View Full Version : Dandruff Shampoo Woes

November 12th, 2011, 02:25 AM
Hello Everyone

I have been dealing with a flaky, dry scalp for years now. Years. I have no idea why, I have tried so many different products, vitamins, homemade solutions, and so-on in the hopes of fixing my shedding scalp. Nothing worked... until I found ketoconazole shampoo. That cleared my dry flakes right up, provided I used the shampoo every two weeks or so.

Which was great... except it dries out my hair and leaves it dull and damaged. It doesn't matter what other shampoos I try on the days I do not use the dandruff shampoo or conditioners I use for my hair. I have tried all sorts of methods and products to deal with the damage. I have mixed the dandruff shampoo with jojoba oil, I have treated my hair with olive oil and honey masks, I have coated my hair with conditioner and then applied the dandruff shampoo, I have been veryyyy careful to try to not get the shampoo anywhere but on my scalp, but nothing seems to help! The most I can do is go about two to three weeks between applications. Anymore and my scalp gets very out of control.

Recently, I decided to try jamila henna to see if it would help my dandruff. I gave it about six weeks or so of no dandruff shampoo to see if the henna worked to clear the dandruff. It did not. My hair, however, looked wonderful and healthy. I tried other methods to clear up my scalp again (including a sugar scrub I found on this site). Nothing worked. I used the ketoconazole shampoo again. My scalp is clear. My hair looks... unfortunate again.

I don't know what to do. Is this something I have to learn to accept? Can I learn a better way of applying the shampoo? Any other suggestions?

My hair is almost at my waist but it is so damaged at the ends I will have to cut off a few inches soon. This makes me sad. I want nice hair again.

Thanks for reading.

November 12th, 2011, 04:08 AM
Are you sure that what you're experiencing actually is dandruff? I ask because it took me years to realise that my own flaky scalp wasn't dandruff at all, but a sensitivity to harsh surfactants like SL(e)S. When I switched to CO washing, my scalp gradually calmed down and now the only flakes I get are from natural exfoliation. And with CO I get wonderfully soft, shiny, manageable hair.

November 12th, 2011, 06:15 AM
There are a few different brands of ketaconizole shampoo, which one are you using? you can also get liquids and lotions with it in to apply to scalp and then wash those out with whatever works best for you...

I've used general antifungal cream (clotrimazole, i think) on my scalp which also does a good job of clearing Dandruff (which is a fungal thing).


November 12th, 2011, 06:43 AM
As Storm Vixen suggested, maybe you could try a different brand?

I use Nizoral ketoconazole (1%) and haven't really had that problem. I don't think I use it as often. Maybe every 4 weeks sometimes. It has SLES down near the end of the ingredient list. I use sulfate-free shampoo the rest of the time.

Questions that come to mind: Are you leaving it on for a long period of time before rinsing? Are you shampooing with it more than once per wash? Are you using it for a couple days in a row every two weeks, or just one wash? Is there anything else you are doing on those days that might be a problem?

Maybe you could try diluting it. I think the CWC method is probably the best. Even though you already tried it, maybe if you do that on dandruff shampoo days for a few months your hair will recover and be affected less.

One last thing is that I know some of my flakes are definitely dandruff, but I also get flakes if I let 'cones touch my scalp. Just something to consider, as Theobroma mentioned, flakes don't always mean dandruff. It might be that some flakes need the ketoconazole but others don't. I know how frustrating it can get, so I wouldn't blame you if you decided to just stick with the ketoconazole now that you've found it.

November 12th, 2011, 06:45 AM
Maybe you can try this. I too have dandruff and I'm still trying to find a way to deal with the issue. When I was trying out Head and Shoulders I would mix some in a tiny spray bottle in a 40/60 mixture with water. I heard that keeping dandruff shampoo on your scalp longer would help it be more effective. Before showers I would part my hair, spray the mixture only on my scalp, rub it in with my fingertips, and then let it sit. In the shower I would just rinse everything out. Doing this allowed me to keep the length of my hair free of shampoo, and also made it easier to keep the product on my scalp longer and in a more controlled and concentrated way.

This experiment failed in the end, probably because I'm lazy and only tried it out for a week. I did go through most of the bottle of Head and Shoulders though without any real results. I'm starting to think that maybe I should have used it more frequently instead of waiting till my roots were super greasy before washing.

