PDA

View Full Version : Gunk on scalp... normal?



jenjen10
October 27th, 2011, 10:37 PM
ok, this may be gross, but if I used my nails to really massage/scratch my scalp, I always end up with gunk under my nails. I swear my hair is clean and I don't use products anywhere near my scalp...

Is this normal or do I have some sort of weird build up I need to find a way to get rid of? Could this interfere with hair growth (which is really the MOST important question I have!)??

SoulOfTheSea
October 27th, 2011, 11:48 PM
Okay I am wondering this, too. D:

katsrevenge
October 27th, 2011, 11:55 PM
I've always gotten a bit of gunk when I've used my nails. I always thought a little was normal?

Roscata
October 28th, 2011, 01:23 AM
Is this normal or do I have some sort of weird build up
It could be either or. Some people just have more sebum, but sometimes this can be caused by buildup (I've personally experienced it after going no poo). Sebum is naturally created by your scalp but it can get built up if it hasn't been removed properly. It is a waxy substance that looks oily and it sometimes can mix with normal skin shedding.


I need to find a way to get rid of?
A popular way to remove this stuff is by mixing brow sugar with Extra Virgin olive Oil and doing a scalp massage, then washing it out. More info here: Brown Sugar Scalp Scrub (http://www.longhaircommunity.com/archive/showthread.php?t=55237&page=3), AMAZING- scalp scrub=no itchy scalp for over a week! (http://forums.longhaircommunity.com/showthread.php?t=66078&highlight=scalp+scrub), Scalp Scrub recipes? (http://forums.longhaircommunity.com/showthread.php?t=40489&highlight=scalp+scrub) and Scalp sugar scrub? (http://forums.longhaircommunity.com/showthread.php?t=41322&highlight=scalp+scrub).

Another method is scritching: Scritching Instructions? (http://forums.longhaircommunity.com/showthread.php?t=2185&highlight=scritching)

Could this interfere with hair growth (which is really the MOST important question I have!)?
I have not personally seen/read about interference with hair growing, BUT I have seen some reports of unpleasant smell and sometimes increased shedding. Really the question is did you notice any changes in your hair since you've noticed the gunk? If so, see if this persists after you removed it with a scalp scrub or scritching.

I hope all that helps! :D

SoulOfTheSea
October 28th, 2011, 11:17 PM
Is this normal or do I have some sort of weird build up
It could be either or. Some people just have more sebum, but sometimes this can be caused by buildup (I've personally experienced it after going no poo). Sebum is naturally created by your scalp but it can get built up if it hasn't been removed properly. It is a waxy substance that looks oily and it sometimes can mix with normal skin shedding.


I need to find a way to get rid of?
A popular way to remove this stuff is by mixing brow sugar with Extra Virgin olive Oil and doing a scalp massage, then washing it out. More info here: Brown Sugar Scalp Scrub (http://www.longhaircommunity.com/archive/showthread.php?t=55237&page=3), AMAZING- scalp scrub=no itchy scalp for over a week! (http://forums.longhaircommunity.com/showthread.php?t=66078&highlight=scalp+scrub), Scalp Scrub recipes? (http://forums.longhaircommunity.com/showthread.php?t=40489&highlight=scalp+scrub) and Scalp sugar scrub? (http://forums.longhaircommunity.com/showthread.php?t=41322&highlight=scalp+scrub).

Another method is scritching: Scritching Instructions? (http://forums.longhaircommunity.com/showthread.php?t=2185&highlight=scritching)

Could this interfere with hair growth (which is really the MOST important question I have!)?
I have not personally seen/read about interference with hair growing, BUT I have seen some reports of unpleasant smell and sometimes increased shedding. Really the question is did you notice any changes in your hair since you've noticed the gunk? If so, see if this persists after you removed it with a scalp scrub or scritching.

I hope all that helps! :D

Well my buildup isn't waxy.. it's white and does stick in clumps kinda, but it breaks up into little particles at the same time... is it just my dandruff?? :o But my dandruff isn't even that bad... I don't know... :(

Cocoa_Crema
October 28th, 2011, 11:36 PM
Sounds like dead skin cells and product. I made sure that when I washed my hair I really paid more attention into rubbing my scalp with my fingertips to help break up the gunk.

luztrella
October 29th, 2011, 12:23 AM
I am going to have to try the sugar scrub, I have had it for years and just figured it was dandruff, even though it is a bit waxy and doesn't seem to fall unless I am deliberately scratching at it.

