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Phoe
September 4th, 2017, 03:37 PM
Hello!

All my life I've had an oily scalp, but over the past few months it's gotten ridiculous. I wash every day. It only takes maybe 16 hours after my last wash before my roots look greasy. If I skip even one day I can use my fingers to preen the oil all throughout my strands.

Of course, my hair is quite healthy and in good condition from all the generous sebum, but I'd love to just get a break from the constant washing.

I've tried extending the amount of time between washes to give my scalp a chance to readjust and it never happens.

I spent about 6 months cowashing with the classic coconut suave, and found after maybe 4 days my strands would become so coated and waxy looking that I had no choice but to shampoo again. I kept this up, cowashing most days and shampooing maybe twice a week, but grew tired of always looking waxy and gross.

Now I'm just using a sulfate free shampoo daily and the coconut suave conditioner.

About a month ago I had surgery and was hospitalized, which resulted in me not being able to wash my hair for a week. My scalp hasn't recovered from this and seems to be at the oiliest it's ever been. All the gunkiness on my scalp from a combo of sebum and one application of dry shampoo made my scalp SO angry.

In addition, about 7 or 8 years ago my scalp got badly damaged from bleach and has never gotten better.

My scalp is often scabby, and if I run my nails over my scalp I can pick up little white dots, almost like zits on my scalp. Nothing makes them go away.

Here's all the things I've tried over the years - shampooing less, cowashing, water only, sulfate free, tea tree oil, coconut oil, dry shampoo, castille soap, baking soda, acv, shampoo bars, chelating shampoo.

HELP! Please... my poor scalp needs help. I've read plenty of threads over the years and at this point just don't even know where to look.

lapushka
September 4th, 2017, 04:22 PM
I have oily hair too, not that oily anymore (I can stretch to a week now), but I used to need to wash 2 to 3x a week when my hair was shorter for sure; now it's TBL. Length does help too, for me at least.

CO-washing made my oil worse, I lost hair, it was a mess.

I would give a sulfate shampoo a go.


My scalp is often scabby, and if I run my nails over my scalp I can pick up little white dots, almost like zits on my scalp. Nothing makes them go away.

You might want to visit with a dermatologist. Have you ever heard of seborrheic dermatitis? If so, you might benefit from shampoos like H&S or Nizoral (the 1% as the 2% is prescription only in the US; if you're in the UK or Belgium even the 2% is OTC). Nothing is going to work except a medicated shampoo like Nizoral, Selsun Blue, T-gel.

Might be your next best bet!

Phoe
September 4th, 2017, 04:27 PM
I have oily hair too, not that oily anymore (I can stretch to a week now), but I used to need to wash 2 to 3x a week when my hair was shorter for sure; now it's TBL. Length does help too, for me at least.

CO-washing made my oil worse, I lost hair, it was a mess.

I would give a sulfate shampoo a go.



You might want to visit with a dermatologist. Have you ever heard of seborrheic dermatitis? If so, you might benefit from shampoos like H&S or Nizoral (the 1% as the 2% is prescription only in the US; if you're in the UK or Belgium even the 2% is OTC). Nothing is going to work except a medicated shampoo like Nizoral, Selsun Blue, T-gel.

Might be your next best bet!

Thanks for the reply!

I actually have found that sulfate shampoo made my scalp even angrier! I used sulfate free for a while, then decided to try a sulfate and my scalp just had a total freak out. Went back to sulfate-free and it at least is a tiny bit better.

I have heard of seborrhic dermatitis, yes! I knew there was a name for what I was thinking of and couldn't remember it. I looked into it in the past and then forgot about it. I do need to figure out whether that is my culprit.

Obsidian
September 4th, 2017, 05:12 PM
Have you tried a cone free conditioner? My scalp gets oily enough I usually have to wash daily. Most coney conditioners make it worse, suave especially.

I mostly use cone free now and I can stretch washes for 3 days. If I do use cones, I'll have to wash the next day.

A Dr visit sounds like a really good idea at this point in case it's fungus or bacterial infection.

akurah
September 4th, 2017, 05:50 PM
Thanks for the reply!

