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appliepie
December 18th, 2010, 01:09 PM
Hi Everyone! I've been a long time lurker on this forum but this is my first post!

I did a search on the forum but didn't find anything pertaining to this weird (?) situation: the sebum from my scalp is green! Has anyone ever heard of this or know the reason for it???

I have only seen mention of greyish or white sebum. I guess I'm just assuming this is, in fact, sebum - it's the stuff I'm constantly cleaning off my comb after combing my hair. It varies in shade from olive green to jade green to jungle green! It's definitely, without a doubt, GREEN and not grey. Sometimes it smells a lot like playdo.

Is this normal? If not, should I be questioning my water/pipes or questioning what's happening to my scalp?

Also, in case this is important, my hair is mousy brown, dry, and I only use jojoba oil and cocoa butter - no products. I usually only wash with water and rinse with ACV, but 1-2 times a month I use Trader Joes Tea Tree Tingle shampoo.

Thanks so much for reading, I really hope someone out there has an answer!

redwoman
December 18th, 2010, 01:19 PM
It has to be something in the shampoo. I've never heard of green sebum.

jujube
December 18th, 2010, 01:20 PM
Ummm.... I really don't know, but maybe try clarifying with a strong shampoo, then don't use any oils, and see if you still have the issue. IMO this sounds more like residue from something you used than actual sebum, but I could be wrong, it's the first time I hear something like this.

Dreams_in_Pink
December 18th, 2010, 01:22 PM
I agree with redwoman. Make sure you rinse your scalp really well after shampoo.

kwaniesiam
December 18th, 2010, 01:23 PM
Is there any color to the shampoo? If not you may have some sort of fungal scalp infection.

spidermom
December 18th, 2010, 01:46 PM
Green? Sounds like algae or lichens.

Thinthondiel
December 18th, 2010, 01:49 PM
My first thought was that there might be copper in your water (if you have copper pipes)? I'm not sure if that could actually turn your sebum green, though, but I googled and found out that some people claim that their hair has turned green because of copper pipes.

Hypnotica
December 18th, 2010, 01:57 PM
Well, I have that too. But I do henna and the hand wash I use for my hair is blue.

rusika1
December 18th, 2010, 02:02 PM
I doubt if it's from the shampoo, which is clear and colorless, especially if you only use it once or twice a month.

Does your water leave greenish stains anywhere else, like around the faucets, or where it drips? Where does your water come from (the city, a well, etc.)? Does it have any odor? You could probably get a water testing kit at a good aquarium store--fish people can be pretty fanatical about water.

Jojoba and cocoa butter shouldn't cause that color unless they're picking up dust/lint particles. What color are your towels? For that matter, what color is your comb? Have you looked at it under different light conditions, or only in the bathroom?

Do you have a sweaty scalp? that might contribute to the smell, Playdoh has a lot of salt and flour in it.

Kwaniesiam sounds like she's onto something with her suggestion of a fungal infection. It wouldn't necessarily itch, and the smell would be in keeping with yeasts and fungi. You could try Monistat, it seems to be popular around here, and it won't hurt you.

One other possibility--are you using organic ACV? Perhaps you have some sort of bacterial overgrowth from that? Again, the smell would be in keeping with bacteria, too. Maybe you could change to citric acid for a while.

At any rate, change one thing at a time, and keep track of your findings. You may be the discoverer of the previously unknown fact that cocoa butter and ACV turns your scalp oils green!

heidi w.
December 18th, 2010, 02:10 PM
Hi Everyone! I've been a long time lurker on this forum but this is my first post!

I did a search on the forum but didn't find anything pertaining to this weird (?) situation: the sebum from my scalp is green! Has anyone ever heard of this or know the reason for it???

I have only seen mention of greyish or white sebum. I guess I'm just assuming this is, in fact, sebum - it's the stuff I'm constantly cleaning off my comb after combing my hair. It varies in shade from olive green to jade green to jungle green! It's definitely, without a doubt, GREEN and not grey. Sometimes it smells a lot like playdo.

