I'll scratch your head if you scratch mine.
Publish date:
February 19, 2013
hair, dandruff

I can't take it anymore.

I've got to talk about this: DANDRUFF.

Pretty! It's snowing! Oh, wait, THAT'S ME.

Let me just state for the record that dandruff does not equal dirty. "Just wash your hair more" is not a helpful hint. I am a relatively clean woman who washes her hair at regular intervals, uses deodorant, and owns a hairbrush that I use often. I am low maintenance, but I do care about what I look like and I'm not above glancing at myself in windows as I saunter pass them.

But now any reflective surface I come upon is not an opportunity to gaze upon my fair visage and cute bum, but a chance to do a flake check -- hair line, shoulders, EYEBROWS. Sweet fucking criminy, look away!

Dandruff has been a battle for most of my adult life. For the past few years, I thought I'd conquered it. My flakes had been held at bay and I flipped my hair without fear. But I suppose I've been too vain for too long -- reveling in my raven locks, tossing my hair sexily around town -- and now I'm being punished.

Hair ego is a dangerous thing.

You see, I've been in the Midwest for almost two weeks now and the dandruff is upon me, mocking me.

I don't know if it's the cold, the wind, the stress, but since I've been in St. Louis, I feel akin to Pig Pen from the Peanuts. Only with dandruff.

I was at a dinner held in my honor recently, so of course I wanted to look pretty and professional and not like shit was falling out of my hair. I was seeing friends and colleagues I hadn't seen in years and hugs were being handed out fast and loose.

A hug was distributed to a woman who was chicly wearing a black sweater dress, with her beautiful black hair falling in shiny cascades around her shapely shoulders.

I should have known better. I should have played the handshake card.

When I pulled away from her, I saw that a little piece of me had stayed with her. THERE WERE FLAKES ON HER SHOULDER AND SOME COMRADES HAD INVADED HER PRETTY, SHINY, PERFECT HAIR.

Thankfully she did something delightful like laugh and shake her hair very quickly after, before my raised hand had a chance to slap the flakes from her person. Slapping new acquaintances is generally frowned upon, I've found, but I guess so is putting dandruff on them.

Ugh. I can't help but feel gross.

I wake up in the morning and, upon getting out of bed, I'm greeted with the mythical image of a Dandruff Angel I've made during the night. I'm so afraid my host will wander into my bedroom while I'm gone at some point and recoil in horror, fearing that his dear friend has spontaneously combusted leaving only an outline in dainty white flakes.

Don't worry, I keep washing my sheets.

Here's my conundrum. I'm a natural crunchy gal, so I've got some very strict rules for myself as to what goes on my skin and hair. I generally try not to put chemicals on my body unless it's unavoidable or for medical reasons, so I'm trying to not go the Head & Shoulders route yet. Yet.

Up until now, my natural crunchy remedies have been working beautifully for my hair.

My typical routine goes something like this:

  1. Remove clothing and step in shower.
  2. Soak hair.
  3. Work mix of 1 part apple cider vinegar and 2 parts water into my scalp. Let sit for 2 minutes.
  4. Rinse.
  5. Shampoo and condition hair.

After my shower, I'll use extra virgin coconut oil as a leave-in conditioner and then prance along on my merry way. Sometimes if my scalp is especially dirty or itchy, I'll do a coconut oil and aloe scalp mask before my shower. This system has been working for years! Now it doesn't! WHAT THE FUCK!?

So I've been trying other variations on my natural crunchy dandruff routine -- olive oil scalp mask, tea tree oil, hair powder, peppermint, green tea, black tea, scratching furiously at my scalp like a mange-ridden woodland creature -- and nothing. I'm still the gal you least want to be stuck next to in a windstorm.

I've tried the fancy anti-dandruff shampoos they sell at the hippy-dippy mothership (the natural local organic market), but I see no difference.

OK, fine, I actually am considering going to the dark side and buying a bottle of dandruff shampoo at the drug store, but the last time I used Head & Shoulders or Selsun Blue, well -- sure it got rid of my dandruff, but my sensitive skin turned all red and inflamed. I'm a mess.

But is the alternative dressing in white from head to toe? Wearing my giant Elmer Fudd hat with the earflaps nonstop for the remaining two weeks I'm here? Do I make dandruff a "Do This Don't" and wear it with pride? Aaaaaaaaaaaaaah. What do I do???

Really, please tell me. WHAT DO I DO?

There have to be Crunchionistas out there who have had dandruff. I can't be the only one, right? RIGHT?

Be a pal and share your dandruff remedies, or at least commiserate with me and tell me about your dandruff.

I'll scratch your head if you scratch mine.