I actually have found that sulfate shampoo made my scalp even angrier! I used sulfate free for a while, then decided to try a sulfate and my scalp just had a total freak out. Went back to sulfate-free and it at least is a tiny bit better.

I have heard of seborrhic dermatitis, yes! I knew there was a name for what I was thinking of and couldn't remember it. I looked into it in the past and then forgot about it. I do need to figure out whether that is my culprit.

Have you been checked for topical allergies?

Deborah
September 5th, 2017, 12:32 AM
Maybe you are one of those who do not need to use a conditioner. You could try just washing as usual, rinsing and that's it. Most likely your hair would not get oily so fast then.

paulownia
September 5th, 2017, 01:17 AM
Thanks for the reply!

I actually have found that sulfate shampoo made my scalp even angrier! I used sulfate free for a while, then decided to try a sulfate and my scalp just had a total freak out. Went back to sulfate-free and it at least is a tiny bit better.

I have heard of seborrhic dermatitis, yes! I knew there was a name for what I was thinking of and couldn't remember it. I looked into it in the past and then forgot about it. I do need to figure out whether that is my culprit.
Not all sulfates are created equal :)
I also think you could give them a try. Was it shampoo with SLES that you used? Some people have huge issues with it but for exemple shampoo based on Sodium Coco Sulfate is agreeing more with them. The same for Ammonium Laureth Sulfate, it has a different composition and in some cases can be less irritating.
I'm not saying it's more gentle ....;) it just can have a different effect.

Aredhel
September 5th, 2017, 12:41 PM
I used to get very oily after less than 24 hours after a wash too. It took my scalp at least 6 months of stretching washes to once/twice a week to not become insanely oily after a day. Now it takes 72 hours before my hair is a slimy mess. Getting there was no easy task though. We obviously don't have the same hair and scalp but I just remember it took me quite a bit of work to train my scalp.

And as a very oily person cowashing is no bueno for my scalp either...like Lapushka, it makes the oiliness worse and my hair tends to get conditioned right out of my scalp.:rolleyes:

Phoe
September 5th, 2017, 04:23 PM
Have you tried a cone free conditioner? My scalp gets oily enough I usually have to wash daily. Most coney conditioners make it worse, suave especially.

I mostly use cone free now and I can stretch washes for 3 days. If I do use cones, I'll have to wash the next day.

A Dr visit sounds like a really good idea at this point in case it's fungus or bacterial infection.


Suave coconut conditioner is cone free!

I don't put anything with cones in my hair. Me and cones don't get along because my hair is very fine :D


Have you been checked for topical allergies?

Not yet, maybe in the future. Right now my other health concerns are so out of control that my medical bills are bad enough without trying to look into allergy issues :(


Maybe you are one of those who do not need to use a conditioner. You could try just washing as usual, rinsing and that's it. Most likely your hair would not get oily so fast then.

I suppose I could try it for a certain amount of time, but on the rare occasion that I do it even once, my ends are impossible to comb out. From shoulders down my hair is the last remnants of my bleach disaster from 2 years ago. That will soon be grown out though :) But right now, I have to condition the ends or else they get vicious.


Not all sulfates are created equal
I also think you could give them a try. Was it shampoo with SLES that you used? Some people have huge issues with it but for exemple shampoo based on Sodium Coco Sulfate is agreeing more with them. The same for Ammonium Laureth Sulfate, it has a different composition and in some cases can be less irritating.
I'm not saying it's more gentle .... it just can have a different effect.

I actually don't know which version of sulfate my last sulfate shampoo had. I just knew I hated it so much I got rid of it after a week. I know I've used sulfates in the past that didn't get my scalp so angry, but that was also before the bleaching accident that seemed to leave my scalp permanently injured. I'm gonna have to look into the varieties of sulfates


I used to get very oily after less than 24 hours after a wash too. It took my scalp at least 6 months of stretching washes to once/twice a week to not become insanely oily after a day. Now it takes 72 hours before my hair is a slimy mess. Getting there was no easy task though. We obviously don't have the same hair and scalp but I just remember it took me quite a bit of work to train my scalp.

And as a very oily person cowashing is no bueno for my scalp either...like Lapushka, it makes the oiliness worse and my hair tends to get conditioned right out of my scalp.

