Hi guys, obviously not a nutrition/fitness question but assuming many people on here have done research into health issues I'm thinking this may be a very good place to ask:
Any ideas on how to get rid of or manage dandruff?
Did anyone have a big problem with dandruff but managed to really improve their condition after researching and finding out about a good remedy?
I've researched and tried dozens of things--dandruff shampoos containing various active ingredients, tea tree oil, essential oils (such as rosemary oil), coconut oil, vinegar, lemon juice, baking soda, various recommended supplements, Lugols iodine, coffee, tea, various foods/diets, etc., etc. I tried many of the treatments both topically and internally (where safety permitted). The most helpful therapeutic for me has been topical clay. It greatly reduces the problem more than anything else, though doesn't completely get rid of it all.
I use Moroccan red clay (aka Rhassoul/Ghassoul clay). Active compounds: Dolomite, silica, ferric oxide, and mineral oxides.
Redmond's white bentonite clay also works well, though it's more expensive. I mix the clay with aloe vera gel (it's relatively cheap and easy to use and straight aloe resulted in a mix that was more expensive, too thin and lumpy, and more difficult to mix--you could try other thickeners if you don't want any carrageenan in it--please let me know if any work well for you, though I'm not that concerned about topical use), coat my scalp thickly with it, let it sit (at first for as long as I could until it got too itchy, and now for whatever length of time I wish, as it no longer causes any itching), then wash it off. It requires more thorough scrubbing than shampoo to get the clay off, though no one has spotted clay remnants and people have remarked that my hair looks better. Some even thought I dyed my hair and wanted to know my secret. It's not surprising, as it does look a bit darker and I have much less white or gray hair than avg. for my age.
Last edited by Paleophil; 07-17-2016 at 11:13 AM.
Be careful not to strip natural oils from scalp and hair. Easy to do with over washing. Olive oil has similar compounds to our body's sebum so a few (very few) drops, thoroughly massaged into the scalp and combed through after washing, can mitigate oil stripping. It is very easy to use too much olive oil so experiment a little. If there is no underlying scalp disease condition, olive oil is the best replacement of sebum, other than shark liver oil with its atrocious smell.
Now that I wash my hair with water, but no other products, my dandruff is gone
Ditto--I wonder who invented shampoo and why.
Originally Posted by Elliot
Houseguests still call me a savage though.
Ah yes, I forgot that I tried water only too, but my dandruff didn't reduce and my hair got flat and greasy. A blogger said it would get better again after a while, but that didn't happen for me. I do use only-water some days still. I find it comes out better when I use clay. I occasionally also moisturize with some coconut oil, jojoba oil or unsalted butter. Can't remember if I've tried olive oil or not, I'll try that, thanks.
I've had dandruff for as long as I can remember--decades, so mine may be more stubborn than most peoples'. It's pretty minimal now--not noticeable when wearing a dark jacket or shirt any more like it used to be.
I find that the clay also makes my skin and hair look and feel a bit younger. I got some negative comments when using only water and other things, but started getting positive comments when I used clay. I got the idea from a lady whose appearance dramatically improved when she started using red clay. She looked radiant and she started getting lots of men hitting on her. She even had a skin aging test done with a new device in Europe that found her physiological age to be many years younger than her chronological age--much better than her brother (she also eats a mostly-raw Paleo diet). She didn't mention dandruff, but it sounded plausible, given that I had heard for years that rich people pay big bucks at spas to have mud/clay applied to their skin and hair and that it made their skin younger and knew that some African women use red clay on their skin and hair and are world famous for their good skin. It also made sense in light of what I had learned about CO2 from Ray Peat, Chris Masterjohn, Danny Roddy and studies--especially Ray's story about a frog or toad that had been covered in cement for years and survived in the high-CO2 environment without food. I figured that coating the skin and hair thoroughly might increase CO2 at the surface. I do find that using a lot helps. I recommended it to someone else, but they didn't apply anywhere near enough and gave up after one try.
