An Herbal Apple Cider Vinegar(ACV) Cleanse for My Oily, Flakey, Sore Scalp

Hey everyone! I hope this post finds you well.

 

Scalp Treatment

Scalp Treatment (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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.

    Apple Cider Vinegar

    Apple Cider Vinegar (Photo credit: AndyRobertsPhotos)

  • 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)
I don’t really measure anything but I use approx 2 teaspoons of everything adding one or two more of what I feel I need.

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

Vinegar is commonly infused with spices or her...

Vinegar is commonly infused with spices or herbs—as here, with oregano (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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!

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My Routine & Changes to previous routine postings


I thought that I would post on my routine and what products I’m using.

My shampoo recipe:

1 TBS baking soda
2 cups water
2 dollups of Dr Bronner’s Lavender Castille Soap
a few drops of tea tree oil, rosemary oil, sage oil, eucalyptus EO’s
a few drops of jojoba oil
a few drops of almond oil
a few drops of orange oil for fragrance

I started using the baking soda mixture with the rosemary EO while I my hair was loose to help with my dandruff and itchy scalp. Commercial shampoos and conditioners I guess were leaving a film or something behind on my scalp because I had itchy, flaky scalp even in the summer. Co-washing was not helping either. Winter time was worse, enough to make my own ski slope. lol The baking soda mixture was helping a bit but I was only at that time shampooing every 2-4 weeks so I decided to try the tea tree oil in addtion to the rosemary oil. The sage oil & eucalyptus oils and Dr Bronner’s are recent additons at month 5. I put those in for growth, addtional scalp anticeptic properties and cleaning respectively. I wash weekly though sometimes it’s been 10-12 days between washings lately since it is winter and I keep my heat at no more than 69 degrees. Sometimes it gets a bit chilly walking around with a wet head. I’ve found that air drying helps to retain moisture. Gotta tell y’all my scalp feels a whole lot betta.

I decided to try the jojoba & almond oils for 1) I already had them, hate to waste stuff I’ve spent my hard earned money on and did not work at the time I purchased them, 2) My hair was looking a bit dry after a wash. Now I just tried this on the last wash on Friday and I like the results. My hair dried with a lot more sheen than with the addition of the Dr. Bronners and eucalyptus oil in month 5.

I’ve also decided to add a few drops of the jojoba oil to my spritz. I’m liking the results of that too. I just have to be careful that it is indeed only a few drops. Too much and as I mentioned b4, the locs will be feeling a bit stiff. Me no like stiff hair! Dealt with that long enough and I ain’t going back. I’m determined to have soft hair/locs even if that means it takes a while to lock. lol Though, I’ve got some that are actually locking, as you saw in the video/pics so that debunks that myth. Love it when a plan comes together and I do something that someone says can’t be done. Maybe that’s my Mars in Aries the 8th house inconjunct Uranus/Pluto in Virgo in the 1st house. Had to throw some astrology in there.

The last change that I’ve made is that I’m going to still retighten at 4 weeks starting in the new moon period but I’m only going to retighten the back and sides. The crown and top/front will be done every 8 weeks. These areas are a bit looser/thinner than the back and side areas of my head. They are still growing and this is the area of my head that grows the fastest so I’ll just have to make sure that I pop those locs after shampooing. Speaking of retightening if you are not sure how to do it I have a video of how I retighten my hair. It will be in the video bar.

Update: I am no longer using the Dr. Bronner’s as a shampoo just as a body wash. As of October 2009 I’m currently using Raw African Black Soap that I have made into a liquid. There will be a post on this.

Disclaimer: All of the products mentioned in this post have been purchased by me. I have no affiliation with the manufacturer or distributor of the product nor am I being paid to review the product. The opinions set forth in this post are solely my personal opinion.