long-time mod CGer having problems with seborrheic dermatitis, etc.

I joined NC about 8 years ago, found it super helpful, but haven't been on in several years. (I would have used my old account, but I forgot the password, and the email it is linked to no longer exists.)

Anyway, I have been having several issues over the past couple years. My old routine was to lo poo with SMMR or clarify with a Vo5 sulfate shampoo, condition with Vo5 conditioner, and style with either SweetElixirs flaxseed gel or AIF. I used the gelatin protein treatment 2-3 times per week (seriously!) and never deep conditioned. My hair looked pretty awesome during this time. Cue the beginning of my issues.

I noticed my scalp and behind my ears was getting super itchy, and my roots were oily all the time. It finally came to a head when I developed waxy buildup on my hair that wouldn't come out with a sulfate shampoo or an ACV rinse. My saving grace was the Cantu Sulfate-Free Cleansing Cream Shampoo. After two washes, the stubborn waxy buildup was gone. After this, I did some research as to what could have caused this issue.

As it turns out, I have a mild case of seborrheic dermatitis. It makes my scalp itchy, dry, and oily. Same goes for my ears, and, TMI, they get yellow, waxy buildup behind them that I have to clean and moisturize 2-3 times per day. Also, I came to the realization that my beloved Vo5 conditioners had changed their formula so that ingredients like methylisothiazolinone and disodium EDTA were much higher up on the list of ingredients. These ingredients can cause allergic contact dermatitis in some people, and they are also cytotoxins (toxic to cells). I thought that perhaps these warnings were unnecessarily alarmist, and I should try to go back to my old routine. Big mistake. My scalp went back to being waxy and itchy. I clarified again with the Cantu shampoo and took the Vo5 conditioners out of my routine.

Now, I am still having issues with finding the right products. Currently, I am attempting to transition to co washing. I am using the Giovanni Smooth as Silk conditioner to wash/condition and sometimes as LI, 4 Bella Naturale flaxseed gel (Etsy store) and/or SM C&H Curl & Style Milk to style. My refresher spray is mostly water with some gel, Giovanni conditioner, and Briogeo Rosarco Milk mixed in. I also use Nature's Gate Daily Cleanse Shampoo to clarify, and SM Mongongo & Hemp Seed Oils Masque to DC. I've changed my protein treatment frequency from 2-3 times per week to once per month.

I am having a lot of trouble finding a routine that works consistently. I had one day this year were my hair looked amazing. Most of the time, my hair is either "passable" or very frizzy, dull and lacking definition. I am trying to phase out all cytotoxins and parabens, which I am finding difficult. One of my all time favorite gels, Eco Styler Krystal, has parabens. (While it made my hair look great, it also made me itch like crazy.) Even my SD nuclear option item, the Cantu shampoo, has parabens. :cry:

If you were able to get through my very long explanation (which I appreciate greatly), I have some questions.

  • Is the Nature's Gate shampoo able to clarify? (It it sulfate-free)
  • Should I ditch the SM Curl & Style Milk? (I find SM products build up in my hair and need to be clarified out.)
  • Will the SM Masque build up in my hair?
  • Should I chop it all off and start over?

To add some extra info:

I dye my roots every 4-6 weeks to cover greys. I use the AgeBeautiful permanent liqui-creme in Darkest Intense Brown with 20 volume developer.

My hair type is...in flux. When long (like it is now at BSL), it is 2B/C on a good day. Most days now, it is just frizzy and lacks definition. When my hair is short, like at chin length and shorter, it is tight, springy 3A curls.

I washed and conditioned my hair with Giovanni yesterday, rinsed it all out (I typically leave some in), raked and scrunched C&S Milk and 4 Bella Naturale in, and my length is soooo dry while my scalp is oily :sad10:

Any help is appreciated. I am at a loss as to what to do. My hair is dry and can't seem to get enough moisture, but it is also prone to acquiring buildup from product; so, I don't know whether to rinse everything out, or try to keep some in so it's not so dry.

TIA!

Comments

  • ReservechicReservechic Registered Users Posts: 798
    Hi!:smile:

    Did you self diagnose yourself as having a mild case of seborrheic dermatitis, or did a medical professional actually diagnose you as having such? Because i wasn't completely sure on such, from you're posting. I actually have been diagnosed with scalp eczema and seborrheic dermatitis on my face, so I am dealing with a double whammy at this time!

    I get treatments from my dermatologist, first and foremost, in addition, to what I currently use on my hair and scalp.