Is this normal? If not, should I be questioning my water/pipes or questioning what's happening to my scalp?

Also, in case this is important, my hair is mousy brown, dry, and I only use jojoba oil and cocoa butter - no products. I usually only wash with water and rinse with ACV, but 1-2 times a month I use Trader Joes Tea Tree Tingle shampoo.

Thanks so much for reading, I really hope someone out there has an answer!

Hang on....you wrote:
it's the stuff I'm constantly cleaning off my comb after combing my hair. It varies in shade from olive green to jade green to jungle green! It's definitely, without a doubt, GREEN and not grey. Sometimes it smells a lot like playdo.

So is this color then coming off your comb ONLY or your head????

If off the comb, then my guess there may be a reaction going on with the material of your comb. I've had this happen with woods, for example.

Clean your comb. Use a toothpick to loosen and possibly lift gunk. Then use a nail brush to scrub between the teeth using warm water and shampoo of your choice. Rinse well. Because of a scalp skin condition I have I am religious about washing my detangling tools every time I wash my hair so as not to re-insert gunk back on my head....especially any bacteria.

You also mention the smell. If it's this smelly, then you're going too long without a hair wash. This means you have bacteria breaking the sebum down....and it's getting too gunky. Odiferous sebum directly off the head means you have too much sebum and are due for a hair wash. I have to disconnect from the cafe I'm at presently, but I'll try to remember and come back and explain further.....

heidi w.

Inchworm
December 18th, 2010, 02:33 PM
I agree with heidi w. it must be the comb, try fingercombing for a few days

Hypnotica
December 18th, 2010, 03:21 PM
I get green gunk on my resin comb, he plastic comb and the wooden combs. Huh. But it doesn't smell bad.

MandyBeth
December 18th, 2010, 08:16 PM
I get the olive tones with a fungal flare up. But, I don't notice any odor then.

MajorasMask
December 18th, 2010, 09:35 PM
I think a fungal infection is quite plausible. I mean, especially of it's bright and intense shades of green that you are referring to. That sounds scary! Today I was cleaning out my comb and there was a bunch of Grey, and somewhat had an odor but nothing similar to yours. I hope you get to the bottom of this soon! You sound like you are doing all the right things.

SimplyViki
December 19th, 2010, 12:02 AM
I agree with those who suggest a possible fungal infection, and with Heidi W.'s suggestion to wash more frequently. Growing up in a large family in close quarters, I learned to recognize the smell of a scalp that needs washing. How often it needs washing depends on a lot of things, but definitely if it smells (and Play-do is a very apt description of the smell I grew to recognize) it's probably time for a wash.

No idea what kind of fungus or bacteria would make it green, though. :ponder:

maryann
December 19th, 2010, 12:03 AM
I wonder whether a physician would be able to order a culture test to see whether a microbe overgrowth might be causing this discoloration, and if so which microbe therefore how to get rid of it?

spidermom
December 19th, 2010, 12:35 PM
Lint from green towels, blankets, sweaters, etc, sticking to the sebum is a consideration, too.

appliepie
December 19th, 2010, 01:48 PM
WOW!!!! Thank you so much to everyone who replied!!! Ahh, I don't even know where to start!

Spidermom: I also think it sounds like algae!! It looks like it too. I don't know if it's actually possible for it to be algae?

Thinthondiel: I wondered if it had to do with copper in my water, too, but couldn't find any info on it when I Googled it. I have no idea if we have copper pipes though!

