Seeking advice/tips on gently exfoliating scalp regularly :)

curlyfaecurlyfae Posts: 3Registered Users, Curl Ambassador Curl Neophyte

Hello :)  I'm new here and wasn't sure where to post, so if I'm in the wrong thread, please do redirect me!

The issue that brought me here is a little complicated. I have psoriasis (though I don't have flare-ups because I control my diet and use a shower filter).  However, I do still regenerate skin cells faster than someone who doesn't have psoriasis.  And I find that this gives me scalp buildup quickly!

I never wash my hair any sooner than 4 days apart, and my routine for years has been: Brush scalp to loosen buildup, wet hair with hot water (sorry but I always use hot - warm does not work on me :( ), use a LOT of Giovanni TTTT conditioner to massage my scalp and my hair, rinse w/ hot water, shampoo 2x with Giovanni TTTT shampoo (the only way I can get all the buildup and conditioner out), then condition with Nature's Gate Daily Herbal conditioner.  I used to clarify my scalp with straight lemon juice (for some reason my hair loved this?!) before washing 1x and conditioning, but I admit I haven't done that in years.  I never use styling products.  I spray only Aloe Vera Juice on my dripping wet hair after my usual routine, which helps lock in moisture and makes my hair soft.  I have fine hair, a mix of 3a and 3b.  Not sure of the porosity, may be a combo, but it does take my long hair 4 hours to air dry (short hair takes about 1.5 - 2 hrs to air dry).  I never use styling appliances, no hair dryer, never rub my hair with a towel (I use only a 100% cotton tshirt to absorb excess water).

Last week I tried sodium bicarb & water to get rid of some stubborn buildup and it worked perfectly - as far as getting rid of it. It dried out my hair & my scalp was tight, however! (I shampooed 1x & conditioned after, but forgot the aloe vera juice!)  Four days later, I tried again and naively used more sodium bicarb than before, but same routine of washing 1x and conditioning..and again forgot the aloe vera juice. It wasn't as dry but my hair wasn't as curly as it should've been. Then I read that some people's hair got damaged.  Today was 'Day 2' after the last sodium bicarb wash, and my hair looked lifeless and dry, so I wet w/ hot water, and caked a LOT of Nature's Gate Aloe Vera Conditioner into my hair and scalp, massaging to hopefully also lift the mild buildup I was getting from where my head rests on my pillow.  After rinsing it out, I sprayed dripping wet hair w/ aloe vera juice, then combed my hair back (I wash upside down, and currently my hair is in a pixie - or else I would NOT comb it ;) ).  It was not 'squeaky' any more (thank God!) but the buildup remained. :(

So I am looking for a natural way to exfoliate my scalp as needed (which right now looks to be about every 4 days).  I can't use oils (my hair hates them) and cannot use sulphates (they break me out).  Baking soda doesn't seem to be good for my hair.

The only thing I can think of is...sugar??  I found an article that mentions putting sugar in your shampoo to exfoliate your scalp (http://www.marieclaire.com/beauty/news/a24812/adding-sugar-to-shampoo/) , but it says "do this every 3-5 washes depending on your individual scalp health". Would that mean that if I don't find it drying, that I could do it every 4 days? (I really do think my 'buildup' is due to rapid cell regeneration, as my skin is like this as well - I could exfoliate my skin every day and I'd still have to do it EVERY day. :( )

I would be very grateful to hear suggestions. I'm so dismayed that the sodium bicarb was brutal on my hair, because it really did clean my scalp so easily and well! Is there something else natural that would work as well but without the drying effect and without relaxing my curls?

Thank you in advance for any and all responses. :)

Comments

  • @hairnbyutwriter@hairnbyutwriter Posts: 13Registered Users, Curl Ambassador Curl Novice
    For psoriasis, salicylic acid is the exfoliant normally used. But I've heard sugar is good too.
    Follow me on Twitter @hairnbyutwriter
    My professional writing for BHS: Hair and Beauty Writer
     
  • bomegabomega Posts: 1,353Registered Users Curl Virtuoso
    Hi @curlyfae

    Welcome to nc.com. Sorry the baking soda system didn't work for you, but it doesn't for some people. I am a little confused by what you are looking for - you had a routine before that seemed to be working (is that correct?) with the Giovanni TTTT and/or lemon juice clarify. Why not just go back to that? (BTW, mild acids like diluted ACV, citric acid, or lemon juice is good for the hair - mild acid will close the cuticle of the hair).

