...For a girl on a budget, it would have to be a DIY approach.
Traveling can definitely take a toll on your health. After moving back to Los Angeles from Scotland, it took a few weeks for my body to adjust to the time change and climate. The "adjusting" became apparent one night, as I was getting ready for a wedding I was excited to attend. I was doing my last minute checks when I noticed a dry patch of skin on my scalp. At the forefront of my middle part was a large chunk of dandruff ready to break off into a million little pieces.
What came next was a rookie mistake; I tried to quickly brush away the dry patch so that it wouldn't be as noticeable. I instantly felt regret as my grand idea only spread the dandruff particles all over my perfectly brushed hair. I didn't have time to ponder my defeat. The dandruff won that battle but I would surely win the war, and for a girl on a budget it would have to be a DIY approach.
Most DIY methods I researched were either too aggressive, too smelly or too oily. Washing my hair with mouthwash, for instance, did not appeal to me, as I had no desire for people to associate me with the smell of a preventative gingivitis product. Leaving the olive oil in my hair overnight was not an ideal option for me either, as an oily scalp is just as much of a turn-off.
By the time I stumbled on an all-natural suggestion that only required lemon juice and water, I felt relief but was still hesitant. After all, people use lemon to lighten their hair for highlights or a more blonde color, which was not my goal. Moreover, the acid derived from lemons is no joke: it has been known to wear down the enamel on teeth and can really dry out your hair. Apparently, the acidity of lemons can do wonders for the pH balance on your scalp, potentially reducing or eliminating dandruff in the process. I was sold, lemon and water seemed to be the most promising approach.
The dandruff remedy required two different concoctions. The ingredients you will need are:
For Cup #1:
2 tablespoons of lemon juice
For Cup #2:
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 cup water
I applied the contents of Cup #1 directly onto my head, making sure to target problem areas that seem to produce the most dandruff. Once applied, I massaged it into my scalp for just one to two minutes. Remember, leaving lemon juice on your skin too long can dehydrate already dry areas.
With the lemon juice still soaking in, I jumped into the shower with cup #2 in hand. I rinsed out my hair thoroughly with warm water and applied the contents of cup #2 onto my head. As I rinsed my hair with the watered down lemon juice, I noticed my roots felt softer than usual. It was surprising to feel as if my hair had been deep conditioned after it was treated with such an acidic solution.
The original DIY instructions don't mention whether or not to shampoo and condition after juicing your roots, but I went ahead and applied both anyway. I just made sure to be extra gentle while shampooing to avoid scratching the scalp, as that could potentially produce more dandruff. As I stepped out of the shower to check on my hair's progress, those obvious bits of flaky dry skin were no longer as visible. When I took a closer look, I could still see smaller pieces of dandruff here and there, but overall, it had been reduced. The subtle scent of lemon was an unexpected bonus.
All in all, I would say the lemon juice method helped, but did not exceed my expectations for one-time use. I don't think lemon juice will cure my case of dandruff, but it at least partially did the job it claimed to do, leaving this girl content with the outcome.
As for how often to apply the lemon rinse, it may be best to use on an as-needed basis. You don't want to overdo it because too much acidity is never a good thing!
If anyone has tried any good holistic dandruff treatment methods I'm still on the market. Leave a comment below and help a friend!