I definitely can vouch for the hair loss of cowashing. I definitely felt that I was finding more strands in my hands.


I got some nizoral last night and washed with it. Here I am about 20 hours later and I'm desperate to wash again.

I'm going to return the dry shampoo I have. Alcohol is the #1 ingredient and I think it's doing no favors to my scalp.

Does anyone have experience with plain powder, like cornstarch? The smell of baby powder makes me sick, but I think just some plain cornstarch made powder might be better at taming the grease without irritating my scalp. Or would the dryness just make my scalp too unhappy anyway?

Phoe
September 5th, 2017, 04:47 PM
My current shampoo is Ogx coconut miracle oil shampoo -

Water (Aqua), Sodium C14-16 Olefin Sulfonate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, PPG-2 Hydroxyethyl Coco/Isostearamide, Glycol Distearate, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Gardenia Tahitensis (Tiare) Flower Extract, Vanilla Planifolia Fruit Extract, Polyquaternium-10, Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate, Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride, PEG-120 Methyl Glucose Dioleate, Methyl Gluceth-10, Glycerin, Sodium Chloride, Citric Acid, Diazolidinyl Urea, Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate, Fragrance (Parfum).

I'm wondering if the coconut oil in it might be not so helpful.


And this is the old sulfate shampoo that my scalp hated - Pantene Sheer Volume

Water, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Sodium Citrate, Sodium Xylenesulfonate, Fragrance, Sodium Chloride, Citric Acid, Sodium Benzoate, Hydroxypropyl Methylcellulose, Tetrasodium EDTA, Panthenol, Panthenyl Ethyl Ether, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Methylisothiazolinone

akurah
September 5th, 2017, 05:07 PM
I would suggest trying Head and Shoulders, the fragrance free version if you can find it. Alternatively, Nizoral OTC. Both are typically soothing to common dermatology problems, from dermatographia (which I have), to SD, to eczema. Ymmv, but it's your safest bet if you're unable to afford another medical bill.

I know they're not the fancy hair shampoos, but if your scalp is upset at you like you describe, your hair will have problems growing.

lapushka
September 6th, 2017, 06:01 AM
I would suggest trying Head and Shoulders, the fragrance free version if you can find it. Alternatively, Nizoral OTC. Both are typically soothing to common dermatology problems, from dermatographia (which I have), to SD, to eczema. Ymmv, but it's your safest bet if you're unable to afford another medical bill.

I know they're not the fancy hair shampoos, but if your scalp is upset at you like you describe, your hair will have problems growing.

Yes, please go to the medical shampoos or H&S range, pronto. Don't wait. Don't try other things. Just do this. :flower:

akurah
September 6th, 2017, 07:32 AM
And if H&S or Nizoral make it worse (thought I don't think it will), try Free and Clear shampoo and conditioner, it is free of the most common irritants, so if it's a topical allergy to something, you're least likely to have a reaction to this. You can get it at most drugstores. It is made by the same group as what makes Vanicream, which is the best stuff ever for skin conditions.

https://www.psico.com/product/free-and-clear-shampoo/

ETA: they make a dandruff version as well with zinc. Topical zinc is amazing for itching. The dandruff version is nigh impossible to find in stores, you'll likely have to order online.

https://www.psico.com/product/free-and-clear-anti-dandruff-shampoo/

ETA2: if you do the shampoos and conditioners lapushka and I suggest, you might need multiple washes with the new stuff to see improvements, don't give up after the first, and save your receipt for return if they don't work

Phoe
September 6th, 2017, 10:28 AM
I got nizoral a few days ago, I think I mentioned that in a previous post. I've already used it twice, so hopefully it works out.

I really don't want to get head and shoulders, every one I've looked at has dimethicone in it. :(

Anyone have info on my previous questions? I'm especially curious about whether cornstarch powders are worth using as a gentler alternative to dry shampoo. :)

Obsidian
September 6th, 2017, 10:38 AM
I've never used dry shampoo but I have used corn starch and arrow root powder. Prefer the arrow root powder, it disappears into the hair good and it doesn't seem to gunk up the scalp as bad.
I apply it with a big make up brush and try to keep it off my scalp.

