How to Get Rid of Dandruff
How dandruff ruined my movie moment
There I was in the elevator with the new guy. So cute! I had my eyes on him from day one. I had noticed him looking at me but did not expect him to raise his hand to reach my face as soon as we were alone. I look at him thinking ‘Is he going to hug me and kiss me?’ I could almost hear the happy music in my head. When…
- You’ve got a little something there.
He is pointing at my shoulder. The dandruff, really? Oh, the embarrassment! They say the Earth can at any moment be hit by a meteorite and we won’t even know. I could really use one right now.
I couldn’t say a word on the way down. Good thing I am going home.
Dandruff causes irritation and itches and… frustration
Back home I went straight from the door to the bathroom. I looked at myself in that big mirror. My trendy jacket was covered with tiny little snowflakes. I almost expected tiny children to crawl on my
shoulders from behind with sleds and ice skates singing Christmas carols. Is that what my dreamy guy saw in the elevator? I could cry.
No, I was not going to sit home and feel sorry for myself all weekend. I am a grown woman, I have survived high school, I pay my own bills, I have my own apartment. I am badass. Some dandruff won’t stop me.
What is dandruff?
After my session of self-motivation I made myself some coffee and prepared for a serious research. I have a best friend, whom I always ask when I want to know something. You might know him. His name is Google.
Medically termed Pityriasis capitis, I learned, dandruff is a harmless condition. You know, apart from the emotional damage. Also called Scurf or Seborrhoea, it is often associated with dry or oiled skin. Basically, it is the excessive flaking or shading of skin cells from the scalp. Skin actually
constantly sheds the old dead cells and replaces them with new. That usually takes two to four weeks. People who suffer from dandruff will have a rapid cell turnover. That means the dead cells will be pushed by the new ones. Then they will die too and be pushed by others. At a very fast rate. Like a tiny scalp cells zombie war.
The cells come together and peel off in white to yellow specks and are sprinkled onto your shoulders with the single purpose of ruining your rare chances of a date.
What causes dandruff?
Naturally my next question was if I had brought this on myself or if it is a beautiful gift from my mom’s and dad’s genes, along with being ridiculously short.
I learned Seborrhoea could be either chronic or be a temporary condition. Most specialists agree it is caused by a fungus. Dandruff can be a result of buildup of waxy hair product or burned scalp skin from hair dye. Can be triggered by stress, chemicals in shampoo, too hot or too cold weather, or even fatigue. If you are prone to Seborrhoea, risk rises from incorrect diet, constipation and illness or infections.
Treatments for dandruff
Obviously the risks are plenty. Prevention only wouldn’t do it.
I needed to research for treatment as well. I have to tell you, I came across some weird stuff. Apparently the national witchcraft and wizardry society has taken the subject of dandruff pretty seriously. There are recipes out there on the internet for strange brews and cocktails with ingredients I had never heard of. I almost expected them to require a scale of a dragon tail or a bat’s tooth.
The best treatment stinks
I searched for hours. Most people out there will recommend natural treatment. Which I can understand since some chemicals can actually trigger a reaction in your skin and cause even more shedding.
Time and again I would come across the same treatment everyone swears it works. I did not imagine the treatment would be more frustrating than the condition itself. Because the best treatment for dandruff really stinks. Like really stinks. Stinks like vinegar.
Here is how it works. You can use it overnight concentrated as an emergency treatment or every day for prevention.
You can use a colour applicator to apply apple cider vinegar to the roots of your hair. Be generous. Be careful it does not get in your eyes! It is NOT good. Massage your head gently to make sure you get it all in and your hair is good and saturated. You want to wrap a cloth around your hair and call it a night. When you wake up you have to shampoo, condition and style… and probably throw away that cloth.
You will notice some improvement in your condition on the second day. But to achieve a more sustainable result, you need to make it a four-day thing. The vinegar will significantly reduce the fungi that cause your dandruff.
To keep the dandruff flakes from coming back you are recommended to make it a rule to use the vinegar every other day. Dilute it with water of the same amount and spray it into the roots of your head. Leave it on for fifteen minutes and rinse with water.
As you probably can imagine, water only will not get rid of the smell. They swear the scent will go away, especially if you use some styling product to mask the smell. I wouldn’t risk it.
I pulled up my notebook and wrote down ‘Vinegar’ and then added a question mark.
How about that? I imagined my second meeting with the cute guy in the crowded elevator. I am short so my hair will be just under his nose. First the snowstorm and then the ungodly stink of vinegar? I don’t think so. I had to look for something else.
A less stinky solution
I was very disappointed. So many people swore vinegar would help against the dandruff problem. I looked for a recipe where vinegar is included, but combined with ingredients that would mask its smell. I found out a guy that was very confident his routine was the next best thing.
He, too recommended you switch to an all-natural shampoo. Even if it is one that is supposed to get rid of your dead scalp cells, shampoos can only do it temporarily. They work for the symptoms, not for the condition.
Next thing is to exfoliate – mix one spoon of brown sugar, half a spoon of honey and a quarter of vinegar. Mix it well until it becomes a thick paste. Exfoliate once a week. The vinegar still stinks, but the honey and brown sugar take the smell off a little. And if it happens to get in your mouth, it tastes quite well.
The last part of the routine is the after-shower. Use olive oil – ½ teaspoon – you need to massage onto your scalp after you are done. It will help control any visible flakes. Last but not least, pop some extra vitamin C. It is good for your skin.
I liked the idea of using vinegar overnight, because it works and because I could shampoo it later. But if you use that too often it will burn your hair. After the initial four-day treatment you can do it twice a month to keep the results. In the meantime you indeed need a routine, but I would not use vinegar for that. Since my hair is dry anyway. I found two alternative mixtures I quite liked. They are very similar but use different ingredients.
One. Pour 4 tablespoons of coconut oil in the frying pan. While it’s heating put in one piece of camphor. Allow it to cool. Two. Mix two egg whites with 4 tablespoons of lemon juice.
The lemon juice and the camphor are more aggressive and will get rid of the dead cells. The egg whites and the coconut oil will keep the lower layer from shedding.
I made it a rule to never use a shampoo with synthetic chemicals in it. I have heard horrible stories about how in that industry they will create the cosmetics to solve your issue temporarily but make your condition worse in the long term.
I did the four-day treatment and then used the egg whites and lemon juice treatment every other day. Even when I cut myself some slack and did not follow the routine so strictly it was never as bad as before. I dare say I solved my problem.
I told you. I am a badass.
And I recommend you try that, too.
If you want to know more about dandruff and what causes it check out this article on Wikipedia.