Rusika:
-We don't have any green stains, but I had to disassemble the sink aerator from my bathroom sink a few weeks ago and the pieces inside of it had a moderate amount of that green hard stuff on it. The water doesn't have any odor, though.
-My towels are blue, but I don't ever touch my hair with them, so I don't think it's that.
-My comb was purple, before that one I was using a blue one (both were cheapy plastic, and now I've just switched to a wooden comb. I have looked at the green stuff in different light... both on the comb and off of it (on a q-tip, on a paper plate). It's definitely green!
-No sweaty scalp, either.
-My ACV is not organic. Would the ACV smell weird or would it just be the reason my head smells funny? Citric acid - can I use lemon juice? I'm not that familiar with this, I have been using vinegar for a year!

Heidi: It comes off my head AND my comb. If I scratch at my scalp, I get it under my fingernails. I don't usually scratch my head though, so more often than not I'm seeing it all over my comb. My comb is made of plastic, but I just switched to wood. I do clean my comb after I use it.. basically because I started finding green gunk in it! Yesterday I combed my hair in layers really thoroughly and cleaned the comb after each layer. The amount of green stuff was incredible!

I did notice that when I clarify with baking soda, I don't have the problem for a few days, but it inevitably comes back. I guess I'm going to try washing it more often.

As for it being fungal infection... I don't know how it could thrive as much as it seems to because I'm currently taking two different prescription anti-fungal meds! (I'm on long term antibiotics and they are mostly a precaution for yeast overload.) Would oral medicine be able to control something growing on the scalp? If not, how would I get rid of it? And why in the world is it green!?

This probably points towards being fungal as well - my hair has been falling out a little more than usual. I just attributed it to stress. I flat ironed my hair last night for the first time in months, and my hair was half as thick as it used to look after being flat ironed, and that made me really upset :(

Cailie
December 19th, 2010, 02:32 PM
What about 2 days after a good intense scalp shampoo with a long scalp massage (with shampoo) and rinsed a lot ??

spidermom
December 19th, 2010, 02:37 PM
Get a tea tree shampoo, and if you can, see a doctor. You can dilute the shampoo if you have reason to believe it might irritate your scalp. Again, consider that you might be getting green lint from something like a blanket, favorite sweater ... ??

By the way, I have read that using anything alkaline, like baking soda, can make the scalp more vulnerable to infections because skin MUST maintain an acid mantle to be healthy. Anything alkaline disrupts the balance. So when you get a shampoo, read the label, make sure it is pH balanced slightly to the acid side.

Cailie
December 19th, 2010, 02:39 PM
other idea : wash scalp to get rid of residues with natural shampoo for scalp treatment.

Then oil the scalp (LOTS lots) with EVOO mixed with many drops of essential oils of peppermint & tea tree oil. Massage and leave this overnight, it should feel very refreshing. wash again, with natural shampoo for scalp issues in the morning. Observe if it comes back.

good luck !

Caldonia Sun
December 19th, 2010, 03:14 PM
Sounds like fungal infection. I would get Nizoral antifungal shampoo and wash more often.

pixistixx
December 19th, 2010, 03:14 PM
WOW!!!! Thank you so much to everyone who replied!!! Ahh, I don't even know where to start!

Spidermom: I also think it sounds like algae!! It looks like it too. I don't know if it's actually possible for it to be algae?

Thinthondiel: I wondered if it had to do with copper in my water, too, but couldn't find any info on it when I Googled it. I have no idea if we have copper pipes though!

Rusika:
-We don't have any green stains, but I had to disassemble the sink aerator from my bathroom sink a few weeks ago and the pieces inside of it had a moderate amount of that green hard stuff on it. The water doesn't have any odor, though.
-My towels are blue, but I don't ever touch my hair with them, so I don't think it's that.
-My comb was purple, before that one I was using a blue one (both were cheapy plastic, and now I've just switched to a wooden comb. I have looked at the green stuff in different light... both on the comb and off of it (on a q-tip, on a paper plate). It's definitely green!
-No sweaty scalp, either.
-My ACV is not organic. Would the ACV smell weird or would it just be the reason my head smells funny? Citric acid - can I use lemon juice? I'm not that familiar with this, I have been using vinegar for a year!

