View Full Version : How do you know what scalp issues you have?

March 17th, 2009, 11:49 AM
So I've been reading the many threads on scalp issues, but I haven't got a very clear idea on how to figure out what exactly is going on with mine.

A day or two after I wash my hair (longer if I use poo bars, shorter if I use something less gentle), i can run my fingernail over my scalp and come away with white chalky stuff. Sometimes it seems to clog pores and cause blackheads. If I use a less gentle shampoo, it happens sooner, and gets worse, and is itchier too. (it's never horribly itchy)

The problem is, if I'm using the gentler shampoos, my hair NEVER feels clean and fluffy after a wash. It feels greasy, weighed down, and unwashed, even if I JUST washed it. (I tried this http://www.avalonorganics.com/?id=88&pid=27 to help my hair feel CLEAN but it still doesn't really (I still diluted it) ).

So, I've read that catnip tea can help with scalp issues, any clue if it would it help mine? Where can you find catnip tea?

I've tried oiling pre-wash and it seemed to exacerbate the greasies and not help too much with the scalp, apart from maybe keeping my scalp feeling a bit better a bit longer after a wash.


March 17th, 2009, 12:10 PM
Well, I know because I went to a dermatologist, but outside if my prescriptions the routine care is up to me. I just use trial and error, changing one thing at a time every few weeks until something works. I my case, if I let my scalp get too greasy my flakes get exacerbated and the itching is horrid so despite wanting to stretch my washes it just doesn't work.

Now, fluffy hair is somethng you may like, but it isn't necessary to achieve. A healthy scalp is, so if that means more or less frequent washing, or even using a harsher shampoo, do what you need to be comfortable. But i'd suggest trying to ignore you length for awhile and focus on what works for your scalp. Once you figure that out then you can tweak it to fit you length better, but have realistic goals for your hair's look. Some hair just gets flat easily, especially if it's fairly fine or straight. Fluffy hair is not inherently better than sleeker hair, and trying to find a routine that suits your hair's natural tendencies closely and you may have an easier time if it.

Good luck!

March 17th, 2009, 12:36 PM
When I run my fingernail along my scalp, I get white, kinda greasy, kinda powdery stuff too. If that describes yours, don't worry. It's just sebum and shed skin cells, and totally normal.

The fact that you get it faster with a harsher shampoo isn't particularly surprising, since a harsher wash will dry the scalp more. If it dries it enough to be a bit irritating, your scalp will produce more sebum to compensate. It's also not surprising that your hair feels fluffier when washed with harsher shampoo, because this strips the hair of its oils more than a gentle shampoo. To some extent, you might want to re-evaluate what feels "clean" and what feels "stripped."

As far as catnip tea goes, there's a huge thread about it in the herbal haircare section. People are basically just getting pet store catnip, adding a teaspoon to a mug of boiling water, and letting it steep til it's cooled, then applying it to scalp and hair.

March 17th, 2009, 01:58 PM
This should answer most of your questions on catnip, http://forums.longhaircommunity.com/vbjournal.php?do=article&articleid=118 and is easier to read than the huge thread.

I agree with the advice given here so far, regarding what is "normal".

Sometimes it depends on what else one is doing in their routine, as to how well a shampoo cleanses, like using oils as leave-ins.

People have reported that gentle, non sulfate shampoos have been less cleansing for them. It really depends on how much sebum your scalp produces and what else you use on your hair besides shampoo.

A doctor/specialist is to me, the best person to diagnose "real" scalp issues like thinning hair, or a reaction to something, if it persists and does not go away after changing products, or a flakey scalp that is unusual in the amount of flakes, as said here, too.