My hair (along with my skin, but that's another story) tends to have a lot of ups and downs in terms of how it looks. My hair is kind of thick so it often has problems with volume. And of course, when my hair looks all deflated (in conjunction with the darkness of it), it looks greasy, which I hate.
Another upfront: I am prone to dandruff and the itchy, sometimes painful skin that goes along with it. I use dandruff shampoo but honestly, it doesn't do much for me in the long run. You're supposed to leave it on for a while (5+ minutes) but at that point it dries my hair out and that's no good either.
(I'll do a whole separate post later on dry shampoos, which I've been "working on" for forever, but as for now, I've noted some things that tend to help me out.)
I appreciate that vinegar (apple cider vinegar to be exact, the often touted natural cure for dandruff and washing hair) can do so much and maybe this is just me being annoying but I can't stand the damn stuff. I hate it, I detest that smell. Nonetheless I keep a bottle of it in the shower and I have used it. I will note that the smell (thankfully) doesn't seem to stick. However, it doesn't work that well on it's own as my hair felt greasy after using it.
However! I found two solution that worked well for me. I admit that I need to fine tune some of the order in which I do these things but I need to keep working this out and I'll update it if I ever perfect it.
Another thing to note is that I've done this with the assumption that I don't want to wash my hair too often (it messes it up and it's bad for the scalp) and, most importantly, I wash cheap and natural help in this department. Here we go:
1. For dandruff, without frequent washing
I forgot where I hear this tip (probably some ehow site) but lemons are a lifesaver!
They help clean the scalp and fight off the dandruff without drying out the hair.
I started out with a whole lemon. After washing it and cutting it in half I squeezed out all the juice into a cup. In the shower I used some water/vinegar in my hair and did a bit of a scrub with some baking soda. After enduring the stench of the vinegar I poured all the lemon juice (mixed with water) on my hair and then scrubbed it with the lemon itself.
This worked really well. However, one big problem I had was that I ended up with little pieces of lemon flesh (is that the word?) in my hair so it basically looked like someone sneezed onto my scalp. I should have just used half the lemon water as a rinse.
That aside, it worked really well. No dandruff, the itch was gone, and my hair was really clean (with good volume) without the damaging effects of a strong dandruff shampoo.
2. With shampoo
I'm not quite ready to do the "no -poo" method (insert Beavis and Butthead giggles) quite yet. I don't have a steady supply of the necessary ingredients for it and I haven't found the right remedy for me.
So I'm still using regular shampoo (at this time, Target brand shampoo and Head and Shoulders). To try to combat the drying effects, I recently tried rubbing some olive oil onto my scalp and leaving it on for a while before washing with the shampoo. Again, results were great as my hair didn't feel dry and looked shinier after it dried. I'll be doing this from now on.
So a combination of the usual natural ingredients to help beauty and health can always do the trick!