I've been lurking/reading information on this wonderful site for quite some time, now. I thought it might be time to finally introduce myself and share my curly hair woes/seek advice from those who are so much more knowledgeable. I have privately emailed a couple of you- thank you so much, rbb and kathymack!- for excellent advice, but will now pose my questions to the group.
I had a hair analysis/profile run in September 2011. At that time the results showed that I have fine hair (and now as I'm approaching 50(!) it has thinned, as well), with normal porosity and normal elasticity. I have been coloring it for several years but am considering letting it go grey soon. Also, I have seborrheic dermatitis, so have some scalp issues which make it difficult to stick to a solely CG/modified CG care of my hair. Finally, I have been going to a local stylist known to be a great curly hair cutter for the last couple of years but I have not been very happy with the results for the last few cuts as my hair's already thinning and it seems like the way that she cuts it (I swear it looks like she's razoring it, but she insists she's not) only makes it appear thinner and frizzier afterwards.
Any advice on good, solid hair stylists (not "stylish", just good) for curly hair in Austin would be appreciated, as well as any thoughts on thinning hair (my TSH/thyroid's fine, and I am starting to take Biotin again) or curly- friendly seborrheic dermatitis hair products would also be extremely welcome.
Thanks so much, in advance!:love7:
Hi fotogrrl and welcome! I don't know if you've considered any of the Rogaine-like products for your thinning hair? I'm not sure if having seb. derm is a contra-indication for using Rogaine, but I developed thinning hair and my derm recommended it. It definitely has helped me.
I don't use the actual Rogaine - I use generic drugstore stuff. My derm recommended the men's foam since it is the easiest to use, but he said only use it once a day which is half the men's dose and safe for women.
Very best of good luck - I know how upsetting it can be to have thinning hair!
Thanks so much, curlypearl. A dermatologist did recommend Rogaine to me, once, but the side effects (mainly being careful not to get it anywhere else for fear of hair growth in unwanted areas) kept me away from trying it. Perhaps I'll give it a go, though. How do you use it, exactly?
Hi fotogrrl. Well, I think you'd have to use a lot of it over and over and over in the wrong places to get it to grow hair in those wrong places - I have enough trouble getting it to grow hair even in the right places!
This is what I do. I buy the generic Rogaine foam in drugstore. It's really hard to open the product by the way - it's in those childproof things. I manage to open it but it's a struggle.
It's a foam exactly like hair mousse. I just dispense a very little - like a teaspooon on my fingers and rub it into where I want the hair to grow. I start with one side of my hairline and do it again on the other side. Then a bigger blob about the size of a huge fluffy tablespoon and rub it onto the back of my scalp where I first noticed the hair loss.
I'm very careless and it gets on my forehead (just wipe away with water on a tissue) and all my sizes of how much I listed above are approximate. I'm really very haphazard and half asleep when I do it so it must be very hard to screw it up because I'm like whatever....:sleepy2:
Then I try to wait a few minutes for it to dry a little and pass out asleep. Half the time I don't even wait but I should because it gets on my pillowcase but I'm too tired to care.
That's all there is to it. I was very nervous the first time but I have been using it for years and it works and nothing bad ever happened. There are instructions in the package. I understand totally if you are nervous about it, but I am more concerned about how it might affect your seb. dermatitis than anything else. That would be important to check with a dermatologist. You don't want some horrible itchy rash or something to develop.
I'll bet if you do a search for Rogaine you will read other people's experiences on this website. I know other people use it with good results as far as I remember.
Please post back and let us know what you decide.
Take care and best of luck!
fotogrrl, just a few more things.
The product I use is for men - but they use it twice a day. My derm. recommended that I use it once a day so that I would get only the right amount.
The men's product is the foam and it is much easier to use than the women's product which is a liquid. It gets all over my hair by the way, but nothing bad happens.
You have to use it for months before you see a result.
Welcome! It's quite possible your hair thinning is partly or wholly down to the seborrhoeic dermatitis and/ or underlying systemic inflammation. If that is the case Rogain would be attempting to treat the symptoms not the cause. Sulphate surfactants have been implicated in hair loss in susceptible individuals, the issue is believed to be follicular irritation/ inflammation.
You absolutely can treat SD within a CG or modified CG routine. SD is about your body's inappropriate immune response to the malassezia yeast's waste products, not the yeast itself which actually lives harmlessly on all of us. That inappropriate response may be partly genetic, partly down to diet and lifestyle choices, partly down to what products you are using.
