Coconut Oil Scalp Treatment

by Destri on April 13, 2012

Diy Scalp Treatment

One of the first things we learned in cosmetology school was how to do a scalp treatment, and for good reason.  For all the benefits they provide, I think it’s crazy they aren’t a regular part of our “beauty” routines.  We’ll scrub, rub, and moisturize every square inch of our body, but the scalp tends to be neglected.  Of all the at home diy treatments you can do, a scalp treatment is of the easiest – and seriously one of the best.  They feel amazing, get rid of flakes, and promote fast and healthy hair growth.  Catch me after the jump, I’ll have you scrubbin’ your head in no time, with a couple things you have around your house!

Diy All Natural Scalp Treatment

I have a friend from childhood that was my ever faithful guinea pig during beauty school.  She was the first head of hair I ever took a pair of scissors to, put color on, and performed my first scalp treatment on.  To this day it is the one thing she begs me to make time for when I make it back home. I always say yes, under the condition she’ll do mine too.  After just one, you’ll understand!

Before we talk about the how, let’s talk about the why.

Why Scalp Treatments Are Important

Here are just a few reasons that a scalp treatment should be a part of your regular beauty routine:

  • Removes product build up (even shampoo and conditioner build up)
  • Relieves dry, flaky, tight skin from winter months
  • Treats dandruff
  • Stimulates the scalp to speed up hair growth

On a more serious note: many scalp related problems including hair loss and slow hair growth are caused by a hardened build-up of sebum that clogs the hair follicles.  Over time this build up may cause some types of scaling, and if not removed may eventually obstruct the hair follicle’s ability to function properly.

Convinced you yet? Okay, then lets talk about how.

How To Do A Scalp Treatment


  • Scalp treatment bristle brush – natural is best, but all I could find at Sally’s was a nylon brush.  They have a rounded top at the bristles making it easier to roll over the scalp, but even a regular bristle brush can do the job.
  • Ingredients for recipe
  • Application brush or cotton balls

While you can give yourself a scalp treatment, if you have a willing friend to swap with you, it’s dreamy.  It always feels better when someone else washes your hair, right?  My scalp was a mess from winter, so I couldn’t wait for a taker and did it myself, still fabulous.


When I was in school we actually used sea breeze, or tea tree conditioner.  However, I like to go a natural route these days and it’s really simple to whip up your own anyways.

My favorite oil to use is Coconut oil. It has a wealth of benefits for the hair and scalp, and it smells great.   However, you can use olive oil, as it has it’s own fair share of benefits.  Just make sure both are extra virgin and organic.  I’ve heard jojoba oil is fabulous on the scalp too, I just haven’t tried it.  You can just add a little lemon juice to the oil and right there you have a great treatment, but if you want to kick it up a notch:

My all time favorite recipe: Take about 4 tablespoons softened coconut oil, mix with 2-4 (depending on sensitivity) drops tea tree oil, and 3-4 drops of rosemary oil.  This is dreamy.

Ingredients from the kitchen:  I mix 4 tablespoons coconut oil with 2 tablespoons lemon juice and 1 tablespoon grapefruit juice.

You can do a little research and find all sorts of recipes and concoctions for scalp treatments, these are just my favorite.  Rosemary and tea tree oil are both great for treating dry flaky scalps, and stimulate the hair follicle for hair growth, among other things.  You can also adjust the amounts, but keep in mind that tea tree oil can be irritating if you use too much, so use caution.


  • You’ll start on dry hair, and it really makes no difference if it is clean or not.  Starting on top, place the brush on the scalp, rotate it across the scalp while pressing down and pull off in the end.  Repeat across the scalp, parting hair where necessary.  This will stimulate the blood circulation and loosen any dry skin scales.  This should feel good, don’t press so hard that it hurts.
  • Next part the hair down the center and apply the oil mixture to the scalp with the application brush or cotton ball.  Work in one inch sections down the sides of the head, then the back making sure the mixture covers the entire scalp.
  • Now give your scalp (or your friends) a good massage.  Rub with your fingertips in a circular motion all over the scalp.  Leave the treatment on for about 20 minutes.
  • Finish it off with a good shampoo and conditioner.

Easy right? And trust me, so worth it.

When you’re finished with that move onto the body with the easiest scrub ever.

Happy scrubbing friends, just consider it a part of your Beauty Spring Cleaning!

How about you, have you had a scalp treatment?

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{ 252 comments… read them below or add one }

Starz April 10, 2013 at 10:19 pm

You said it would help with the dandruff… Do u know what exactly it is that helps it? Like dandruff is a result of product build up in hair etc and this scrub will remove that build up? Thanks!


