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Hair/scalp problems

BradicusMaximusBradicusMaximus The quackiest of psys Registered User regular
edited April 2011 in Help / Advice Forum
So before I start I just wanna say that I bath regularly, and when I do wash its usually with tepid to fairly warm water. Also, I use Head and Shoulders.

So my scalp. Its really flakey. It feels as though no matter how thoroughly I wash or how often its still constantly flakey. Its near the roots/scalp so its quite hard to see unless I (or someone else) am running my fingers through my hair and lifting up. Even though its nearly impossible to spot, it doesn't mean I'm still not self concious about it. Does anyone have any suggestions? Maybe someone who has had the same problem. Is it possibly BECAUSE of head and shoulders? If so, is there anything someone can recommend?

BradicusMaximus on

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  • EshEsh Sunshine! Kittens! Rainbows! Smiles! Portland, ORRegistered User regular
    edited April 2011
    So before I start I just wanna say that I bath regularly, and when I do wash its usually with tepid to fairly warm water. Also, I use Head and Shoulders.

    So my scalp. Its really flakey. It feels as though no matter how thoroughly I wash or how often its still constantly flakey. Its near the roots/scalp so its quite hard to see unless I (or someone else) am running my fingers through my hair and lifting up. Even though its nearly impossible to spot, it doesn't mean I'm still not self concious about it. Does anyone have any suggestions? Maybe someone who has had the same problem. Is it possibly BECAUSE of head and shoulders? If so, is there anything someone can recommend?

    Well, for one, stop using Head & Shoulders because it's garbage. I've personally never had dandruff or dry scalp, so I can't really recommend a shampoo or conditioner for that, but you definitely need to step up the quality a little (a lot).

    "At first he thought it might be a natural occurrence - maybe a rabbit. But upon closer inspection, it was clear a knife had been used. And rabbits don't carry knives."
  • BradicusMaximusBradicusMaximus The quackiest of psys Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    Well I've tried others, can't name them off the top of my head (at work) but the problem has remained. Shelling out more for higher quality shampoos hasn't proven to improve the situation. Drastically anyway

    E: And its not as if I care about possibly having to spend more for a better shampoo. Its just I've never been told about one that would yield better results :\

  • SentrySentry Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    See a dermatologist.

    If it's as bad as you say you'll probably need a medicated shampoo.

    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
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  • Eat it You Nasty Pig.Eat it You Nasty Pig. tell homeland security 'we are the bomb'Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    Try using neutragena's (sp) t-gel shampoo. It's OTC, not that expensive, and works a lot better than head and shoulders.

    Also, it's not a great idea to wash your hair as often as you wash everything else. Shampooing dries your scalp out, so you might try shampooing every other day (or less often as needed) and see if that helps.

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  • BradicusMaximusBradicusMaximus The quackiest of psys Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    Alrighty, I'll try and pick it up tonight after I get off. Also, I'll keep that in mind next time. Thanks :D

  • EsseeEssee The pinkest of hair. Victoria, BCRegistered User regular
    edited April 2011
    I used to have pretty huge issues with dandruff and a sensitive scalp, until I tried what my fiancé happened to be using on a whim. KMS California's "Head Remedy" line has a dandruff shampoo and conditioner (the latter of which is apparently not ordered by all stores that have the shampoo in stock, so that might be tougher to find). Their other "Heady Remedy" stuff is totally unrelated, but the shampoo and conditioner seriously cleared my own dandruff right up, AND are really nice for both my hair and my fiancé's (also prone to dandruff). You may be able to find or order in a larger pump bottle of the shampoo, but the normal-sized bottle and conditioner run about $13-16 each, and they should last you for months (they're lasting for months here even though there are two people using 'em). You likely won't find this specific shampoo in grocery stores, even if they sell KMS shampoo, but you can go to their website to search for places that sell their stuff, or just ask any place nearby that sells hair products if they carry it.

    Seeing a dermatologist isn't the worst idea, but I don't think you sound TOO bad from your description... You sound kinda like how I was before I stumbled upon this shampoo. I had sort of given up on finding something that would make my scalp happy, and instead had just grabbed whatever made my hair look nicest, but this stuff does both, so it's a pretty cheap experiment for you to try before dealing with a dermatologist.

