If You Like Pimple Popping Videos, Here's Your Next Gross Fix

by Kristen Mae
Originally Published: 
Sirinate Kaewma/EyeEm/Getty

I’ve dealt with dandruff on and off all my life. I used to be embarrassed about it, but it seems like anytime I muster up the courage to bring it up, someone else says they have it too. That makes sense, as I recently learned that roughly 50% of the adult population deals with dandruff. People get dandruff. Nothing to be embarrassed about. Still, dandruff is itchy and messy and not something I care to deal with on a daily basis.

To that end, about a year ago, I scoured the internet for home remedies for getting rid of my dandruff. A homemade solution I could apply before shampooing, perhaps? (I bet myself $20 someone would recommend apple cider vinegar.) Or maybe my diet was the problem. Maybe kombucha or a special yogurt would help?

Most websites recommended the usual dandruff shampoos containing Pyrithione zinc or ketoconazole, with an added note that one should see a dermatologist for persistent, intense dandruff or scalp psoriasis. I’d already tried the shampoos, and they all stop working after a while, if they work at all. There had to be some way to get rid of my dandruff. In the hopes that I would stumble upon some little-known health guru who held the secret cure for my dandruff problem, I left the regular internet and trekked into the jungle known as YouTube.


I found a few videos with tips for getting rid of dandruff (yes, they recommended ACV, yay, $20! But no, it didn’t work), but that isn’t actually what we’re here for. My friends, it turns out there is an entire underground world of dandruff removal ASMR videos.

And they’re as gross-yet-satisfying as pimple popping videos.

To be clear, many of the videos that come up when you search “dandruff ASMR” are actually examples of scalp psoriasis, a different scalp condition that can be debilitating. And there are tons of very extreme videos of psoriasis removal, some of which, according to the comments, are staged and not actually real. I’m not a doctor so I don’t know how to tell if psoriasis is real, but some of the videos, just the thumbnail makes me feel a little sick. You’ve been warned.

Watching people scraping away their dandruff is the most satisfying (and, yes, honestly sometimes pretty gross) thing to watch. In the videos, the dandruff-afflicted person’s hair is parted and a fine tooth comb is gently shuffled against their scalp, causing flakes of skin to loosen and fall off. It’s disgusting and yet satisfying and mesmerizing to watch. The first time I discovered this “genre,” I clicked through video after video, unable to stop myself, for probably an hour.

Have you ever seen a picture of a dessert where the earth is caked and cracked and dry and it just looks sad? Watching dandruff videos is like watching that cracked dessert earth finally get a good rain and get all smoothed out. It’s magical.

And I am definitely not the only person who finds these videos weirdly satisfying. Not only were there thousands of comments from people saying exactly what I was thinking about the videos being impossible to look away from, but there were also tons of comments timestamping the exact moment in the video where the person picking the dandruff gets an especially large flake of skin. And then a ton of “thank you!” responses to those comments. The milder videos are actually quite pleasing for me to watch, honestly. I almost feel like someone is scratching my head.

Funny enough, not long after I discovered these amazing videos, my daughter got a random patch of dandruff and I got to experience the fine tooth comb technique in real life. I got my comb, parted my daughter’s hair, and went at it. Folks, it was even more satisfying than watching it on video. My daughter’s scalp looked very dry, so once I got all the flakes off of her scalp, I massaged a little coconut oil into her skin. The flakes never came back after that. I’m not suggesting that coconut oil is the solution for everyone. In fact, for me with my already oily scalp, oil products have the opposite effect. But my daughter’s scalp was very dry, and the oil seemed to help.

I try not to pick at my own dandruff because I don’t want to develop a habit of picking or make it worse. For me, the thing that helps my dandruff most is to wash my hair frequently and keep my damn hands out of my hair (because messing with it makes my scalp more oily). Everyone’s skin is a little different though, so I think the key is to try different things and see what works best for you.

But, regardless of what treatment you land on for your dandruff, I highly recommend dandruff ASMR videos for anyone who enjoys being slightly grossed out and mesmerized at the same time.

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