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View Full Version : Foolproof scalp washing techniques and Seb. Derm. advice?



Ms Monnie
September 4th, 2008, 12:27 PM
After four years of having a horrible scalp condition that was initially diagnosed as psoriasis and I have been treating as such since then, I have finally seen someone who seemed to know what they were talking about and who treated me like an intelligent human being. They diagnosed me with seborrheic eczema (aka seborrheic dermatitis). I've been doing the natural thing ever since giving the initial yucky polytar shampoo a half-hearted go in the early days but I think it's become so severe that I'm going to try the chemical-y stuff that was prescribed. She gave me a shampoo with 0.5% salicylic acid, coconut oil and coal tar and a seperate ketaconazole shampoo (like nizoral) to alternate between. I have to use the three times a week. I currently wash my hair about once per week and I wish I could get away less often! I completely detest having wet hair, so I'd like it if you guys could introduce me to the art of scalp washing! What are the best methods to keeping the length as dry as possible whilst cleansing the scalp thoroughly? Also, I'd very much appreciate any advice and experiences from other people with seborrheic eczema. :D Thank you.

NurseMama
September 4th, 2008, 12:30 PM
Have you tried the scrunchi bun method?

You put all of your length into a loose scrunchi bun. You then cover the bun with a shower cap twisting the cap around and around the bun just as if the elastic in the cap were another scrunchi. Now, you can wet and wash your roots only. Make sure to make the bun loose enough so that water can get under it. A handheld shower head really helps with this as well.

bella77
September 4th, 2008, 01:59 PM
I have lived with seborrheic dermatitis since puberty- so roughly 20 odd years now and the only thing that ever helped me was a prescription gel called clobetasol- it is a steroid and unfortunately cannot use it right now since I am pregnant. But I rubbed it all over my scalp at night and then you can wash in the morning, sometimes it would soak right it and I did not have to wash, you can get away with rinsing it really and not having to use a shampoo every day. Talk to your dermatologist about it, it's worth it, IMO. If the shampoos work for you, then alternate it, but with SD you have to keep a clean scalp, you really cannot go more than 2 days w/o washing. Best wishes. Feel free to pm me if you have any questions.

Teazel
September 4th, 2008, 04:54 PM
Hi, Ms Monnie. :waving: Apologies, but I'm going to copy'n'paste my reply to another thread....


My GP diagnosed seborrhoeic dermatitis on my scalp about 4 years ago, and prescribed betamethasone valerate (http://www.netdoctor.co.uk/medicines/100004793.html) lotion. I had tried coal-tar shampoos and Nizoral etc. with little to no effect, and was vastly relieved to find that occasional applications of the betamethasone kept that awful flaking at bay.
....
I've tried non-SLS shampoo, but it made the problem worse! So does conditioner, so I keep that off my scalp. A 'cone shampoo seems to help to 'stick down' the flaking so that it's not so noticable, and aloe vera gel can be very useful for that, too. Parting my hair in a different place can calm down the worst patches, don't ask me why! If it gets really bad for some reason (like I haven't been bothering to apply the betamethasone) I scratch most of the gunk off with a fine-toothed wooden comb, then use a brown sugar scrub before washing my scalp.

As to scalp washing, it's my main method for washing my hair - love it! Saves so much time, not to mention conditioner. :lol: I only wash the length once or twice a fortnight. I've tried various ways, and have found this to be much the best....

With my hair in a single plait (usually my sleep plait) I tie a knot in it to shorten it a bit, put a shower cap on my head and tuck the knotted plait under it. In the shower I slip the cap off the top of my head, hold it at the top of the plait so the hair is in the 'bag', and wrap the excess cap firmly around the top of said plait. I then grip the wrapped part tightly in my left hand while the right hand finds the shampoo bottle, which I put between my knees, pop the cap, use knees to squeeze shampoo into hand, scrunch a bit of water into it, then apply to (wetted) head. Massage shampoo in all over head, trying to smooth it in, rather than scrub, to prevent tangling. Rinse well, squeeze out what water you can, then get out of shower and wrap head in towel.

