Dandruff and PMS

I've scoured the forum and unfortunately couldn't find an answer to my problem.

Since childhood I've suffered from dandruff and have awful memories of my mother attacking my scalp with a comb to scratch up the dandruff before shampooing my hair. With a relaxer, without a relaxer, nopoo, dandruff products, dry scalp products, regular products, seen a doctor...the dandruff has never completely gone away.

My dandruff is the kind that sticks to my scalp like it's attached with glue and ITCHES SOMETHING AWFUL. Yes...I know that you're not supposed to scratch but the intensity of the itch often leaves me no choice. Once I've peeled off the dandruff (some flakes are a 1/4 inch large) the itching subsides.

Normally the dandruff appears in patches and is rather tolerable but during the 5-7 before my period, watch out! I wake up in the morning and almost my entire scalp is covered. It resembles a less severe form of cradle cap in babies. Even after washing my hair the sticky dandruff and itching return within a few hours.

Seeing a dermatologist again would be nice but I'm currently unemployed and uninsured.

Can someone PLEASE give me some advice to lessen/fix the problem?!? Products, home remedies, anything!

My hair is mainly 3b but my crown area is 3c.

Thanks in advance for your help!
Misslittleamerika's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 11
The best advice I can give you is to use a shampoo that has tea tree oil. My dandruff was never as severe but it definitely cleared it up and tea tree oil is supposed to help with the itching. I'm currently using Giovanni's tea tree tripple treat shampoo and love it. I also used to use Jason's tea tree scalp normalizing shampoo. Both were great but jason's wasn't CG. Best of Luck!
Modified-CG since June of 2011
Wave Type: 2b

Low Poo: GTTTT
Conditioner: GSAS
Leave In: GDLI
Styler: KMFUM Gel
Likes: Plopping, Scrunching, Microfiber Towels
I've found that products with tea tree oil in them are overpriced and don't have enough of tea tree oil to really really help the dandruff. I've had severe dandruff as long as I can remember, but I read somewhere that you can just add one teaspoon per 32 oz of your favorite shampoo or conditioner...shook it up in my shampoo and rubbed it on my scalp and it instantly got rid of the dandruff! No exaggeration.
Hair Type: 3b/3c (I think! lol)

Quit using heat 9 months ago
@shuz4me: I had dandruff all my life also and tried everything you mentioned and none of it worked. What worked for me is prepooing with evco and cowashing. I also avoided shampoos for a while. Within about 2 weeks of using evco and cowashing my dandruff was gone for good. That was 2 years ago and I've been flake free since.

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Thank you do much for all of your advice!

I have a bottle of tea tree oil (never thought to use it on my dandruff) so I'll try that method first.

@secret_karma - where do you purchase EVCO? How often do you prepoo with it?

Reading that you ladies are flake free I'm so excited to give both methods a try! I'll keep you posted on my progress.
You're welcome. I hope one of them works!
Hair Type: 3b/3c (I think! lol)

Quit using heat 9 months ago
I added tea tree oil to my SheaMoisture Restorative Conditioner and so far...no itch and no flakes. Keeping my fingers crossed that this is the magic solution I've been searching for.
Misslittleamerika's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 11
I'm so glad to hear that! Tea Tree Oil has definitely saved my hair! =)...Keep us posted!
Modified-CG since June of 2011
Wave Type: 2b

Low Poo: GTTTT
Conditioner: GSAS
Leave In: GDLI
Styler: KMFUM Gel
Likes: Plopping, Scrunching, Microfiber Towels
I'm so glad that it seems to be working for you!
Hair Type: 3b/3c (I think! lol)

Quit using heat 9 months ago
Are you sure it's dandruff? Could be another skin problem like seborrheic dermatitis?
I recently found some plaques on my 14yo daughter's head. Bought a salicylic acid shampoo (Selsun Blues Naturals), an exfoliant, and a stiff boar bristle brush. Brushed the plaques loose then had her shampoo with the salicylic shampoo. After the washing, I used coconut oil to massage into the plaque areas.

WebMD Health Search
I've also had dandruff forever. When I was diagnosed with PCOS, I read that many women with it have persistent dandruff due to producing excess sebum. Nothing I've used has ever really gotten rid of dandruff for good but some things have helped a lot.

Of all the shampoos I've tried, Nizoral has helped the most. It's also supposed to help reduce shedding. I also like Malibu C scalp wellness shampoo. I alternate between them.

Ion makes a clarifying scalp scrub that is a duplicate of one made by Malibu C. I actually prefer the less expensive Ion version, plus I don't have to order it online. It contains salicylic acid, vitamin C and zinc. My scalp feels really clean after using it! I use it once a week.

I've heard that apple cider vinegar is also good for dandruff but I haven't tried it.

Malibu C® Scalp Wellness Shampoo | Malibu CŪ Hair, Scalp, Skin Products

Ion - Dandruff Solutions - Ion Scalp Clarifying Treatment
Nizoral is the "gold standard" for getting rid of the fungi that lives on irritated, inflamed scalps. But some people react to the chemicals in it.

A great scale-removing scrub is using about equal parts sugar and oil, plus about 5-10 drops tea tree oil (if you've never put tea tree oil on your skin, dilute it in oil and test a patch first to make sure you're not allergic). This exfoliates, softens, and the tea tree has some antifungal and antiseptic properties. Do this to your dry scalp, leave it on for 10 minutes, then shampoo out. I learned this from somebody else here and I know several people who have luck with it.

Things like acne and asthma flare up with PMS, so this is acting a bit like seborrheic dermatitis or eczema for you.

Some other cheap tips: use cool or lukewarm water on your scalp. Hot water strips oils and causes release of histamines which are itchy.
Shampoo every other day.
Try washing your scalp and hair with aloe vera juice (diluted half with water). Aloe is acidic, which may help, and also chock full of anti-inflammatory compounds and soothing.
If you have itchy patches, you can buy hydrocortisone cream (usually for around $3 for a store brand) and apply it to your skin to reduce inflammation and itch.

If you notice more itching related to certain hair/skin products, certain activities (hike in the woods, for example) - you may have an allergy and need to scrutinize ingredients or avoid itch-triggers.
Ugh...I typed a lengthy reply and it didn't post.

Quick update: it's almost that time of the month and my scalp is a scaly, dry, itchy mess again despite trying the remedies you all suggested. My scalp has been in pretty good shape until this morning.

@crimsonshedemon - No I'm not sure. I went to a dermatologist years ago and was given a prescription shampoo that didn't work. Could've sworn the doc said it was dandruff. Unfortuantely I don't have health insurance right now so going to the doctor isn't an option. Does your daughter have seborrheic dermatitis? Plaques sound a lot like what I have. They're thick scales that I have to pry off my scalp with a fine tooth comb, brush or...my fingernails. Yes, I know that isn't good to do but the itch is so UNBEARABLE sometimes that scratching up the scales/plaques with my nails is the only thing that gives me some relief.

@nomnom - if you don't mind me asking, what is PCOS? That ion scalp scrub sounds divine. I'm going to see if Walgreens carrys it.

@IAgirl - my scalp is the only area where I have skin issues so could seborrheic dermatitis or eczema be a possibility? You've given some great suggestions and I'm going to head to Trader Joe's shortly (where I just saw aloe vera juice and wondered what the heck it was used for). I had a bad reaction to Nizoral years ago when I tried it.

Whether the homemade scrub or the ion scrub I'm going to get this stuff off my scalp TONIGHT! Goodbye itch. Fingers crossed that the scales don't grow back tomorrow.

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