Heidi: It comes off my head AND my comb. If I scratch at my scalp, I get it under my fingernails. I don't usually scratch my head though, so more often than not I'm seeing it all over my comb. My comb is made of plastic, but I just switched to wood. I do clean my comb after I use it.. basically because I started finding green gunk in it! Yesterday I combed my hair in layers really thoroughly and cleaned the comb after each layer. The amount of green stuff was incredible!

I did notice that when I clarify with baking soda, I don't have the problem for a few days, but it inevitably comes back. I guess I'm going to try washing it more often.

As for it being fungal infection... I don't know how it could thrive as much as it seems to because I'm currently taking two different prescription anti-fungal meds! (I'm on long term antibiotics and they are mostly a precaution for yeast overload.) Would oral medicine be able to control something growing on the scalp? If not, how would I get rid of it? And why in the world is it green!?

This probably points towards being fungal as well - my hair has been falling out a little more than usual. I just attributed it to stress. I flat ironed my hair last night for the first time in months, and my hair was half as thick as it used to look after being flat ironed, and that made me really upset :(


The play dough smell is probably yeast overgrowth... i have some experience with this unfortunately. What yeast meds are you on? right now I'm on nystatin, which is for the stomach/mouth only.. systemic yeast meds like diflucan are the only ones that get to all parts of the body. systemic meds to kill yeast are hardcore, so if you are taking them and you still have yeast issues, there may be something else going on, blocking the meds from working. heavy metal toxicity is notorious for this.

appliepie
December 19th, 2010, 03:43 PM
pixistixx -- I'm on Nystatin AND Diflucan... so, crap. What do you mean when you say the systemic meds are hardcore? As in, they usually work well to kill off problem yeast?

I've been wondering whether the Diflucan was actually going to do anything because one of my antibiotics DOES interfere with it... I take them several hours apart, but maybe that's not good enough. Can you tell me more about heavy metal toxicity as a cause?? I actually just started taking something for heavy metal detoxing!

appliepie
December 19th, 2010, 03:48 PM
Cailie - two days after a good wash & rinse, I usually don't have any green stuff. I'm starting to wonder if water only washes are just not good for me.. or that maybe I'm not doing them thoroughly enough.

may1em
December 19th, 2010, 06:03 PM
Water only might not be your thing. If shampoo works, keep up with the shampoo!

I'd love to be able to stretch washes, but I've learned I can't go more than three or four days without desperately needing a wash.

Try a scalp - only wash if you want to spare your length, or look into the oil shampoo idea on the movie stars of the past thread.

HairFaerie
December 20th, 2010, 11:29 AM
-My towels are blue, but I don't ever touch my hair with them, so I don't think it's that.



This struck me!

How do do dry your hair?

If you are not towel drying to get out most of the dampness, perhaps it is mold/algae?

I also agree with the people that suggested you use shampoo more often.

Right now I am just curious as to your drying...Do you just wash it, ring it out and then leave it or put it up? Do you blow dry?

appliepie
December 20th, 2010, 03:41 PM
HairFaerie -

I basically just squeeze the water out and let my hair air dry. My hair is pretty thin and there is literally no need to touch it with a towel. It air drys mega fast.

I read (I think somewhere in these forums) that towels are abrasive to your hair and if you really want to use something to soak up the excess water in your hair, you should use something softer, like a t-shirt.

I seriously wondered if it could be algae or mold because the color is so perfect for it, but my hair dries so quickly so I don't know how it would even be possible for it to start growing mold?

