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Thread: Hard, waxy, ball-forming sebum?

  1. #1
    Member holothuroidea's Avatar
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    Default Hard, waxy, ball-forming sebum?

    My sebum is giving me some problems. When I stopped using shampoo I started to get scalp acne and sores. I wash daily now and it isn't a problem other than I would like to not have to wash daily or use shampoo.

    I'm also very acne prone for having dry skin and that stinks, too. OCM worked really well for me for about a month and then I developed a really bad, deep acne rash that is still healing. But once I stopped the OCM those stupid hard sebum balls came back and now I have whiteheads all over the place again.

    I thought that this was just the way it was and I had to deal with it but then I did a search and found that some people think it is a dietary issue (omega 3/6 imbalance). I couldn't find any serious information on the subject though so I thought I'd ask all of you for your input.

    Has anyone else had this kind of sebum and have you been able to fix it?

    I've also heard a lot of mixed reviews for using jojoba oil to get rid of it (not to stop your skin from producing it, just to dissolve and lift the sebum balls so you can wash them away). Some people say it works and some people say it seems to make it worse. I like jojoba oil and it seems to work for me (I mix it with my shampoo and it has helped my scalp and my hair likes it too).

    Any input on the subject would be greatly appreciated. TIA

    ETA: The shampoo gets rid of it for about 12 hours and then I get the balls back again. The more I shampoo the worse it seems to get, but if I don't wash they develop into acne. Also when I scritch them they always seem to take a hair with them.
    Last edited by holothuroidea; December 8th, 2011 at 10:54 PM. Reason: grammar as usual

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    Member Moor_tu_lyfe's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hard, waxy, ball-forming sebum?

    I haven't ever had that type of sebum, I have the other extreme- greaseball, especially when using shampoo. But I have recently had a bit of a dietry makeover about 3 or 4 months ago, and I can't say I noticed a huge difference in my sebum production. I completely get the omega 3/6 ratio thing, and as a result, I eat lots of what I consider to be healthy fats- eggs from free range chickens, meat from pastured animals, evoo, organic butter etc. I also cut out all white sugar and the only grains I have been eating are soaked/fermented oats for porridge. I don't eat any prepackaged anything anymore, so I don't eat additives.

    I thought this may have had an effected my hair when I went WO- after a while I wasn't a complete "otter in an oilslick" and I thought the reduced sebum may be partly to diet... but when WO failed miserable (ykwim) and I went back to shampoo, the oilies quickly returned (I'm now oily within 24hours of washing).

    To sum up, my change in eating habits was pretty extreme (lots more fat and protein, lots less processed foods and sugar) and I can't say I've noticed a difference in sebum. Sorry- I wish I could be of more help. I hope you find your solution.

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    Member holothuroidea's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hard, waxy, ball-forming sebum?

    Bump!

    Hey come on I can't be the only one, right?

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    Default Re: Hard, waxy, ball-forming sebum?

    I have the same kind of sebum you do. You are not alone! My sebum is actually worse than useless. Last summer I tried to stretch hairwashes and my sebum built up! After trying 3 times to wash it out with a clarifying poo, I had to use industrial strength dishwashing detergent to get this crap off my head. On top of that, I have super fine hair that fries very easily. Actually, the dirtier my hair is, the dryer it is.

    I wash my hair every 3 days. I take a 250 ml bottle, put 1 inch ACV in it, fill the bottle almost full with hot water. Then, I put in a tiny amount of poo. I mean tiny! I wet my hair, put this concoction on my scalp, make washing motions and then put some on my length. I don't rub the length, just gently squeeze it through the hair. When my bottle is empty, I refill it with hot water and dump it on my head. Then rinse. It rinses very easily out and doesn't build up.

    I fake my sebum by using a tiny amount of coconut oil on my hair and scalp.

    Whatever you do, DO NOT USE HARSH POOS! They will just fry your fine hair and make your scalp produce even more of this useless stuff. Folks like us can't use WO or stretch hairwashes.We can't use heavy oils, conditioners or harsh stuff. We just can't.

    I've been taking Omega 3-6-9 capsules for over a year. Hasn't helped my sebum. I've had this sebum all my life, and I'm 53. It ain't going away any time soon.

    As for your facial skin, have you tried washing your face with honey? Honey is cleansing, antiseptic and moisturizing. It's also gentle. Many people with akne use too harsh cleansers.

    One of the best moisturisers that is very skin friendly is good old fashioned Nivea in the blue tin.

    Hope this helps. Remember, you are not alone.

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    Member chrystalevonne's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hard, waxy, ball-forming sebum?

    I know this may not help a whole lot but give you food for thought. I have heard that tea tree oil (the essential oil) can help scalp conditions and it even clears acne so that may be something to research. Also i am using monistat diulted on my scalp for growth and I did quite a bit of research on it and it does help people with sores on their head and I can honestly say that some oils tend to break my scalp out a bit but since using the monistat my scalp is in great condition. Hope that helps a little. Good luck.

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    Default Re: Hard, waxy, ball-forming sebum?

    Quote Originally Posted by holothuroidea View Post
    My sebum is giving me some problems. When I stopped using shampoo I started to get scalp acne and sores. I wash daily now and it isn't a problem other than I would like to not have to wash daily or use shampoo.

