Hey everyone! I hope this post finds you well.
I thought I’d share what I use to cleanse my scalp. Though I never been medically diagnosed but based on my research, I think I’ve got a mild case of Seborrheic dermatitis. This has been a problem for as long as I can remember and it gets worse when the weather changes. If I don’t keep the oily build up off my scalp, I produce enough flakes to supply a mini ski slope. Also my scalp gets quite sore and not just from scratching either. Ironically the soreness would go away when I scratched my scalp with a comb.
Now I had already tried dandruff shampoos, rosemary, tea tree, lavender, peppermint, sage and cedarwood essential oils, oiling my scalp with natural oils and aloe vera juice/gels. All of these made my scalp flare up more. In the summer of 2010 while in the 3rd day of retightening and right after washing my braidlocks, I noticed that I still had greasy flakes. The kicker was I had not oiled my scalp in 5 days…from the last wash. And I had not oiled my scalp then either! :-0 Silly me, I thought I had been suffering from a dry scalp all these years! :-0
So I decided to again search for a more natural, cheaper way to help with the oil build up. Quotidianlight on Youtube had done a video on Seborrheic dermatitis and in it she mentioned salicylic acid. The light bulb went off in my head because I had found out a few months prior that salicylic acid is white willow bark. It’s basically nature’s aspirin. Well I’ll be! Momma Nature knows best and has been at it waaay longer than man has. I decided to revise (many times lol ) what I had concocted before, combine it with straight Apple Cider Vinegar which I had used at the beginning of my loc journey. This is what I came up with:
- ACV (Apple Cider Vinegar) Any kind will do. I use the Walmart brand.
- Sage Tea (This is just sage leaves steeped in heated water then cooled) I use it to cut the ACV instead of just plain water.
- And the following dried herbs: Burdock Root, Comfrey Root and Leaves, Horsetail aka Shavegrass, German Chamomile, Nettle, Hibiscus Flower, Sage ( in addition to the tea) , Slippery Elm (I heard it keeps the Comfrey from going rancid), Peppermint and White Willow Bark
- Aloe Powder
- Neem Powder, if I remember to put it in the mix. lol
- Lavender or Cedarwood essential oils for preservative (because of the sage tea being made w/water) and for the soothing properties too.
- Peppermint essential oil ( for extra tingle)
First heat the ACV in a pot. Low heat is preferred and even better if you have a glass pot. Add the herbs, put a top on the pot and let them simmer on very low heat for at least an hour. I try to let mine go for 2 hours or more. Then place the mix in a glass jar. I don’t like having to do this all the time so I generally will use 3-4 cups of Apple Cider Vinegar. Make sure the ACV is covering the herbs completely in the jar. Vinegar is a preservative and by making sure the herbs are covered, they won’t go rancid. After letting this mixture set for a few days though I’ll let mine steep a lot longer, strain the herbs out. Place in the container of your choice. I like to use a mesh strainer first for the big stuff, then strain a second time with knee-high stocking for the small stuff.
When I first started using this particular combo which has gone through some additions and subtraction of herbs (mainly for cost
reasons), I was using the ACV mix straight, no chaser. That was to get my scalp under control which took about 6 weeks. Then I started cutting it with plain water resulting in a 50-50, 40-60 mix. Later I decided to use sage tea since sage has been used for conditioning for eons and is supposed to be quite good for dandruff.
I’ve been using this for about 1 1/2 years now and my scalp really likes it. What I do is apply the mixture on my scalp with a spray bottle making sure that I get all areas of the scalp and message in well. Then, I let the mixture set on my scalp for at least 30 minutes. Sometimes I’ll put on a conditioning cap. The other herbs and the sage tea cut the vinegar smell down a little bit, however it does not bother me and rinses out easily so no vinegar smell is left in my locs.
The result for me has been a better feeling scalp that’s not still sore after washing it and I can cancel the contract to supply flakes for the ski slope in my area that does not get snow. lol As long as I keep up with washing my scalp at least weekly, I’m fine. Otherwise my scalp threatens me with early termination warnings for cancelling that ski slope contract. :-) Also note, I don’t put anything else on my scalp. No shampoo, soap, oil or anything else for that matter besides water of course.
I also use this as a facial cleanser/toner.
Hopefully this will spark some ideas for you to try if you are suffering with this issue. Share your concoctions!