Sarah March 27, 2014 at 6:04 am

Tea tree oil is good for eliminating dandruff. I always recommend tea tree shampoo to my clients who have this issue.


Susan Angel April 13, 2013 at 10:59 pm

I was a bad car wreck in 92 head trauma so severe that my hair was falling out in quarter size amounts… & before I waited for my scalp to heal I dyed it pitch black n I think it damaged my scalp more and sometimes my hair if tis been tied back it HURTS… any tips any scalp treatments??? (plz note I’m alergic to honey) Thank u
& have a wonderful day! Angel


Lyssa October 17, 2013 at 9:24 am

You have to use cellophane or semi-permanent hair color for several months or a year till your hair gets stronger. Also do deep conditioning once a week.


Sarah April 15, 2013 at 5:29 pm

Would this be safe to use on my three year old she has cradle cap and has since she was a few months old. I have tried using just baby oil but it just leaves her hair and scalp oily.


Sonia August 19, 2013 at 1:27 am

I can’t say for sure, but I think you can’tgo wr ongon babies with nnatural ingredients. Just my opinion though.


Emily September 24, 2013 at 8:09 am

Organic virgin coconut oil is perfect for babies dry skin, scalp, dribble rash, nappy rash, etc! They can even eat it too it’s that safe! It works miracles. I work at a pharmacy just so you know :)


Angie October 20, 2013 at 1:52 am

My son is 13 and I’ve used a mixture of coconut oil and rosemary oil to massage into his scalp to loosen the cradle cap and keep his scalp in decent shape. Best part, it washes out so well with one shampoo


Amanda April 25, 2013 at 12:59 am

does the type of hair one has matter when doing this? or is it okay for all hair types?


Tara April 26, 2013 at 4:15 pm

I have really dry scalp that itches bad with flakes
help me


Cris April 26, 2013 at 9:57 pm

Won’t the lemmon juice lighten your hair?


Destri April 26, 2013 at 10:31 pm

If you don’t dilute it with oil, and if you lay in the sun…it sure could :). In this case you should be fine, but if you’re concerned stick with straight coconut oil or a Tea Tree conditioner.


Sandy April 30, 2013 at 12:15 pm

Could these hair treatments be made in larger quantities? Would they have to be refrigerated or would they be shelf stable?


Thoko May 7, 2013 at 6:33 am

Its good to know of oil these home treatments for hair and skin. Thanks for sharing!! But I wanted to know,as a black woman, would any of these treatments work while I have dreadlocks? Unless you have additional advice for me on this…

Thank you


shan February 1, 2014 at 5:01 pm

yes this will work if you have dreads. I perform scalp treatments similar to this one on my clients and on my daughter. i too am a african american women and it works great


Gretchen May 13, 2013 at 10:40 pm

could you combine the two recipes? or would that not work as well?


Destri May 22, 2013 at 3:42 pm

I don’t think you need to – I would just stick with one.


Danielle May 16, 2013 at 1:59 pm

Nice simple recipe you have here :)
Will definitely file this one to share on my site so my readers can benefit also.
Thank you :)


Carmen May 18, 2013 at 9:09 am

I’m just wondering what is the grapefruit juice and lemon juice is supposed to do? Aren’t they acidic?


Destri May 22, 2013 at 3:29 pm

They are acidic, and act as an exfoliate loosening the dry and dead skin cells from the scalp.


Shinade May 18, 2013 at 4:01 pm


Just wondered if its safe to leave the coconut oil, rosemary oil & tea tree oil mix on overnight? Will it be more effective for treating dry scalp the longer it is left on the scalp?



Destri May 22, 2013 at 3:23 pm

I wouldn’t recommend it, the oils can be irritating to the scalp if left on too long. You could leave the coconut oil on overnight, or even a deep conditioner.


Frances May 20, 2013 at 12:05 pm

I’m super allergic to citrus fruit. What do you think about using cucumber with the coconut oil? Or mixing it with apple cider vinegar?


Destri May 22, 2013 at 3:14 pm

Hi Frances,

I don’t know much about cucumber and it’s properties as associated with the scalp, but I am sure you could do a quick search on google for more info. Same for apple cider vinegar. You can just use a tea tree conditioner as well for great results.
Hope this helps!


