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Old 01-27-2013, 09:00 PM   #1
 
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Default Product Buildup/Itchy Scalp

I've been doing the no poo method for several months now, and am noticing a lot of product buildup and sometimes an itchy scalp. Whenever I rub my fingernails on my scalp, I get a lot of gunky product coming off under my fingernails (whether my hair is wet or dry). I've been using Suave Naturals conditioner for co-wash, Sally's Beauty Generic Value Products Conditioning Balm (and leave a decent amount in as a leave-in conditioner) and then LA Looks Sport Gel. Once a week I use the Giovanni Tea Tree Shampoo. I've used a brown sugar scrub (brown sugar mixed with Suave conditioner) to try to remove buildup and I've also tried the baking soda recipe in the Curly Girl book, but it left my skin with a really odd residue.

Does anybody have any suggestions for me to get rid of all this product buildup? It is really grossing me out and I don't know how to get rid of it! Should I switch products out and just try something different?
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Old 01-30-2013, 08:39 AM   #2
 
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I have this problem too. I haven't tried either of these solutions yet, but I have had them recommended to me and plan to try them out!

1. Try using a scalp brush when co-washing to get the scalp extra clean. Something like this: Amazon.com: Shampoo Scalp Massage Brush- 1 Brush: Beauty

2. If that doesn't work, I might try low-pooing once every one or two weeks with Neutrogena T/Sal shampoo. It does have Sodium C14 16 Olefin Sulfonate, which isn't ideal, but it might be necessary for my scalp.

3. Apparently tea tree extract can be really good for the scalp. I don't know how this fights buildup (or if it really does - anyone else know more?), but some people add it to conditioner or shampoo, or buy a product that already has it in it.

I'm mainly interested in the scalp brushes, because my hair is very dense and I don't think my fingertips are really doing the job, even though I concentrate on giving myself a thorough scalp massage while co-washing.
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Old 01-30-2013, 02:27 PM   #3
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flippacious View Post
I have this problem too. I haven't tried either of these solutions yet, but I have had them recommended to me and plan to try them out!

1. Try using a scalp brush when co-washing to get the scalp extra clean. Something like this: Amazon.com: Shampoo Scalp Massage Brush- 1 Brush: Beauty

2. If that doesn't work, I might try low-pooing once every one or two weeks with Neutrogena T/Sal shampoo. It does have Sodium C14 16 Olefin Sulfonate, which isn't ideal, but it might be necessary for my scalp.

3. Apparently tea tree extract can be really good for the scalp. I don't know how this fights buildup (or if it really does - anyone else know more?), but some people add it to conditioner or shampoo, or buy a product that already has it in it.

I'm mainly interested in the scalp brushes, because my hair is very dense and I don't think my fingertips are really doing the job, even though I concentrate on giving myself a thorough scalp massage while co-washing.
I got 100% tea tree oil, It did nothing lol I may look into that scalp brush, as I have dense hair as well.
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Old 02-01-2013, 09:14 PM   #4
 
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I have never heard of a scalp brush - I'll definitely have to check that out! Thanks for the tips!!
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Old 02-02-2013, 03:43 PM   #5
 
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I used to have problems with buildup and itchy scalp, too, when I was using the cheaper products like Suave and VO5 cowashes, and LA Looks and LaBella gels.

I could never pin point it down to a single ingredient, so I recommend trying some products with higher quality ingredients. I eventually started using Deva One-C to massage my scalp, and mixing it with a thick protein dense conditioner for the ends. From time to time, if I start to feel extra oily, I use Deva No-poo to cleanse. I'm sure ACV/BS would do the trick in place of No-poo, tho.
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Old 02-03-2013, 01:51 AM   #6
 
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Well, I'm not known for mainstream advice lol, but for whatever it might be worth: I think Ms. Lorraine Massey has the right idea about some things, like how regularly using sulfate-based shampoos can be curl-killing.

But I have found some of her methods to be a bit extreme. Like how she used to say any blow drying at all is bad - she called it "blow frying" (but she did go take that back just in time to release her own blow dryer/diffuser set). Or how she doesn't think curly hair can be properly cut wet (it can).

I don't agree that shampoo should never be used. I think it's actually a terrific idea to wash curly hair every once in a while with straight-up sulfate shampoo (a clarifier, more specifically). Sulfate has a wonderful way of removing build-up and will not compromise the integrity of the hair at all when done once in a while. Plus, it's simple, it's cheap and it doesn't have a weird consistency like baking soda, and it doesn't attract bugs the way brown sugar can (plus brown sugar also has a weird consistency). Plus, the two aforementioned items won't necessarily take away all the buildup, and aren't necessarily less drying than a sulfate shampoo. It took personally suffering a really bad case of build-up to adjust my philosophy concerning this.
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Old 02-15-2013, 04:53 PM   #7
 
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Well I don't get build up but I will suggest that when you are washing your scalp with the conditioner make sure you are really scrubbing it clean, it doesn't have to be hard or vigorous just spend some time gently working away the oils and build up. What helps me get an even better clean with my conditioner is standing directly under the water and massaging and cleaning my scalp as the conditioner is being washed away. Let the water really run through your hair at the scalp. Also you may want to try not applying any of your leave ins or styling products on your scalp and roots. Try cleansing with a sulfate free shampoo once a week or once every two weeks and focus on your scalp.
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Old 02-16-2013, 12:24 PM   #8
 
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Thumbs up What I use by my lil bit...

