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View Full Version : Dandruff Problem, Please Help



sweetbluesky
January 7th, 2009, 06:22 PM
Hi Everyone,
OK, so a little bit of background. I have had dandruff for YEARS. My sister recommended I wash my hair everyday, and rub aggresively, using my fingernails (EEK!) I did this as a teenager and it worked. But once I stopped, the dandruff came right back.
After failing miserably with CO in the past, I have retried it. I use WR extra body as a CO and use Shikakai powder to wash my hair. I alternate as I see fit, I no longer use cones or suplhates. I use aloe vera gel to define my waves into curls. I use coconut oil regularly in my scalp and ends as well.
Since starting shikakai and CO for 2 months, my dandruff is no longer "wet." I mean, it was smushy before (gross I know) and my fingers would smell if I touched it. Now, it is dry, like flakes and it doesnt smell. I have tried methi powder, aloe vera, coconut oil, vinegar (white and ACV), dandruff shampoo, nothing works. I don't want to use sulphates again becuase my hair is much better without them. Does anyone have any suggestions for me? I have black hair and dandruff is very obvious. :-(

HairColoredHair
January 7th, 2009, 06:44 PM
Maybe try scalp massage with tea tree oil?

venividibxtchy
January 7th, 2009, 06:51 PM
Have you tried a baking soda wash, or a sugar scrub on your scalp?

mommy101405
January 7th, 2009, 07:41 PM
When my gets that bad the only thing that works for me is the T-gel and T-sal shampoos but they have sulphates so that doesn't really help you. I will be watching this thread for more ideas.

wintersun99
January 7th, 2009, 07:50 PM
............

getoffmyskittle
January 7th, 2009, 10:46 PM
It sounds like seborrheic dermatitis, which is a fungal overgrowth. I think you should go to a dermatologist and have it checked out. (I also think I should take my own advice. :silly:)

Darkhorse1
January 7th, 2009, 11:00 PM
I'd check with your doctor first. If it is SD, then you need an antifungal. Tea tree oil is ideal for fungal problems, but may not be strong enough.

I had GREAT success with nizoral, but it left my scalp SO itchy (that's the medication working). It was great on my scalp--didn't leave anything dry and my hair was soft and manageble.

I also tried a new Head and Shoulders with more zince pyrothine in it, and that seemed to have solved my flare up currently.

Good luck! :)

Beloved
January 7th, 2009, 11:06 PM
extra strength Head and shoulders with pyrithione zine is good, but it does contain suplates.

I suggest trying monistat too.

when my scalp was flakey, I think vitamin deficiency was the main problem. When I started taking high doses of zinc, it was like I molted for a couple of days and then, poof! I was cured.

getoffmyskittle
January 8th, 2009, 12:19 AM
extra strength Head and shoulders with pyrithione zine is good, but it does contain suplates.

I suggest trying monistat too.

when my scalp was flakey, I think vitamin deficiency was the main problem. When I started taking high doses of zinc, it was like I molted for a couple of days and then, poof! I was cured.

Zinc, hmm? Did you take it chelated? I've tried taking zinc, but I find it really nauseating, even if I take it with food.

Katze
January 8th, 2009, 07:01 AM
It sounds like seborrheic dermatitis, which is a fungal overgrowth. I think you should go to a dermatologist and have it checked out. (I also think I should take my own advice. :silly:)

I always thought SD was a form of eczema? that's how it was explained to me...but I haven't found anything online that says that they really know what it is:

http://www.aocd.org/skin/dermatologic_diseases/seborrheic_dermati.html

In the OP's case, what she had before sounded more like SD, whereas what she has now sounds like "plain" dandruff. I've also had both for years, and sulfate shampoos are the only thing that really get my scalp "clean." CO was bad after a while, as is WO on its own. What works best for me is alternating non-sulfate shampoos with WO and sulfate washes - the WO gets my scalp clean but doesn't cut the oils, so I do have to use shampoo regularly, as well as sulfates at least once a month.

Vinegar rinses and anything with honey (SMTs, scrubs/masks with crystallized honey) also help.

I guess we are all different though, so what works for one person doesn't work for another...

Ms. Hollywood
January 8th, 2009, 07:06 AM
I have had the same problem for years. What I do is take a boar bristle brush and brush my scalp (kinda like skritching (spelling)). I also just have to go ahead and use a sulfate shampoo every few washes. I use Pert Shampoo + Conditioner and water it down. HTH

Belisama
January 8th, 2009, 08:35 AM
I developed dandruff when I got rid of my old round, plastic bristle brush and started growing my hair out. It didn't bother me at first as it was barely noticeable and I thought it was just my scalp adjusting to a new comb and more natural shampoo/conditioner I switched over to.

