View Full Version : Personality conflict: hair vs scalp

September 22nd, 2010, 10:13 AM
What do you do when you scalp wants one thing, but your hair wants something else?

My hair, being straight and on the fine side of medium, looks best when it's freshly washed (CWC or CO). It goes stringy and limp the moment it gets the least bit oily.

My scalp, on the other hand, seems to want to go WO, or even NW. It loooooves a good BBB preening, and since I started doing it every night, oil production is down (though still abundant), flakes are gone, and best of all, it doesn't itch, which used to be almost constant. It itches a bit the day after a wash, and then improves the longer I go before washing again.

Is there a compromise? I almost always wear my hair up, but sometimes the greasiness even shows in the bits that are pulled back towards the updo. And I'd like to not live in fear that if my updo explodes everybody will see what a greaseball I am.

September 22nd, 2010, 01:53 PM
I have no solution, unfortunately. But I know exactly what you mean since my hair and scalp is exactly like yours!
The best compromise I've done so far is wash every other or third morning with shampoo, but the night before wash do a heavy oiling for the scalp (and maybe hair as well). My hair loves it, and the scalp doesn't seem to dislike it as much as non-preoiling.

September 22nd, 2010, 02:02 PM
Thanks for the suggestion - the fact that your hair is so much like mine makes me think it's worth a try. It seems a bit paradoxical to put oil on a too-oily place, but I suppose if the problem is my scalp being drier than it likes after I wash, then preloading and protecting would make sense.

September 22nd, 2010, 02:15 PM
I have the same problem sort of:
My scalp gets itchy and greasy when I don't wash it, but hair tends to be dried out by shampoo.

I've found CWC(condition/wash/condition) to work well for me.
I use either conditioner or oil on my hair then shampoo my scalp and lightly shampoo the rest. I also get buildup pretty easy on the ends so I have to shampoo the length and ends well sometimes too.

Konstific suggested a good idea of oiling the dry areas then shampooing the lot, lightly getting to the drier areas to remove the excess oil. :agree:

September 22nd, 2010, 02:30 PM
Sounds like you've got the exact opposite problem to mine, but the solution is the same: first use oil to protect what needs protection, then thoroughly clean the parts that need cleaning.

I'll try it and report back.

September 22nd, 2010, 05:11 PM
Mine's rather like that, too. I had the least shedding with WO and my scalp was generally happy, but my hair dried out, even with me diligently oiling it. My length needs conditioner (or at least it did a few years ago).

The thing I suspect I need to do is start conditioning the hair below my ears (maybe before hitting the shower), then WO washing the scalp. Of course, I haven't actually done it yet, partly because I'm not in the mood to transition to WO again.

ETA: How long have you tried doing WO on your scalp? It tends to take 6-8 weeks before the oiliness really goes away. Which is why I haven't gotten around to going through that mess again.

September 22nd, 2010, 05:29 PM
I'm not actually doing WO at all at this point, just wondering if that's what my scalp would like, since it seems happier the longer it's been since I've washed, as long as I keep it preened.

Actually going WO or NW isn't going to be an option since my partner is a bit of a clean-freak/germophobe and would be absolutely grossed out just knowing it hadn't been washed, regardless of how nice it looked, smelled, or felt. And I love it when he plays with my hair. So depending what I find works for my hair and scalp, there may need to be a relationship compromise as well.

September 23rd, 2010, 01:03 AM
weird, double post!

September 23rd, 2010, 01:05 AM
I have a similar problem! I have problems with scalp flaking, and super tangley hair. I did WO for around 8 weeks. My scalp really liked it. My hair liked it in terms of (after a fortnight) a lot less tangling. But I did not like the look of my hair (it's fine and fair, so it looks greasy very easily). So I'm trying to come to a solution which satisfies me and my scalp and hair!

The best thing is that after 8 weeks of WO, I can now wash once a week. I realised that the hair around my face however, gets greasy from contact with my skin, so I cut bangs in (which look better on me with long hair anyway) and I wash them more frequently with shampoo and conditioner, but try not to get the shampoo on my scalp.