Sam May 26, 2013 at 8:47 am

Hi, I came across your website and was fascinated by it. I wanted to share some tips for your readers. There was research done on shampooing daily and it showed that your hair would dry out, problems with scalp etc.. They then did research where for a few months, hair was not shampooed at all, just rinsed daily and they found that the hair was oily for the first few days and then became natural and shiny and healthy and the scalp went back to its normal state. The conclusion was that your body is intelligent and will naturally take care of itself if we get out of the way.

Also hair loss is caused by a build up of toxins in the kidneys. Refresh is an excellent premium food that can be found at It helps over time to nourish and strengthen your kidneys and will help cleanse the toxins gently on a daily basis. You’ll see an improvement in your hair growth over time.


Michele January 23, 2014 at 9:40 pm

Hair loss can also be caused by protein deficiencies. Hair and nails are protein. If you don’t get enough in your diet, hair and nails are first to suffer. With kidney disease, protein is expelled in the urine, again depleting the amount of protein your hair and nails need to be healthy.


sk May 28, 2013 at 10:36 pm

I love home made beauty treatments.


joun July 27, 2013 at 1:22 pm

I tried the treatment it worked very well. My hair was very dry; as soon as I applied the Diy scalp treatment my hair came alive. Thanks!


Hope June 6, 2013 at 9:40 pm

Hi there,
These recipes sound great! Will they also work for an oily scalp? I am concerned they might be too heavy with the oils, but I definitely need to remove the build-up.



Jaida June 14, 2013 at 2:06 pm

hi! I was wondering what essential oils you recommend for hair, scalp, and skin? i have some 100% pure all natural rosemary, lemon,and lavender oils, and i LOVE them!


shan February 1, 2014 at 5:07 pm

rosemary is great for the scalp as well as lavender oil. for the skin i would recommend coconut oil. my daughter has eczema and it works so well on her skin or you can use pure shea butter as well for the skin and hair


Dayna June 23, 2013 at 9:11 pm

Can this be used if you have color treated hair? I don’t want it to strip my color :)


fed up July 10, 2013 at 11:21 pm

I came across your page and wanted to know if you could give some advice I have long hair and I get really bad knots on my hair I have done the large tooth comb but still pulls out lots of hair and I even do starting from the bottom and work your way up to the top by the time I finish I have nots again do you have any advice or anything to help me out?


Channing January 9, 2014 at 5:59 am

It sound like your hair isn’t oily enough. Try deep conditioning hair masks and wash your hair less often.


Audrey August 3, 2013 at 1:00 pm

This sounds great, how would you suggest washing this out with no-poo?


Destri August 8, 2013 at 11:38 am

Hmmm, I have no experience with no-poo, but I am thinking you might need to do a regular cleanse to rinse this out – but you can try it and see…then let me know :)


Emme J January 11, 2014 at 4:44 am

I’m low ‘poo myself, and I just add 1 1/2 teaspoons more baking soda to my water mix, and let it sit in my hair for 5 minutes.


shan February 1, 2014 at 5:09 pm

you can use aloe vera gel as well for no-poo


Keisha Alexander August 9, 2013 at 5:35 pm

wondering with taking high blood pressure meds and knowing I cant have grapefuit, will the grapefruit effect the meds? and if so is there a sub for it


Destri September 11, 2013 at 11:20 am

You would want to ask your doctor about that – but you can always just use the coconut oil or the tea tree conditioner.


Elaine August 9, 2013 at 5:51 pm

What about persons that lose their hair due to chemotherapy or radiation? Will this help?


Destri September 11, 2013 at 11:19 am

You know, I don’t have an answer for that – but I would check with the doctor. There may be sensitivities. After treatment when trying to grow hair, an type of stimulation on the scalp will help. You just want to get the blood flowing. A gentle massage every day goes a long way!


Ruth Cobb August 9, 2013 at 9:38 pm

This sounds so good. I wonder if adding neem to this would work. The only time my scalp has been free of flakes and severe itch was use of Ecco Bella’s neem conditioner. You applied it at night and left it in over night, and washed out in am. So messy but worked. Sadly it is off the market. I will try this and see how it does on me.



Brandee August 9, 2013 at 9:44 pm

How often do you suggest doing this scalp treatment? Sounds wonderful.


Destri September 11, 2013 at 11:15 am

Hi Brandee,

It depends on where you live (humid, dry?) and the condition of your scalp. I only do it when the seasons change – that tends to be when I need it most. I did get a little carried away with them in school because they are wonderful and my scalp was irritated – I would say no more than once a month!


Nesha August 12, 2013 at 12:37 am

In the “application” section of this blog, it didn’t mention what the scalp treatment bristle brush is used for or when to use it…?