Phoe
September 6th, 2017, 10:59 AM
I've never used dry shampoo but I have used corn starch and arrow root powder. Prefer the arrow root powder, it disappears into the hair good and it doesn't seem to gunk up the scalp as bad.
I apply it with a big make up brush and try to keep it off my scalp.

oh, I've heard of arrow root powder so that is good. In fact, I think I may have seen a homemade dusting powder with arrow root.

Dry shampoo unfortunately gets NASTY gunky on me, and with alcohol as the #1 ingredient, I think was just creating even more irritation.

Thanks for the heads up!

Phoe
September 6th, 2017, 11:02 AM
I'm guessing that once I am done with nizoral, I will want to use a normal shampoo and just use nizoral as needed for maintenance?

I don't wanna do the head and shoulders due to silicone...

I am looking at pantene ice shine. no silicones, no oils, and sulfates (which I'm figuring I may need after all?)

MusicalSpoons
September 6th, 2017, 11:38 AM
I came across this thread earlier today but couldn't reply, but it sounds like you have a plan of action now, which is good. You should be fine with arrowroot powder as a dry shampoo, as it's basically pure starch :)

In case you have any problems with Pantene Ice Shine, you could look for products with sodium laureth sulphate (SLES) but not sodium lauryl sulphate (SLS) as SLS can be an irritant for some people. Obviously I hope it works well for you, just if it doesn't, don't give up hope! :blossom:

akurah
September 6th, 2017, 02:44 PM
I'm curious why you're anti-silicone?
The presence or absence of dimethicone won't make a difference if your hair starts getting in a bad way because your scalp is in bad shape. Scalp problems being under control is kind of a prerequisite for being able to grow hair, and for it to stay on your head instead of falling out.

Phoe
September 6th, 2017, 02:55 PM
My hair is very fine and silicone weighs it down, makes it look oilier, which is exactly the problem I'm trying to solve. I avoid it in all hair products if possible.

lapushka
September 6th, 2017, 04:32 PM
akurah, I generally (generally) can't have silicones in my shampoo either. Anything that makes the shampoo "heavier", like oil, conditioner, or a silicone is a no-no. But sometimes it doesn't hurt. Figures.

Phoe
September 6th, 2017, 08:21 PM
akurah, I generally (generally) can't have silicones in my shampoo either. Anything that makes the shampoo "heavier", like oil, conditioner, or a silicone is a no-no. But sometimes it doesn't hurt. Figures.

I'm not 100% deadset against trying the head & shoulders if I find nothing else works, but for now will use up the nizoral, see how it feels, and if all is good I think I'll test out a regular shampoo with occasional nizoral touchups if needed. Fingers crossed it all works and I can avoid the silicones :)

lapushka
September 7th, 2017, 05:30 AM
I'm not 100% deadset against trying the head & shoulders if I find nothing else works, but for now will use up the nizoral, see how it feels, and if all is good I think I'll test out a regular shampoo with occasional nizoral touchups if needed. Fingers crossed it all works and I can avoid the silicones :)

I'm not sure Nizoral is entirely without silicones, so there's that. I don't want to add oil to the fire, but you just don't know. I can't find the ingredient list to that anywhere. Are you sure silicones are entirely bad for you?

MusicalSpoons
September 7th, 2017, 06:07 AM
I'm not sure Nizoral is entirely without silicones, so there's that. I don't want to add oil to the fire, but you just don't know. I can't find the ingredient list to that anywhere. Are you sure silicones are entirely bad for you?

From boots.com:


Ingredients
Active Ingredients: Ketoconazole 20mg/g

Also contains: Sodium Lauryl Ether Sulphate, Disodium Monolauryl Ether Sulphosuccinate, Coconut Fatty Acid Diethanolamide, Laurdimonium Hydrolysed Animal Collagen, Macrogol 120 Methyl Glucose Dioleate, Sodium Chloride, Sodium Hydroxide, Imidurea, Hydrochloric Acid, Erythrosine (E127) and Purified Water.

Read more at http://www.boots.com/nizoral-dandruff-shampoo-100-ml-10032960#kfA1gEHgJJOkfGdx.99

None of those appear to be silicones :)

lapushka
September 7th, 2017, 06:37 AM
None of those appear to be silicones :)

Oh that's good. I too have some issues with silicones on the scalp, sometimes - though dimethicone seems to be one I can handle pretty OK. I never could find the info, thanks for looking!