I wash the rest of my hair once a week with vegetable sorbolene (it's hard to obtain if you are outside of Australia, sorry!). This works well for me, better then CO (which tends to overload my hair quite quickly). Shampooing the body of my hair (ie from the bangs back) leads to major tangling for me, and too much breakage.

Oiling my scalp before washing with shampoo did help but I found the level of washing then needed to remove the oil made my hair very tangled. So now I oil lightly before wash day, and it comes out as long as I use heaps of sorbolene or conditioner to wash. I find that shampoo and long hair on me are not a good combination. Since I cut my bangs every 3 weeks or so, that hair never has enough time to get damaged and tangly.

September 23rd, 2010, 10:28 AM
So here's what I tried last night: When I got home from work, I loaded my whole hair and scalp with coconut oil and gave myself a lovely scalp massage. I left my hair in a bun for the rest of the evening. Before bed, I did a modified CWC:
1. Wet my hair and conditioner from the ears down. Then back in a bun.
1a. Loooong bubble bath
1b. Shower off the bath goop.
2. Give my scalp a good scrub under running water, but no shampoo.
3. Shampoo my hair from scalp to ears, but instead of the usual massaging the shampoo into the scalp, I just gently squished the lather around in my hair. Some shampoo did get on my scalp, but not much.
4. Thorough rinse.
5. More conditioner.
6. Cool rinse.
7. More coconut oil on the ends while damp, braid, sleep.

This morning: my scalp feels great. Neither itchy nor greasy. Just clean and comfortable. My hair made me late for work because I kept having to touch it and look in the mirror and do the "don't hate me because I'm beautiful" thing.

Obviously, one trial isn't enough to come to a valid conclusion, so I'm planning to do this routine again on Saturday, and then again on Wednesday, but that time I'm going to see if I can speed it up by skipping the pre-oiling and the bubble bath.

September 27th, 2010, 05:13 PM
Tried it again Saturday. Again with the clean hair and non-itchy scalp. I think I'm onto something.

September 27th, 2010, 06:59 PM
Your new routine does sound promising. Maybe if you want to avoid drying out your scalp, you can try diluting the shampoo you use for your CWC. Or have you ever tried CO? You can dilute the conditioner in that case, too.

September 27th, 2010, 10:33 PM
I'm having this problem right now. My scalp is getting incredibly dry & flaky, but my hair even right next to my scalp gets very, very oily by the second day, so I have to wash every other day. I use gentle, SLS-free shampoo, and I dilute it. Right after my wash my scalp is covered w/ flakes, but my hair is beautiful. Second day, hair is already oily, scalp is happy. *sigh*

I wonder if I can try to somehow wash the hair close to my scalp w/ diluted shampoo w/out actually shampoo'ing my scalp? Hmm... that might take some skills I don't have..

September 28th, 2010, 10:14 AM
I had already tried diluting my shampoo 50% and was still having itchies. I'm thinking it was that my scalp needs /some/ washing, but a vigourous scrub /with/ shampoo was just too intense for it.

Of course, I changed two things at once - both pre-oiling the scalp, and how I go about shampooing, so I can't 100% scientifically say whether it's one or the other or the combination that helps most. Empirically, though, both changes are pleasurable, so who cares. And I'm sure I'll have days where I'm too lazy to pre-oil so I'll be able to tell then if there's a difference.

@chargersfan - I bent over and washed upside down-ish. I squirt the dilute shampoo onto about the top third of my hair, then squish it around a bit to distribute it. When I stand upright to rinse, shampoo does go on my scalp, but not a whole lot, compared to how I used to think I was using the shampoo to clean my scalp as opposed to the hair.

Also: Third trial of this washing method and still feeling nice. Could probably have gone another day or two with BBB preening and updos, but I was having a grouchy day and needed a bubble bath to cheer up.