    There are quite a number of things that can cause severe flareuos for me, which hs why, if iy try a product and it starts irritating my scalp, I immediately rinse it out. Also, I am a huge advocate in less being more when it comes to how much product I use in my hair, because that sane product does come in contact with my scalp. I only brush my scalp once a week, sometimes it may be more than that if I am going through a bad flareup for some reason, bug normally it's once a week and only on wash days. Outside of that, I use my fingers only when it comes to styling my hear throughout the week. As, oversscrubbing and over scratching of ones scalp will only make things worse. Even though I know when ones scalp becomes very itchy, it's hard not to scratch at all.

    I would recommend using shampoo, as that is what my derm recommends, and nothing else. Cowashing will not benefit your scalp in the same way that shampoo can. You can choose to use a medicated shampoo, or not. Medicated shampoos are more drying to ones hair than non-medicated ones are, so you would have to test such out, since there are tons of medicated shampoos in the market. There's even prescription ones that are offered. I have gone both route, I have been prescribed pills, and even am currently undergoing in office treatments for my scalp on a monthly basis. I am not a huge fan of using medicated shampoos because they offset the ph balance of my hair and make both my hair and scalp extremely dry. I also don't trust the long-term effects of such, which is why, I am trying a more natural, herbal based route, that thus far I like however, I cannot say if it will provide the type of long term relief that I need, at this point, because this is a new hair regimen that I have embarked on, and I want to see just how far it takes me. I began using Bobeam's Coco Honey & Amla Conditioning Shampoo Bar. This bar works as a shampoo and conditioner in my hair, and then I move in to my leave in KCKT, and then my styled KCCC. I wash my hair primarily once a week, sometimes more if required. In between hair washings, I spray my hair with water until it's damp abd then I apply very small amounts of the KCCC to areas of my hair wherever needed, and that's it. Oh, and I airdry my hair only. I have learned that being a minimalist when it comes to ones hair care regimen. As, often people choose to do too much, when it's not really needed.

    I can't personally speak on which products would not contribute to promoting seborrheic dermatitis flareups. Because even though I have seborrheic dermatitis as well, our body chemistry is different. Therefore, what may cause a reaction for you, may not cause a reaction for me, and vice versa.

    The main thing that I do know is that you do need to regularly use shampoo, and to ditch co-washing at all. I will tell you that I contacted the owner of Bobeam beforehand, before I recently placed my order with her. Because i wanted to start a brand new hair cleansing regimen using shampoo bars, but I felt that getting the owner of a company's advice first is always best. The owner's name is Laquita, and I told her all about what was going on with my having scalp eczema and seborrheic dermatitis at this time. I didn't hold anything back, info wise. Besides making natural products, she also does hair and she has clients that have the same issues that I have, she showed a lot of care and concern and she recommended what she thought would be best for me to try. I bought full sized shampoo bars from her and she was even kind enough to include free sample sized shsmpoo bars as well. Her website is Bobeam Natural Producs

    Bobeam does regularly offer coupons so you can always ask her about that and how to cars for your hair after using a shampoo bar. Some people choose to do an ACV rinse, or some happen to follow up such with conditioner. Because the shampoo bar that I am currently using from Bobeam acts like a shampoo and conditioner in my hair, on wash days, I go right into applying my leave in/detangler next abd then my styling gel. I use KCCC as my leave in abd KCCC as my styler of choice. These products do not none of these three products mentioned don't cause my skin and scalp to turn into a raging inferno thank God. So, this is basically my entire regimen at this time, and I am quite satisfied with it thus far, and I certainly do pray that my scalp is able to get even better through continued use of Bobeam's shampoo bars for sure!

    Oh and, I don't use any Shea Moisture products anymore. They caused wicked buildup on both my hair and scalp, kept my scalp itchy, and I honestly never got really great results from using any of their products, plus the smell of a lot of their products, I do find to be on the strong side as well. Once I quit using their products, I never looked back. And, from what you posted, I definitely feel that Shea Moisture's products aren't they best for your hair and scalp either.

    Try getting sample sizes of styling products if you can, as that is a great way to allow you to know if that product may possibly give you flareups as well as allow you to know whether it is a keeper for your hair or not as well. If I find a company that is willing to offer free samples, I definitely go for it! Of course with some brands they don't offer such, so always do a patch test first okay.

    By the way, have you had a chance to use Flaxseed gel again in your hair, just to see how that would work out for you as a styler at this time. I know that there are a large number of Etsy sellers that make Flaxseed Gel abd they can always make such to suit your individual hair needs, at this time.

