-   General Discussion about Curly Hair(
-   -   Yet another "itchy scalp" case.(

hsr 05-08-2013 06:18 PM

Yet another "itchy scalp" case.
I've been co-washing for about 3 years -- the first 2, I was more mod-cg, and this past year I've been following cg more closely. In all that time, I have never had an itchy scalp.

A few months ago, I gave water-only washing a go. I was thorough with deep massaging while "washing," and despite my scalp feeling clean and my hair soft -- no excessive grease whatsoever -- I developed an extremely itchy scalp after 2 weeks. I quit water-only and went back to my normal routine.

My scalp is still itching! It's driving me mad! I went back to the exact same routine as before; I've tried clarifying with various things -- sulfate shampoo, bs & acv -- all to no avail. Tea Tree oil helps for awhile, but hasn't been a solution. I cannot pinpoint the problem.

I did see a post recently about Tresemme Naturals Moisture containing an ingredient that irritates scalps. Does anyone know if this is true? I started using this conditioner last fall; however, I would've thought an irritation or allergy would've presented well before now.

I'm at my wit's end. If anyone has any suggestions -- please, please, please offer them.

Firefox7275 05-08-2013 06:53 PM

Please seek a formal diagnosis, without that anything we say is amateur guesswork. Any self treatment based on a self diagnosis can do more harm than good - all the things you have tried are capable of further damaging the skin's barrier function.

Whilst you are organising an appointment with your family doctor or a dermatologist, DO NOT scratch use cold compresses instead, do not heat your scalp wash in cool water, no long plops or towel turbans. Both heat and scratching can trigger histamine release, cool should provide temporary relief but is in no way a 'cure'.

Also review your diet and make it as micronutrient dense and anti inflammatory as possible, particularly look at your intake of essential fatty acids from oily fish and your intake of sugar/ white refined carbs. This can alter the composition of your sebum, strengthen your skin barrier, calm any inappropriate immune responses and reduce systemic inflammation all of which are implicated in the most common scalp disorders.

All products contain ingredients which can irritate or cause allergic reactions given the right set of circumstances, Tresemme Naturals is nothing special in that regard. Irritations and allergies can arise at any time, they do not need to be to a new product or ingredient. Even chlorine in tap water can be a problem where there is an underlying dermatological disorder.

asianrunner 05-09-2013 10:38 PM

Scalpicin can be a short-term relief. Easily found at any drugstores. I also highly recommend a brown sugar scrub. Mix together about a tablespoon of brown sugar and a tablespoon of olive oil. You can add tea tree oil (5-10 drops) but I like rosemary oil. Mix it all together and massage it on your scalp. I do this upside down over the tub since it's pretty messy!

Let it sit for about 10 mins and then cowash or low poo it out.

hsr 05-10-2013 07:30 AM

Thanks for the replies -- I appreciate it.

I considered a brown sugar scrub, but I'm fairly certain the abrasive materials would further irritate my scalp. Upon looking further, I have little red bumps that itch like mad, and are on occasionally even vaguely achy. I'm trying to be gentle with them, not scratch, avoid combing, etc. If those weren't there, I'd probably give the sugar scrub a go.

I really feel that a product is causing this, but will probably schedule an appointment with my family doctor anyway, just incase it is something more serious. No time this week, but hopefully early next.

Again, thank you for the replies. Hope to get this cleared up soon...

hsr 05-14-2013 11:26 AM

I saw my doctor today. Apparently, my hair follicles are infected. He prescribed me an antibiotic. In the meantime, he told me to go as product-free as possible and also limit washing, which of course, I do anyway. He reviewed my products and suggested that I give up the Tresemme, due to the likelihood of the chemicals being irritants.

So now I'm looking for recommendations for gentle conditioners with mostly natural ingredients. I'm considering Trader Joe's Tea Tree Tingle; however, my doctor said to avoid tea tree until my infection is gone, so I won't start that for awhile. Are there any others? Preferably easy to buy (not internet/boutique) and affordable.

As always, thanks for everyone's help!

Firefox7275 05-14-2013 11:57 AM

Natural is not necessarily better: there are plenty of irritants, allergens and toxins in nature and many natural products have piles of plant extracts added. You might be best going for something really neutral with very few ingredients, perhaps something sold as a conditioner base, intended to have oils or fragrances added or sold as hypo allergenic or something based on aloe vera inner leaf gel (healing, anti inflammatory).

