I’ve had a dry, flaky scalp for most of my life. It matches my dry, flaky skin perfectly. But while I’ve been able to have periods of affable skin by slathering on layers of lotion, it’s more difficult to moisturize the scalp similarly.
Dandruff shampoo is a lie and a racket and never fixed anyone’s flakes, I say as if it’s a universal truth. But I really think it is. Plus it smells horrible. So there’s that.
For a while I was using Maple Holistics sage shampoo and argan conditioner, and they came closer to anything I’d ever tried before in soothing my dry and itchy scalp. I mean, at first, they 100% worked, and I had no flaking at all. But, as time passed, they became slightly less effective. Still, they were better than anything else I tried. Also, they often have coupons and buy-one-get-one deals. Also, I followed the directions to the letter, and washed my hair twice each time, using this ridiculous thing to scrub the shampoo into my scalp:
The Marvy Shampoo Brush and Scalp Invigorator looks as hilarious in person as it does in the picture. But it really does help when trying to scrub the living heck out of your scalp to stimulate it and encourage it to stop flaking around.
It’s not a brush. So don’t expect to be brushing it through your hair. It’s to scrub onto your scalp to hopefully make flakes go away. And it doesn’t necessarily feel like a massage (people in the reviews say it is, but. It’s just really not). But the result does feel really clean.
After I had decided Maple Holistics and my invigorator was as good as it was going to get—and, to be fair, it was pretty good—and bought myself several BOGO bottles of shampoo…I stumbled on the thing that really worked.
Hairstory New Wash is a mix of essential oils and other natural stuff—they believe in total transparency, so you can read all about what’s in it on their website. It’s a 2 in 1, so no need for conditioner—it will shampoo and condition at the same time. And it’s a process. You wet your hair, coat with New Wash, and rub, rub, rub, rub, keep on rubbing, rub, rub, rub until your arms are tired. Use the invigorator. Scrub, scrub, scrub some more. Until your arms are really tired because your personal brand of self-care involves less doing things like exercise and more doing things like lying around.
At first, it didn’t seem like it was doing that much. It wasn’t like it was bad. Or my hair felt dirty. It didn’t feel squeaky-clean, which is an unusual feeling when you’re used to hair needing to feel a certain way to signal its cleanliness. But they say to give them 30 days. And I was hell-bent on doing it because I spent $40 on this stuff.
Somewhere around two weeks in, my hair became kid hair. If you remember or have a kid’s hair to feel, you know what I mean. It’s silky, not at all dry, no static, and wonder of wonders, I finally didn’t have flakes. Which is amazing. And also a little infuriating. Because $40.