Historically modern medicine/ pharmacy have tended to treat SD by trying to wipe out the malassezia with anti-fungals and remove the food source (sebum) with harsh surfactants. Research in the last decade has progressed rapidly, we now know that harsh surfactants like SLS are capable of thinning the skin barrier - this barrier keeps water in, bacteria and irritating substances out. The body can respond to these harsh surfactants by pumping out more sebum to protect itself, the last thing you want in SD!
Instead consider modifying your diet and lifestyle to be as anti inflammatory and nutrient dense as possible, a healthy body needs a balance of ALL the essential nutrients it does not simply need biotin. In fact you can do more harm than good in creating imbalances with a random supplement regime. Especially look at your intake of oily fish, sugar and white refined carbs. This is critical for reducing systemic inflammation, calming inappropriate immune response, strengthening the skin barrier, altering the amount and composition of your sebum, significantly affect hormone balance in peri- and post-menopause.
Secondly modify your skincare (scalpcare/ haircare) routine to respect and repair the skin's barrier function. This means avoiding all sulphate surfactants, traditional soaps and other alkaline products like baking soda. Wash your hair regularly but without excessive massage with a gentle shampoo at pH 4.5 to 5.5, this will respect skin and hair both of which thrive in fairly acidic conditions. Sulphate surfactants are proven to thin and dehydrate even healthy skin at concentrations as low as 1%, personally I found just shampoo bubbles running down my arm was the main trigger for my elbow patch of atopic eczema - the week I quit was the week it cleared. My mother's SD reduced by over 50% simply by switching to a sulphate free shampoo and face wash.
Avoid or limit anything that is a known irritant or allergen: random plant extracts, fragrances, certain preservatives. Do look for ingredients like aloe vera inner leaf gel that are proven to be healing and anti inflammatory. Possible shampoos include Komaza Care Moja (pH 4.5, ceramides, allantoin, aloe) or Regenepure (ketoconazole, zinc, aloe, designed for hair loss!). I also like the Komaza Care conditioners and scalp care products, many are pH 4.5 and packed with proven skin and hair friendly ingredients.
Thirdly avoid all oils and butters rich in oleic acid, stearic acid and palmitic acid, that includes but not limited to olive, avocado, sweet almond, palm fruit oil and shea butter. Studies have implicated oleic acid as being the component of sebum and the waste product of malassezia that is the prime irritant. Stearic and palmitic acids are components of sebum that feed malassezia. You can patch test with coconut oil if you wish.
Do not scratch and limit heat as this increases irritation, inflammation and histamine release. Wash your hair in cool water, no steaming, towel turbans or hot hairdryers. If your scalp is itchy use cold compresses. Whatever products you use in future at home or in the hair salon always run patch tests on a delicate area of skin, ideally on your scalp.
The bad news: permanent dying is a disaster for the skin's barrier function, it is highly alkaline so may saponify (turn to soap!) the fatty acids in the skin itself and destroy the acid mantle. The acid mantle cannot be restored by 'resetting' the scalp's pH with, say, vinegar rinses because includes the beneficial skin flora that help keep malassezia in check. If possible forget dying for a while, if not switch to a semi permanent colour - NOT demi which still contains peroxide - and try to keep it off the scalp. If you return to permanent colour when your scalp has calmed and healed avoid ones containing sulphate surfactants (many of them), see if you can find a hairdresser using an acid based system.
Sorry for the essay but HTH.
Wow- thank you!
Thanks so much, Firefox 7275! That' s a lot of really good information! I'm sorry that I haven't responded until now. I've been away. I appreciate all of this information and will look into those two brands of shampoos and all of the other ideas. They're a lot to consider changing all at once, but they sould valid, and I will look to making a change with the shampoos, first, and of course, diet (the way that I've been eating has needed to change for some time, so that is a definite piece of the puzzle that I'll attend to).
Thanks for the thoughtful explanation- all of it good.
Do you mean to avoid eating oily fish? You posted that alongside the sugar and white flour carbs (which make sense to avoid, to me) but also the oily fish. I have always understood it to be beneficial to eat oily fish- for several reasons. I just wanted to clarify. Thanks, again.
Adhere to at least the recommended minimum servings of oily fish which for *most* people is much more and the recommended maximums of sugars and white carbs which for *most* people is much less, as I said look at your intake. Sugar and white carbs are highly inflammatory, omega-3s from oily fish powerful anti inflammatories.
It is a lot of changes so by all means take baby steps, unfortunately they do work together so you might not get magical results right away. Dermatitis is an inflammatory (suffix -ITIS) condition and many aspects of the modern western lifestyle do act together to cause inflammation or irritation. Genetics can also be part of the puzzle but of course that aspect we cannot change.
Thanks for the clarification, Firefox7275. I'm starting to work on it, taking the baby steps.
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