Unwashed smell and itchiness

I have been CG for 3 months (using a low-poo for 2 and co-washing for 1) and I am running into some issues.

I have a "unwashed hair smell" even when I co-wash. My conditioner and leave-in are nearly scent-less.

I have also been having scalp problems. After day two or three of not co-washing, my scalp freaks out. I get really bad flaking, and I have one spot on the back of my head that always has a scab and bleeds if I scratch it. I had the exact same problem before I went cg. I have to keep my nails short so I can't scratch my scalp.

One thing I can think of that might give us a clue, I straightened my hair a week ago. I used a heat protectant that is all silicone and when I washed afterwards, I only used a low-poo.
Maybe a dermatologist can help better for the scalp issues? But when you go cg and then use a silicone you have to go cg all over again. My best bet is that the silicone is still on top of your hair. I would clarify with a vo5 shampoo then continue practicing cg methods.

About the unwashed smell I experienced that too. I don't think conditioner was strong enough to clean my hair. But when I started using sulfate free shampoo that odd smell vanished. Now that I use one line (Shea Moisture) my hair smells great for days.

Last edited by Rayne17; 11-26-2012 at 05:19 AM.
Have you tried Giovanni Tea Tree Triple Treat Shampoo? It's a low-poo, and it really helps with itchy scalp and smells wonderful! This time of year my scalp can get really itchy!

Also, are you massaging your scalp enough when you co-wash? In the beginning, I wasn't doing it enough. Now I do, and I rarely have flakes, which amazes me!

Every once in awhile (usually every few months), I have to use a sulfate shampoo on my scalp. If it feels gunky and itchy, then that's what I do. Sometimes we just need that total clarifying that a sulfate shampoo gives. I go as long as I can without using it.

Good luck!
-3a/3b, fine, very thick, normal por., normal elast., long, dye- free (CG since Nov. '11)
-CO: every other night (air dry) VO5 (various scents)
-Low poo (As needed): ION Color Defense Clarifying, Yes To line, Giovanni TTTT
-RO: GVP CB
-LI: Giovanni DLI or a tiny bit of my co-wash or RO (sometimes none)
-Styling: BYZ Noodle Head Tame your Curls Mousse
-PT: ION Effective Care



Thank you for your advice. I have been using Giovanni's TTTT weekly for a while, and a sulfate shampoo every two weeks. I don't know if I was massaging my scalp enough or not. My problem isn't as bad now. I am so happy that I can ask questions on here and get answers!
Every so often a sulfate shampoo is a necessary evil to get rid of excessive buildup-I love Tressemme for curly hair.
I had the same problem w/co-washing, turns out low porosity was the culprit. Condish just sits on hair w/out absorbing.
The best solution is to dilute condish in a spray bottle to the consistancy of milk. Use just enough to detangle, plus it can double as a L.In also.
Honestly conditioning every single day is not necessary, a good saturating rinse w/water followed by a bit of L.I. on the ends only is plenty, followed by a styler. Hope this helps!

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