    I certainly do hope that things get much better for you, hun!
    Diagnosed with Scalp Eczema 6/2015
    (Don't hair type/loose curl pattern/fine texture/low density/high porosity

    Current Regimen (Ayurvedic Based):
    Cleansers- Bobeam Shampoo Bars
    Stylers-Rotate between Camille Rose Naturals Almond Jai Twisting Butter and Camille Rose Naturals Aloe Whipped Butter Gel

    I only wear my hair in wash n gos or buns. Also,
    I do not use conditioner on my hair on a weekly basis. And, my hair is A ok with that!
  • frizzyfranfrizzyfran Registered Users Posts: 2
    Hi!:smile:


    First of all, thank you for reading my ramblings and for the detailed response! I have been super busy and am just getting around to responding. I wanted to address everything, which I now (finally) have time for.

    Did you self diagnose yourself as having a mild case of seborrheic dermatitis, or did a medical professional actually diagnose you as having such? Because i wasn't completely sure on such, from you're posting.


    Well, sort of both, in a way. I Googled my symptoms and thought it was probably what I had. I went for my yearly checkup recently, and she told told me that SD was "probably" what I had and to try a medicated shampoo. My GP actually passed away recently, and the clinic seems sort of overwhelmed. The nurse practitioner who saw me didn't seem terribly involved, annoyingly. So, I got some T/Sal, which worked really well but made my hair insanely dry. This was over a week ago, and I think my hair still hasn't fully recovered. even after three DTs in the meantime.

    I only brush my scalp once a week, sometimes it may be more than that if I am going through a bad flareup for some reason, bug normally it's once a week and only on wash days. Outside of that, I use my fingers only when it comes to styling my hear throughout the week. As, oversscrubbing and over scratching of ones scalp will only make things worse. Even though I know when ones scalp becomes very itchy, it's hard not to scratch at all.


    I ordered a shampoo brush off Amazon yesterday. Is that the type of brush you use? And, yes, the scratching is very hard to resist. I do it subconsciously now. Every once in a while, I will catch myself in the computer screen at work, and I'm dismayed at how much I look like a lesser ape.

    I would recommend using shampoo, as that is what my derm recommends, and nothing else.


    Say what?! I'll give it a try, but my hair is already very dry and tangles easily.

    I began using Bobeam's Coco Honey & Amla Conditioning Shampoo Bar. This bar works as a shampoo and conditioner in my hair, and then I move in to my leave in KCKT, and then my styled KCCC. I wash my hair primarily once a week, sometimes more if required. In between hair washings, I spray my hair with water until it's damp abd then I apply very small amounts of the KCCC to areas of my hair wherever needed, and that's it. Oh, and I airdry my hair only. I have learned that being a minimalist when it comes to ones hair care regimen. As, often people choose to do too much, when it's not really needed.


    Thank you for the great info! I've never used shampoo bars before, but I'm willing to give anything a try. Laquita sounds really awesome, so I think I will hit her up when I get my next paycheck.

    Because the shampoo bar that I am currently using from Bobeam acts like a shampoo and conditioner in my hair, on wash days, I go right into applying my leave in/detangler next abd then my styling gel.


    Do you mind elaborating? Do you detangle your hair out of the shower? I typically detangle with conditioner, so I have no idea what other type of product to use in its place.

    Oh and, I don't use any Shea Moisture products anymore. They caused wicked buildup on both my hair and scalp, kept my scalp itchy, and I honestly never got really great results from using any of their products, plus the smell of a lot of their products, I do find to be on the strong side as well. Once I quit using their products, I never looked back. And, from what you posted, I definitely feel that Shea Moisture's products aren't they best for your hair and scalp either.


    I think you're right, which is a shame as I like their DTs. Do you have any alternate DT recommendations?

    By the way, have you had a chance to use Flaxseed gel again in your hair, just to see how that would work out for you as a styler at this time. I know that there are a large number of Etsy sellers that make Flaxseed Gel abd they can always make such to suit your individual hair needs, at this time.


    Yes, I recently received an order from an Etsy store, but I find even the flaxseed gel make me itchy and cause buildup. Could it be the other ingredients in it? I bought a flaxseed gel and an aloe & honey styling gel.