    I'm also very acne prone for having dry skin and that stinks, too. OCM worked really well for me for about a month and then I developed a really bad, deep acne rash that is still healing. But once I stopped the OCM those stupid hard sebum balls came back and now I have whiteheads all over the place again.

    I thought that this was just the way it was and I had to deal with it but then I did a search and found that some people think it is a dietary issue (omega 3/6 imbalance). I couldn't find any serious information on the subject though so I thought I'd ask all of you for your input.

    Has anyone else had this kind of sebum and have you been able to fix it?

    I've also heard a lot of mixed reviews for using jojoba oil to get rid of it (not to stop your skin from producing it, just to dissolve and lift the sebum balls so you can wash them away). Some people say it works and some people say it seems to make it worse. I like jojoba oil and it seems to work for me (I mix it with my shampoo and it has helped my scalp and my hair likes it too).

    Any input on the subject would be greatly appreciated. TIA

    ETA: The shampoo gets rid of it for about 12 hours and then I get the balls back again. The more I shampoo the worse it seems to get, but if I don't wash they develop into acne. Also when I scritch them they always seem to take a hair with them.
    You may want to consider seeing a dermatologist who may recommend a specific shampoo or type of shampoo to help with the problem, that may be less irritating.

    Diet may help as well. I would not scritch. That kind of irritation may make things worse, in terms of abrading skin as well as loss of a few hairs. Scratching the scalp also scratches hair and can abrade hair cuticles.

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    Member holothuroidea's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hard, waxy, ball-forming sebum?

    Thank you, hanne.

    I haven't been using harsh shampoos. I use a decyl/lauryl glucoside baby shampoo and dilute it very heavily and mix it with jojoba. I wash with straight shampoo only once a week as a "clarifying" wash. It works really well but it doesn't take very long for the build up to come back, like I mentioned. Definitely very gentle daily washes have been my best solution.

    I've been looking into making my own shampoo or getting a shampoo base with zero additives and I think this will help. I want to stick with the glucosides since my scalp seems to like them. I'm also trying to find a conditioner that doesn't build up.

    For my face, I try to only wash with gentle cleanser once a day and wash with just water the rest of the time. Last night I did a jojoba oil OCM wash before using my gentle cleanser and that really seemed to help a lot. I just hope it doesn't give me the rash like just castor/evoo OCM did. I'm still using a salicylic acid astringent once a day to heal that rash. I have tried honey but it seems to dry my skin out and it doesn't remove the sebum balls, even if I use the exfoliating raw honey. It might be helpful to mix some oil in it, that way I can get the antiseptic and healing properties of the honey with the sebum-removing properties of the oil.

    I think I'm finding the balance (or at least heading in the right direction) of things I need to keep my skin healthy with this kind of sebum. I would prefer not to have it, though! Especially if it is caused by a dietary deficiency.

    Correct me if I am wrong, but I don't think taking a 3-6-9 supplement would fix an imbalance. From what I read (again, not very reliable sources) if your body has an excess of omega 6 it will use it to make the hard, waxy sebum instead of omega 3, which flows much more easily. If you take a supplement that also has 6 in it, your body will keep using the 6.

    Stop! Shoulder time! (July 7)

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    Member holothuroidea's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hard, waxy, ball-forming sebum?

    Quote Originally Posted by ktani View Post
    You may want to consider seeing a dermatologist who may recommend a specific shampoo or type of shampoo to help with the problem, that may be less irritating.

    Diet may help as well. I would not scritch. That kind of irritation may make things worse, in terms of abrading skin as well as loss of a few hairs. Scratching the scalp also scratches hair and can abrade hair cuticles.
    I am not going to see a dermatologist because I don't think this is really a "medical" issue. It is just an inconvenience, not a malady. I would like to go WO on my hair as well as my face and I can't because of it so this is why it bothers me.

    I agree about the scritching. Do you think I should not even get use a scritching comb? It would be hard to use nothing, as it can get pretty itchy. I've been making a conscious effort to keep my hands out of my hair and off my face (hard habit to break!) but I have been using a comb because it drives me crazy.

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  9. #9
    Lives by the Moon Avital88's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hard, waxy, ball-forming sebum?

    i have the same, sometimes its extreme! especially acne on my head under the hairs, it hurts and itches!
    I think using amla and taking omegas made it less and im now on a vegan raw diet since 3 days for mostly skin related issues like this
    I heard good things about it, but its a total lifestyle change so not something you can just try..
    or you can but it takes a lot.. i have no other solutions for the problem,sorry good luck
    Back to bsl/mbl. Almost all damage gone and back to fluffy healthy hair

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    Default Re: Hard, waxy, ball-forming sebum?

    Quote Originally Posted by holothuroidea View Post
    I am not going to see a dermatologist because I don't think this is really a "medical" issue. It is just an inconvenience, not a malady. I would like to go WO on my hair as well as my face and I can't because of it so this is why it bothers me.

    I agree about the scritching. Do you think I should not even get use a scritching comb? It would be hard to use nothing, as it can get pretty itchy. I've been making a conscious effort to keep my hands out of my hair and off my face (hard habit to break!) but I have been using a comb because it drives me crazy.
    It may not be a medical issue but it is causing you plenty of grief. WO has its risks. Cleansers in products help keep skin healthy and avoid yeast and other infections. There is bacteria and yeast on the healthiest of scalps. Soaps and shampoos function to keep the ratio down and prevent an imbalance, which can lead to a medical issue.

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