My curls are so DRY and shapeless, yet my scalp still smells

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  • 1 Post By Jas76

What do I do?

I wash every other day like usual, but I've been using this tea tree shampoo for dandruff, it's organic, hoping it would help. It makes my hair stiff and hard as a rock while in the shower, just like Mane n Tail and other "regular" hair shampoos do. The only shampoos that don't make my hair dry and stiff as a rock (to the point where I can't detangle my hair because it's like glued together until I use conditioner) would include Panteen and sometimes Loreal. Tresemme SOMETIMES works, mostly because I only shampoo my scalp for the sake of my hair. It's like all other shampoos suck the life and oils out of my hair and make it worse so I have to use pounds of conditioner. Eggs & mayo do this, too.

Anywho, so my hair is super clean, and yet one day of not washing (which my hair NEEDS because it is dry) makes my scalp smell like... scalp. Kind of how pillows smell. It's not horrid, but it's annoying and my mom does complain about my bed smelling like I haven't showered in weeks -_- That being said, I wash my sheets and most especially my pillow cases bi-weekly, or weekly.

How annoying! Does anyone have this issue? Idk how to nurture my poor little curls anymore.
Ok. First I'd suggest a gentler poo, like one by Shea Moisture. I adore SM's retention poo. It's divine.

But I'm also wondering if you have protein sensitivity?

Have you tried co-washing? I know that sounds nuts, given your scalp issues, but it sounds like your hair is dry and your scalp is producing extra oil to try and compensate. If you find it doesn't clean your scalp well enough (and you do have to massage your scalp when you co-wash), try adding some brown sugar. (You can also add baking soda, but you'd need to follow with an ACV rinse, or add some ACV to your condish.)

That doesn't mean you don't ever get to low-poo, you might just do every other time. You might also consider using that co-wash to pre-poo. That will help keep your hair from getting stripped.

The other thing you might try if that doesn't seem to help is cutting out protein to see if that's your culprit.

So SM poo is an option. For a co-wash many of us use vo5 or suave naturals. One protein free one I have is Suave's clarifying condish. (Again you can add the brown sugar to further clean your scalp). For a RO (and you'll want to use one either way), I LOVE GVP's conditioning balm. It's very rich and moisturizing, and perhaps a bonus for you is that it's protein free.

Hope that helps a little!
dusalocks likes this.
2c/3a/3b, Fine/med, Dense, high porous, & normal elas.

Lo-poo - Renpure Keratin, SMR, Giovanni SaS
clarifying - mix Johnson's H2T with low poo
Co-wash - Suave Nats. clar. or coco.
RO - GVPCB, Ion Eff. Care, TN.
LI - SMR, Cure Care, or RO
Seal - MO or Jojoba
DT - + honey, ACV, & EVOO to SM masque & GVPCB
PT - Gelatin!, CNPF
Styling - FSG, AIF, BRHG, LALS/PS, GF curl spray gel, SM Souffle/Smoothie, LOOB
Oils - MO!, EVOO, jojoba, GSO, SM Elixer, EVCO, VO5 Hairdressing
+1

I agree: Sounds like protein is a problem, your hair is not moisturized enough, and those shampoo's are too harsh. My scalp will get that stale smell something awful when I am using sulfates but also if I use a too-harsh cleanser of any kind. I had to wash every day when using shampoo and still would stink...now I easily go three days sometimes more without needing to wash my scalp with anything more than water.
remember, with all advice or suggestions for your hair, YMMV!!
My hair:
2b wavy, medium texture, low porosity, med-high density. Protein finicky.
My routine:
Cleansing: DCNP, every 4-5 days (occasionally use CJ cleansers).
RO: CJSC, occasionally use JCDC
LI: KCKT or CJSL
Gel: KCCC, CJCIAB for 2nd day hair (sometimes third)

Heat is my friend: warm water rinses, steam caps, and diffuse dry. I love CLU cloths and my Denman.
Ok. First I'd suggest a gentler poo, like one by Shea Moisture. I adore SM's retention poo. It's divine.

But I'm also wondering if you have protein sensitivity?

