View Full Version : Help! I have white stuff in my hair and I don't know what it is.

December 10th, 2013, 03:38 PM
So lately, for like the past three weeks or so.... When I brush my hair there seems to be some sort of residue in my hair. It shows on my tangle teezer brush. looks like this.

I am very sorry about the size of the picture... I cant find a way to resize it since it was taken with my ipad. Well at least you get some ugly details.

Now my fist thought was, this is just sebum.... But it does not feel like my usual sebum, which is a bit grainy, like most sebum i presume. It's like some sort of paste. It's invisible in my hair, only shows on the brush when I brush my hair, and only when my hair is wet. when my hair dries is very soft and poufy. I wash only with conditioner (cone free conditioner) and only the length, I do water only on my scalp. I have very little sebum (or used to) to begin with so it is easy to do without greasiness.. I have been using nothing but water on my scalp since a month before I joined lhc. which I don't really know, right now because I don't keep track of time at all, but you can see on my avatar information on the left and guess for yourself. This here only started happening about three weeks ago.

Now since i thought it was sebum, i washed my scalp with shampoo last week. and my normal conditioner on the rest of the hair, cwc style. That giant brush picture is from last week. I found this weird. because I had just washed my hair. with shampoo. I did an experiment, cleaned the brush and only brushed the length, did not touch my scalp.... My brush still came out coated in this.... so its not just on my scalp, it is on my length as well... How weird. I use a bb brush regularly to spread my natural oils all over my hair. But it did not feel like my normal sebum. It has no scent, its not grainy, just a paste. And I can't see it on my hair not wet or dry, my hair smells clean, feels clean, is baby soft and feels hydrated. But it is just so strange that even washing my hair, it is still covered in strange white paste from the length all the way to the top.

Now, i would clarify my hair, I'm sure this will get rid of it, but if it's just sebum that i have spread very well, and it is just resistant to conditioner, then it should not be bad, good even. If it is some sort of chemical that comes from my conditioner..... I don't really want it on my hair...

p.s. I left out a bit of info. I coat my hair in coconut oil on pre wash days. wash only once a week. If it makes any difference. I mean, I also would not want this to keep my hair from absorbing my coconut oil. Today I changed my conditioner and used a super cone filled conditioner. Maybe the cones will was off this thing. Nope, no change, my brush still turned out white.

If I have to clarify, I will, but my hair is curly type, dry enough as it is, and if it's just sebum, I rather not have to use such a harsh shampo on my scalp, which begins to flake if my skin is to dry. My scalp likes its natural oils best and it does not have much of them, my hair is a whole other issue for that I had to (and still am) trying to find the right thing to do for it.

Yeah, i guess I'm done now. :)

December 10th, 2013, 03:53 PM
Marbid, I think it is just sebum and the dead skin cells that have been shed from your scalp. I get them on my brush too if I let it go too long between washes. Also, regarding what you think about conventional sebum being grainy and yours being more of a paste, I think it is completely normal. The first two or three days after I have washed my hair, if I scratch at my scalp, I also get grainy sebum under my fingernails. By about day 4 or 5 after I have washed my hair, my sebum becomes more of a paste as well, which tells me that I am approaching the next wash day (I find that with daily, twice a day brushing and dry shampoo, I can usually go another day or two before washing my hair and it does not look greasy). Since you say that you get this even after just washing your hair and you get this on the length and on the roots, I would say maybe try doing shampoo and condition instead of CWC since your hair is naturally dry. If this doesn't work, clarifying would be the next step. But I would say start off with not conditioning before shampooing your hair as oddly enough some hair types that are wavy and curly behave better when they are conditioned less. My hair actually stays cleaner longer if I use SLS/SLES shampoo on it and do not condition it at all (it is a greaseball by the end of day 3/beginning of day 4 after I have washed my hair if I use even a tiny amount of conditioner on the very ends).

December 11th, 2013, 01:42 AM
Could it be coconut oil, perhaps mixed with conditioner? If it got colder where you live recently, it might be solidifying on your hair and on the brush more than usual.

December 11th, 2013, 04:01 AM
I've had similar white stuff and for me I think its residue of conditioner, perhaps mixed with sebum. If I shampoo twice and make sure all of the scalp gets cleaned it disappears. I have thick hair and need to hold my head upside down when shampooing otherwise I get that.

December 11th, 2013, 01:21 PM
Seems to me that you have 3 possibilities (sebum/skin, coconut oil, or something from your conditioner) or some mixture of them, but if your hair is happy, I don't see a reason to clarify no matter which it is.

heidi w.
December 11th, 2013, 01:47 PM
This is leftover crud from shampooing with conditioner. It is my motto to never put conditioner on the scalp (hair).
I also never recommend to oil the scalp. Let sebum do its job.
Clarify and you should be okay.
heidi w.

December 12th, 2013, 04:20 PM
And so.. I know know what this is.

I clarified my hair and then added a very coney conditioner. When i brushed my hair, all the white paste was there again. And i also realized that in the water, it turns slipery, but not oily slipery, squiki slipery. On the same day i went back and clarified my hair again, and this time i did not add any conditioner. The white stuff was gone. So, it is a build up of cones when i was using a coney conditioner. The question is, that it also happened when i was using a cone free conditioner. So what is most likely is that it is mixed with cocunut oil, and yes, it is very cold here, i dont put on a heater in my house because i like my blankets and saving electricity. And i might not have clarified my hair enough the first time to get rid of it all and using the coney conditioner made it worse.

Well, at the moment my hair is pretty clean. Think i'm going to try and extend my wash day to 3 weeks or so. Just to see how my sebum reacts. I think it would do me good to experiment letting the coconut oil and sebum take care of my hair and only washing it when i feel my hair has gotten too greasy. I would say 3 weeks because my scalp is naturaly dry anyway. It would probably take that long for me to build enough sebum to feek oili.

Thank you very much for your responses fellas. It was really bothering me that i did not know what was in my hair.