The chances that you’ve dealt with an itchy scalp at least once in your life are pretty high. Some studies state that one out of every five people suffer from dandruff on a regular basis, while others state that dandruff prevalence may be as high as one out of every two people. As a result, dandruff shampoos and treatments are a huge market in the United States, with Americans spending over $300 million on various dandruff products annually.
But what if instead of spending lots of money on the latest dandruff medication, you could use a simple drugstore medicine to relieve dry flakes and an itchy scalp? As it turns out, aspirin is a quick and cheap alternative. The pain-relieving medication is also known as acetylsalicylic acid, a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug that has topical benefits for the skin. As a form of salicylic acid, aspirin is an excellent exfoliator that can help cleanse the scalp of dead skin cells, grease, sebum, and product buildup. It may also reduce inflammation and won’t be as drying as a typical dandruff shampoo. This is especially beneficial if you have dry, thirsty hair that struggles to hold onto moisture.
To use this trick, place three to four uncoated aspirin tablets in your palm and add a little water. The water should help the tablets dissolve into a paste, but you can use your fingers to help mash the pills and speed up the process. Then, mix the paste with a dollop of your favorite shampoo. Massage the mixture into your scalp while you’re in the shower, and let it sit for a few minutes to get the maximum benefit. You can also use a scalp scrubber (Buy on Amazon, $2.99) for added exfoliation and scalp stimulation, which can promote hair growth. After washing out the mixture, you should be left with a clean, itch-free scalp!
Looking for other, natural methods of defeating dandruff? Try massaging a combination of water, apple cider vinegar, and fresh mint leaves into your scalp. You can blend mint leaves in your blender to make things easy and help release the beneficial oils or you can simply use a few drops of peppermint oil. Apple cider vinegar is a well-known, natural remedy for dandruff and hair loss because of its antiseptic and exfoliating properties. Mint contains a wealth of nutrients that can benefit the skin on the scalp, including vitamins A and C, which can reduce inflammation. Plus, peppermint oil has antimicrobial effects and creates a cool and soothing sensation on the scalp to combat irritation.
Keep in mind that some all-natural remedies can worsen symptoms if you are sensitive to certain ingredients or have a more severe skin condition. Be sure to see your doctor if you notice one or more open sores on your scalp, or you are experiencing excessive redness, itchiness, or irritation. One or more of these symptoms could be a sign that you are developing an infection, an allergic reaction, or another skin condition. It’s always a good idea to see a dermatologist who can properly diagnose any symptoms if you suspect that you have a problem other than dandruff.