Which hair oils for dry scalp should you be using?
With the monsoons retreating and winter right around the corner, a usual complaint starts ringing in most people’s ears - Dry scalp. Almost everyone has faced this at some point in their lives, although the severity might have varied.
The skin is the largest organ in the body and protects itself by secreting an oily substance known as sebum. This creates a protective layer which is acidic in nature, with the aim of safeguarding the skin and hair from any germs, microbes and bacteria. And the head has the most number of sebum-secreting glands, to protect your scalp and hair.
But in certain scenarios, this microbiome can get disrupted and lead to an exceptional loss of sebum. It leaves your scalp vulnerable to infections and inflammations, which can literally leave you scratching for dry scalp remedies.
Some of the causes of dry scalp are:
- Over-shampooing of hair can wash away the natural oils.
- Allergic reactions may disrupt oil production.
- Heat styling can increase the temperature and dry out the scalp.
- Chemicals found in hair colour can deplete any moisture.
- Hormonal changes can play havoc on your oil secretion.
- Exposure to the sun and sudden weather changes.
Why should you use oil for dry scalp?
The reasons for dry scalp might vary but one solution that always seems to work is oil. Here are some of the reasons why people apply oil for dry scalp:
- They are hydrating in nature and can help retain moisture.
- Can potentially regulate the oil levels on your scalp and even prevent excess.
- It can close the hair cuticle, thereby reducing frizz and split ends.
- Some oils are also anti-microbial and anti-fungal.
- Can reduce itching and inflammation.
- Break any build-up of dirt and grime.
- Massaging into the scalp increases blood circulation and nutrient flow.
Different hair oils for dry scalp
The great thing about using an oil is that you have various options available and you can choose the one which works best for you.
Jojoba oil-Extracted from the seed of the jojoba plant, this oil has shown to be great for moisturising. It is rich in vitamins C, B and E, with minerals like copper and zinc. It moisturises your scalp and hair follicles, while strengthening the hair strands to promote thicker hair. It also contains anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties.
You can apply jojoba oil directly onto your scalp, which often feels as if it has the same composition as natural sebum. Keep it on your head for 20 minutes or leave it overnight. You can wash with a shampoo after. You can also add this to essential oils for dry hair or create hair masks with honey, avocados, or eggs.
Coconut oil-This is one of the most popular oils in the Indian subcontinent and is widely used in traditional medicines. It is said to contain anti-microbial properties due to the lauric acid and has an anti-inflammatory nature as well. It can soothe any irritated skin and its strong moisturising properties make it a great flaky scalp treatment
To use coconut oil for dry scalp , you can directly apply it onto your hair and scalp. Massage it in and leave it for about 20-30 minutes. Many people leave it overnight as well, and wash with a shampoo to get a nourished scalp. Hair masks can also be created with eggs, honey, or aloe vera. Always wash these out thoroughly with a shampoo.
Argan oil-Born from the kernels of the Argan tree found in Morocco, this oil contains various essential nutrients that make it a great moisturising solution. It is rich in Vitamin E, which can reduce oxidative stress and prevent premature ageing. Argan oil also acts as a heat protectant for your hair and scalp. The hydration benefits come from the oleic and linoleic fatty acids found in the oil.
Apply Argan oil onto your scalp , leaving it for 30 minutes or overnight. It also works well as a carrier oil and can be combined with tea tree oil. You may also want to consider a hair mask with aloe vera.
Almond oil-People have started going crazy about almond milk, but what about almond oil? As the name suggests, this oil is extracted from almonds and is packed with vitamins, proteins, antioxidants, fats, and minerals. Cold pressed almond oil contains most nutrients and is the ideal way to use it. It has strong hydrating characteristics, helping a dry and damaged scalp. It also contains zinc and biotin, which is used in the healing process for skin ailments.
Like the others, almond oil can be applied directly onto your scalp and hair. It can be slightly thicker in consistency and you should leave it for about 30 minutes. Wash with a shampoo after. Hair masks with certain essential oils or apple cider vinegar are also effective for dry scalps.
Tea tree oil-This essential oil has strong anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, which makes it the best oil for dry scalp and dandruff. This can soothe your scalp and increase the moisture levels, closing up the cuticle layer and preventing excessive drying. It can also potentially regulate the oil production on your scalp.
Never use tea tree oil directly on your scalp as it can be quite pungent and lead to damage. Always mix with a carrier oil like coconut, jojoba or almond, before massaging it onto your scalp. Wash with a shampoo after 20 minutes. People consider this the best oil for dry scalp and dandruff, because you can also create hair masks with aloe vera, apple cider vinegar, honey or lavender oil for dandruff .
Always conduct a patch test for 48 hours when using these oils, in case your body reacts unfavourably to them. You should also maintain a good hair care routine which uses shampoos to cleanse your scalp and hair. Use shampoos like the Head and Shoulder Smooth and Silky , which deep cleanses your scalp, provides scalp hygiene and is formulated with added moisturisers.