Destri September 11, 2013 at 11:11 am

Hi Nesha, you just use it to apply the mixture, oil, or conditioner to your scalp. A cotton ball works too!


Joanna August 12, 2013 at 7:38 am

There is an aduly version of cradle cap that is classified as dandruff. You ned to go to your doctor to get a RX and a RX shampoo (usually Nixarol based). I believe it’s called Seborrehic dematitis and is contageous! Clean/sanitize your combs & brushes.


Monique October 15, 2013 at 12:47 am

Seborrehic dermatitis is not contagious it’s a genetic condition which just means your skin produces cells faster than they naturally can sluff off. It’s also not just found on the scalp


Sandra Einboden March 11, 2014 at 4:20 am

I have the Seborrehic Derm. on my eyebrows, my eyelashes and around the corners of my nose as well as on the scalp. It’s NOT fun so really hoping that this will work


Fabiola August 22, 2013 at 12:13 pm

Where can I buy coconut oil? Thanks I need to do this for my little girl!


admin August 26, 2013 at 7:23 pm

You can find it at most grocery stores – and even amazon sells it at a great price!


Diana October 8, 2013 at 9:36 pm

Coconut oil will look like a solid white substance usually in a jar, at room temperature or cooler. It will melt into an oil and does not take high heat to turn it into a liquid state. The purer the coconut oil, the better, extra virgin being the purest (I believe).


shan February 1, 2014 at 5:11 pm

if there is a local health food store in your area they will have it


Shannon August 27, 2013 at 10:42 am

I used a single tablespoon of coconut oil in my hair a couple weeks ago and it made my long fine curly hair very greasy and it was difficult to wash out. I would love to try your method but worry I will have the same problem. Do you know of something I could use instead?


Destri September 3, 2013 at 9:48 am

Hi Shannon,

If you’re worried about the coconut oil I would just use the tea tree conditioner, it feels wonderful!


katie September 9, 2013 at 1:15 am

Are the lemon and grapefruit juice safe for colored hair? Or would they cause it to fade?


Destri September 11, 2013 at 10:55 am

I would just stick to the coconut oil or tea tree conditioner – that way there are no worries :)


Maria September 30, 2013 at 2:24 am

Hi. I’m looking forward to this treatment. I have lots of buildup and my hair is falling out a lot. Hoping this helps. I live in Thailand. Haven’t found lemons or grapefruit here. Would lime work as a substitute? Also, do you think I should use baking soda in my hair for the buildup?


Destri October 1, 2013 at 8:58 am

I haven’t looked into the properties of lime, but I am thinking it would be similar. You can just do a quick search of lime juice and the scalp on google and there is bound to be information on it.

But remember, you can just use the coconut oil or even a conditioner. The point is to get the blood flowing and remove the buildup which the brush does a lot of that.


Maria October 1, 2013 at 9:54 am

Ok, so I did it! I feel like my hair feels and looks so much better already! However, tons (and I mean TONS) of my hair fell out! Like a golf ball size amount. My husband, who did it for me, says that it was just all the hair that should have been falling out because I don’t brush my hair on a regular basis (I just comb it after showers–curly hair) and because I haven’t been washing it properly. He said its dead hair that should have fallen out a long time ago and that new stronger hair should take its place. Is that true? I kinda had a minor breakdown in the bathroom. Also, do you suggest I do this more than once a month because I have so much buildup? Or just wash and brush it better and do it again next month? Thanks! Sorry this comment it so long!


Adela @ Prevent Hair Loss Today October 7, 2013 at 4:43 am

YES, scalp treatment is very IMPORTANT! I never take care of my scalp until I experienced a serious hair loss problem.
My favorite oil is jojoba oil with either tea tree oil or rosemary essential oil. This is one of my hair care routine. The great thing about this treatment is there are so many different types of carrier oils and essential oils to choose from to suit your hair type and need.
And also incorporate the scalp massage every day helps the blood circulation.


Diana October 8, 2013 at 9:45 pm

Some people have mentioned hair loss. I heard somewhere that castor oil massaged into the scalp helps to stimulate hair growth. I just started doing this and leaving it on for a 1/2 hour with a plastic bag over hair and then wrapping a warm towel over top. After I shampoo out with baby shampoo. I also soak my combs and brushes in dish soap and water to break up any residue or buildup in them and rinse with apple cider vinegar. Sometimes flaky scalp is due to fungal infection and coconut oil and vinegar both help in treatment and prevention.


