I was squatting in Guardian last night while trying to reach the Catrice concealer that's placed at the bottom rack when Daniel dramatically exclaimed
"Wah wts what happened to your hair why your dandruff so bad"
FYI Daniel is usually very sensitive when it comes to my appearance cos I used to have huge image issues, so for him to be so blunt about it, it had to be bad.
Btw it was the second time this week he'd made a remark about my hair ah. The other time I was wearing black.
And there were flakes all over my top.
Before this, I had ended my lifelong battle with dandruff and had been flake free for like 1.5 years!!!!!!!!
So wah having that uncontrollable need to scratch and pick at my scalp and that embarrassing itch at the head when people mention your dandruff.
The culprit? A bottle of shampoo 😒
I had recently purchased the Moist Diane shampoo cos of the rave reviews in Dayre but I think it wasn't suitable for my scalp. 😓
The smell tho! 💯
I'm so used to using bland (or nasty) smelling shampoo that this was really making me damn happy la. I even forbade Daniel to use it hahaha cos it was so precious to me.
But alas, it didn't work for me. Last night I resorted to using my last bottle of selsun blue and it restored my hair to it's formal glory.
Some of you girls commented about wanting to try the shampoo so I thought I'd share about my hair problems in case it helps anyone!
But, disclaimer, everyone's hair is different so some trial and error is necessary to find the best solution for your problems!
My hair is ridonkulously thick. And for most parts of my life, ridonkulously long.
When I was younger, my aunt would forbid me from going to her house for stayovers because it would take like 1 hour for my hair to dry with a hairdryer and her arms would ache from trying to dry my hair 😂😂
I recently cut my hair short but before that it was really super long la. Idk how I let it grow to that length 😓
As a kid, I already had dandruff. And another aunt speculated that it's because my hair never gets to dry well so the moisture in it breeds bacteria and fungus growth, which appears like dandruff.
She herself had damn bad dandruff issues to the point whereby she had to see a GP and they prescribed her sulfur shampoo which helped. But the doctor basically told her that she NEEDS to dry her hair completely after bathing.
So when I stayed at her place, she would patiently comb out all the dandruff in my hair with a fine toothed comb (impossible la cos the more you comb the more dandruff there is) and dry my hair thoroughly.
It helped! But as I grew older I realised whenever I was stressed my flakes came back damn badly omg and the more I picked at it and the more I scratched the worse it'd get.
I never ever sleep with wet hair ah btw, but my hair can remain damp forever if I tie it up. 😥
I used to use all sorts of dandruff shampoo (head and shoulder those kind) but they never worked.
Or they'll work for like 2 months and I'd have to switch it out. I was on a constant shampoo rotation I swear.
Then one day I was like FUCK THIS SHIT. I told Daniel I wanted to shave bald 😂 cos I cannot take it already.
When I came across the no-poo method.
No-poo basically means no shampoo la! And what it's based on is that your hair when you're born and growing up has what they call a balanced state. So it knows how much hair oil it needs and doesn't overproduce sebum which causes dandruff.
Commercial shampoos contain sulfates that can build up in your hair and scalp and also strip your hair of all the natural oils it produces.
So every time you wash your hair, you wash away all the oil. And your scalp thinks…wah so dry…produce more oil
And then you wash again!
And it produces more!
And then it's a never ending cycle, which is why most people think it's a need to wash their hair daily.
Fun fact, after the no poo method, I only wash it once every 3-4 days or if my hair gets oily beyond measure 😂
So for the no-poo method, you're basically supposed to create your own shampoo and conditioner out of these items
1. Baking soda + water = shampoo
2. Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) + water = conditioner
I know it sounds WHACKEDDDD. But it worked for me! For like 6-8 months, and then I transitioned into another phase which, I will also talk about.
But back to no-poo.
In the beginning it sounds fucking whacked la. And I didn't know how to do it. But basically you need to douse your hair in the shampoo mixture and wash your hair as per normal.
Which is weird cos there are no suds (foam) and you still scrub your hair.
And once you're done with the shampoo, you rinse and I sprayed my hair down with ACV which stinks, but once you wash it away it actually smells like nothing.
Btw yes, I kept one of these obiang spray bottles in my shower to spray my shampoo and conditioner cos I felt that just pouring it on my head didn't allow my hair to be well covered by the mixture.
Apparently the first few days after you start no poo, your hair feels like shit. Because it will detox.
And you're only allowed to wash your hair once every 2 days so for awhile you'll smell and look like shit.
But your hair gets over it and you'll stop producing so much oil eventually.
One period of time my hair kept feeling chalky and I got this white residue (not dandruff) and I realised I put too much baking soda and I didn't rinse it away properly 😓 so less is definitely more.
The ACV uh, didn't do much I feel. Like maybe it did a bit of work but tbh it does nothing compared to like a commercial conditioner.
Btw conditioners are supposedly horrible for your scalp cos you never wash it away properly and it makes your scalp so so so so oily so only apply it to the hair ends if you use it ok!!!