MusicalSpoons
September 7th, 2017, 06:45 AM
Oh that's good. I too have some issues with silicones on the scalp, sometimes - though dimethicone seems to be one I can handle pretty OK. I never could find the info, thanks for looking!

Hehe, I only knew where to find it because I looked last night before buying it myself! :D

spidermom
September 7th, 2017, 08:31 AM
Definitely try the Nizoral for at least 2 weeks before you try something else. I do have one more suggestion, however - a white vinegar rinse. When I lived in a hard water area, I would put about 1-2 tablespoons of WV in a pitcher of warm water. After washing my hair, I'd pour it slowly over my scalp, massage my scalp with my fingers, then rinse, apply conditioner to length (never scalp), rinse again. It can be very soothing to the scalp because it restores the natural acid balance that skin prefers.

akurah
September 7th, 2017, 08:53 AM
If cones are that much a concern if Nizoral doesn't do the trick I would suggest you try the Free & Cleam shampoo for a couple of weeks before attempting H&S, either their normal one which you can get readily at drugstores or Target, or the dandruff version you can order online. I'm reasonably sure it's cone free.

Phoe
October 15th, 2017, 12:05 PM
Hi folks, wanted to update in case anyone else found this thread while looking for solutions.

It's been about 40 days, and I'm sad to say both nizoral and head & shoulders did not work for me. My scalp still is overly oily and I get little gunky bumps and breakouts along the scalp.

I DID see improvement by getting rid of my dry shampoo. My scalp was so angry I could scratch it and start bleeding. Now I'm back to my usual version of oily scalp. I'm using arrowroot and it is gentle on my scalp.

The nizoral neither helped nor harmed my situation. It seemed to do nothing, but the smell was almost intolerable to me, so once I gave it enough of a try to see that it wasn't working, I abandoned it.

The head and shoulders during the first week seemed really nice, my hair looked nice, my scalp wasn't upset at it. My oiliness and bumps on my scalp did not change but at least they weren't worse. But by week 2 of it my hair seemed dull and weighed down and lank... like it was coated. My hair never looked clean and full and shiny. So I clarified/chelated and got my usual shine and weightlessness back.

Lesson learned. Just gonna go back to my plain old silicone and oil free shampoos. My scalp may not be perfect, but at least when I don't mess with it, my hair looks its best.

Thanks for the assistance from everyone in this thread :)

spidermom
October 15th, 2017, 01:09 PM
You didn't mention whether or not you tried the vinegar; it can be very helpful.

One other thing for the scalp buildup. Get a shower comb; Goody makes one, but I'm sure there are others. The teeth on them are thick and wide-set, plus the ends are rounded so you won't scratch your scalp. Make sure your hair is completely untangled. After wetting it down, apply the shampoo in finger-combing strokes so as not to create any tangles, then comb over your scalp but not your length with the shower comb. Make sure you comb your entire scalp. It's like an exfoliating treatment to get rid of any buildup on your scalp. In the past I was prone to getting little blobs of what I assume were shed skin cells mixed with sebum. Now it's kind of a maintenance thing with me. I comb my scalp probably once every week to every other week, and I never get those blobs anymore.

lapushka
October 15th, 2017, 01:59 PM
Maybe try mixing a little sugar (or salt, whichever you prefer) with your shampoo, to get the gunk off.

A dermatologist would have been helpful; maybe still go and show your scalp to them?

akurah
October 15th, 2017, 07:18 PM
Itís unclear if the head and shoulders helping or not based on what you wrote. If it helped, why not use it and then clarify when your hair gets weighed down?