Have you tried co-washing? I know that sounds nuts, given your scalp issues, but it sounds like your hair is dry and your scalp is producing extra oil to try and compensate. If you find it doesn't clean your scalp well enough (and you do have to massage your scalp when you co-wash), try adding some brown sugar. (You can also add baking soda, but you'd need to follow with an ACV rinse, or add some ACV to your condish.)

That doesn't mean you don't ever get to low-poo, you might just do every other time. You might also consider using that co-wash to pre-poo. That will help keep your hair from getting stripped.

The other thing you might try if that doesn't seem to help is cutting out protein to see if that's your culprit.

So SM poo is an option. For a co-wash many of us use vo5 or suave naturals. One protein free one I have is Suave's clarifying condish. (Again you can add the brown sugar to further clean your scalp). For a RO (and you'll want to use one either way), I LOVE GVP's conditioning balm. It's very rich and moisturizing, and perhaps a bonus for you is that it's protein free.

Hope that helps a little!
Originally Posted by Jas76
Thank you for all the tips ! I didn't understand most of the lingo, though :/

For example, SM, RO, GVP?
Also, do I add the brown sugar to my hair conditioner?

Today I showered and used only conditioner. I used a random dove one that I found and mixed it with some Tresemme protein conditioner in a red tube. Idk if protein is the issue... I've put eggs in my hair with no success, but you're right! my hair probably is trying to fight off the dryness.
SM = Shea Mositure.

I also adore the Shea Moisture Moisture Retention Shampoo. It is divine. And protein free.

RO = Rinse out, or so I've assumed. A DC can be a daily conditioner. Means the same thing. (In case you encounter it.)

GVP = Generic Value Products. Have you been to Sally's and seen them? It's the knockoff brand that has lots of dupes for upscare hair products. So GVP Conditioning Balm is Generic Value Product's Conditioning Balm, comparable to Matrix Conditioning Balm which is much, much pricier.

Go to livecurlylivefree.com and try to asses your hair's properties. If you have coarse hair, like me, you may be protein sensitive. Same for medium to some degree. If your hair is fine, it actually might like protein, even crave it on a daily basis.

For a brown sugar scrub, take 1 tbsp brown sugar and mix in a small bowl with 2-3 tbsp of conditioner. Mix well. Apply to scalp and massage firmly yet gently, covering all areas of the scalp.
3A - C, HP, ME, HD. (Coarse, High Porosity, Medium Elasticity, High Density.)

CG since Nov. 2012

Poos: SM Moisture Retention + Yucca Baobab, TJ's Tea Tree Tingle
Condish: TJ 'sTea Tree Tingle*, SM Moisture Retention* + Curl & Shine + Yucca Baobab, Yes to Blueberries
Stylers: KCKT*, SM Curl Enhancing Smoothie* + Curl & Style Milk*, KCCC*, FSG*, CJ Pattern Pusha, Curl Keeper
Sealers: Jojoba* or Grapeseed* oil

* = HG


Last edited by dusalocks; 02-03-2013 at 09:12 PM.
Ok. First I'd suggest a gentler poo, like one by Shea Moisture. I adore SM's retention poo. It's divine.

But I'm also wondering if you have protein sensitivity?

Have you tried co-washing? I know that sounds nuts, given your scalp issues, but it sounds like your hair is dry and your scalp is producing extra oil to try and compensate. If you find it doesn't clean your scalp well enough (and you do have to massage your scalp when you co-wash), try adding some brown sugar. (You can also add baking soda, but you'd need to follow with an ACV rinse, or add some ACV to your condish.)

That doesn't mean you don't ever get to low-poo, you might just do every other time. You might also consider using that co-wash to pre-poo. That will help keep your hair from getting stripped.

The other thing you might try if that doesn't seem to help is cutting out protein to see if that's your culprit.

So SM poo is an option. For a co-wash many of us use vo5 or suave naturals. One protein free one I have is Suave's clarifying condish. (Again you can add the brown sugar to further clean your scalp). For a RO (and you'll want to use one either way), I LOVE GVP's conditioning balm. It's very rich and moisturizing, and perhaps a bonus for you is that it's protein free.

