Baking soda as dandruff treatment
In the Army, I was diagnosed with seborrheic dermatitis. To fight it, I used dandruff shampoos with active ingredients zinc pyrithione or selenium sulfide. I haven't tried dandruff shampoos with salicylic acid, ketoconazole, tar, or sulfur.
Zinc pyrithione didn't work, but the selenium sulfide was effective for years. Supposedly, though, it's normal for dandruff shampoos to stop working when the scalp or perhaps the dandruff-causing fungus develops "resistance" to the active ingredient. That's what happened. Suddenly, one night my old, regular dandruff shampoo stopped working. After I showered, my entire scalp experienced a sudden all-over dry tightening sensation, itched, and that was that - my dandruff shampoo was ineffective. I tried zinc pyrithione again and it didn't work. I switched brands to another brand of dandruff shampoo that used selenium sulfide and it didn't work, either.
I continued using the selenium sulfide shampoo, even though it was no longer effective as an anti-dandruff agent, simply because it seemed wasteful not to use it up. I also was reluctant to try the expensive, seemingly harsher salicylic acid, ketoconazole, tar, or sulfur based shampoos. So, I resigned myself to the situation.
About 2 weeks ago, I googled the problem and found websites discussing natural remedies for dandruff, including baking soda or sodium bicarbonate. (Another popular natural remedy is apple cider vinegar.) Baking soda works against dandruff supposedly due to its mildly abrasive ex-foliating and fungicidal properties. It appealed to me because it's natural, I have a box of it at home I wasn't using, and the method is uncomplicated. So, for the last 2 weeks, I've used baking soda to wash my hair. The 1st week, I applied a rough palmful of baking soda per daily wash and emptied half the 1 lb box in the process. The 2nd week, I've tried much less baking soda per daily hair wash, about 1 teaspoonful mixed with water, and it's been as effective.
So far so good. The baking soda has substantially reduced the dandruff since the 1st time I used it. After 2 weeks, I'm pleased with the result and plan to continue washing my hair with baking soda. My scalp itches far less, though it still itches somewhat; I don't know whether the residual itch is due to the dandruff condition or the baking soda treatment. I purposely skipped washing my hair one day to see whether the dandruff would recur. It didn't, although I decided not to push my luck by skipping a 2nd day. I just hope the baking soda doesn't stop working at some point like the dandruff shampoo did.
Baking soda has many other suggested household cleaning and hygiene uses and is touted as a cheaper, natural alternative to commercial cleaning products. With my success so far with baking soda as a dandruff treatment, I'm tempted to experiment with baking soda for other suggested uses such as teeth whitener and a booster for laundry detergent and bleach.