How To Treat Stress-Related Dandruff Naturally
This spring I have been feeling pretty stressed out. Big picture, everything is OK, but work has been crazy, I have just been carrying too many things, and I have been traveling a lot. Reality is that life = abundant but also stressful. A couple of months ago I noticed that I had a dandruff situation and quite frankly, I was horrified. I have never had dandruff before and somehow my brain was conditioned (no hair pun intended) to have an immediate shame response.
I just kept hoping it would go away and life was busy and then last month when I got my hair cut by Mary Chheng at James Joseph Salon in Boston, I gathered up my courage and was like, “Um, what is the deal with this dandruff? I have never had this before!” And without missing a beat, Mary was like, “Totally stress related.” Ugh.
I let the issue sit another month (can you sense a pattern?) until last week when I was apparently so stressed out that my scalp spontaneously started BLEEDING. I mean, what?! I was styling my hair, and all of a sudden, at the part in the front of my head, a red bloody spot started growing. I officially started to freak out.
I started looking online...first to confirm that stress-related dandruff is a thing (it is) and also for natural dandruff remedies (spoiler: Google natural remedies for anything and one of the top answers is bound to be coconut oil). And then when I was watching Queer Eye (one of my favorite stress-relief measures), Jonathan Van Ness told a client with dandruff to treat it with equal parts apple cider vinegar + water. I was like, OK, GO TIME.
Here’s how I treated my stress-related dandruff with natural ingredients. And one-week post spontaneous scalp bleed I am dandruff-free! I still need to work on my stress management and I’m going to keep an eye on my head and continue periodic treatment as necessary but it was such a relief to see results to quickly!
How To Treat Stress-Related Dandruff with Natural Ingredients
1. Tea Tree Oil
We use tea tree oil pretty regularly around my house to treat cuts, scrapes, and more (hello, lice treatment) so the first thing I did was dab my head wound with tea tree oil. I also added a bit of tea tree oil to the apple cider vinegar + water mix below towards the end of the week of treatment.
2. Apple Cider Vinegar + Water
Get ready for your bathroom to smell weird and your head to smell like French fries! I followed Jonathan Van Ness’ advice and put equal parts apple cider vinegar + water in a spray bottle and every morning I sprayed my scalp, massaged it in, and let it sit at least an hour (sometimes even longer if I didn’t need to get showered straight away). I only wash my hair a couple of times a week so on non-shampoo days I would just rinse my hair out and spray it with some of this coconut oil leave-in spray both for added hydration and to mask the smell. Also, as I mentioned earlier, towards the end of the week in order to consolidate approaches and also tamp down the smell of the vinegar I added some tea tree oil to my spray bottle treatment.
3. Coconut Oil
As I mentioned, I only shampoo my hair twice a week so on the days I knew I was going to shampoo my hair, I followed my vinegar treatment by massaging coconut oil into my scalp. Some sites recommend melting coconut oil to a liquid but I found it easier to just work the hardened coconut oil into my scalp. It melts down quickly with the heat of your hands and means you don’t wave liquid oil dripping down your face. I let this sit as long as possible before shampooing it out.
And that’s it. Here’s a video recap of the post if it’s easier for you to watch instead of read!