3b/3c with EXTREMELY dry SUPER itchy scalp

So I know there are several different threads about this but I haven't seen any that address my daughter's scalp problem.

She just turned 2 and we have been battling with scalp issues since she was 3 months old. However, her scalp issues subsided between 15 months to 23 months. Just recently, her scalp has become 100 times worse. She scratches her scalp until it bleeds and is so dry. Up until recently we used a SLS-free poo and mild conditioner, at our most recent Dr. visit she recommended we try Neutrogena T-Gel shampoo and conditioner. Upon first use this seemed to be doing the job, but we used it for the 3rd time few days ago and the dry scalp and scratching has come back with a vengeance.

I am at a total loss about what to do...we have tried every possible (safe) oil (olive, grapeseed, jojoba, coconut, argan, etc.).

Any thoughts?
Just a couple things that come to mind, however please read more about them because they are just my opinion/suggestions. I'm wondering if Witch Hazel might help soothe her scalp? It would be drying to her actual hair however. The other one is Hemp seed oil? I've just started using it. Perhaps you've already researched those.
Good luck, it sounds extremely frustrating for her.
I would speak to the doctor again a.s.a.p, and hopefully you will get another recommendation for hair products, just in case she has eczema.

But if you want to purchase a brand I would recommend Shea Moisture Organic African Black soap for dry itchy scalp.
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-Hair Type 3C mixed with 4A-
Join Date: Oct 2010
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I would speak to the doctor again a.s.a.p, and hopefully you will get another recommendation for hair products, just in case she has eczema.
Originally Posted by KandyLandKurls
I have eczema, dry skin, and allergic ingredient issues. My general solution is to (1) eliminate irritants (ingredients and rubbing /scrubbing) and (2) hydrate scalp with good water. If steps 1 & 2 are not enough, then use skin soothing / moisture sealing / medicated / home remedy ingredients. I imagine you know quite a bit about scalp issues by now, so please don't be offended if my comments seem obvious.

My fav itch routine:
-- Stop the itch - 5 min ACV scalp soak pre-shower (applied directly to scalp with fingertips or spritzer, once a week, as needed)
-- Scalp-only wash - CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser (a gentle cowash), sometimes medicated poo
-- Hydrate - Hydrate skin for at least 5 min (daily if possible and helpful). Carbon and fiber on-the-nozzle shower filter removes irritants, whole family less itchy.
-- Condition - with low-irritant conditioner
-- Seal in moisture / calm skin (when having bad itchy dry scalp issues) - apply cortisone alone or mixed with low-irritant lotion or oil to scalp within 3 minutes of getting out of the shower
-- Drink more water

Now that the humidity is high, I can skip the cortisone / sealing, wash less, and do almost no home remedy / medicated stuff.

To seal IN moisture and sooth the skin, the skin must first be fully hydrated by being in the shower or bath for at least 5-10 minutes, then apply oil / lotion seal. Getting the scalp wet (dry hair, outside the shower) with wet fingers or a spritzer gives some relief, but not as good as washing, hydrating, then sealing. Applying oil to dry skin seals moisture OUT. Washing (removing oils) and not sealing afterward dries out skin. http://www.easeeczema.org/ helped me learn more about dry skin. Safflower and sunflower oil are two of the least irritating and non-comedagenic oils. Some oils and lotions will clog pores and irritate skin - more on http://www.zerozits.com/Articles/acnedetect.htm#inglist . I have made small batches of lotion (less than a weeks worth because no preservatives added) by mixing equal parts oil, glycerin, and aloe. I also like Kiss My Face seriously sensitive fragrance free lotion and have heard great stuff about CeraVe.

It is a good idea to do a patch test on every product to test for ingredient sensitivities (sensitivities can be worsened by dry air and other skin / health conditions). Tea tree and other herbs can be very helpful, but any "treatment" can also be irritating.

For some skin conditions, it may help to use a SLS / SLES shampoo to clear out the pores without irritating the skin by massaging (massaging is necessary for low/no poos). Using SLS / SLES medicated shampoos can be great to treat skin conditions, clear off irritating residue, clear out pores, and stop the itch cycle; but they can remove the protective oil barrier, leading to dry skin. You can replace the protective barrier with non-irritating lotion, oil, or conditioner. For medicated shampoos, I like DERMAdoctor Born To Be Mild Medicated Face & Body Cleanser (fav, no sticky shampoo residue, less oil stripping, fragrance free), T-sal (2nd fav, fragrance free), and T-gel (3rd fav). A fragrance free, no frills lowpoo such as Free&Clear Shampoo might be good to rotate in and less oil stripping. Free&Clear Co is fragrance-free, no frills (= fewer ingredients to be irritated by), can add safflower or sunflower oil to small batch. Jessicurl, Kinky Curly Tiny Twirls, and Spiral Solutions on Etsy.com, Cure Care at Sally's, etc. come in fragrance free (though fragrance may not be your issue), but may have other irritating ingredients. Medication / home remedies can be added to a no-frills non-irritating routine. It helps to rotate products / routine.

