Old-school dandruff treatment resurfaces and people have been wowed by its results

Mild dandruff can be treated with a gentle daily shampoo.
-Credit: (Image: Getty)

People have been left gobsmacked by a vintage remedy for dandruff, questioning whether it could actually work.

Dandruff is a common issue that results in white flakes of skin appearing in your hair. It's not harmful or contagious, but it can leave the scalp feeling dry and itchy, according to the NHS. It's not caused by poor hygiene, although it may be more noticeable if you don't wash your hair regularly.

Factors like stress and cold weather can exacerbate dandruff, as can certain skin conditions, dry skin, and sensitivity to hair products. The silver lining is that there are numerous ways to treat it.

A throwback treatment method was recently posted on Reddit, sparking a lively debate among hundreds of users. The advice, taken from an old literacy clipping, provides different instructions for men and women on how to use a Listerine antiseptic treatment.

The clipping states: "Women: Part hair, all over the scalp, and apply Listering Antiseptic with fingers tips or cotton. Rub in well. Carefully done, it can't hurt your wave.

"Men: Douse full-strength Listerine Antiseptic on the scalp morning and night. Follow with good, vigorous massage. Listerine Antiseptic is the same antiseptic that has been famous in the field of oral hygiene for over 60 years."

One user responded, saying: "I love how it's different for women and men like women have different hair chemistry than men." The advice, which seems to be from a mid-1900s newspaper or book extract due to its black and white colour, has sparked debate over the distinct instructions for men and women reflection of the era's different gender rights.

One person explained: "A man's scalp is generally 1.5 times oilier than women's. This is the reason why men are more prone to dandruff. But speaking of hair in general, men and women do have different hair. Women's hair tends to be more finer and more delicate; whereas men's hair tends to be thicker and rougher."

Another individual suggested that the guidance was based on assumptions about hair length: "I think it's more that they made the assumption that men would have shorter hair and women would have longer," while someone else recalled: "Also women's hair in the past would often be in set styles at the hair salon/beauty parlour (as my grandmother called it) and so you'd go weekly or whatever to have your hair washed and set. So you don't want to ruin that because it's money and time."

Curiosity about the effectiveness of the tip led one to ask, "Does it work though? ", with another confirming, "Yes. Used to mix it into my shampoo to help mine." Meanwhile, a different user speculated: "I'm guessing it would probably work to kill lice, though it wouldn't be great for the life of your hair."

Modern remedies for dandruff often involve the use of an anti-dandruff shampoo containing one of the following: zinc pyrithione, coal tar, ketoconazole, selenium sulphide, or salicylic acid. According to the NHS, results should be visible after a month of using the shampoo. If not, it may be necessary to try a different product.

It's crucial to consult your doctor if dandruff symptoms persist after a month of treatment, if your scalp becomes red or swollen, if you notice flaky or itchy patches on your face or elsewhere on your body, or if your dandruff is severe or your scalp extremely itchy.

For further information visit the NHS website.

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