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wolfheart
December 7th, 2017, 04:30 PM
Hey everyone.

IG: wolfheartfierce for photos.

I've been dealing with an enduring scalp condition that popped up about 1.5 years ago and I can't seem to figure out where the imbalance is, or if I'm missing some maintenance step somewhere. I've lived all over since then, Reno, Burning Man, Thailand, LA, Santa Rosa. All different kinds of water and soaps.

The Problem:::
My scalp. Flakes. White itchy large flakes. Sometimes it makes my forehead close to hairline itchy, flakey and red too, whether it's up top or next to my temple. When scratched, the dead skin that comes away under my nails is... I don't know. A lot. Not cool. 😩 Concerning. Not supposed to be that way. Has never been that way before I had long hair. Embarrassing and no way to hide it without a hat, and no amount of scalp massage or brushing whether dry or wet seems to get rid of it.

I'm looking for both temporary ways to keep it under control/ disappear for temporary everyday life, and to identify and work on fixing the problem once and for all.

I have armpit length fine hair that's been bleached and washed through a couple years of semi permanent play dye (purples, beiges and grays mostly). Natural roots are coming in a few inches already and want to let them grow in their sandy ash brown-darkblonde.

Last trim was ages ago. My plan is to get back into semi-permanent dyes as a gentle grow out, self balayage with no developer, and to give myself a trim.

It tangles like a mofo. So I put it in braids but that tangles just as much while I sleep. So I brush it out once a week, shampoo with a nice OGX? I think is the brand. Use my fingertips and really massage my scalp. Got a shower scalp brush but tangles too easily so doesnt work well. Condition only the ends, unless it's teatree then I might rub in and let it sit on everything. I squeeze towel dry then add hair oil to the ends. Let air dry. The flakes somehow remain. Or are worse.

Solutions I've tried:

Currently, have spray bottle half acv, half pure aloe juice, pure tea tree. I put that on the roots/scalp to soak sometimes through the week.

Sometimes I've tried an acvinegar rinse in the shower.

I've tried a honey water spray.

I've tried dandruff shampoo.

I've tried coconut oil.

I just got a blow dryer as someone suggested but feel the heat treatments might make the damage worse.

I don't have an easy way to have a regular regimen as I don't live anywhere full time right now, and prefer natural, cost-effective solutions.

Has anyone experienced this before? What am I missing? I really hope I don't have to chop off my long hair. It's the longest it's ever been and I've worked so hard to get this far.

Thank you.

mira-chan
December 7th, 2017, 04:38 PM
Large itchy flakes sounds like saborrhitic dermatitis. I know several people on the forum have it, so they'll chime in on this soon I'm sure, lapushka especially usually has good advice on this.

The usual suggestion I see for this type of issue is Nizoral, prescription strength. If not that then a harsher sulfate shampoo.

It could also be eczema, and that require different treatment. So a dermatologist would be able to help more with this.

Jo Ann
December 7th, 2017, 04:52 PM
About the scalp flakes, I'm with Mira-chan--those with scalp conditions will be here soon to guide you.

About the tangles, I would either use a clarifying shampoo, followed by a deep conditioning treatment OR a white vinegar rinse AFTER shampooing, followed by a deep conditioning treatment. Either one should get rid of the build-up on your hair. I will warn you, though, that if you currently have a semi-permanent or veggie dye (like Manic Panic) currently on your hair, it WILL fade! Right now, getting your scalp and hair back into shape will be more important. I would also start checking into, maybe a non-SLS shampoo (OGX has some in their line)--the shampoo will foam, NOT lather (just add a bit of water to work up more of a foam, NOT more shampoo). That should help give your scalp and hair a break from your current shampoo(s) until you see a doctor about your scalp condition. I would also take a long break from the bleaching/dying you've been doing with your hair--the loss of scalp oil from all that could be what is causing your current problems. And don't forget to condition your hair! For your scalp, you might be better off using conditioner from the ears down--try not to get your scalp involved.