Hope this helps, and my explanation makes some sense to you! :D

Friesiangirl
September 4th, 2008, 05:36 PM
What exactly is the condition? :)

Arctic_Mama
September 4th, 2008, 05:45 PM
I've had S.D nearly my whole life - and while I had luck with coal tar shampoos and the like what I have recently discovered is that scalp stimulation - ie: cranial massage - daily works GREAT to loosen and break up any flakes I have and keeps my scalp healthier... so it can't get to the raw, scaly stage. It also helps distribute the scalp oils better... when they sit on my scalp and build up they exacerbate the scaly problem even more and it starts itching, hurting, bleeding... yeah, all the good stuff. But right now I am on day 4 of no washing (will wash tonight) and I not only barely have any scent to my scalp (just the beginnings of 'dirty hair' smell) but my flakes are MUCH better.

It was these scalp issues that were the last nail in the coffin of my curly hair care routine... the buildup of scalp junk from no shampoo and minimal disturbing of the curls was intolerable. But now, doing the same conditioner-only routine with extensive finger combing and scalp massage every evening is working SO beautifully. My SCALP, not just the length of my hair, is looking good now as well.

I hope you find something that works for you. Like Bella77 I can't do topical steroids... in addition to a zillion negative side effects I don't want I have been solidly pregnant or breastfeeding for over two years with no signs of abating, so I have to find a solution that works without that medication for the next 10-15 years (we're going for a large family ;)). The coal tar shampoos and various prescription shampoos just kill my hair, so those are a no-go too.

Neem oil helps a lot, as does Tamanu, with both healing and keeping the irritation down to a minimum. Both of those massaged in as a scalp treatment before washing the hair are worth a try.

Good luck! It SUCKS to have beautiful hair ruined by nasty, raw, painful flakiness. I can't tell you how embarrassing it is for my hair to always look 'icky' because of the condition on my hair line. It's something worth fixing, for sure :(

Deborah
September 4th, 2008, 06:40 PM
Can't help you on the skin issue, but I used to wash just my scalp frequently. I always just made a pretty loose braid, fairly high up. Then I would wrap the braid around my left hand and hold it a bit away from my head (this is why the braid must be loose at the roots.) Then I'd just stick my head under the tap at the sink, and with my right hand shampoo up just the scalp. Then under the tap again to rinse, all the while holding onto the wrapped braid with my left hand. Once finished, I would blot the scalp with a towel before letting the braid loose. Worked great!

I know that most people use shower caps or plastic bags or something, but I never found them necessary, plus they leak (I did try once.) By holding on to the length of the hair constantly, I could completely control that hair, and keep it dry.

I hope you find a method that works great for you.

az_sweetie01
September 4th, 2008, 06:52 PM
I have been dealing with SD for the last year and half, not long but, annoying :) I wish I had a remedy or something that worked but, I haven't found anything yet. Best of luck, Ms Monnie :)
*hijack* My derm told me not to touch my scalp. I assumed that meant no trying to loosen the flakes because of the risk of infecting the follicle. However, the buildup is what itches, etc. Do I misunderstand?*end hijack*

Beatnik Guy
September 4th, 2008, 07:33 PM
With my hair in a single plait (usually my sleep plait) I tie a knot in it to shorten it a bit, put a shower cap on my head and tuck the knotted plait under it. In the shower I slip the cap off the top of my head, hold it at the top of the plait so the hair is in the 'bag', and wrap the excess cap firmly around the top of said plait. I then grip the wrapped part tightly in my left hand while the right hand finds the shampoo bottle, which I put between my knees, pop the cap, use knees to squeeze shampoo into hand, scrunch a bit of water into it, then apply to (wetted) head. Massage shampoo in all over head, trying to smooth it in, rather than scrub, to prevent tangling. Rinse well, squeeze out what water you can, then get out of shower and wrap head in towel.
That's pretty much what I do (although with a ponytail). After the first couple of times, it is quite easy.