TLC October 30, 2013 at 4:14 pm

There are 2 recipes on this page. One with coconut oil and tea tree and rosemary oil; then one with lemon and grapefruit. Is this 2 separate recipes or one?


admin October 30, 2013 at 8:36 pm

They are two separate recipes – you can even use a good tea tree conditioner


Ash November 12, 2013 at 11:25 pm

I tried this out today and while it smells divine, even after two washes my hair felt super-heavy. :( Can you recommend a substitution somewhere to help me out?

I’ve been losing massive amounts of hair and my dermatologist thinks it is sebum build-up…his treatments are more than $75 a session though so I was hoping to speed the process up by adding some DIY care…


Destri November 13, 2013 at 10:18 am

You can ask your dermatologist for any products that help to clear out the sebum – but I have found that I love Nioxin products. They are designed specifically for keeping the hair follicle clean, and should help. You can get it at most salons, even strip mall salons carry it. It is not cheap but you only need a little bit as it is very concentrated. Use half of it than you would use of store bought shampoo and conditioner. I would use it regularly and then do scalp treatments with the conditioner. It has tea tree oil in it as well. Really, just getting that blood flowing and things moving (and out) is what you are aiming for.

Good luck, and I am so sorry you’re having to deal with that. I hope things clear up soon!


Lola King January 17, 2014 at 11:23 am

How long would the recipe with grapefruit and lemon juice last?


admin January 22, 2014 at 11:57 am

I have only made it fresh to use – I would think it would last a couple days in the fridge.


Anna January 23, 2014 at 7:19 pm

Hi. Will this treatment help me with my problem. I’m not really sure whether its scalp psoriasis or not. My scalp seems to have little bumps of scaly scalp (im not really sure how to describe) its really itchy and sometimes when i peel off these little bumps, my scalp will start to bleed. And the bumps will grow again. I really hope this treatment could help me with my problem :)


Destri January 23, 2014 at 8:05 pm

Hi Anna,

I would see a dermatologist, or a holistic doctor. This treatment might aggravate you scalp with those symptoms. I wish I could tell you otherwise – but this is meant only to treat healthy scalps that have seasonal dryness.

I really hope your scalp gets better!


Mary March 17, 2014 at 2:16 am

Is this 2 separate recipes or one?


Destri March 18, 2014 at 2:14 pm

2 separate


Jill March 27, 2014 at 2:59 pm

Nice recipe ! I just started doing the no-poo method, and my scalp was itchy so I thought I would give it a shot. The coconut oil mixture wouldn’t wash out of my hair with the baking soda mixture (perhaps I should have used more).. and my hair after drying still looked completely wet.. I used the CO (conditioner only) method to try and get the coconut oil out of my hair, and it definitely took some of it out, but my hair is still “wet” looking, not to blonde right now. After too much blowdrying I am throwing in the towel and resorting to a few days of updoes and dry shampoo..


Stephen April 2, 2014 at 10:02 am

Hi, is this mixture also good for scalp psoriasis. this blog advised me to mix coconut oil and ginger extract for my scalp psoriasis. what I have noticed in your mixture is that it has acid in it. do you advise your mixture?


Destri April 10, 2014 at 11:35 am

I do not advise you to use it for Psoriasis – this is purely for seasonal dry scalp flakes. You can show to recipe and explain the procedure to your doctor and they might better advise you if it would irritate it or not.


Dee Batis April 2, 2014 at 9:00 pm

My pit bull has horrible dry “scalp.” Each time I rub or scratch her back, which she loves me to do, there are dry flakes everywhere! Do you think this would work on her?


Destri April 10, 2014 at 11:32 am

Hmmm, I don’t know! You could try with a more gentle brush maybe?


Jackie April 18, 2014 at 11:37 am

Hi , I have psoriasis on my body and scalp. All I can say is coconut oil! ! I make a body scrub with sugar ,coconut oil and vanilla. Took the psoriasis away on my elbows and knees. I also do a scalp treatment were i wash my hair with acv then do a coconut oil treatment leave it all night then wash it out with a natural shampoo no conditioner. I have long thick hair. My head doesn’t itch love it.i do that once a week. Also I have a pit bull with a ton of allergies. I feed her a tbs. Once a day and after baths I rub it all over her skin. Works great!


Anisha April 18, 2014 at 2:06 pm

Hi, I have oily skin and i got really grease hair as well so does this formula help or is it going to make my hair more grease? If that’s the case, could you please advice on what i can use for greasy hair?



Destri April 22, 2014 at 7:42 pm

I would try just using a good tea tree conditioner in conjunction with the brush and massage


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