However, it has gotten worse over the years to the point that I could lightly rub my head and it would look like someone dumped a salt shaker in my hair. :(

Jason Natural makes a Dandruff Control shampoo. It has sulfer, but after doing a little research, I found this is a necessary ingredient for dandruff as you need to kill the yeast that is producing it. It smells awful and the smell lingers even after it is all washed from the scalp. It works fairly well, but I still see the occasional white particles in my hair.

This got me thinking. I had hair between waist and BSL in high school before a major hacking and never once had any dandruff. Taking that into account, the only thing that had changed, was that I had gone from a plastic, nubbed bristle brush to a resin comb. So I stopped at Sally's, picked up something for a friend, and bought myself a new brush. The card blathered on about silver on the bristles and super technology for smoothing hair and taming fly-aways (I have super fine hair so this appealed to me) and so on and so forth. I shrugged, thought, "Why not?" and bought it.

I started using it about a week ago. Not one single flake. So my conclusion is why the resin comb is natural and oh so good for my hair, it doesn't do anything for my scalp while the brush easily scrapes across my scalp with all the bristles and that apparently is what makes my head happy. So I am hoping I can eventually stop using the foul smelling sulfer shampoo and return to something with a more pleasant scent.

It took me about two years to finally find something that worked and worked well. I tried CO, didn't work or made the situation worse; I tried scrubbing my head with regular shampoo or cleansing shampoo every time I washed my hair, didn't work; I tried combing against my scalp or BBB my scalp, didn't work. Oils didn't work. But a $7 plastic nubbed brush works. Go figure.

burns_erin
January 8th, 2009, 10:22 AM
A doctor is probably your best bet to start with. You should probably find out what the problem is to start with.

If you are really wanting to go for natural solutions, check out this article

http://forums.longhaircommunity.com/vbjournal.php?do=article&articleid=25

I ended up with a concoction of grapeseen oil with lavender, rosemary and sandalwood that works very well for me, YMMV.

ETA: Oh and I am a person who needs to brush scritch their scalp as well.

getoffmyskittle
January 8th, 2009, 10:59 AM
I always thought SD was a form of eczema? that's how it was explained to me...but I haven't found anything online that says that they really know what it is:

http://www.aocd.org/skin/dermatologic_diseases/seborrheic_dermati.html

In the OP's case, what she had before sounded more like SD, whereas what she has now sounds like "plain" dandruff. I've also had both for years, and sulfate shampoos are the only thing that really get my scalp "clean." CO was bad after a while, as is WO on its own. What works best for me is alternating non-sulfate shampoos with WO and sulfate washes - the WO gets my scalp clean but doesn't cut the oils, so I do have to use shampoo regularly, as well as sulfates at least once a month.

Vinegar rinses and anything with honey (SMTs, scrubs/masks with crystallized honey) also help.

I guess we are all different though, so what works for one person doesn't work for another...

:ponder: Either way, it's a fungus. They don't really know why some people have this overgrowth and others don't, but all of the traditional treatments are antifungals (zinc pyrithione, ketoconazole), and the other things that work (honey, coconut oil, etc) are antifungal as well.

Beloved
January 8th, 2009, 01:02 PM
A doctor is probably your best bet to start with. You should probably find out what the problem is to start with.

Good luck finding a doctor who can tell you what your problem is! I agree it's good to see a doctor to start, just in case you have something they can identify and treat, like psoriasis. But realistically, you'll end up treating yourself. I even went to a derm and he was worthless.

Beloved
January 8th, 2009, 01:08 PM
Zinc, hmm? Did you take it chelated? I've tried taking zinc, but I find it really nauseating, even if I take it with food.

If I take it with a high-protein meal, like an avocado, tuna salad, a hamburger, a salmon fillet, etc, it's fine. It's not good enough just to take it with food in my experience, it has to be a high protein meal. A cupcake or an apple isn't going to help, I will want to throw up if I try that.

Also, you need to take it with protein so you can absorb it.

Yes, I take it chelated. OptiZinc from Solaray is currently my favorite.

getoffmyskittle
January 8th, 2009, 01:16 PM
If I take it with a high-protein meal, like an avocado, tuna salad, a hamburger, a salmon fillet, etc, it's fine. It's not good enough just to take it with food in my experience, it has to be a high protein meal. A cupcake or an apple isn't going to help, I will want to throw up if I try that.

Also, you need to take it with protein so you can absorb it.

Yes, I take it chelated. OptiZinc from Solaray is currently my favorite.

Thanks for the info, I'm going to look into this more. :D

magpielaura
January 8th, 2009, 02:05 PM
This is an interesting thread - I thought I had solved my flakey scalp by CO washing but over the last couple of months the problem has come back.

