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View Full Version : Bizarre debris in my hair. Not sure what's going on here - help?!



aribroo
December 10th, 2012, 08:38 AM
Hi all,

I've been lurking around this forum for awhile, but my hair has started to do something really odd, and I've exhausted my avenues, so I think this is the best place to go for help. :)

A bit of background: I had a short, bleached-white pixie for years. The damage existed but was minimal, as I was cutting my hair so frequently. I decided I wanted to grow it out a bit, which was when I started seeing a lot more damage and, for the first time ever, breakage. So I stopped bleaching and hennaed over it, which was closer to my natural color. When my hair got long enough that my roots were mostly natural, I cut it all off and now am starting from <2in of virgin hair. Think Mia Farrow, and that's what I've got going on. I'm hoping to grow it out long and keep it natural. My scalp tends to fall on the oily spectrum, and I've never had dandruff in my life.

Now, something has started happening recently (past month and a half or so) which I've never experienced before. These sort of... debris? They're these little hard, whitish balls. They stick to my scalp and the hair near my scalp. They're not difficult to remove, but you can't blow them off, and they aren't flaky like dandruff. At first, I thought I had lice! But I checked, and my boyfriend checked, and, for peace of mind, I finally had a doctor check, and lice have been ruled out. My head feels ticklish, but I'm not sure if that's psychological, since I think of it so much and am paranoid. Like, when you think about fleas, and start itching. Anyway, as I've grown more concerned, the itching has grown worse. Occasionally, I get a scalp pimple here or there, but I've always had that, so I don't think it's related.

I had been using Fekkai Brilliant Glossing shampoo and conditioner, and coconut oil as my leave-in and occasional deep conditioner. When this started, I immediately tried clarifying. I've tried a few different shampoos since, but nothing helps, so I'm back to my original routine. When I shampoo, I give myself a long scalp massage. The debris are gone immediately after I shower, which is in the evenings, but by the next morning, they're back. It's forcing me to wash my hair every day just to keep them under control! My hair is a medium brown and the white balls show up against it, and I work in the service industry, so I absolutely can't have noticeable debris in my hair.

Anyway, has anyone ever heard of/experienced this? I don't have insurance, so I'm really hoping to avoid having to pay for another doctor visit. I'm confused because my hair is healthy for the first time in years, and I'm suddenly experiencing all these issues. :(

Thanks so so so much in advance! You all are great!

DinaAG
December 10th, 2012, 09:06 AM
so sorry for that! i didnt see something like that but there is many forms of dandruff may be thats one of them? is there any photo for that? i believe you need to check with a doctor as to know what exactly it is so that to fix it

northernsky
December 10th, 2012, 09:17 AM
You said you changed your shampoo, but did you change your conditioner as well? Maybe the conditioner and the coconut oil combination are reacting and causing little chunks of buildup or something. Or you say they are gone after you shampoo, but back by the next morning? Could it be something from your bedding?

Aveyronnaise
December 10th, 2012, 09:17 AM
Yes that is almost just odd, you could also do a scalp soak with castor and coconut oil , I do that to my son because even at 4 he has 'cradle cap' still , but that is very sticky to the scalp .

aribroo
December 10th, 2012, 09:31 AM
You said you changed your shampoo, but did you change your conditioner as well? Maybe the conditioner and the coconut oil combination are reacting and causing little chunks of buildup or something. Or you say they are gone after you shampoo, but back by the next morning? Could it be something from your bedding?

I have tried changing the conditioner, as well as going without. I thought it may be the conditioner/shampoo, because they have olive oil in them. I only switched for a day though, so maybe I'll try for a longer period and see if that helps. They are gone after I shampoo, yes, and back the next morning. My bedding hasn't been changed, nor has the frequency with which I wash it, so I don't think that's what's going on.


Yes that is almost just odd, you could also do a scalp soak with castor and coconut oil , I do that to my son because even at 4 he has 'cradle cap' still , but that is very sticky to the scalp .

