You are now well aware that Sarah and I like to mix our own cosmetic and beauty products, which we jokingly refer to and tag as potions. So far we’ve shared the gamut from dry shampoo to pore strips to deodorant along with the more mundane (yet totally sinus opening and skin smoothing) body scrubs. Just to add fuel to the fire, I recently learned that my local herbal apothecary offers classes in mixing your own salves, balms, perfumes, and more. It looks like our potion blending isn’t going to slow down anytime soon! But today I’m going to share a potion that’s a bit less glamorous ~ homemade dandruff shampoo.
I moved to Colorado and my head turned into a blizzard. Why? In general terms, dandruff is caused when the skin cells on your scalp grow and die off too fast. In some people it coincides with the dry air of winter, in others it may be compounded by stress, and commonly it’s due to the fungus malassezia. The fungus requires fat to grow, and so it’s commonly found on our scalps, where we have plenty of oil producing sebaceous glands.
In my case, I would like to blame the outbreak on a change in my body chemistry after becoming pregnant, or Colorado’s dry weather, but if you ask Sarah, she will quickly laugh and tell you that I’m a great host for fungus*. We won’t go into detail, but being the great host that I am, I have some experience treating the fun-guys, and every time I’ve turned to tea tree oil. A vast number of studies have shown that it’s a great fungicide and has proven effective in treating a number of different fungal infections on and in humans (everything from dandruff to toenail fungus to athlete’s foot). You’re starting to get grossed out, aren’t you? How about some cute mushrooms to return you to your happy place?
Since tea tree oil is powerful in its concentrated form, you want to be careful about using it at full strength (and some people are extra sensitive or allergic, so test your sensitivity if you’ve never used it before). An easy way to use tea tee oil as a cure for dandruff is to mix it into your shampoo. As little as 5% tea tree oil is enough to do the job. Rather than mixing it with each shower, I like to make up a large batch using 5% tee tree oil and 95% Dr. Bronner’s crazy magic amazing wonderful liquid heaven. As you can see in the photo, I put it in its own labeled bottled and am good to go.
I’m sure you never get dandruff, but if you happen to run into a stranger with flakes, now you have a homemade and totally effective potion to share with them!
*If you’re interested in learning more about the fungus world, Sarah’s been reading Mycophilia by Eugenia Bone. She’s been raving about it and has me excited to read about the fungus among us.