I've had a similar concern for my daughter. Her hair goes down to her shoulder blades and is very dense. When I co-wash her hair I do so 2 inches away from her scalp. I use Dr. Bronner's diluted to wash her scalp, but not all over her hair, just the scalp. That seems to be working for her. Also, I use a travel size sprintz bottle with equal amounts of Tea Tree, Lavendar, and Peppermint essential oils (up to the 1/3 mark on the bottle, and fill the rest with aloe vera juice) and spray just the scalp to prevent itching and dandruff. I swear by this spray. I had a itchy scalp for months and noticed I was getting dandruff, it was unbearable. I'm surprised my scalp didn't bleed from all the scratching. I threw together this mix and the itching subsided immediately (not completely gone but better than it had been). After 15-20 minutes it was gone. So now I use it at least 2x/wk, more if I feel I need it.

Sorry for rambling but I hope this helps.
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Old 02-17-2013, 08:40 AM   #9
 
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I don't co-wash AT ALL for this reason: buildup. Conditioners always deposit more on my scalp than washes away. My scalp can't take it. Check out my sig below for a low poo solution...


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Old 02-17-2013, 01:05 PM   #10
 
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I may be wrong but is the Giovanni shampoo you're using a lo poo? I would suggest clarifying with a sulfate shampoo if it is. It may just be buildup only sulfates can remove. Use a DT afterwards if it feels dry.
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Old 02-17-2013, 03:24 PM   #11
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NvmbrCurlss View Post
I don't co-wash AT ALL for this reason: buildup. Conditioners always deposit more on my scalp than washes away. My scalp can't take it. Check out my sig below for a low poo solution...
Yeah, tolerance to cowashing isn't as high across the board as certain curly "hair specialists" would have you think IMO. It's just not appropriate for everyone and many people NEED shampoo either regularly or here and there for the look and health of their hair.

And then there are so many possibilities in between strict cowashing and using shampoo for every wash: like watering down the shampoo before using it, or adding a bit of shampoo to the cowash either sometimes or often. Or "lo-poo", of course. Or just using non-sulfate shampoos (though use of a lot of conditioner and/or stylers can eventually lead to a need for a one-time clarifying sulfate shampoo).
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Old 02-17-2013, 03:31 PM   #12
 
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I was using As I Am Coconut Cowash and started developing dry scalp and itching. Then it occurred to me wait a minute, I never had "dry scalp" before CG. I never had oily scalp either. I was just normal. Then I found out a preservative in my cowash caused itchy scalp:

Itchy Scalp Causes: Preservatives in Hair Products

And I wised up. Stopped co-washing the scalp completely. I wash my hair every other day so what I started doing was a tea tree oil treatment one day, straight up water washing another, and on the third wash day of the week I'd low poo with a super gentle cleanser so as to not dry out my hair. (Shea Moisture's Moisture Retention Shampoo or their Yucca Baobab Shampoo. I love both. Light lather, and neither strips my hair.)

The reason I used tea tree oil is because I know it's good for regulating sebum and thus preventing buildup. What I would do is take about six q-tips and dip either side into tea tree oil. Then really fast, I'd dip the ends on a little dixie cup filled shallowly with water to dilute the oil. Then I'd apply directly to the scalp and give myself a massage treatment with smooth circular motions. The twelve ends of the q-tips are roughly enough to cover my whole head I've found. Then I got in the shower and rinsed and co-washed my hair, yes, but not the scalp. I'd apply conditioner a few inches past my roots to avoid the scalp.

But then I found Trader Joe's Tea Tree tingle conditioner. It is a godsend. I love it. It has no preservatives that cause itchy scalp and lots of delicious clarifying oils that cleanse the hair while it moisturizes. I can co-wash with this, I've found, and have no buildup at all or itching. So here's what I do now. Say today is Sunday and I'd wash my hair today: I'd co-wash the scalp with Trader Joe's tea tree tingle. On Tuesday I'd do a tea tree treatment then water rinse. On Thursday I'd use either of my low poos.

Also those low poos are so super gentle I think they'd be safe for you to use more than once a week if you like. Also I have to agree 100% with Korkscrew. Clarifying your hair with a straight up sulfate shampoo once in a while is not going to hurt it. You can always do a pre poo where you slather your hair in protective oils (olive, coconut) and conditioner an hour before you shampoo to protect your hair from getting stripped. A good silicone free shampoo that's super cheap you might use for clarifying is Suave Naturals Coconut. $1 at the drugstore. Sulfates are not the devil. And you shouldn't have to suffer a dry itchy scalp or product buildup to have well moisturized curly hair. You do what's right for you. Experiment and you'll find a balance. Maybe you can do your giovanni tea tree shampoo twice a week and deep treat after you shampoo. Or do a mini deep treatment. That's where I put a little bit of leave in conditioner in my hair and throw on a shower cap and sleep. (This is when I shower at night.) In the morning I rinse and style. Having slept with conditioner my hair is super soft come morning.
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Last edited by dusalocks; 02-17-2013 at 03:35 PM.
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