View Full Version : Trouble after clarifying for the first time

January 10th, 2014, 12:56 PM
Now I bought a clarifying shampoo from Herbal Essences the other day. I've never used a clarifying shampoo before in my life but I thought what the heck. Normally I use a body and hair bar from Pure Nuff Stuff. Really brilliant with no weird things in them so my sensitive skinned self and husband can have a break from itching, eczema etc. It works wonders and after switching to this product I've noticed my skin reacts badly to conventional shampoos and soaps as my face will feel burny and turn red after use.

Anyway. I clarified because I heard people say it's a handy thing to do once a month or so, and I figured the hippie shampoo bar might leave something interesting on my hair after a while. I used the shampoo yesterday morning and my scalp started itching not long after I got out of the shower, and it is still itching as we speak. Also my hair is super greasy already. I wash my hair every three days as I'm in the process of stretching washes, and my hair will generally look really nice the day after I shampoo. But not this time.

Did I choose a brand that was too harsh? I thought using this once in a while wouldn't be a problem. Sometimes I've used a more conventional shampoo if I've run out of the other stuff I use with "only" the redness and burning as a side effect for a few hours.
Can anyone recommend a different brand or product to use for clarifying instead?

January 10th, 2014, 01:30 PM
Do you know what chemicals you are sensitive to? If you have not been tested, you definitely need to be. I have eczema, food allergies, and my skin is also very sensitive. Even some shower gels will make my eczema flare up in weird places on my body and I have to use toothpastes without SLS. I can tolerate sulfates occasionally on my head, but not on my face. One of the things I have found that really helps is keeping your skin moisturized and staying really well hydrated. I can get away with using something I am sensitive to as long as my skin is not dry...if not, instant reaction (red, scaly, itchy, angry skin).

I suspect you may have dry scalp and using a sulfate shampoo, which most commercial brands contain them unless they clearly specify they do not since this is marketing gold for them, will only make things miserable for you. I would first try keeping my scalp really nice and moisturized for about a good month and making sure my water intake was consistently on point, and then try the same brand diluted with water in a squirter bottle and see how that goes. But, you also should find out from your allergist what chemicals cause these reactions.

January 10th, 2014, 02:03 PM
You really only need to clarify if your hair is showing signs of product build up, and that generally happens when you CO wash or use leave ins.

January 10th, 2014, 02:08 PM
My scalp seems to pretty much roll with whatever I do it - no breakouts, rashes, product induced itchies - but I had similar experience with my mom's clarifying shampoo. Right after I first joined my hair desperately needed a clarify due all the experimenting I'd done with my new-found knowledge so I reached for my mom's VO5 clarifying shampoo. Never again. I don't know how she can use it! I can usually go 5~6 days but day 3 looked like my normal day 5 and I was so itchy from all the excess sebum. The weird thing is that the clarifying shampoo contains the exact same sulfate that's in the shampoo I normally use... just a much higher concentration, I guess.

Now when I need to clarify, I just add a teaspoon of baking soda to my regular shampoo, dilute it with some water, and pour the sudsy mixture over my scalp and length. Works every time! If you do try this, don't forget to follow up with a vinegar rinse.

Hope you find something that works!

January 10th, 2014, 02:29 PM
I would shampoo again, a day early, and use your old hippy soap! Depending on what you put on your hair you may not need to clarify, ever.

I use silicones now and then and I haven't clarified since last summer. Maybe twice a year with baking soda.

January 10th, 2014, 02:35 PM
I clarify with Joico, and I really love it. I think it's the best clarifying shampoo because it not only removes product build-up but mineral build up too. It may be the brand your using isn't right for your hair.

January 10th, 2014, 04:00 PM
Thanks, guys! It's so nice that you take time to help me out with this :)

I decided to clarify because I thought I might have a little frizz going on at the top. This does seem to have vanished... but that might just be because my hair is super greasy, ha ha! I don't think I will ever use that clarifying shampoo again, not even diluted. I just don't want to risk any reaction like that again. In regards to intolerances and that, well, I don't know what I react to specifically but I don't really feel I need to get it checked out as I know that as long as I stay away from products that contain any ingredients from my very long list of no-nos I'm fine. I know something is up as I get nettle rashes a lot as well, but it's one of those things they just don't know much about and I'm getting sick of tests so I'll just have to discard anything that I think MIGHT cause a problem and hope for the best.

I might try the baking soda (with the vinegar rinse!) some time in the future if I feel my hair gets funky again. Or maybe try and find an organic clarifying shampoo with ingredients I can accept.

January 11th, 2014, 03:13 AM
Avoid sulphate surfactants: some are allergic to them, they thin dehydrate and irritate even healthy skin and are a disaster for atopic eczema. They are proven damaging to skin at concentrations as low as 1%, however shampoo bubbles running down my arm was my eczema trigger. Some find sulphates cause the skin to pump out sebum to try to protect itself from the harsh chemicals.

Clarify only if you need to clarify or are using ingredients prone to building up. A non conditioning/ clear type shampoo rich in cocoamidopropyl betaine will do the job with much less irritation, providing the product is at an acidic pH. Baking soda is highly alkaline and so damaging to skin and hair. Definitely not recommended in those with any form of dermatitis.

January 11th, 2014, 03:29 AM
I clarify with Joico, and I really love it. I think it's the best clarifying shampoo because it not only removes product build-up but mineral build up too. It may be the brand your using isn't right for your hair.

Another Joico user/lover here :)

January 11th, 2014, 03:56 AM
Are you eating an anti inflammatory nutrient dense whole food diet? Many milder allergies/ common skin problems respond well to that and doctors are absolutely useless at addressing lifestyle modification with patients in the UK.

Plenty of oily fish, low sugar fruits, non starchy vegetables, seeds, beans, lentils, plain natural dairy, omega enriched eggs. Avoid all sugar, white/ refined/ processed/ high glycaemic index carbohydrates, larger servings of land animal meat, alcohol, smoking, caffeine as all are pro inflammatory. Yes that means little wheat as its virtually all processed and messes with the blood sugar.

Have a wide variety of foods and the full rainbow of bright and dark coloured produce each day (blue/ purple, green, red, yellow/ orange), ideally nine servings.