MusicalSpoons
October 18th, 2017, 01:04 PM
Phoe, I don't think it's been mentioned so far but there are different main anti-dandruff ingredients used in different shampoos, and obviously there isn't one that works for everybody. So far you've tried ketoconazole (in the Nizoral) and zinc pyrithione (H&S); another one is piroctone olamine. L'Oreal makes a shampoo with this called Phytoclear; it also contains some essential oils and no silicones, and SLES but not SLS. It might be worth checking out - I really wanted to be able to recommend it because my brother has some as an alternative to H&S (which leaves his hair a greaseball in under 24hrs, it did a similar thing to mine when I tried it) but he hasn't used it yet. Just, as you've tried the other two and they've not helped, this might be something else to try. Also T-Gel and Selsun have different active ingredients too, though I don't know what else is in them.

I'm running out of spoons to word things clearly and I really don't have the brainpower to go digging for links, but there's a thread about 'taking care of the scalp to prevent hair loss' (something along those lines). In that thread are some links to posts within the hair science thread, which referenced studies comparing ketoconazole/zinc pyrithione/piroctone olamine. They all seemed to be very effective in different ways, which is why I specifically mentioned the Phytoclear. (Urgh, hope that makes sense)


A little update on my own use of Nizoral: my scalp doesn't get itchy any more, yay! :grin: But it gets greasy quicker than using sulphate-free shampoo (even though ketoconazole has been proven to reduce sebum production), boo :( And I still have dry patches of flaky skin, so, I dunno. They're tolerable, especially as they're no longer itchy, but still annoying because the biggest patch extends out of my hairline onto the side of my face, and I can't moisturise any of the patches without greasing my hair. I am grateful to be itch-free, though :)

lapushka
October 18th, 2017, 01:36 PM
A little update on my own use of Nizoral: my scalp doesn't get itchy any more, yay! :grin: But it gets greasy quicker than using sulphate-free shampoo (even though ketoconazole has been proven to reduce sebum production), boo :( And I still have dry patches of flaky skin, so, I dunno. They're tolerable, especially as they're no longer itchy, but still annoying because the biggest patch extends out of my hairline onto the side of my face, and I can't moisturise any of the patches without greasing my hair. I am grateful to be itch-free, though :)

I sometimes have the scales as well and no itch, no redness. Then I just keep using the Nizoral, or H&S depending on how bad it is - if it's not too bad, I use the H&S but that rarely gets rid of the scales while the Nizoral does!

I'd keep using the Nizoral, maybe spot-treat?

MusicalSpoons
October 18th, 2017, 01:48 PM
Thanks, Lapushka, I'm definitely going to persevere with the Nizoral until I finish the bottle - it was expensive enough so if nothing else, I'm determined to get my money's worth! :wink: I've been using it for over a month now, letting it sit and cover all the dryness so if it's no more improved by the time I finish the bottle, I'll see how it goes without it for a while. [I have many patches of dry skin elsewhere that really flare up now and then so I'm considering some dietary investigations; it might be that if I can identify and remove a definite trugger, it may help. Or it might not, in which case I'll most likely just continue tolerating it like I have for the past several years lol! :)]

Afanen
October 18th, 2017, 02:15 PM
I have similar problems with my hair and used to have horrible scalp pimples when I was younger. They went away on their own but my scalp is still horribly oily.
I've found that ditching the BBB is the best for my hair type as the bristles give me frizz. I just use a wooden comb or brush instead and that distributes oil just as well without making my hair turn into a mess. If your hair don't have any wave or curl to it, a boat bristle brush might help distribute it without making it frizz though.
Touching your hair and scalp less will help too, like how people with acne have it go away if they will themselves not to touch their faces. Dirt and oil from your hands can get on your hair and make it even oilier.
Washing often but with gentle products (sulfate free, or alternate between sulfates and sulfate free so the you can be sure to wash away the oil.) I wash one day without sulfates, don't wash the next, then the third day use sulfates, followed by a diluted vinegar rinse each time. My hair hated CO washes personally, even with runny conditioners I still got lots of hair fall and my hair was weighed down.
Honestly I'd do whatever makes your hair feel best, even if that isn't stretching washes. You can still do scalp only washes in the sink if you feel greasy after trying to stretch without having to dry out the ends of your hair. And I second everyone saying to see the dermatologist about the scalp acne, you might need a medicated shampoo to help it. If it's bacterial montistat might even work (for real!)

Deborah
October 18th, 2017, 02:20 PM
Have you tried applying conditioner ONLY to the bottom six inches of your hair? This might help your scalp not get so oily.