Our oldest son has always had the most sensitive skin. As a baby he had horrible eczema that caused a great deal of discomfort. We tried every cream on the market until I found a natural, chemical free option. That was one of our first steps to removing harsh toxins in our home that were causing more harm than good. So we were not surprised when G started to experience a dry itchy scalp. We saw how his condition was starting to worsen and so I began researching a DIY dandruff shampoo that would not be loaded with chemicals or would further agitate his sensitive skin.
As you may have read, we have LOTS of essential oils in our home. I truly love my oils. I was skeptical for a very long time to the efficacy in supporting our wellness, with years of researching companies and overall application. When we added oils to our home, the decision was natural and one that has been extremely beneficial. We have become that home where my kids ask, “Is there an oil for that?”
We tried everything for G with his sensitive skin. Buying the normal grocery store products they would work, temporarily. His condition would seem to improve for a short period of time and then his condition would turn. So I did what any mom would do which was evaluate his routine including any products he was using. We cut back on styling aids and products. We stopped using brushes on his unruly thick hair and started using a comb. Nothing seemed to be helping and I wanted my poor son to not struggle with something so trivial in his day-to-day life.
So I hit the books. I have a PDR, per se, of essential oils, so I sought out oils that would support his skin wellness. Oils that would moisturize his skin and help him find relief. Certain oils have special properties and each person will also react differently to certain oils.
The first oil that came to mind was Melaleuca Alternifolia, most commonly known as Tea Tree. Tea Tree oil is amazing for overall skin wellness as many OTC products contain Tea Tree to support a healthy scalp and skin when treating dandruff or even acne. I know I personally tried Tea Tree when I was struggling with breakouts. However, I found Tea Tree did not agree with my skin and apparently it did not with my son when placing into his shampoo mixture. He was still flaky, dry, and itchy. Back to the drawing board.
The next oil I thought about was Lavender. Lavender is like the Swiss Army of essential oils with its universal use and application for pretty much any situation. I thought surely this would be the oil to help him. While it was perfect for direct application before he went to bed, this was not the oil for his daily shampoo usage.
Finally, I came across Rosemary. Rosemary has been found in “Marseilles Vinegar” which is the concoction used by bandits who would rob the dead and dying during the 15th century plague. The meaning of rosemary is Latin, dew of the sea (ros + marinus) and had been used by the ancient Greeks as incense. Rosemary was also found in the Benedictine herbalist Hildegard of Bingen’s compilation Medicine and until recently French hospitals used rosemary to disinfect the air. Who knew rosemary was so powerful or had so many interesting uses?
This was our Holy Grail oil of dandruff and flakes. After just a short week of using this oil in his DIY dandruff shampoo the boy was experiencing a clearer, itch free scalp with a significant reduction in flakes that we saw he was no longer having flakes. Without further adieu, here is our DIY Dandruff Shampoo recipe and one that my kiddo loves.
- Liquid Castile Soap (We love Dr Bronners in peppermint and lavender or Simple Truth in Lavender)
- Rosemary Essential Oil from my favorite oil company
You can use a glass jar with a pump, reuse your old shampoo bottle or make your own. We used an old water bottle and drilled a pin hole in the top to act as a squeeze bottle for our teen to start since we were experimenting so often we didn’t need a large amount. Mix 1/2c liquid Castile soap (ensure this is of good quality as results may vary), 10 drops of Rosemary oil and 1/4c of water. You can use a teaspoon of glycerin to help mix the oils in the Castile soap. I found that to be extremely helpful to adequately disburse the oils into any non-oily liquid.
Have you made your own shampoo or conditioner without all the commercial chemicals? Even shampoos that claim to be free of chemicals still have surfactants that can be harmful. Do you have any DIY dandruff shampoo recipes that differ? What do you do or have you tried to combat dandruff and other sensitive skin conditions?