    Aloe & honey ingredients: Organic Aloe Vera Leaf Juice, Pectin, Organic Honey, Flaxseed Oil, Jojoba Oil, Kosh Glycerin, Xantham Gum, Fragrance, Vitamin E, Color Additive, Preservative, Citric Acid, Herbal Extracts

    Flaxseed gel ingredients: Distilled Water (infused with Organic Lavender Tea), Aloe Vera Gel, Organic Flaxseeds, Organic Marshmallow Root, Jojoba Oil, Honey, Vitamin E, Vitamin A, Essential Oil Blend, Phenoxyethanol, Willow Bark Extract, Yucca Root Extract, Chamomile Extract, Rosemary Extract, Ginger Root Extract, Nettle Leaf Extract, Horsetail Leaf Extract, Xantham Gum

    I certainly do hope that things get much better for you, hun!


    Thank you so much for your help! Sorry to dump all this info on you. You've already helped so much!
  • ReservechicReservechic Registered Users Posts: 798
    Hopefully. the clinic will be getting an actual Dr, again and soon.

    I have used T-Sal before, and it made my hair and scalp bone dry. My hair honestly looked and felt as if it was drier than the Sahara Desert. Also, I have used Nizoral 1% shampoo, Head and Shoulders, and a bunch more. The only one that I felt worked pretty decent out of all of the store bought medicated shampoos that I have tried is Nizoral. However this product is not without it's drawbacks. I sought dermatological treatment for my scalp in 2015, which was when I received my diagnosis from my dermatologist, about having scalp eczema, and I have been prescribed medicated shampoos that he has recommended for me to use, with the current one being prescription strength Nizoral 2% shampoo. Of course prescription shampoos have side effects attached to them, and it is not something that I desire to be dependent upon for a long-term period, due to possible concerns for my overall long-term health. My derm also currently prescribes prescription strength Nizoral 2% cream for me to use on my scalp. I have also been prescribed medicated scalp sprays, another medicated scalp cream, oral medication (pills), and even shots as well. Plus, I have also undergone laser scalp treatments on and off when my eczema flares up humongously. I do have to get such approved through my insurance. Oh and I do regularly under go Light Therapy for my scalp and face as well on a monthly basis, in my derm's office. In addition to having scalp eczema, I also suffer with seborrheic dermatitis on my face, and I have acne prone skin too. So, I definitely have my hands full dealing with all three skin issues for sure.

    I don't use a shampoo massaging brush at all. However, there's absolutely nothing wrong with your decision to buy one and try it out. And, hopefully it ends up working well for you.

    The only brush that I use on my hair that also comes in contact with my scalp too is my Denman No. 3 brush. As, it's the best brush that I've ever used.

    I have encountered a few non-sulfate hair cleansers that I really liked, but they honestly don't do anything to truly help my scalp eczema. And, I need my shampoo to be able to handle both.

    I have switched over to exclusively using shampoo bars at this time, and have stopped using medicated shampoo. As, I've gotten tired of all the chemicals. Now, all shampoo bars are certainly not created equal, which is why results with them will definitely vary. However, the same can certainly be said about any haircare product on the market.

    I came upon Bobeam through online hair forums years ago. The company appeared to be a really great one. Which is why, I emailed the owner of Bobeam, Laquita, so that she could get a total understanding of what was going in with my scalp, and have her to provide me with recommendations towards which shampoo bar or bars would be best for me to start out with. Based upon her recommendations. I first started out with the Cheris Hibiscus Shampoo Bar and the Honey & Oats shampoo bar. I tried them and I don't have anything bad to say about either one. However, the product junkie in me, still was buying and buy trying out other shampoos due to curiousity. However, I am no longer a haircare product junkie anymore.

    I decided to reach out again to Laquita this Summer, and I spoke in-depth with her, about my current scalp issues, and she was super helpful.. So, right now, I use her Coco Honey & Amla Conditioning Shampoo Bar, which is the most moisturizing bar from her that I've ever used, with the Cheris Hibiscus Shampoo Bar coming in in 2nd place. I detox my hair once a month, and I currently use her Coco Rhassoul Clay Bar for that. Laquita is super nice and really shows that she cares very much about each and every own of her customers. Oh and Laquita is also a hair stylist, so she did express to me her experience with dealing with clients of hers that have scalp disorders. Laquita does include instructions on how to properly use her shampoo bars, and she does list the base ingredients of her shampoo bars, as well as other ingredients that are specific to each individual bar on her website and on the actual shampoo bars packaging as well, plus, she is open to customizing something incase it contains an ingredient within it, that either your hair and/or scalp simply can't tolerate.