The dandruff is quite different to the pre -CO days though..Now the flakes can be huge! At least they are easy to pick out of my hair. I used Head &Shoulders before I found CO washing but it didn't really help much. The difference when I began CO washing was amazing! I've tried using a clarifying sulfate free shampoo but I don't think it helped.

Its interesting to hear that occasional use of sulphates could be the answer. I'm going to see if I can find some samples of different shampoo to try, and may dig out one of my old hair brushes for a bit of scalp scritching.

Beloved
January 8th, 2009, 02:10 PM
With the medicated shampoos, you need to let them sit on your scalp for 5 min. Coat the length of the hair in heavy conditioner before you do this, and don't apply any medicated shampoo to the length.

Periwinkle
January 8th, 2009, 02:12 PM
I had terrible dandruff. However, after doing some research, I found that it might be linked to my fondness for white bread. I tried cutting it out of my diet, and whaddaya know - my dandruff disappeared! I still eat white bread now (I love it too much!), but I'm very conscious of how much and so far the dandruff has remained thankfully absent.

Could there be something similar causing your dandruff? People's diets change over the years, of course, but is there one thing you've always been eating - or maybe one thing that's present in lots of foods you eat? It might be worth doing some research, though I doubt that diet is your cause. Still, it worked for me, and we could all do with eating more healthily :)

sweetbluesky
January 8th, 2009, 02:44 PM
thanks guys for all your feedback. I tried a little bit of tea tree oil in my hair on a spot, it made the flakes tiny and virtually disappear. I will try the other suggestions I have recieved as well. I will try to schedule an appointment with a derm and will post results on the different methods. Thank you to everyone who took time out of their busy day to respond. You all have given me food for thought.

Arctic_Mama
January 8th, 2009, 04:06 PM
It's interesting that SD is being called a fungal issue here, because I have it severely and yet no fungal growth whatsoever. It is the technical name for the most common type of dandruff and is autoimmune more frequently than fungal. Mine, in particular, is genetic.

Honestly, I have tried normal, holistic, and medical cures for it for years. The only thing that truly worked for me and my sensitive skin was a corticosteroid called Luxiq foam. Within a week of application I had NO dandruff.

Tea tree oil, scrubs... those all just irritated my scalp more and HURT, as I had raw patches under my seborrhea, and the only other thing that helped was FREQUENT washing. Any sebum buildup would make it itch. Zinc and sulpher shampoos (anything from T-gel to Selsun Blue and Nizoral) are another good choice for less stubborn cases, as is keeping the water in your shower cooler. But again, with a case that was severe and painful like mine nothing else would work.

If none of the other suggestions you have been given here work for you I really do recommend seeing your dermatologist about a topical steroid. I HATE using prescriptions, as a rule, but this worked quickly and I only need to use it when I flare up, which is infrequently, so it is not constant, regular steroid exposure. I highly recommend it, my hair and scalp are much happier for it even if the crunchy hippy in me is mad that essential oils didn't work!

getoffmyskittle
January 8th, 2009, 07:44 PM
It's interesting that SD is being called a fungal issue here, because I have it severely and yet no fungal growth whatsoever. It is the technical name for the most common type of dandruff and is autoimmune more frequently than fungal. Mine, in particular, is genetic.


Okay, this has called for a quest to MayoClinic.com. :lol: Here's what it says:


It's also thought that in some people, a yeast (fungus) called malassezia grows in the sebum along with bacteria. Antifungal treatments, such as ketoconazole (Nizoral), are often effective, supporting the idea that yeast is a contributing factor.

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/seborrheic-dermatitis/DS00984/DSECTION=causes

So, it says that in some people, it's linked to yeast (and apparently in others it's not). Very interesting...

Arctic_Mama
January 8th, 2009, 07:51 PM
Yes, candida overgrowth can cause a variety of skin problems, including irritation and flaking. Seborrhea makes people more susceptible to it, simply by having cracks in your skin that bacteria can grow in, but it's rarely a cause of true SB. Regular old head flakies, however? There is a NUMBER of causes to those, fungal infections included! Zinc and B vitamin deficiencies are also really common.

I personally was just happy to get RID of it. I am so much less self conscious now and my scalp doesn't hurt or itch anymore. WOOHOO!

Beloved
January 8th, 2009, 11:00 PM
Zinc and B vitamin deficiencies are also really common.

Really? I thought I was so unique! :D My doctors unfortunately didn't think to suggest deficiency.

Arctic Mama, I love your waves and thickness. Your hair is really going to be something at waist length.

Lilylady
February 5th, 2009, 04:11 PM
I had forgotten until now, but years ago my son had a fungal problem and his hair was actually falling out. Poor boy. We did take him to the doctor's and had a prescription cream for it. It was BAD.

My DD now has some amount of dandruff, and we're going to start with the apple cider vinegar, that seems like a mild and easy place to start.