Welcome aboard and good luck!

proo
December 7th, 2017, 04:58 PM
Recommending 3-4 tblsp of olive oil ingested daily till it clears.

lapushka
December 7th, 2017, 05:10 PM
Red, & itchy, & flakes usually points to seborrheic dermatitis. I recommend a dermatologist, because if it is that (it could be other things like psoriasis, or eczema too and then this advice is counter productive) then you need a prescription strength medicated shampoo.

DO NOT DIY this! At all! At all! Trust me. It's not going to work.

Also, do blow dry the hair (do not leave the roots wet for too long as it can exacerbate the condition).

But: dermatologist. Or Nizoral 2% (not 1%). The 2% is prescription strength in the US, so you need to be seen by a doctor.

Good luck!

Harsh sulfate shampoos usually work at keeping it at bay for me, but once I have a bout of it, all the sulfate shampoo in the world is not going to help, not even the dandruff shampoo!

dancedance
December 7th, 2017, 05:11 PM
Honestly I would use a silicone conditioner and drench everything with it, including the scalp, if you can't scrub because of tangles. Then gently exfoliate the scalp with your fingers, fingernails, or the scalp brush, and clean out the conditioner thoroughly from the scalp. It won't solve the problem, but it will remove the excess flakes and make it more manageable. I've also heard good things about this (https://www.amazon.com/Maple-Holistics-Shampoo-Dandruff-Organic/dp/B00CNTJHQO?SubscriptionId=AKIAILSHYYTFIVPWUY6Q&tag=duckduckgo-d-20&linkCode=xm2&camp=2025&creative=165953&creativeASIN=B00CNTJHQO&th=1) shampoo from others who didn't find dandruff shampoo to help.

lapushka
December 7th, 2017, 05:11 PM
Recommending 3-4 tblsp of olive oil ingested daily till it clears.

If it's SD, please don't use oil on the scalp, as it could potentially, and probably (olive oil less so than other oils) worsen the SD.

Jo Ann
December 7th, 2017, 05:31 PM
Lapushka, "ingest" = "take in orally," like cough syrup. It's not one of those English words that gets used too often :blossom:

lapushka
December 7th, 2017, 05:41 PM
Lapushka, "ingest" = "take in orally," like cough syrup. It's not one of those English words that gets used too often :blossom:

I know, Jo Ann. ;) I understand the word just fine. :) LOL

It's just that I wanted to keep ahead of the people that were going to recommend it topically. ;)

Jo Ann
December 7th, 2017, 05:49 PM
Lapushka, you're always a few steps ahead of me :p

Do you need a vase for the flowers? ;)

Alysia
December 7th, 2017, 05:57 PM
For the tangling, a slippery pillowcase can work wonders. My hair mats up in sleeping braids, so I switched and havenít had serious issues since. Silk satin is ideal, but people have had good results with poly satin and microfiber.

wolfheart
December 7th, 2017, 10:50 PM
Hey thank you guys for the excellent insight. I'd love to keep hearing more. I'm so excited and relieved to have found this place. Maybe now I can get some relief and find some answers. <3

I've only bleached it twice maybe three times since this began years ago and intend on not using bleach anymore.

I'm starting to ingest more omega3's capsule form. I'm hoping this will help, maybe instead of the olive oil?

Unfortunately I likely won't be seeing a doctor about this, nor am I interested in prescription drugs or steroids to relieve the symptoms... only as a super last resort and probably years down the road if ever.

wolfheart
December 7th, 2017, 10:52 PM
For the tangling, a slippery pillowcase can work wonders. My hair mats up in sleeping braids, so I switched and haven’t had serious issues since. Silk satin is ideal, but people have had good results with poly satin and microfiber.

This is an interesting idea!

Beeboo123
December 8th, 2017, 04:22 AM
Sounds like SD. If you’re against taking prescription medicine, or seeing a doctor, try washing daily with a SLS shampoo and see if it helps. Also, no oiling of your scalp, SD flares up when oily

lapushka
December 8th, 2017, 06:14 AM
Lapushka, you're always a few steps ahead of me :p

Do you need a vase for the flowers? ;)

LOL! :lol: Thanks for the lovely flowers. :p

lapushka
December 8th, 2017, 06:16 AM
Unfortunately I likely won't be seeing a doctor about this, nor am I interested in prescription drugs or steroids to relieve the symptoms... only as a super last resort and probably years down the road if ever.