    I will personally tell you that dermatologists and even trichologists don't recommend using conditioner to cleanse ones hair with at all. They advocate the use of shampoo to very thoroughly cleanse ones hair and scalp with. Products honestly are designed to be used just like they are labeled. No matter what ingredients a conditioner has in it, it cannot 100 percent removal all dirt, grime, buildup, and pollution from ones scalp and hair at all. The reason for that is because they were never formulated to actually be hair cleansers in the first place.

    When it comes to products and their causing irritation to ones scalp, you have to definitely isolate of course which ingredient or ingredients within a product are the main culprit of such. A lot of times the fragrances in products do irritate my scalp. Not every product that has fragrance in it severely aggravates my scalp, but I have certsinly encountered a lot of them that have. Certain essential oils can be aggravating to an individual's scalp, as there are some essential oils that tear up my scalp. I also can't say whether parabens are definite scalp irritators, because basically any ingredient, runs the risk of causing an individual to have an allergic reaction. Also, it should be said that any product that you use on your skin, whether it be the skin on your body or scalp, will have ingredients in it that will be absorbed into your body. Now, I know that a lot of people are overly concerned over the use of parabens, and studies that were done in regards to it showing up in urinalysis testing. However, no further information was provided in regards to what else showed up in the urinalysis tesing performed. Plus, there's no definitive link towards parabens being a major culprit behind the development of breast cancer or any other cancer as well. Furthermore, there have actually been dinosaurs that were studied and that were found to have died from cancer. Therefore, anyone can possibly have cancer cells develop within their body. whether they happen to be human or animal, and at any age.


    When it comes toconditioner, that is something that I don't use on a regular basis at this time. Not that there is anything wrong with using conditioner, but because the shampoo bar that I currently use acts as a 2-in-1 for me. Nowadays after I cleanse my hair, i leave my hair completely soaking wet, as I do not remove any water from my hair at all. Next I start working in sections, applying product to my hair, and then detangling it with my Denman Brush. I do this throughout my entire head of hair, until I'm finished. Lastly, I let my hair airdry. This of course is subject to change (in regards to my using conditioner after my shampoo bar), because of the different bars that Laquita offers that I own that do provide a total detox of ones hair and scalp, and the change in seasons that do take place of course. Some people who use shampoo bars use an ACV rinse afterwards and don't use any conditioner afterwards at all. However, doing ACV rinses is a no-go for me. And, then there are some people that follow up shampoo bars with an ACV rinse and conditioner. Or, just conditioner, based upon what they find works best for them. I choose to only use conditioner when my hair lets me know it needs it. This is what works for me, however, I always express that an individual find out what works best for them. Because when it comes to dealing with natural hair, there are no concrete rules set in stone that a person must follow. Oh and if detangling with conditioner is a must for you after every shampoo, then by all means definitely stick to that for sure.

    I don't wash my hair in the shower, as I actually do so at my bathroom sink instead. I also style my hair at my bathroom sink as well. However, if you prefer to do so in the shower, then that's perfectly fine.

    Throughout my hair journey, I have encountered chemical based products as well as natural based products that have caused very bad scalp flareups. As a person can be allergic to any ingredient, whether it is a natural one or not.


    In regards to DC recommendations, I can't speak on which ones are the absolute best, because there's no product that works well for everyone that tries it. However, in regards to my personal experience, Maui Moisture's Hair Masks are the best that I have ever used. Their certainly worth giving a try.. As, Maui Moisture's products are quite affordable and are often being offered on sale at CVS and Walgreens. However, these products can be found within other stores such as Target, Walmart, etc. Not every store carries the entire line. therefore you would just just have to check and see when you go.

    In regards to the products that you got off of Etsy, i'm really sorry that they didn't work well for you. However, I truly understand buying products only to have them make my scalp go into an itching frenzy. Oh and my hair and scalp definitely can't handle products that cause major buildup either. Which is why, when I end up with a product that ends up being a HUGE MISS for me, I will return it for a refund or credit if possible, and if I can't, then i will just throw it away ASAP, and just take it as a loss.

    If you have any further questions, definitely feel free to ask them anytime, okay. Because I definitely understand your struggle 100%!
    Diagnosed with Scalp Eczema 6/2015
    (Don't hair type/loose curl pattern/fine texture/low density/high porosity

    Current Regimen (Ayurvedic Based):
    Cleansers- Bobeam Shampoo Bars
    Stylers-Rotate between Camille Rose Naturals Almond Jai Twisting Butter and Camille Rose Naturals Aloe Whipped Butter Gel

    I only wear my hair in wash n gos or buns. Also,
    I do not use conditioner on my hair on a weekly basis. And, my hair is A ok with that!

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