Charlotte:)
December 20th, 2010, 10:47 PM
If it is a fungal infection, try washing you hair more often and massage your scalp with unrefined extra virgin coconut oil (cold-pressed is best if you can find it) until it clears up. Unrefined extra virgin coconut oil is anti-fungal :)

Darkhorse1
December 20th, 2010, 11:35 PM
http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.primehealthchannel.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/Seborrheic-Dermatitis-on-Scalp.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.primehealthchannel.com/seborrheic-dermatitis-pictures-causes-symptoms-treatment-and-cure.html&usg=__MfDT3XZuLGjffuMtYM1kfU7GLCs=&h=525&w=706&sz=150&hl=en&start=1&zoom=1&um=1&itbs=1&tbnid=M09VXUsLSjtmIM:&tbnh=104&tbnw=140&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dsevere%2Bdandruff%2Bphotos%26um%3D1%2 6hl%3Den%26sa%3DX%26rls%3Dcom.microsoft:en-ca:IE-Address%26rlz%3D1I7ACAW_en___US409%26tbs%3Disch:1

You can see by some of these photos, that sebum/dandruff can be green/yellow. There are different stages of dandruff, from greasy to dry.

I've had my share of dandruff and want to do an article for those needing help with it.

I would try head and shoulders first--it's zinc based and ph balanced. I use it all the time now and my scalp is crust/itch free and odor free. If I try to push past 2 days with any other shampoo, the smell is horrid.

Best of luck.

appliepie
January 2nd, 2011, 01:37 PM
So if anyone is still reading this thread, here's an update - I started shampooing ever day/every other day just depending on how greasy my hair is, and I've not had any green buildup on my comb, however, I started using a new comb and it might not be able to penetrate the build up as well (the old one was plastic and fine toothed, the new one is wooden and wide toothed).

I don't smell anything unless I go a few days without washing... and I've just realized it's what's been making some of my shirts and pillowcases smell gross. The smell is extremely resistant and hard to get out of the clothes and sheets - especially satin pillowcases for some reason.

When I flat iron my hair, I get grey build up on the sides of the iron, and there is smeared grease on the panels themselves. If I don't notice right away (the lighting in my bathroom is horrible), I end up transferring the grease all over my head due to the greasy flat iron panels. It's so much that I actually have to rewash my hair again if I notice too late. It's gross. I'm wondering if it's burned jojoba oil or cocoa butter build up on the iron, and not actually sebum, though.

Darkhorse - that picture was so gross! I am confused, though, because when I ask my mom or sister to look on my scalp for signs of dandruff, they can't find anything at all (except along my hairline where I have an on/off problem with it). My hair smells fine as long as I shampoo it, I was doing water only and apparently it wasn't working out for me...

Charlotte -
I occasionally do coconut oil massages on both my scalp and hair because my hair looks 20x healthier afterwards and usually gets rid of the dandruff along my hairline. I think my oil is the unrefined bottle, I can't remember at the moment, but thanks for the info! I didn't know that about coconut oil. I can't oil my hair like this often, though, because it takes 2-3 days to get all the oil out of my hair through washing and brushing. It's a pain in the butt.

Eryka
January 2nd, 2011, 02:08 PM
An easy way to see if its a fungal issue is to put Monistat on your scalp. If it stops itching and seems more calm, then there you go.

Thinthondiel
January 22nd, 2011, 09:16 PM
When I flat iron my hair, I get grey build up on the sides of the iron, and there is smeared grease on the panels themselves. If I don't notice right away (the lighting in my bathroom is horrible), I end up transferring the grease all over my head due to the greasy flat iron panels. It's so much that I actually have to rewash my hair again if I notice too late. It's gross. I'm wondering if it's burned jojoba oil or cocoa butter build up on the iron, and not actually sebum, though.


I used to get the same thing when I did WO, and that was definitely sebum. But if you've started shampooing often, then it could be that it's oil/cocoa butter and not sebum. I'm not sure why spreading the sebum/oil/cocoa butter that was already on your hair to begin with on your hair again would make it so greasy that you have to wash it. It's not like you're adding more than there was to begin with. :confused:

ETA: I just noticed that it's been about three weeks since anyone posted in this thread. Not quite sure how I ended up here again. :p