View Full Version : Help me - dry scalp? Flakes!

April 4th, 2015, 10:07 AM
(Originally posted in my blog, but not much traffic there. Casting my net into a wider audience)

I've never had dandruff or flakes (dry scalp?) before so this is weird and new to me. After I washed my hair today I noticed (while combing) tons of white skin flakes, similar to when I sunburn my scalp on accident and then it peels. :confused: The flakes were mostly concentrated towards the front of my scalp, from my hairline back about 2" or so. This has never happened before, so I'm bothered.

Upon further inspection, I see flakes at my scalp as far back as I can see. If I part my hair and inspect the scalp and hair at the parting I can see tiny white flakes in my hair and on my scalp.

I'm wondering what caused it and how to make it go away and never come back. Here's my current hair-care info - maybe one of these is causing my issue?

I recently (the last 2-3 months) have managed to stretch to 5 days between washes. Well, I wash on day 1 and then wash again on day 5. So, if I wash on Sunday I won't wash again until Thursday.

I use Herbal Essences Smooth shampoo (pink bottle, the 90's throwback). My conditioner never touches my scalp, I shed too much when I do that. I have been using this shampoo for about 2 years.

I am growing out side-swept bangs. They are chin-length now. Usually I lace braid them across my forehead and to my right, where I pin them about an inch above my ear. I don't always take them down at the end of the day. In fact, I often leave the same braid in place for 2-3 days.

I wear my hair up most days. Usually I leave it down until mostly dry on wash day, then I put it up. I let my hair down and comb it out at night, but I don't always brush it with a hairbrush. (As referenced above, I do not always unpin and comb out the area my bangs occupy) I do use a comb every night, but not always a brush. I have a Denman brush. No BBB for me, my hair is too thick.

I sleep with my hair VERY loosely braided, no hair-tie on the ends, inside a 100% silk sleep-sack from Blensblends.com.

Any red flags? See anything that could have caused the flakes? Advice? Routine changes I should make?

I did find a Coconut Oil Shampoo at Target this morning. Palmers Coconut Oil Shampoo. Looked and smelled good. Figured it (hopefully) wouldn't hurt to try it.

Help me LHC, you're my only hope...

April 4th, 2015, 02:18 PM
I'm wondering if 5 days between washes is too long. I get flakes if I don't shampoo and rinse twice with a good sulfate shampoo every 4 days.

April 4th, 2015, 02:31 PM
Big flakes or little ones? Are they greasy or anything? Does your scalp feel tight when it dries in the hours after washing?

April 4th, 2015, 02:39 PM
Big flakes or little ones? Are they greasy or anything? Does your scalp feel tight when it dries in the hours after washing?

Yes tiny white dots usually = dandruff. Bigger "patches" sometimes together with itchy scalp usually leans more towards SD. Having over the counter Nizoral nearby is never really a bad thing. It's better than just buying *any* old shampoo from the drugstore. I agree that stretching washes might not be a good idea if it's more towards the SD side than the dry scalp/dandruff theory.

April 4th, 2015, 03:22 PM
If you're not getting any major itching by wash day, I'd say is just that the dead skin isn't being washed out as often so it's showing up as dandruffy kind of flakes. If you're not brushing or massaging right down to the scalp every day, then the dead skin may just be getting caught in your hair. I've got a similar situation going on, and I found that detangling and then brushing with a paddle brush right down into my scalp, to really stir things up, or massaging my scalp front-to-back thoroughly every day improved the situation a TON because it loosens the dead skin flakes and they get swept out as you brush, or can be shaken out of the hair gently.

I think we often underestimate our scalps, because if they feel normal or greasy at times why would you have dry skin up there, but it's still skin and it still sheds just like the skin off the rest of your body, whether it's dry or not.