    "Edit" while posting: Alternatively, you can try the Neutrogena stuff also recommended. I don't have any experience with it... I just know that the KMS California stuff works with a sensitive scalp as well as taking care of the dandruff, which is kinda rare.

  • radroadkillradroadkill MDRegistered User regular
    edited April 2011
    Lush options: Squeaky Green is a tea tree, rosemary, and peppermint shampoo to stimulate the scalp and help kill off any bacteria or microbes that might be causing the problems.

    There's also Soak and Float which smells like a campfire from the cade oil but it's good at preventing itching and knocking out a lot of flakes. Cade oil is soothing and anti-microbial and it's help balance the pH of the scalp some. Rose and marigold will help with the itching and any irritation as well.

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  • BradicusMaximusBradicusMaximus The quackiest of psys Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    Wow, thanks guys. Ill do some reading tonight when I get off work on some of those products to determine which one I should try first. And yeah I haven't considered seeing a dermatologist because I don't think my problem is all THAT bad. Though from my lack of description I could see how one could assume.

  • carl_rogerscarl_rogers Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    I had a scalp issue about 5 years ago. Scalp was flakey,and oil in patches, and my hair was falling out.

    i started using a prescription shampoo twice a week for a month, but since then i've been using T Gel shampoo about three times a week, and while it does dry out the scalp, it does keep away the flakes. i usually wash my hair with the Tgel and then do another wash with a sensitive shampoo like Dermaveen.

    http://www.dermaveen.com.au/
    http://www.tgel.com/

  • matisyahumatisyahu Registered User
    edited April 2011
    There are a few specific ingredients known to help treat dandruff, may as well try them all before going to the doc.

    Head & Shoulders is a pyrithione zinc shampoo. Not sure what Esh means by "garbage", especially since he has no experience with the problem, but it works for me. Pyrithione zinc is pyrithione zinc. It doesn't work for you, apparently, so try a different ingredient. KMS Head Remedy is unfortunately the same ingredient, so don't bother.

    T-Gel is coal tar. Selsun Blue is selenium sulfide, which can turn your hair a different color if you have light hair. Nizoral is ketoconazole. Try them until something works. Be patient, give it a few weeks before you move on to the next. Some people use salicylic acid scrubs but they can dry your scalp and make it flakier. I don't know anything about rose and/or marigold but tea tree oil didn't do anything for me, ymmv of course.

    i dont even like matisyahu and i dont know why i picked this username
  • EshEsh Sunshine! Kittens! Rainbows! Smiles! Portland, ORRegistered User regular
    edited April 2011
    matisyahu wrote: »
    There are a few specific ingredients known to help treat dandruff, may as well try them all before going to the doc.

    Head & Shoulders is a pyrithione zinc shampoo. Not sure what Esh means by "garbage", especially since he has no experience with the problem, but it works for me. Pyrithione zinc is pyrithione zinc. It doesn't work for you, apparently, so try a different ingredient. KMS Head Remedy is unfortunately the same ingredient, so don't bother.

    T-Gel is coal tar. Selsun Blue is selenium sulfide, which can turn your hair a different color if you have light hair. Nizoral is ketoconazole. Try them until something works. Be patient, give it a few weeks before you move on to the next. Some people use salicylic acid scrubs but they can dry your scalp and make it flakier. I don't know anything about rose and/or marigold but tea tree oil didn't do anything for me, ymmv of course.

    It's a $5 bottle of grocery store shampoo and it's not good for your hair. It's much more than just the one ingredient. Not all shampoos are created equal.

    "At first he thought it might be a natural occurrence - maybe a rabbit. But upon closer inspection, it was clear a knife had been used. And rabbits don't carry knives."
  • CryogenCryogen Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    Keep in mind that the value in going to a dermatologist is that what you have might not even be dandruff. I get mild eczema on my scalp, and anti-dandruff shampoos do nothing at all to help me. Seeing a dermatologist diagnosed the condition and I now have a cream to apply which works extremely well.

