View Full Version : Hair is at its best on wash day, but scalp is at its worst - What to do?

May 9th, 2013, 04:07 PM
My hair looks its absolute best on wash days (I wash weekly), but my scalp gets itchy by then.
The more I stretch washes, the better my hair looks and the worse my scalp looks and feels.
Is it normal? Or does it mean that I use harsh shampoos or that I don't oil and condition my hair enough? This difference between what my hair wants (stretching washes) and what my scalp wants (washing often) is growing as my hair grows longer. I'm not a fan of dry shampoos, though I know they work for many people.

What can be done to fix this?

Thank you!

May 9th, 2013, 06:43 PM
Are you long enough to do scalp only washes yet? Keeping the length out of the spray?

May 9th, 2013, 09:21 PM
I second the scalp only washes. My scalp is happiest when I wash it 2-3 times a week. My length gets washed about twice a month.

May 10th, 2013, 10:50 AM
Thank you, Excentricat and LornaDoone! :)
Scalp-only wash sounds like a perfect solution for me! It would also solve my constant detangling issues.

But how do you keep hair out of the water when you wash only your scalp? Do you put it in a low ponytail or something? Where do you put the hair? (I'm at hip-length now.)

May 10th, 2013, 11:32 AM
Once upon a time there was a wonderful article by Amoretti on how to do this. If I recall correctly, what she did was braid her hair loosely and then clip the end of the braid with a clothespin (or something like that) that was on a coathanger she hung on the bar which held the shower curtain. That kept the water from running down the length while she washed her scalp.

The usual and shorter-haired alternative tends to involve containing the length in a plastic bag and hoping for the best.

That's the best I can do. If my scalp had its way, it'd almost never be washed, but the greasies prohibit me from acting on that.

ETA: Looking around a little, the other method involves a low pony/braid and washing in the sink or with a handheld sprayer.

May 10th, 2013, 12:31 PM
Anje, thank you so much! :blossom:Those are all great suggestions!
I'll definitely try them!

May 10th, 2013, 03:46 PM
Wow, the coathanger (or alternatives) method sounds great! I once tried the plastic-bag method and it was awful, water and shampoo found their way into the bag and so my hair was both wet and stained with shampoo after the procedure was done.

May 10th, 2013, 04:55 PM
What shampoo do you use? You may have a bad reaction to sulfates (especially SLS and SLES).

I know something about this. I have to use very delicate shampoos or my scalp gets flaky and annoying. So far I've found only two shampoos that suit my needs, the rest of them will make the flaky fest, even those that claim to be delicate. Both of them contain ammonium lauryl sulfate, in a modest quantity I guess.

You may want to try different shampoos starting from the most delicate ones while keeping an eye on ingredients (SLS free baby shampoos or gentle shampoos with natural ingredients for example). Tightlycurly.com (http://tightlycurly.com/ingredients/) lists almost all ingredients you can find in beauty products (and those very few that aren't listed, you can google them).

Changing shampoo had a dramatic effect on my scalp: it went from "years of dandruff" to "perfect condition" almost instantly.

May 11th, 2013, 08:30 AM
I use the coathanger method sometimes. (Though it can get a bit awkward if you drop your shampoo bottle... :rolleyes: ) I find this method works better if you have a hand held shower head so you can rinse all sides of your head equally.
Alas, I don't have one. I usually wrap my braid around my left hand and hold it over my head while I wash the scalp. Then I let the braid hang down for the rest of my shower. I don't mind if it gets a little damp.
I will also sometimes wash my scalp in the bathroom sink. I do a loose braid at the crown of my head and hook the elastic on a hook that I suction cup to my bathroom mirror. I do this when I'm in a hurry. Both hands free and no damp braid.