For most of my adult life I have had a terrible time with shampoo. I have a very sensitive scalp and at times will have severe allergic reactions to various shampoos. I also have very oily hair that needs to be washed almost every day. My reaction to shampoos will be a mild dandruff to full on itching burning, flakey red skin. I get huge red blotches on my forehead and have scratched so bad I get sores. The worst was one shampoo that felt like someone poured acid on my scalp.
Over the years I have tried cheap shampoos, expensive saloon shampoos, Tar shampoos(man those stink), special scalp treatments, washing my hair more and less often, even dish soap. I would get some relief but then after a week or two my scalp would flair up again and my sholders would look like I just came in from a snow storm. After spending a ton of money on expensive shampoos I came across a pin on pinterest about using apple cider vinegar to cure dandruff. The pin lead me to this article 4 Reasons to Use Apple Cider Vinegar on Your Scalp Treatments by Josh Peterson, Planet Green
I had the vinegar so I thought why not. I had an old applicator bottle I kept from the last time I colored my hair. I liked the bottle because it has a comb tip that was easier to use. I recomend you buy some Loreal Excellence hair color just to get this great applicator bottle, I filled the bottle with half vinegar and half water. After washing my hair I used the applicator bottle to apply the vinegar rinse directly on my scalp. It was a little hard to do so I took a bit of conditioner add it to my hair and the applicator ran through it easily. I let it sit while I finished my shower then rinsed. Cider Vinegar is supposed to be a natural hair conditioner and helps to close the hair cuticle to cut down on frizz and breakage. My hair felt dry so I added another bit of conditioner and rinsed. My hair felt clean and smooth but I smelled like a salad. This scent worried me as I didn’t’ want to spend the day smelling like vinegar. Later that day I was worried so I asked my co-monkeys and my favorite husband if I smelt funny and they said no funnier than usual.
A bit about dandruff. Dandruff can be caused by multiple things dry scalp, skin irritation, fungus/yeast, and/or a build up of oils. Vinegar helps to clear away the excessive oil and is a natural anti-fungal. It is also supposed to restore the ph level to your scalp which keeps it healthy and prevents dandruff.
After I dried my hair my scalp felt great, my hair was shinny and smooth and my head didn’t burn or itch! Yeah! There were still some small flakes but I was thankful my shoulders didn’t look as if I had a staring role in an Al Pacino movie.
I continued to do some research on several sites and put together this treatment plan. I used an old dish soap bottle to keep the vinegar mixture well stocked in my shower. In the picture you can see the applicator bottle that I love, the comb makes it so much easier to get the vinegar to my scalp.
Prep hair – Wash hair as normal, apply a small amount of conditioner and rinse, this helps the applicator bottle go through your hair easier. Use an applicator bottle to really get into the scalp, you may want to massage in slightly so it gets in. If you don’t have an applicator bottle you can just use a cup and pour it slowly onto the scalp. Let the vinegar sit on your scalp 5 minutes or longer. Rinse with cool water. Warning! Be very careful to not get any in your eyes, believe me it is not fun.
Week 1 -Start with a 50% vinegar solution (1/2 vinegar and 1/2 water). Use the vinegar rinse each time you wash your hair. I found I only needed about 1 ounce of the rinse to cover my scalp. I wash my hair every other day and noticed that with this treatment my hair seemed less oily on the second day. If this irritates your skin you may want to add more water.
Week 2 – Use the rinse every other shampoo.
Week 3 – Use once a week.
Week 4 – Use once a month or as needed. If you notice your dandruff acting up use the rinse more often.
Amazing! After all the money and experiments I had tried something that costs just pennies cleared up my dandruff. My skin reaction to shampoos has even calmed down a bit. It still flares up but no where near as bad as it used to be! The best part is no one can make fun of how flaky I am! Well, perhaps just a little. 🙂
For even more dandruff fighting power try adding some dry herbs or essential oil to the vinegar rinse. Thyme, Rosemary, and Sage are supposed to be great for dandruff as well as Tea Tree oil. Place herbs in a cheese cloth and let steep in the vinegar overnight. If you don’t have cheese cloth just strain before using.