Arctic_Mama
September 4th, 2008, 10:08 PM
I have been dealing with SD for the last year and half, not long but, annoying :) I wish I had a remedy or something that worked but, I haven't found anything yet. Best of luck, Ms Monnie :)
*hijack* My derm told me not to touch my scalp. I assumed that meant no trying to loosen the flakes because of the risk of infecting the follicle. However, the buildup is what itches, etc. Do I misunderstand?*end hijack*

If it is raw underneath and you're dealing with deep damage as opposed to surface irritation (like if you lift a flake and it's pink and bloody) then no, you don't want to scrape it away just like picking any other scab. But if it's just some dry scalies or a little oil-induced gunk that isn't bloody or raw leaving it on there just exacerbates the itching and slows the healing. You want to keep the scalp free of dirt and excess oil which can make it worse (that's when I start going at it with my nails and then it all goes to hell!), and do so in a way that won't kill the rest of your hair.

S.D. has some variants and the severity really fluctuates even in the same person depending on environmental factors, stress, chemicals... your goal is not only no flakies, but no raw patches. Whatever method achieves that is probably a good one. My scales, right now, are not raw underneath, which is why the massage is helping a lot. And increasing the blood flow makes it heal faster. But you don't just want to scritch willy-nilly. If you see pink and red in with the white (and possible yellow, thus dirty) gunk it's time to be more gentle. You don't want to damage the skin more, and be more prone to infections that could give you real problems - like permanent bald patches.


Gross, sorry, but I hope that answers your question?

Gilly
September 5th, 2008, 01:16 AM
I seem to have the same problem and I have discovered a great shampoo, its called Ionil and it comes in a plain and a tar version, I have the plain one as I was worried that it may change my hair colour!
Anyway after using it for a ew washes the horrible dry flaky patches on my scalp have more or less gone, one cerainly has and the worse area on the back of my head is at least 70% better.
Its got salicylic acid 2% in it and it seems to really clear the scalp, I am still using my Terax Crema after and its working well! :cheese:

ladyshannonanne
September 5th, 2008, 01:55 AM
My husband has SD pretty bad on his scalp. His derm prescribed Clobetasol (I think someone else mentioned that stuff, too.) It's a topical steroid, which I don't like, but it's available in a generic, which I do like.

It works pretty well, but it's not a panacea. ACV rinses have helped in the past, too, so you might want to give that a try.

Fia
September 5th, 2008, 02:11 AM
I've never gotten the scrunchi bun/shower cap methods to work for me so this is my preferred method after experimenting about:

1) Put hair in a low braid at the nape
2) Stick the braid down the band of your bra/under the back of the straps/under the straps of a snug fitting tank top or camisole (one that won't move much if you bend over)
3) Wet scalp hair down under a longnecked faucet (kitchen faucet is my favourite for this) or with a handheld shower attachement; braid will ride up a little - that's OK
4) Shampoo as usual and rinse under faucet/with handheld attachement
5) Pat dry with a towel, undo braid and detangle

Hair will be wet to about shoulder blades and damp a little bit further down, completely dry on the rest of the length. I much prefer this method compared to the shower cap as it leaves both hands free to get to the scalp and work with it. There's also less of a risk that you accidentally wet down the entire length ,something I found happened a lot for me - probably because my hair is fine and either slips out of the shower cap or the shower cap doesn't fit snug enough with one of the hands holding it shut.

happymommy
September 5th, 2008, 08:44 AM
I'm a scalp washer two to three times a week. I detangle my hair in the morning, then rebraid it at my nape. I then kind of fold/roll the braid up and wrap a ponytail holder around the roll.

Being a silly one, I use a latex glove to tuck my braid into then wrap another ponytail holder around the glove close to my nape. I have a giant box of gloves that I keep handy for hair treatments.. They are cheaper than ziplock baggies and I don't have to worry about the excess like my shower cap. This takes approx. 30 seconds to do from rolling to wrapped. Yes, I look silly, but it works great.

I CO normally sometimes even doing an ACV rinse then rinse very well, paying special attention to where the braid is gathered to ensure I don't have leftover product.

Pull off the glove and voila! Clean scalp, dry ends and no tired arms!

az_sweetie01
September 5th, 2008, 10:16 AM
Thanks Arctic Mama! It certainly did answer my little hijack question and it makes total sense. :)