Good luck!
m-c iii-ii | loose spirals with ringlets

Last edited by gecko; 04-12-2011 at 10:46 AM.
I would speak to the doctor again a.s.a.p, and hopefully you will get another recommendation for hair products, just in case she has eczema.

But if you want to purchase a brand I would recommend Shea Moisture Organic African Black soap for dry itchy scalp.
Originally Posted by KandyLandKurls

Thanks so much KandyLandKurls. We have seen her Dr. and she does not have eczema. Additionally, we have tried the SM Organic Black Soap for dry itchy scalp and it did not help.
Gecko...thanks for all the info!

Though she does not have eczema I will dry your tips. Do you know if ACV is safe to use on a 2 y.o.?

Also, I hadn't thought about the SLS/SLES shampoo being good to unclog her pores.

A nurse at her Dr. office recommended TheraNeem Organix shampoo and conditioner because they have a formulation for kids. I tried this last night and then followed it with jojoba oil on a few spots of her scalp. This morning it wasn't as bad as it's been, so I hope this works.
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 313
I am not 100% sure straight ACV would be fine for a 2 yr old. It would be a good idea to do a patch test on her. Also, maybe dilute it. And be sure to keep it out of her eyes - I forgot that it does burn if it gets in the eyes. Applying with your fingertips would probably have the least amount of dripping.

About shampoo - its a catch 22.
-- SLS/SLES shampoo does a great job at cleaning without having to massage the scalp. But it strips oil, ending up drying the scalp. AIgirl has good luck using very dilute (with water) SLS shampoo.
-- Lowpoos and nopoos leave much of your protective oils. But, they require massaging, which can irritate sensitive skin.
m-c iii-ii | loose spirals with ringlets
I think the rubbing/massaging while I'm shampooing her hair may be half the battle. I get so focused on getting her scalp clean I'm not considering the rubbing is aggravating it even more.

Thanks again for all the info Gecko.
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 313
You are welcome! Let me know what works for your girl - I might use some of YOUR ideas.

I had good luck washing my 9yr old's hair the other day (just a fun experiment) by putting some shampoo and a few drops of Dr.Bronner's Tea Tree soap (because I had it out) and Tbs of ACV (just an experiment) in a 6oz color applicator bottle with a long nozzle. Filled the rest with water and mixed (though, trouble with suds). I was able to poke the nozzle through her thick hair and down to her scalp. I Squirted it all in. I massaged her scalp a little bit, but she hates it. She has very long hair and a sensitive scalp (pain-wise). (It is much easier to get a thorough clean and massage in the bath) The experiment went well and I plan to have her wash it this way every once in a while. She usually washes her hair herself, with almost no product (though I ask her to use more); it turns out fine, though it is sometimes obvious she missed a few spots.
m-c iii-ii | loose spirals with ringlets

Last edited by gecko; 04-12-2011 at 11:39 AM.
Prior to this recent flare up we were using the Dr. Bronners baby soap which is what I bathe her in. I think I'm going to do spot test with ACV.
I have started using the TheraNeem Organix shampoo and conditioner. It is making a HUGE difference on her hair/scalp. I've removed all other products from her regimen and am only using Jojoba oil and KKKC to style her hair. Each night I am lightly spritzing with water, applying cortisone cream to itchy/dry spots on her scalp and braiding it in a few loose braids. I think the neem oil in the shampoo/conditioner are doing the trick. Additionally, I am not massaging her scalp when I apply the shampoo (which is sulfate free). I am minimize rubbing/massaging her scalp as much as possible.

Thankfully, I think we have a resolution.
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 313
Yay! Thanks for the update.
m-c iii-ii | loose spirals with ringlets
Yay! Thanks for the update.
Originally Posted by gecko
Thanks again for all the info.
Posts: n/a
Thank you so much for posting this question and thanks for all the people who answered. I am having the exact same problem. I came on here today to see if there might be any information and this was the first post I saw. I will be trying the TheraNeem Organix shampoo and conditioner. Is this stuff available in stores or do I have to order on line?
I purchased it from Sprouts (like a smaller Whole Foods). I know Sprouts are a national chain but I have no idea what areas they are in. Before ordering online, I would check Whole Foods or Trader Joes. Here's there site to find a store near you: Organixsouth.com High Quality Neem Products
Posts: n/a
Thank you! I found some at my local health food store and used it two nights ago. Hopefully this will solve the problem. It looks good so far. thanks again

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