get rid of this pesky scalp problem and keep your hair looking healthy and shiny!
You may also be interested in the best scalp oils to combat seborrheic dermatitis and dandruff and The 6 Best Conditioners for Seborrheic Dermatitis.
And if you want an overview of all seborrheic dermatitis treatment, read this.