When it comes to haircare, nothing is worse than dealing with pesky dandruff. Not only is it itchy and uncomfortable, but having to worry about white flakes — especially if you have dark hair — is quite a hassle. That said, some folks who have the condition are taking things into their own hands, and are heading to YouTube to share dandruff scraping videos. And while you may think that sounds pretty gross, much like pimple popping videos, these clips are oddly satisfying.
They're also gaining some serious popularity online, with more than 2,700 videos on the platform — some have even reached more than 1 million views. But despite growing interest in scraping, not all experts believe it's the best solution for getting rid of dandruff permanently. Dermatologist Dr. Sejal Shah told Self that many of the flakes in the video are consistent with seborrheic dermatitis, an advanced type of dandruff. "Seborrheic dermatitis is an inflammatory condition caused by a yeast that is everywhere on the body, but some people that are sensitive to that yeast have a reaction,” Dr. Michelle Henry explained to the publication. So while scraping and scratching may alleviate some temporary irritation, it may actually end up causing more problems in the long run.
Dr. Joshua Zeichner, director of cosmetic and clinical research at Mount Sinai, tells Elite Daily that using too much force while trying to physically remove dandruff can not only cause irritation to the scalp, but also can damage the hair as well. In addition, he says that applying oils to the area, thinking that the flakes are just a result of dryness, is also counterproductive and can promote the growth of yeast.
"If you have thick scale, rather than physically scraping the scalp, use a salicylic acid shampoo like Neutrogena T-Sal," he suggests. "Apply to the scalp with your fingertips, let it sit while you sing the alphabet, then rinse out. The salicylic acid will help dissolve connections between dead cells to help your body exfoliate them naturally." And to avoid dandruff from returning, the dermatologist recommends using products with zinc pyrithione, like Dove Dermacare Scalp Clean and Fresh Shampoo, which he says will not only clean the hair, but once scrubbed into the scalp, also gets to the root of the issue.
But if you're more into home remedies and natural solutions for dandruff, while there's no guarantee they'll work, you can always try a number of tricks without having to leave your house. Some say crushing aspirin pills into your shampoo can rid your scalp of flakes, while others believe that massaging the area with tea tree oil or using baking soda as an exfoliant can work. A few folks even swear by using sugar-free yogurt as a hair mask. But if you're suffering from a serious case of the flakes and it doesn't seem to be getting better, it's always best to see a dermatologist who can help.
As for the growing obsession with watching people scrapping their scalp online, no one really knows why we're all so intrigued, but Dr. Zeichner seems to think "the public seems to be fascinated by the instant gratification of removing the scale." So strange, yet so cool.