Hope that helps a little!
Originally Posted by Jas76
Thank you for all the tips ! I didn't understand most of the lingo, though :/

For example, SM, RO, GVP?
Also, do I add the brown sugar to my hair conditioner?

Today I showered and used only conditioner. I used a random dove one that I found and mixed it with some Tresemme protein conditioner in a red tube. Idk if protein is the issue... I've put eggs in my hair with no success, but you're right! my hair probably is trying to fight off the dryness.
Originally Posted by lolitaaaa
I'm sorry you didn't follow me!

Dusa covered most of it, but yes, SM = Shea Moisture. It's a brand available at Walgreens or target. (Also online at their websites, and at drugstore.com. Sally's also carries it online and in store.)

RO is indeed rinse out - it just means the conditioner you use the "traditional" way, rather than as a co-wash or leave-in.

Interesting that Dusa says it's protein free! I thought it had protein! (But I don't worry about that much bc my hair LOVES protein.)

GVP - she's right that is what it stands for, but it actually says "GVP" on the bottles.

Yes, mix the brown sugar with your co-wash, and massage as Dusa suggested!

If that's not enough you could add the baking soda and do the ACV (apple cider vinegar) rinse or additive.

Careful with the Dove conditioners, they tend to have a lot of silicones. Which is fine, of course, but some have trouble with them building up. If you are going with co-washing more often you may find some issues.

It really sounds as if protein may be an issue for your hair. I'd suggest cutting back on it and focusing on the moisture right now.

Hope that explains it better!
2c/3a/3b, Fine/med, Dense, high porous, & normal elas.

Lo-poo - Renpure Keratin, SMR, Giovanni SaS
clarifying - mix Johnson's H2T with low poo
Co-wash - Suave Nats. clar. or coco.
RO - GVPCB, Ion Eff. Care, TN.
LI - SMR, Cure Care, or RO
Seal - MO or Jojoba
DT - + honey, ACV, & EVOO to SM masque & GVPCB
PT - Gelatin!, CNPF
Styling - FSG, AIF, BRHG, LALS/PS, GF curl spray gel, SM Souffle/Smoothie, LOOB
Oils - MO!, EVOO, jojoba, GSO, SM Elixer, EVCO, VO5 Hairdressing
It has panthenol, but I think that's debatable as to whether or not it's protein. I did some research and came to the conclusion that it isn't. Have you tried the SM Yucca Aloe shampoo? I have that one too and it's just as good. It has vegetable protein though. I bought it because they were out of stock on the MR one and I'm glad I did. It's nice to have options. Next I'll try the Curl & Shine one, but I've gotta make my way through these two bottles first. Might be a year from now.
3A - C, HP, ME, HD. (Coarse, High Porosity, Medium Elasticity, High Density.)

CG since Nov. 2012

Poos: SM Moisture Retention + Yucca Baobab, TJ's Tea Tree Tingle
Condish: TJ 'sTea Tree Tingle*, SM Moisture Retention* + Curl & Shine + Yucca Baobab, Yes to Blueberries
Stylers: KCKT*, SM Curl Enhancing Smoothie* + Curl & Style Milk*, KCCC*, FSG*, CJ Pattern Pusha, Curl Keeper
Sealers: Jojoba* or Grapeseed* oil

* = HG

No, the SMR is the only one I've tried, but I'll keep that in mind!

My hair adores protein, so no worries there for me!
2c/3a/3b, Fine/med, Dense, high porous, & normal elas.

Lo-poo - Renpure Keratin, SMR, Giovanni SaS
clarifying - mix Johnson's H2T with low poo
Co-wash - Suave Nats. clar. or coco.
RO - GVPCB, Ion Eff. Care, TN.
LI - SMR, Cure Care, or RO
Seal - MO or Jojoba
DT - + honey, ACV, & EVOO to SM masque & GVPCB
PT - Gelatin!, CNPF
Styling - FSG, AIF, BRHG, LALS/PS, GF curl spray gel, SM Souffle/Smoothie, LOOB
Oils - MO!, EVOO, jojoba, GSO, SM Elixer, EVCO, VO5 Hairdressing

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