  • KillgrimageKillgrimage Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    Cryogen wrote: »
    Keep in mind that the value in going to a dermatologist is that what you have might not even be dandruff. I get mild eczema on my scalp, and anti-dandruff shampoos do nothing at all to help me. Seeing a dermatologist diagnosed the condition and I now have a cream to apply which works extremely well.


    This for yes. I had this and dandruff shampoo was useless. The way I eventually got rid of it was to literally goop up my scalp with Aveeno skin cream every night for months. My husband would do it for me while we watched TV, and we did it just before we would go to bed, so your scalp is getting moisturized all night. In the morning, my scalp would be so much better, a lot less flaky, but you have to continue this treatment for a while. Still make the appt with the doc, but for 8-10 bucks you can pick up one of the Aveeno creams (for eczema...I think it's got a blue trim on the bottle) and see if that helps while you wait for your appt.

  • PirusuPirusu Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    I've used head and shoulders and t-gel. The T-Gel worked better for me than the Head and Shoulders. Now I use three products on a regular basis. They are part of Paul Mitchell's Tea Tree line. Tea Tree Oil, when used topically, has antibacterial, antifungal, and has even been shown to have some antiviral properties. It isn't a cure-all, but it helps.

    Lavender Mint Moisturizing Shampoo

    Lavender Mint Moisturising Conditioner

    Those two I use every day. Then, once or twice a week, I'll use the Tea Tree Hair and Scalp treatment. This is particularly excellent for my dry scalp.

    I also have a leave-in conditioner, but that's not really dry scalp/flake related. I just use it for extra moisture, especially when styling.

  • UsagiUsagi Feminazgul Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    I'm seconding the suggestion for a dermatologist

    Also, you may be washing your hair/scalp too much. Some people who have sensitive or dry skin cam end up super oily and flaky from overwashing. Oh, and you may have a sensitivity to sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS, a surfactant added to a lot of soaps and shampoos), I know it dries my skin out like crazy. Again: dermatologist.

    Also also, I'm a dedicated shampoo snob but I have no problem saying I like Head & Shoulders a it does exactly what it says it does, and while I wouldn't use it every day once or twice a week when my scalp is hella itchy works perfectly. And then I go back to the $30 shampoo.

    Jormungandr? Damn near killed 'er!
  • BradicusMaximusBradicusMaximus The quackiest of psys Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    Alright, so I picked up some of that T-gel stuff, so I guess I'll see within the next few days if I notice a difference. If it doesn't seem to help, then to the dermatologist I go.

  • KyanilisKyanilis Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    Esh wrote: »
    matisyahu wrote: »
    There are a few specific ingredients known to help treat dandruff, may as well try them all before going to the doc.

    Head & Shoulders is a pyrithione zinc shampoo. Not sure what Esh means by "garbage", especially since he has no experience with the problem, but it works for me. Pyrithione zinc is pyrithione zinc. It doesn't work for you, apparently, so try a different ingredient. KMS Head Remedy is unfortunately the same ingredient, so don't bother.

    T-Gel is coal tar. Selsun Blue is selenium sulfide, which can turn your hair a different color if you have light hair. Nizoral is ketoconazole. Try them until something works. Be patient, give it a few weeks before you move on to the next. Some people use salicylic acid scrubs but they can dry your scalp and make it flakier. I don't know anything about rose and/or marigold but tea tree oil didn't do anything for me, ymmv of course.

    It's a $5 bottle of grocery store shampoo and it's not good for your hair. It's much more than just the one ingredient. Not all shampoos are created equal.

    Wait, because it's cheap it is garbage? You admitted to not having this problem and really not knowing what you're talking about.

    Everybody's head is different, along with everybody's hair. I used to have terrible dandruff that was very noticeable. I could lean my head down and scratch my head and it would be like flaky gross snow. Yeah, no thanks. I started using Head & Shoulders and now if I do it? Nope, nothing.