Inecto has few ingredients, no parabens, is light and cheap.

hsr 05-14-2013 01:21 PM

What is Inecto? I did a quick google search and came up with something labeled "pure coconut oil." My hair is extremely picky about oils -- too much and it gets gunky; also doesn't wash out well without sulfates, which I try to avoid.

Also, it looks to only be sold in the UK? That's a no-go for me, unfortunately.

Firefox7275 05-15-2013 06:20 AM


Originally Posted by hsr (Post 2170084)
What is Inecto? I did a quick google search and came up with something labeled "pure coconut oil." My hair is extremely picky about oils -- too much and it gets gunky; also doesn't wash out well without sulfates, which I try to avoid.

Also, it looks to only be sold in the UK? That's a no-go for me, unfortunately.

Inecto is a very lightweight cheap conditioner available in a number of countries including the US. Ignore straplines and sales pitches, it contains very very little oil, to the point I cannot even tell it's there, it's nowhere near conditioning enough for my hair. It is amazing as a CO-wash, gets even heavy coconut oilings out, leaving my hair 'squeaky' and makes a great base for intensive treatments.

If you cannot get any oils out without sulphates then either you are not using enough product, a conditioner that focuses too much on moisturising ingredients and not on cleansing agents (cationic surfactants), poor co-washing technique or you have something else in your routine that the oils are gumming up with. Heavy butters are a different matter, many find them a nightmare to get out and most don't actually 'nourish' hair anyway.

Other than that TBH I don't understand what you are looking for. What ingredients are you willing and able to use? If you take natural oils out of a conditioner and any plant extracts that might irritate, you aren't left with much you would recognise as a natural ingredient! Just the lab manufactured fatty alcohols, cationic surfactants, preservatives and the like.

There are JASON and Aloe Pura brands of aloe vera conditioner but both are packed with plant extracts and other ingredients any one of which could irritate. Otherwise you could go online and purchase a conditioner 'base' - that would have few ingredients but is not in store.

rainboe 05-15-2013 06:34 AM

Firefox, I've never seen that conditioner in the US. Maybe it isn't as popularly avaiable here?

OP, I think you should maybe just try phasing products in and seeing how your scalp reacts too them. Because you don't know what your scalp is reacting too. Like, after your scalp has recovered you can try one products (probably a conditioner) for a couple weeks and see how well it works. I don't know if this will be helpful, but here's some stuff on NC about allergies:

Top Hair Care Product Allergies

I hope you feel better soon!

MaggieB 12-03-2014 05:07 PM

Late Answer
Do you color your hair? Others may read this thread and need this question asked, so I'm going to, even though I'm reading much later. I ask because I had this happen last winter and my itching scalp got unbearable. I sought an allergy for 10 days before remembering I'd added some highlights and had left the lightening color on longer than I probably should have a few weeks prior.

I think that process irritated my hair follicles, making them more sensitive.

I stripped off all the product from my hair with baking soda before I got relief, then I went to baby shampoo only for a few weeks, or very mild, controlled products and no styling product to aggravate it. Also, antihistimines regularly, and scalpicin did help.

I am finding this winter that returning to the same mousse, and Aussie brand, it starting to provoke some itching again, though not as extreme as before.

naturecat 12-03-2014 07:30 PM

Products that are more chemical light (assuming that it is a chemical reaction, which we don't know for sure) include John Master's conditioners (I like their avocado and lavender conditioner as well as the detangler, whether citrus and neroli, rosemary, or plain), and also Aubrey organics. You can try making your own homemade conditioner, but do a patch skin test to make sure nothing irritates. You can use marshmallow root and/or slippery elm bark (these provide great slip to the hair), catnip tea (I do these treatments once/week and it leaves my hair silky and strong), rosemary and chamomile tea (conditioning)… but check with your dr to make sure these ingredients would be okay. If you have any open wound anything can be irritating. Aloe vera is very soothing to skin irritation for many people (I used the juice fresh from the plant), but again be careful because on irritated skin things can have unpredictable responses.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 07:05 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright 2011