Roscata
October 29th, 2011, 02:14 AM
Well my buildup isn't waxy.. it's white and does stick in clumps kinda, but it breaks up into little particles at the same time... is it just my dandruff?? :o But my dandruff isn't even that bad... I don't know... :(

Yeah it doesn't feel waxy in the candle wax kind of way because it's a different kind of stuff. Try the scalp scrub or scritching and see what happens. What do you have to lose except for the gunk itself? :D

RoseOfClare
October 29th, 2011, 08:39 AM
when i use my nail on my scalp I have the same issue. build up of white that gets under my nails. think of it this way when your skin sheds naturally in any other place on your body it simply falls off unnoticed. But on our scalp the hair interfers with it shedding properly so what I do is once and a while I will do a scalp massage with my finger tips (sometimes nails included) that will help loosen the dead skin to shed properly never had itchy scalp unless i forget to do it! lol :)

Peggy E.
October 29th, 2011, 08:56 AM
First - Welcome, RoseofClare!

Now, you really don't want to be using your nails on your scalp, anyway. The scalp does not like this sort of thing - it wants to be protected, not assaulted (though, goodness knows, taking those nails and scratching away feels soooooo good sometimes!).

Scritching is a great way to keep your scalp safely cared for, while sloughing off the dead skin cells trapped by your hair. Also gently massage your scalp - again, fingertips - when you're washing your hair.

Wouldn't worry too much about it, unless it really is itching. When I was still practicing the no water/sebum only, this scritching is how we kept our hair healthy and - believe it or not - clean. My hair has never looked as good or had such a beautiful texture as it did when I was NW/SO.

Point being - it's not bad for you as long as you take proper care of it!

heidi w.
October 29th, 2011, 12:16 PM
Up to a point it is absolutely normal to have a little tiny bit of uptake when scratching the scalp skin. This is sebum that has deposited to help keep the scalp skin in good condition.

Sebum is a waxy ester, and for most, it produces a kind of white bit of gunk under the nail that can easily be pilled or rolled into a teeny ball and dispensed with.

If you have a glob of sebum, it's time to wash the hair. But some, such as those like me with Seborrheic Dermatitus, have a boatload of sebum that builds rapidly and produces too much and gets all mixed with dead skin cells and is really gunky.

You can scritch the hair before a given hair wash to ensure the hair wash gets rid of this film.

All skin all over the body has sebum, but the scalp skin has it a bit more than the rest of the body. This helps to lubricate the skin and keep it in good condition and to also help repel dirt and whatnot.

IF you allow sebum to build up too much in advance of a hair wash, the bacteria that's ever present on scalp skin can in fact get into a hair follicle and cause a bit of an eruption or infection, and in this way you can end up losing an otherwise very healthy hair strand.

So it's important to wash relatively regularly. Average I'd say, longest, is every 4th day or so. Don't try to over-extend. You may then in that case notice a slight increase in hair shedding prior to a hair wash.

FYI.

heidi w.

jacqueline101
October 29th, 2011, 04:06 PM
I get that too its danderuff like. Mine is I know I've had danderuff issues but this is puzzling.

blondie9912
October 29th, 2011, 05:52 PM
I used to have this problem as well but I found that using a sugar scrub really helped! I mix sugar into shampoo (pretty equal amounts of both, maybe a touch more sugar) and scrub my scalp with it thoroughly, sometimes even doing it twice in a row. I do this about once a month, or whenever my scalp feels gunky.

I would recommend that you don't scratch/pick it the gunk off, because that can cause bleeding and scarring. It's important to remember that the scalp isn't all that different from the skin on the rest of our body, and if we wouldn't go around picking/scratching at our legs, we shouldn't do it to our scalp. It can really be quite damaging

Amber_Maiden
October 29th, 2011, 08:11 PM
I got that too, when I was going a week without washing my hair and only using CO and ACV. Started actually shampooing my scalp again because of it- and it's mostly gone now, even with the once a week washes.

RoseOfClare
October 30th, 2011, 09:42 AM
Thank you for the welcoming Peggy E.!
I guess I actually do Scritching because I don't dig my nails into my scalp just lightly use them along with my fingertips when scalp massaging. My nails are always slightly longer than fingertip length, and they naturally pick up the buildup.
Should have mentioned that in my posting!