I'll probably try this with Nizoral next. Or maybe I'll try sleeping in coconut oil the night before wash day...

November 12th, 2011, 07:24 AM
I use the Nizoral every 4 days. It is a little drying, but I use a moisturizing shampoo inbetween (I wash every 2 days.) It really works for me, like nothing else.

November 12th, 2011, 09:25 AM
Fungi usually grow best in environments that are slightly acidic (a pH measurement of 5 or so) but can also do well in higher pH levels. Keep in mind that healthy fungi contribute to human health by generating growth factors and vitamins from some of what we eat. We use fungi to make most of our breads and other forms to make antibiotics ... to destroy harmful bacteria. Antibiotics frequently overpopulate to the point of creating their own best pH, a low acid pH, from the deteriorating dead bacteria. This can become an ideal environment for the encouragement of anerobic toxic fungi, including Candida Albicans, mutated forms of a healthful form of Candida!

The human body is SLIGHTLY acidic when it is in a state of health. This limits fungal and bacteria growth on the skin or in the body. Some areas of the body are more acidic than this to address local issues and microbial populations. Medical tests for pH level are usually a reference of the BLOOD pH level.

The Ideal range for the human BODY is suggested, by some sources, as between 6.1 and 7.0. Others indicate a preference for 6.5 to 7.5, taking into account variances during the day in accord with metabolic cycles. Some authors advocate attempting to reach high alkalinity levels, apparently unaware that the highly alkaline ammonia is as deadly and corrosive as the highly acidic sulfuric acid. Small variations from a neutral level of 7.0 are practical norms.

How to Use Apple Cider Vinegar to Reduce Dandruff
By an eHow Contributor

updated May 22, 2011

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How to Use Apple Cider Vinegar to Reduce Dandruffthumbnail Use Apple Cider Vinegar to Reduce Dandruff

If you find yourself with a case of dandruff but don't want to treat it with harsh chemicals or dandruff shampoos, a bottle of apple cider vinegar may be able to cure your dandruff. It regulates the pH balance of your skin while adding shine to your hair.




Wash your hair with a mild, pH-balanced shampoo. You don't need to use a dandruff shampoo because the apple cider vinegar naturally restores your scalp's pH and gradually does away with your dandruff problem.

Mix together two parts apple cider vinegar and one part warm water. Add a few drops of scalp-friendly essential oils like lavender, lemongrass or rosemary for additional dandruff treatment, and to make your hair more fragrant than vinegar.

Pour the mixture directly over clean hair or put it in a spritz bottle and spray it on your scalp. Massage lightly and let the cider mixture dry on your hair. You don't have to rinse it out, but you can if the smell bothers you.

Treat stubborn dandruff with a stronger mixture, such as a one to one ratio of cider to water, or with straight apple cider vinegar. Apply it to your hair and let the vinegar penetrate your scalp for 15 minutes. Wash the cider out with a mild, pH-balanced shampoo.

Repeat the apple cider vinegar treatment at least once a week for best results.

Read more: How to Use Apple Cider Vinegar to Reduce Dandruff | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/how_2145732_use-apple-cider-vinegar-reduce.html#ixzz1dVNGRPuR

I got all of this info of the web by googling pH and dandruff. I have used ACV with good results.

November 12th, 2011, 06:09 PM
Thank you for all the responses.

I'm glad to have a few new things to try. ACV is apparently also good for acne and other skin issues, or so I have heard.

I am not sure that my problem is dandruff, but since it is treated well by the shampoo I use (which is 1% Nizoral, btw) I always assumed it was such. I am a bit nervous to try CO for any long length of time. I have tried it before for a week or so, only to become horrified by the state of my scalp. I know that is not enough time to see if it works, though.

I should probably see a dermatologist and look into trying out a different brand or type of topical treatment! I did not know there were more options.

As for how long I leave the shampoo on, usually for a 5 minutes. Sometimes I have to use it twice in a week, and then I will be clear for a little while, while other times as long as I use it once every few weeks I am okay. In general, it seems that the more often I wash my hair with ANY shampoo, the less my scalp sheds. On the other hand, the less I shampoo my hair the better my hair looks (and feels).

I try to take care of my hair pretty well otherwise, or so I think. I use Trader Joe organic shampoo and conditioners, I rarely use heat treatments on my hair, and I only comb my hair (not brush) nowadays.

Again, thanks for the advice and suggestions.