Oh back to no poo. There were some things I really hated about the no poo and they were
1. It smells like nothing
Like legit. Because there are no fragrances (I added essential oils during the last 2 months) your hair smells like human smells. Like unscented human
2. Your hair is in a constant state of ok-ok
You know how after you washed your hair you'll usually feel fab for the first 24 hours and then after that you're just like…….ok…..
Well even after washing my hair with the no-poo I always felt…ok lor.
But it did help with my dandruff situation! Which is why I stuck with it for awhile.
I think it really reduced the itching and the amount of buildup (I'd scratch away as like white stuff) on my scalp!
Haha I was quite an avid believer of the no-poo la and I thought we all just need to get used to the ~human~ smell and the okok hair feeling.
But I started watching YouTube videos of people with experience with no pooing and they slowly transitioned into natural shampoo bars cos sometimes when you're travelling it's ridiculous to bring baking soda and ACV la 😪
My first ever solid shampoo bar 😂
I actually got the JR Ligett's off iherb because it's the only place I turn to for organic ~health~ stuff haha.
And I got the 6 mini travel pack trial set to test it out.
It was ok, and very gentle for my hair and for a long while I used these without any problems with my hair. No dandruff and my hair would stay clean for 2-3 days before requiring a wash.
But I always have this….haha phobia of bar soaps cos I feel that they just sit there and bacteria grows on them or something 😂😂😂
So I even went to muji and bought a box for it but it still got very gross cos you know…moisture.
But I went through about 2-3 bars of this for a good period of time!
Hair was ok. I didn't use conditioner until very very much recently again.
But shampoo bars are gr8 for travelling and also very cheap la!
One bar lasts forever and you lather it up (foam!!! Such a luxury after no poo 😂)
I stopped using it because I was sick of seeing the melted goob of shampoo bar haha otherwise I think it was pretty fab!
But I did notice my dandruff recurring a little towards the end of my usage. Maybe my scalp got used to it!
The shampoos I've tried
Some time after, I went to Perth for my grad trip and found a Coal Tar shampoo selling in one of the pharmacies.
I read that Coal Tar in shampoo is damn good for dandruff so I bought it.
But it stinks (lol) and it sucks so I didn't use it anymore. 😓
Now, I'm using Selsun Blue (available in Guardian and Watsons)! It used to only come in on variation but now got a lot of different ones.
I use the green cap and the lavender cap one! It's the more moisturising one!
I'm super happy with the shampoo haha I just try to find alternatives cos I find it quite strong (idk I speculate) hahaha.
But it always solves my dandruff problems 😂
My hair ends do get quite dry, but I use hair oil/serum instead of conditioner. I don't rly like using conditioner 😂
I used to use coconut oil but now I use a serum I get from BKK!
How dandruff has affected me
I don't avoid black clothes (still love them) and I generally don't find it a huge ego bruiser.
But I really hate the misconception that people who have dandruff are dirty?
Like wtf. Who teach you one? Did you go to school?
The association is the worst. And it's the same association people have when they see people with acne
Like…you must be damn dirty never wash your face that's why you got pimples.
I had a friend in primary school who liked to point to my head and say I don't wash my hair that's why I have dandruff.
And would tell me I'm damn dirty cos I am sweaty all the time.
Even tho I was like super clean haha. I'm not sure if all these remarks I receive caused me to be a slight germaphobe now (I carry 1 spray sanitizer and gel sanitizer everywhere I go)
But yes, please be kinder to the people around you.
Besides the whole mental issue.
I find dandruff freaking annoying because I keep wanting to pick at the scabs when I scratch too hard. And I keep wanting to scratch cos there's stuff on my head that will come off (flakes) when I scratch and it's like this never ending cycle.
Just typing about this is making my head itch 😂
And I realise that my itch gets worse when I am embarrassed haha. Or when I'm in social situations and I tell myself not to scratch.
I also hate how it is a physical manifestation of my stress.
My head flakes like crazy when I'm highly stressed.
Daniel says I'm a pressure cooker.
I can take an immense amount of stress thrown my way and you won't even see a single crack on the surface.
But then it bubbles up and shows itself in other ways.
One of them is on my scalp and the other is my fucking incessant need to chew on my tongue 🙄🙄🙄🙄🙄
Yes I'm rolling my eyes at myself cos I cannot stand it.
I literally cannot control it and I chew on the tip and sides of my tongue ALL FUCKING DAY. You'll notice it if you ever converse with me irl. It's like my nervous tick.
This my friends, is the real definition of OCD. I keep doing it over and over and over again even tho I want to stop. 🙃
And the dandruff is like another thing that irritates the shit out of me. Maybe because it's showing me that the amount of stress I can handle is peaking.
But I still have so much more to do.
A little bit like how my body is reminding me of my weakness. And…..
I just don't like it. 😞
And from the comments, I see that I'm not alone in this dandruff battle.
Never knew it affected so many girls! From the way I see SG girls swishing and swashing their hair in the heat, I'd never suspect dandruff.
For me tho, my hair is still, 90% tied up in a ponytail. The only way to beat the Singapore heat. And to prevent crazy scratching 😂