I hate to tell you but if this is not promptly and harshly dealt with it can lead to more shedding. No joke! So if you can, please do take the necessary steps. If a regular OTC dandruff shampoo won't do, maybe try the Nizoral 1% (it is somewhat stronger, though not as strong as the 2% prescription grade). But at least it's something!

MusicalSpoons
December 8th, 2017, 08:22 AM
Nizoral 2% was my very last resort* - even after seeing a doc who just said 'it seems like you're just prone to dry skin :shrug:' (if I roll my eyes any harder they'll fall out of my skull. I am prone to dry skin, I do know what that is. The scalp problem - exactly like you describe - is totally different and I can definitely tell them apart!) Nizoral cleared it up - although I still have dry, flaky patches on my hairline but they're tolerable and generally not itchy, and calm enough to be hidden by wispies - and I use a shampoo from Natura Siberica called Neutral&Sensitive which has kept everything at bay.

*ETA: this was after over 2yrs, if not more, of attempting to deal with it*

I really feel you on wanting to try natural and cost-effective solutions, I tried so many, but for me honestly nothing else worked. (You've already mentioned a good diet, which can't hurt, but I doubt it will clear your scalp up.)

I hope you can find something to work for you!

yogagirl
December 8th, 2017, 09:14 AM
I understand this sentiment regarding prescription drugs somewhat. Your scalp issue does sound a lot like SD to me too, so want to give you some more info to help you deal with it without seeing a doctor. SD will feed off the oils in you sebum, that is why it is very important to wash regularly and do not attempt to stretch washes. Use SLS shampoo if non-SLS shampoo does not clean your scalp well enough. I can keep my mild case in check by using SLS shampoo and when I have a flare using Head & Shoulders. That being said, your case sounds more severe than Iíve ever had and often the SD sufferers at that level say H&S does not help them at all. So if that is the case, try the 1% nizoral. Personally this is what works best for me: wash first with SLS shampoo to clean scalp thoroughly, then use the h&s or medicated shampoo. As other have said, SD will cause hair loss if not kept in check, so donít wait too too long if the above measures do not help. Good luck!

wolfheart
December 12th, 2017, 04:28 PM
This was super insightful. Thank you!

Yogagirl- can you tell me more about it causing hair loss? So far everything I've found on Google says it doesn't do that.

lapushka
December 12th, 2017, 04:45 PM
In my personal experience, when my SD flares up big time (maybe not so much with little bouts), my hair loss is more than normal, and it really stands out. But everyone's experience may be different. That's the way it is for me.

yogagirl
December 12th, 2017, 04:51 PM
When I accidentally let my scalp get too oily, it causes an SD flare and my scalp (and even my face and ear canal a little bit) gets super itchy and the dandruff appears. When I wash my hair then, Iíve got at least 3-4 times as much hair in the drain than normally even though I comb thoroughly before washing. This will continue for a week or two until my scalp has settled down with a few medicated (H&S) washes. I can also tell that my circumference has decreased significantly (used to be easily iii, now middle of the road ii) since I first started experiencing SD years ago. I have heard and read similar stories from so many with SD, so itís anecdotal, but I canít point to you any studies or whatever.

Wanted to add something else that might be important. I developed SD about 10 years ago when I was working out daily. I didnít want to invest the time to wash my long hair daily, so I tried to stretch washes. That is when the itching first started, on the day after not washing a sweaty scalp. I didnít think much of it and it was a nuisance, but I didnít change my washing habit of every 2-3 days even with daily workouts. So slowly over time I started to lose circumference :( Just wanted to mention this in case anybody is in a similar situation. Donít ignore the itch; itís trying to tell you something is wrong.

There is a whole thread on here about SD, so that would be a good place to check out also.

There are also threads about SD on skin issue specific forums, for example I used to read a lot on a rosacea forum. Some folks there had success with a natural honey protocol. Itís elaborate and messy, but your hair might be short enough as to where you might be willing to tackle it.

Hope this helps.