Honey: Oh so sweet for an itchy scalp

I peered into my inbox today and I am going to have to dedicate some time to answering more questions! I have about 3 weeks of unreplied emails but I will reply!

This weeks I am starting with Lydia of fab blog Breakink New Ground

She says 'I would like to see more info on your blog about castor oil, molasses and honey!'

Castor oil was a little bit of a disappointment to be honest - see this post. However honey is more interesting! Quite often I see people talking about the humectant properties that honey may have. However, the science I have found is more encouraging for glycerin as a humectant. Natural hair treated with a humectant is unlikely to break prematurely meaning you will have to apply a substantial force to break it. Relaxing hair however takes away the effectiveness of the humectant in preventing hair breakage. (J. Soc.Cosmetic Chem, pg 39-52 , 1985).

Honey is however great for many reasons and some may apply to hair. One study on dandruff treatment gave some great insights into this (Eur J Med Res 2001, pg 306-308,2001). They used a mix of 90% crude honey in water applied on the affected area and left for 3 hours. They showed that honey

1. Stopped itching in one week
2. Stopped scaling in one week
3. Skin lesions (places where the skin had been cut) healed within 2 weeks
4. Patients thought that hair loss associated with the dandruff had improved
5. Honey treated patients showed no relapse after 6 months

Honey is thought to do this because
1. It has antibacterial and antifungal properties
2. It has antioxidant properties

So there we go, honey is good stuff!


  1. I've also heard of it being used on the face. Sometimes I will smear honey all over my face and let it sit for about 30 minutes, sometimes more. Then I lightly wash it off and it makes my skin feel great

  2. i'm definitely trying honey to get rid of the itching.

  3. I love honey a little to much to add it to my hair, my green tea needs it! :-)

    So would a humectant work well in the strength department still with natural hair that has been color treated? I'm talking about been bleached to achieve the color.(yeah I learned my lesson after the umpteenth time coloring it, we don't meld well >_>)

  4. @Chanel - I have heard of this at a spa too but I thought it might feel sticky so I chose a body wrap instead.

    @Eccentric - I thought about you when I read the article which is why I quoted their procedure ;) Let me know how it goes

    @Jaded - great question!! I think that bleached hair is quite similar in many aspects to coloured hair (cuticle lifting and possibly broken off). The study does not talk about bleaching but I would be willing to say that most likely, bleaching would not be helped either.

  5. Thanks for getting to my question Jc! I may have to reconsider honey. Does it matter what kind of honey? I bought some raw honey a while back that I don't use much.

  6. thanks a mil Jc! i wil definitely let you know how it goes.

  7. Jc you seem like a person who does her homework, and that's why I enjoy reading your blog so much.
    I have a question in regards to honey - there's a recipe over longhaircommunity.com which suggests diluting honey with water in order to achieve lightening affect. Can it really work? Does the honey produces enough H2O2 to that end?

  8. I like the sound of this post. I add honey to my oil rinses but I will have to try this. I get problems with my scalp that I can't seem to find the answer to. Not sure if I can do the 3 hour time though, seems extreme. Would this work for less time?

  9. @Callalily - They used crude honey (or raw unprocessed honey). I'm sure this was about trying to get the honey in as 'complete' a state as possible since processing it especially with heat may change it. However, this is not to say processed honey would not have the same results, it is just the case that they chose the crude version.

    @Anon - I have seen this post before as someone emailed it to me. I briefly searched for some answers but I have not found anything concrete yet. Do email me a reminder or comment back in a couple of weeks if you can so that I can put it on my to do list!

    @Ayomide -I don't know if less time would be just as effective. I think that if you have issues with your scalp, I think you should consider if you are doing too much to it. For example are you rinsing the oil out completely or is some being left on? Are you completely rinsing out conditioner of your hair or are you leaving some on? Sometimes build up happens because of the things we do to maintain moisture.

  10. OMG!!!! Thank you! I hope is works for seborrhea though. I'll try it after the summer is gone to avoid bees lol. by the way is it to be done once a week ?

  11. @chanel, honey on the face IS great. it helps with lightening acne scars as well as prevent new breakouts. it's a workhorse in the beauty department for sure.

  12. This goes along with the anonymous comment about the longhaircommunity.com.

    The research they have done there suggests (and cites sources) that honey is one of many natural products that can produce peroxide. Honey actually has to be mixed with water to make this happen so it makes sense that this mixture would stop itchy scalp and things like that.

    I'm interested in reading your view on that and coconut oil for preventing peroxide damage which is also discussed there. The user who started these threads is named ktani.

  13. The honey is really great for the skin, i usually use it in my face, is really wonderful. After my mask i feel my face smooth and clean. And my boyfriend always notice the difference, he simply love it. I feel more comfortable with my self and he is always with too much energy because he usually buy viagra

  14. Please add info on aloe vera juice and gel.. particularly on the scalp..

    In fact.. I'd love to see more info on scalp only treatments.. what causes dry or oily scalp.. how to determine what type of scalp you have.. do oils really close scalp pores? What does washing and/or conditioning do to an oily or dry scalp.. why does using plain water on the scalp eventually dry it out? or not? etc.. and why do we NEED product on our hair?

  15. I have also tried a honey, water, and uncoated aspirin mix to make a face cleaner that works wonders on acne.

  16. Sebum glands in Seborrhea Dermatitis patients secret more oil. My doctor advised not use any kind of oil on my scalp.


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