Home treatments for dandruff popularized on the Internet include applying oil — such as olive oil, vegetable oil or baby oil — to the scalp. But olive and vegetable oil may actually worsen the condition, researchers say.
At-home treatments for dandruff, or “cradle cap,” as the condition is called when it occurs in infants, typically recommend applying oil to the scalp, leaving it on for somewhere between 15 minutes and overnight, and then combing the scalp to remove the dandruff flakes (sometimes called scales) before shampooing.
Dandruff is typically caused by an excess production of sebum (oil) in the scalp, and has been linked with an overgrowth of yeast, called Malassezia, which naturally occur on the scalp. The oil treatments are generally thought to help to remove the scales, but aren’t believed to treat the condition itself.