Thanks Aveyronnaise, I'll try that :)

jacqueline101
December 10th, 2012, 09:43 AM
You might have to go back to the doctor if you can't get help here. Have your doctor test the debris under a microscope.

spidermom
December 10th, 2012, 09:44 AM
Are you getting enough healthy fat in your diet? If not, it may be that your sebum has gotten hard and waxy. Also drink plenty of water. I know it's not a precise science, but 8 cups of fluid (mostly water) per day is a good goal to shoot for.

heatherovka
December 10th, 2012, 10:09 AM
It sounds like it could be little bits of hardened sebum. Though I have no idea what to suggest to do about it... Hope you're able to get it figured out.


Maybe try a coal tar shampoo in case it is a skin condition?

Wahinee
December 10th, 2012, 11:15 AM
It sounds like the residue left from the conditioner is reacting with your coconut oil. Try putting a little bit of them in your hands and rubbing them together and see if it creates the little balls. Some products just dont react well with each other

I think the conditioner might be too heavy and not rinsing clean. This could explain the itchiness too

neko_kawaii
December 10th, 2012, 11:24 AM
I don't have any ideas about the white stuff but I do have a suggestion for the "ticklish" feeling on your scalp.

My sister kept bringing lice home from her friends houses while we were teens and in college and I lost track of how many times we had to battle an infestation. My scalp as a result became constantly and slightly itchy. This persisted until I'd moved away from home and lived by myself for a year. One day I realized that my scalp didn't itch any more and realized that it had been psychological as a result of years of constant suspicion of lice. Last summer my MIL said that both local nieces had recently had lice and just thinking about it made my head itch again. No amount of people looking through my hair and declaring it louse free got rid of the itching. Clearly psychological. So, I played some sympathetic magic with my scalp. Tea tree oil is one of the natural remedies for lice so I switched to a shampoo that had tea tree oil in it and the itching went away.

I hope you figure it out!

HintOfMint
December 10th, 2012, 02:50 PM
They're little balls of sebum, I wouldn't worry about it. I used to get them often but I think my skin was different and also I wasn't using a dandruff shampoo the way I am now. No, they're not lice, I've had my scalp checked.

SineNicD
December 10th, 2012, 05:57 PM
I used to get this as well, I spent ages trying different anti-dandruff shampoo's, changing conditioners, using different oils on my scalp and various rinses but nothing really worked. I found my scalp got much, much better when I switched to an SLS free baby shampoo. I'm now using a herbal mix of shikakai, aritha, amla and neem to wash and that seems to have solved the problem completely. I'd really suggest trying something using neem, it solved my itchiness and really improved the psoriasis on my dad's scalp!

lapushka
December 10th, 2012, 08:46 PM
At first, I thought I had lice! But I checked, and my boyfriend checked, and, for peace of mind, I finally had a doctor check, and lice have been ruled out.

So, if the doctor checked, what did s/he have to say about it?

NightOwl26
December 10th, 2012, 10:39 PM
I used to have an itchy, gunky scalp. Not sure why because I washed every 1-2 days. A vinegar rinse or a couple drops of tea tree oil in my shampoo helped a bunch.

Edit: Couple of drops not added to the whole bottle, but to my usual amount that day into my palms. :)

shawty
December 10th, 2012, 11:02 PM
You may rule this out immediately upon reading it, or find it unhelpful, but I had to suggest this long shot just in case: what if this has been going on for a long time but it wasn't noticable in your hair when it was bleached? Hope you find the answer soon, and happy growing!

spirals
December 11th, 2012, 01:11 AM
It sounds like the residue left from the conditioner is reacting with your coconut oil. Try putting a little bit of them in your hands and rubbing them together and see if it creates the little balls. Some products just dont react well with each other
This is exactly what happened to me Sunday. I have itchiness, but it's totally unrelated, because the little white blobs were a totally new thing. I've had products curdle each other in bottles, but not in my hair, not until yesterday.