    Now, that's not to say that Head & Shoulders is the best shampoo or anything like that, but it DOES work for some people. It entirely depends on what's causing the issue, which, as most people have mentioned, a dermatologist is your best bet if the standard dandruff shampoos don't help.

  • BradicusMaximusBradicusMaximus The quackiest of psys Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    Kyanilis wrote: »
    Esh wrote: »
    matisyahu wrote: »
    There are a few specific ingredients known to help treat dandruff, may as well try them all before going to the doc.

    Head & Shoulders is a pyrithione zinc shampoo. Not sure what Esh means by "garbage", especially since he has no experience with the problem, but it works for me. Pyrithione zinc is pyrithione zinc. It doesn't work for you, apparently, so try a different ingredient. KMS Head Remedy is unfortunately the same ingredient, so don't bother.

    T-Gel is coal tar. Selsun Blue is selenium sulfide, which can turn your hair a different color if you have light hair. Nizoral is ketoconazole. Try them until something works. Be patient, give it a few weeks before you move on to the next. Some people use salicylic acid scrubs but they can dry your scalp and make it flakier. I don't know anything about rose and/or marigold but tea tree oil didn't do anything for me, ymmv of course.

    It's a $5 bottle of grocery store shampoo and it's not good for your hair. It's much more than just the one ingredient. Not all shampoos are created equal.

    Wait, because it's cheap it is garbage? You admitted to not having this problem and really not knowing what you're talking about.

    Everybody's head is different, along with everybody's hair. I used to have terrible dandruff that was very noticeable. I could lean my head down and scratch my head and it would be like flaky gross snow. Yeah, no thanks. I started using Head & Shoulders and now if I do it? Nope, nothing.

    Now, that's not to say that Head & Shoulders is the best shampoo or anything like that, but it DOES work for some people. It entirely depends on what's causing the issue, which, as most people have mentioned, a dermatologist is your best bet if the standard dandruff shampoos don't help.

    Yeah, I kinda dismissed that after I read the "I've personally never had dandruff or dry scalp, so I can't really recommend a shampoo" part. Its probably too early to really say anything, but right now I've noticed a drastic improvement on my scalp. As of right now I can scratch my head without seeing anything fall out, and when I look at my roots I'm not seeing any flaky chunks. So far so good :D

  • ShogunShogun Hair long; money long; me and broke wizards we don't get along Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    Kyanilis wrote: »
    Esh wrote: »
    matisyahu wrote: »
    There are a few specific ingredients known to help treat dandruff, may as well try them all before going to the doc.

    Head & Shoulders is a pyrithione zinc shampoo. Not sure what Esh means by "garbage", especially since he has no experience with the problem, but it works for me. Pyrithione zinc is pyrithione zinc. It doesn't work for you, apparently, so try a different ingredient. KMS Head Remedy is unfortunately the same ingredient, so don't bother.

    T-Gel is coal tar. Selsun Blue is selenium sulfide, which can turn your hair a different color if you have light hair. Nizoral is ketoconazole. Try them until something works. Be patient, give it a few weeks before you move on to the next. Some people use salicylic acid scrubs but they can dry your scalp and make it flakier. I don't know anything about rose and/or marigold but tea tree oil didn't do anything for me, ymmv of course.

    It's a $5 bottle of grocery store shampoo and it's not good for your hair. It's much more than just the one ingredient. Not all shampoos are created equal.

    Wait, because it's cheap it is garbage? You admitted to not having this problem and really not knowing what you're talking about.

    Everybody's head is different, along with everybody's hair. I used to have terrible dandruff that was very noticeable. I could lean my head down and scratch my head and it would be like flaky gross snow. Yeah, no thanks. I started using Head & Shoulders and now if I do it? Nope, nothing.

    Now, that's not to say that Head & Shoulders is the best shampoo or anything like that, but it DOES work for some people. It entirely depends on what's causing the issue, which, as most people have mentioned, a dermatologist is your best bet if the standard dandruff shampoos don't help.

    You forget that Esh has a monopoly on advice, truth, and being right.

