Saturday, November 14, 2009

Baking soda as dandruff treatment

It's working ... so far.

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.




Anonymous Anonymous said...

Excellent discussion. Dr. OZ suggested a similar routine today on TV, along with mild dandruff shampoo and/or zinc and/or selenium, but baking soda was at the top of his list. I'll give it a try.

3/31/2010 1:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ive had seborrheic dermatitis for years. Pentrax tar was helpful but no longer available. Switched to ZNP bar (2% vinc pyrithione) and Nizoral 2% every other day. Works fairly well. Also Loprox cream used on face. Cerave cream is good as a moisturizer. stay away from red meat. Eat salmon and mackeral but oddly enough fish oil pills exacerbate the S.D.

2/15/2011 5:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

baking soda is fantastic.
i use bob red mills brand.
i mix half a teaspoon with a tiny bit mollasses and gulp it down.

great for regulating acid alkaline levels.

as a dandruff treatment it is fantastic..
i take a little plastic joggers water bottle.
fill half way with warm filter water.
add 2 teaspoons of baking soda and half a teaspoon of seasalt.
shake up good.
over the sink slowly press the nozzle of the bottle against the scalp and squeeze.
stop half way and massage the scalp.
finish off making sure all your scalp is wet.
leave in for 5-20 mins then wash out.
do not use shampoo.
itching will go scalp will be clean.

after a couple of weeks i do the same with a couple of cap fulls of apple cider vinegar in the water bottle and add a few drops of tea tree again leaving in for a while.
forget shampoo it is nasty chemicals.
these simple things work.
mega corporations

6/22/2012 9:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ive had a dry itchy flakey scalp for years and tried numerous anti dandruff shampoos and conditioners but they never really worked. Then i googled home remedies for it and came across the baking soda treatment. I did it just the once last week i did however condition my hair after but didnt use shampoo and i am simply amazed at the difference in just one application. Lost the itch and almost lost the flakes. I certainly will never be using shampoo on my head again. Thank you google for finding me this great tip :)

3/15/2013 10:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Shhhhh....! Afraid to predict even... Well, I also started using baking soda and it seems it's working. Shampoos or other home remedy never worked for me but I feel some difference with baking soda so I am satisfied with it as nothing ever worked for me.

8/01/2013 2:13 AM  
Blogger erosss said...

Its a good idea to use the bakin soda also internally tu put it in your drinking water.This will lower your blood acidity wich is an important cause of dermatitis.

11/23/2015 10:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

after 5 years of itchy scalp and hair loss I decided to put Epson salt and baking soda in a cup of warm water and apply it to my scalp every day sometimes all day but the itch is getting better. I just rinse it out with warm water then use coconut conditioner on the hair not scalp then let it be on for a while then rinse. every day gets better and better hope this helps some one not sure if I have fungus or dandruff or just plain itchy scalp but my hair is starting to grow back so I must be doing something right. :)

1/27/2016 4:07 PM  

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