Will This Oil Wash Dishes Too?
I wrote about the hydrating and scalp nourishing benefits of coconut oil a few weeks ago. If you missed that post, you can read it here. But today, as I was researching another magazine story, yet another expert (this time, a dermatologist who specializes in disorders of the scalp) said coconut oil may also help with dandruff, seborrheic dermatitis and get this, a greasy scalp. What can't this oil do?
The reason coconut oil helps with dandruff and seborrheic dermatitis (which, if you don’t know, can both be caused by yeast buildup on the scalp; dandruff is essentially a mild form of seborrheic dermatitis) is because coconut oil is anti-fungal and thus tempers the growth of yeast. Note: If you are suffering from raging seborrheic dermatitis (lots of clumpy flakes and itchiness and even stinging), coconut oil is probably not going to be enough to reign that in. You should consider seeing a doctor, or at least using a medicated shampoo with zinc pyrithione (the anti-fungal, antibacterial ingredient in most anti-dandruff shampoos) to get things under control. But, as a natural, gentler-on-the-hair-than-zinc-pyrithione way to prevent and minimize mild itchiness and flaking, coconut oil should do the trick.
Related, this same doctor also said that using coconut oil once a week as a pre-shampoo treatment may help control excess sebum on the scalp because it tricks the scalp into thinking the coconut oil is your own oil and thus s-l-o-w-s its own production. I first covered this phenomenon here, in a post on why applying oil to your face may help balance excessively-slick skin. And if you suffer from an oily scalp and dandruff, this sebum-slowing benefit also combats your dandruff because bacteria grows in excess oil...and that yeast we discussed earlier? Well, it eats scalp bacteria. Yum. See, the more oil you have, the more bacteria you have, the more yeast you have. Cheers!