Dandruff Help!

I have always been slightly clueless about my hair. I'm of mixed-race. My caucasian mother gave me thick, curly, frizzy hair. My african father gave me the same. So my hair has always been, well, big. To make it even harder on me, I was adopted into a white family, with a history of thin hair and balding. So right from day on, my hair has been a big mystery.

I've been to a multitude of salons, some ethnic and some general, and they've all never really helped. I tried Deva Curl, but couldn't afford to keep up with it. Right now I'm using the Mixed Chicks leave-in conditioner, and it's definitely defined my curls really well, and it's helped soften them- both problems I've had for a long time.

Currently though, I'm stuck with an issue I've had since early March. I've been having awful dandruff. I've tried two dandruff shampoo/conditioners (Aveeno which was the best, and Head and Shoulders which I hated), but they both stopped helping, and instead dried out my hair. I've been trying to use ultra moisturizing shampoos and conditioners, and they've barely helped. I even bleached my hair, just because I was so frustrated, I'd rather go blonde and hide the flakes. It actually ended up helping for a bit because of the high conditioning agents in it. I've tried at home remedies (yogurt, lemon, etc.) and they haven't helped either.

This is the second time I've had dandruff this badly. The first time was 12 years ago. It stopped just as randomly as it started. I have no idea what caused it then or now.

I've been threatening to shave my head and it might just come to that. Anyone have any suggestions that have worked for them? I'm just not ready to find out if I have any weird bumps on my scalp yet.

Thanks! I'm just so tired of itching!

Last edited by curly_kitty; 09-02-2013 at 06:01 PM.

See your family doctor or a dermatologist for a medical diagnosis, 'dandruff' is a colloquialism that can represent a number of different conditions with very different effective treatments. You can very easily worsen a dermatological problem by self treating a self diagnosis.

Bleaching the hair damages the skin barrier so ultimately can worsen several scalp disorders, a decent colourist should have refused to touch you without a diagnosis. The conditioning agents will not resolve the problem, more likely the alkalinity and peroxide killed something on your scalp, but it will have destroyed the good guys as well as the bad.

Whilst you are awaiting your appointment take a hard look at your diet and lifestyle, making it as anti inflammatory anti stress and nutrient dense as possible. Also stop all scratching use cold compresses to relieve the itching or mittens on your hands. Do not use heat (hot water, towel turbans, heat treatments, blow fryers) because all these encourage the release of histamine.

Topically nothing alkaline (bleach, baking soda, soap), no sulphates ideally no anionic surfactants, no oils or butters rich in oleic acid.
2a-2c, medium texture, porous/ colour treated. Three years CG. Past bra strap length heading for waist.

CO-wash: Inecto coconut/ Elvive Volume Collagen
Treatments: Komaza Care Matani, coconut/ sweet almond/ fractionated coconut oils, Hairveda Sitrinillah
Leave in: Fructis Sleek & Shine (old), Gliss Ultimate Volume, various Elvive
Styler: Umberto Giannini jelly, Au Naturale styling gelee
Flour sack towel, pixie diffuse or air dry.
Experimenting with: benign neglect
Hey there! I can also get dandruffy & SD-y.

Okay, first things first. I'd recommend going to the derm to have it checked out. Flakiness can be caused by a few things (including dandruff) and you want to make sure you have the right diagnosis before you treat. Makes sense. Otherwise you could be trying a dozen different things and none of them working or possibly making your condition worse.

If your condition is indeed dandruff, Giovanni makes a dandruff shampoo that I like... it's called Don't Be Flakey! It's not going to be as drying as head & shoulders etc. as it is sulfate-free. I believe Jason makes a similar dandruff low-poo. Both have salicylic acid, an ingredient recommended by my derm. I don't regularly use dandruff shampoos (I use gentle low-poos) but I keep GDBF in rotation.

I have to admit though that I always have a small bottle of Selsun Blue around for emergencies. Yes it has sulfates but it totally gets rid of any SD breakout in 1-3 shampoos so the benefits far outweigh the cons.

Honey treatments have also been proven to help SD and dandruff:
Old PubMed Article - Effects of crude honey on chronic seborrheic dermatitis

Overall though it seems like your case is moderate-severe so I'd highly recommend visiting a derm.

Oh and you said that some dandruff poos stopped working? My derm told me that I have to switch around between different shampoos with different antifungal ingredients: tar, salicylic acid, selenium sulfide... urgh there was another one I don't remember. It may be so the yeast doesn't form some kind of resistance. My case isn't severe enough to constantly use a anti-dandruff poo... but for you I think you need to.

I wouldn't worry too much about your hair at this point and get your scalp figured out first. A healthy scalp is necessary for healthy hair! In order to protect your tresses from the sulfates, condition up the lengths of your hair, then apply shampoo only to your scalp, massage, let it sit for a few minutes, then rinse it all out.
2bc/ f / ii. low porosity roots + normal-high porosity shaft where bleached. normal elasticity.

Currently using:
Poo: Earthbath Oatmeal & Aloe
RO: V05 Kiwi Lime
LI: CJ Smoothing Lotion
Styler: UFD CM, CJ PP
PT: CJ Repair Me

hydrolized protein, jelly stylers
guar hydroxypropyltrimonium chloride, sulfates, jojoba oil
Neutral on cones.

iherb discount code: CFN646
Tea tree oil is excellent for dandruff. Dilute it in jojoba oil and do scalp treatments before you shampoo. This will moisturize your scalp while killing whatever bacteria or fungi that is causing the dandruff. A derm can also give you something as a scalp treatment as opposed to a shampoo. A friend of mine had severe dandruff and she got a special oil/medicine mix to put on before she showered. Giovanni tea tree shampoo is excellent and sulfate free. Do whatever you can to prevent drying of your scalp because that exacerbates the problem.

Also, you should use as natural of products as possible. Giovanni is a great natural brand by the way. I notice that when I use a lot of synthetic products, especially conditioners, I get a flaky itchy scalp and I have no history of dandruff at all.

3a, fine/med strand thickness, high density, low porosity
CG since April 2012
BC October 2012
Cleanser: SheaMoisture Manuka Honey or CJ Daily Fix
RO Conditioner: Mop Top Daily Conditioner
Leave In: KCKT
Stylers: Either Raw Curls Spray Gel, Raw Curls Medium Hold Gel, or MopTop Curly Custard, and always topped with Curlisto Control II Gel
Sealer: Pure Argan Oil
with scalp problems, if thats dandruff or scrabs or sores or ichy what ever it may be i always suggest an oil mixture. Rosemary, tea tree and pepermints oil are the best. you do need to dilute it in another light oil. jojoba or grapeseed or argan oil are great for the scalp as well.
ive made a mixture: half argan oil, half grapeseed or evening primrose oil, then i add drops of rosemary and pepermints oil. i use this for myself as a growth stimulater, though it smells amazing and is very relaxing, so its great for head aches, or for colds.
my man loves it cause its so relaxing, though he also has bad dandruff n dry ichy scalp though after about three days of messaging it every night it clears it up pretty good

my hair: 3b, high porosity, high density and coarse hair (i think i finally figured that all out)
my hair loves conditioner only styling!
Oils and my own procuts are my hairs best friend
my hair goal length is bra strap length when curly.

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