When I looked for more info on clay and hair, I found a Youtube video in which a lady cleared up her dandruff within 3 days with a clay/water mix. It didn't work that dramatically for me, but I did get immediate improvement, unlike any other treatment.
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Last edited by Paleophil; 07-19-2016 at 05:20 AM.
It seems to be an infection and fed by the excessive quantity of carbohydrate (and doubtless specifically refined carbohydrate) in contemporary diets.
Originally Posted by Brickie
I've found myself that every time I eat in a more LCHF style it's not at all evident. However, if I eat in a more WAPF style it comes right back.
… avers that coconut oil can kill the organism responsible for it. That makes sense: coconut oil is fairly anti-microbial. You could try that on your scalp. I doubt your hair would look very greasy for very long afterwards. A very little coconut oil goes a long way, and it tends to sink into skin very quickly. The same is likely true of hair. Rub a very little into the scalp, and it's likely not evident in the hair before long. I've certainly “conditioned” my hair with a little emu oil on many occasions, and while you can see it at first, it a very little while you can't. I have done the same with coconut oil in the past, and I think the same happened, but it was awhile ago.
But the real solution is probably to cut your carbs a bit. To be frank, almost every body-system from skin to joints to earwax (yup!) to a bewildering host of medical conditions tends to benefit from LCHF. (Dr. Lutz, who was both an MD in general practice and internal medicine specialist and a professional medical researcher since before WWII, lists more conditions he's had results with over many decades than you can shake a stick at.) The reason LCHF isn't a standard starting-place as a diet in medical circles is quite simply (a) special interest groups like Big Pharma and (b) cognitive dissonance: people just can't get their heads around the notion that excess carbage really isn't a good thing. In fact the Paleosphere itself has a number of (mostly medically unqualified and noisy) "gurus"—who probably exasperate the real Paleo authorities like Prof. Cordain as much as they do the rest of us—who regularly start scares and "warn" about supposedly problematic conditions that have absolutely no foundation and that medical doctors using low carb diets with patients over many, many years have never ever seen with low carb diets.
Cordain himself isn't actually recommending LCHF. He and his colleagues most recent macronutrient research indicates something like a Zone-like 40:30:30 (40% carbs, 30% protein, 30% fat)
But I suspect that if Paleo survives into the future it's most likely going to be in an LCHF-ified form. (What, incidentally, Nora Gedgaudas has long preached, and what Pete Evans is now doing Down Under.)
Or try both. Go lower on the carbs (and higher on the fat) and try the coconut oil on your scalp, too.
Last edited by Lewis; 07-21-2016 at 09:51 AM.
Some private messages from a beekeeper reminded me of another therapeutic that helped with my dandruff that was a surprise to me and will likely be a shock to some in this forum (and I hope this doesn't generate any anger or hate)--Really Raw brand raw fermented honey (only the fermented version works for me and none of the many other unfermented raw honeys I've tried have helped). The beekeeper is not one of the Really Raw beekeepers--she sells raw fermented honey in another country and came across my posts about it at a beekeeper forum.
RF honey probably works 2nd best after topical clay of all the countless dandruff therapeutics I've tried. Like the clay, it also improves both my hair and scalp. It only takes about 1-2 teaspoons every 2-3 days for me to maintain a noticeable benefit from it. The clay has been working so well that I haven't bothered with the RF honey in quite a while, though the reminder from the beekeeper has me thinking about ordering some more.
A LCHF diet with topical and consumed coconut oil is actually one of the combos I tried in the past. They were 2 of the more commonly recommended dandruff therapeutics in Paleo-type forums and blogs years ago. I even attended a presentation by Nora Gedgaudas, chatted with her and bought her book. Nice lady. LC Paleo did reduce my dandruff some at first, and the biggest improvement seemed to come at the start when I eliminated gluten/wheat foods. Unfortunately, the improvement eventually plateaued and even gradually reversed some.
As always, YMMV, I'm not prescribing, and good luck with whatever you try!
Last edited by Paleophil; Yesterday at 08:52 AM.