    OP is your scalp dry/flaky throughout the year or only during certain times? My scalp dries out pretty bad in the winter especially if I keep my hair as short as I do during warmer months. In those cases H&S works for me but I usually buy the stuff with the sea minerals as it tends to do a better job than the standard stuff. Also smells much nicer.

    Try a few store brands and if your problem persists definitely look into a dermatologist. I've also had a lot of success with several Lush products but I don't have their names handy at the moment and they are quite expensive. (But so, so worth it.)

  • EshEsh Sunshine! Kittens! Rainbows! Smiles! Portland, ORRegistered User regular
    edited April 2011
    Shogun wrote: »
    Kyanilis wrote: »
    Esh wrote: »
    matisyahu wrote: »
    There are a few specific ingredients known to help treat dandruff, may as well try them all before going to the doc.

    Head & Shoulders is a pyrithione zinc shampoo. Not sure what Esh means by "garbage", especially since he has no experience with the problem, but it works for me. Pyrithione zinc is pyrithione zinc. It doesn't work for you, apparently, so try a different ingredient. KMS Head Remedy is unfortunately the same ingredient, so don't bother.

    T-Gel is coal tar. Selsun Blue is selenium sulfide, which can turn your hair a different color if you have light hair. Nizoral is ketoconazole. Try them until something works. Be patient, give it a few weeks before you move on to the next. Some people use salicylic acid scrubs but they can dry your scalp and make it flakier. I don't know anything about rose and/or marigold but tea tree oil didn't do anything for me, ymmv of course.

    It's a $5 bottle of grocery store shampoo and it's not good for your hair. It's much more than just the one ingredient. Not all shampoos are created equal.

    Wait, because it's cheap it is garbage? You admitted to not having this problem and really not knowing what you're talking about.

    Everybody's head is different, along with everybody's hair. I used to have terrible dandruff that was very noticeable. I could lean my head down and scratch my head and it would be like flaky gross snow. Yeah, no thanks. I started using Head & Shoulders and now if I do it? Nope, nothing.

    Now, that's not to say that Head & Shoulders is the best shampoo or anything like that, but it DOES work for some people. It entirely depends on what's causing the issue, which, as most people have mentioned, a dermatologist is your best bet if the standard dandruff shampoos don't help.

    You forget that Esh has a monopoly on advice, truth, and being right.

    OP is your scalp dry/flaky throughout the year or only during certain times? My scalp dries out pretty bad in the winter especially if I keep my hair as short as I do during warmer months. In those cases H&S works for me but I usually buy the stuff with the sea minerals as it tends to do a better job than the standard stuff. Also smells much nicer.

    Try a few store brands and if your problem persists definitely look into a dermatologist. I've also had a lot of success with several Lush products but I don't have their names handy at the moment and they are quite expensive. (But so, so worth it.)

    Esh also worked as a receptionist at a Bumble & Bumble salon for two years. While we didn't have shampoos specifically for dandruff, I can tell you we definitely knew the difference between grocery store shampoo and spending a couple extra dollars on something salon quality be it for dandruff control or no.

    The first step in head/hair problems is step up the quality of your shampoo/conditioner (and don't use an all-in-one). If that doesn't work, which the OP later described outside of the first post, see a dermatologist.

    EDIT: OP also said that buying a more expensive shampoo did help over Head & Shoulders. So, that somehow makes me wrong? I'm guessing I just stepped on some toes of H&S users who it works for. I recommended stopping using it because it wasn't for the OP.

    "At first he thought it might be a natural occurrence - maybe a rabbit. But upon closer inspection, it was clear a knife had been used. And rabbits don't carry knives."
  • As7As7 Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    I had a long standing scalp issue until recently. There are probably many causes but what helped me was using a shampoo with anti-fungal agents, rather than the standard zinc oxide in normal dandruff shampoo or the coal tar in t-gel. After using this for several months my problem subsided.

    I've actually gone off the stuff and use a less intense dandruff shampoo regularly but what actually seems to keep it away, now, is proper maintenance of my hair. That is, NOT using shampoo too regularly or too little. It's actually important to keep some of your natural oils in your hair and, in my opinion, I probably washed my hair too harshly in the past, too often and with too much shampoo.

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