    If you want a salcylic acid product, check out this article (scroll down for a listing of products): http://science-yhairblog.blogspot.com/p/products-for-itchy-scalp.html.
    Low-poo: Alaffia Coffee & Shea Revitalizing Shampoo for Fine/Thin Hair (summer), Alaffia Coconut & Shea Hydrating Shampoo
    Clarify: Kinky Curly Come Clean
    Rinse-out: Alaffia Coffee & Shea Revitalizing Conditioner for Fine/Thin Hair (summer), Alaffia Everyday Coconut Ultra Hydrating Conditioner
    DT: Camille Rose Naturals Algae Renew Deep Conditioner
    Leave-in: As I Am Leave-in
    Styler: Lily of the Desert 99% Aloe Vera Gelly
    Treatment: Daily tea spray; Coconut oil overnight treatment; Citric acid rinse for hard water; 2-step Henndigo w/ amla to cover gray

    2C, fine, low porosity, low/medium density, protein sensitive

    Looking for styling products and tools

    iHerb Code KQS149 for 5% off your order
  • curlyfaecurlyfae Posts: 3Registered Users, Curl Ambassador Curl Neophyte

     Hi @hairnbyutwriter ,

    Thanks for your response :)  Is the salicylic acid only for when you have a psoriasis flare-up?  Because I don't get flare-ups since I watch my diet and always use filtered water.

    Wouldn't salicylic acid also be drying?  At least I thought I remembered it being drying in facial products (?).

    I did try the sugar in my shampoo and it made my hair 'squeak'! :o   It seemed to do nothing for my scalp - it didn't remove the build up. :(  The sugar dissolved really quickly in the shampoo, especially once it hit my wet scalp.  I used organic raw cane sugar, which I thought would hold up better since the crystals are larger than refined white sugar.

    I am now wondering if I need an actual scalp brush.  I normally use a hair brush with nylon bristles to brush my scalp before washing my hair, but the bristles aren't close enough or strong enough.

    I wonder if one of these would do the trick?

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0028R0WFG/ref=as_li_tf_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=wwwnaturallyc-20

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B009NTDVSM/ref=ox_sc_act_title_1?smid=A26LF2O8A4GF13&psc=1

  • curlyfaecurlyfae Posts: 3Registered Users, Curl Ambassador Curl Neophyte

      Hi @bomega

    Thanks for your response :)  I know, I was so sad that the baking soda system didn't work for me. It works wonders for my mum, which is why she'd suggested I try it. I wonder if one reason it dried out my hair is because I didn't do a vinegar/water rinse after?

    About my usual routine - I was looking for something easier, less time-consuming, and less expensive. I have to scrub so much with my nails to get rid of the build up and it's discouraging because it doesn't always remove all of it.

    Diluted lemon juice doesn't work on me :(  When I tried it recently, I did a 50:50 ratio of it and it was as if there was no lemon in it at all - all build up remained.  Then I remembered that I used to use undiluted lemon juice, which had worked in the past.  I know it's not generally recommended to use undiluted lemon, but I wonder how bad for hair is it really?  I know too much alkaline raises the cuticle, but what would too much acid do?  (For reference: when I would 'clarify' with undiluted lemon juice, I would firstly apply it to unwashed scalp & hair, making sure it was saturated well and massage it into my scalp with my fingers.  Then I'd rinse out with hot water, wash with sulphate-free shampoo, and finish up with 'cone-free conditioner.  My hair was really long when I was doing that, and it always felt soft after and curlier.)

    I also wonder if you can tell me if one of these brushes would help me?

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0028R0WFG/ref=as_li_tf_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=wwwnaturallyc-20

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B009NTDVSM/ref=ox_sc_act_title_1?smid=A26LF2O8A4GF13&psc=1

    I have always used a nylon-bristle brush to brush my scalp, but the bristles aren't close together.  I am thinking that I need an actual scalp brush with close-together 'teeth' to cover more area without missing any.  Does this sound right?

    It's ridiculous how lost and helpless I feel right now, lol. I'm in my 40's and you'd think I would have mastered this by now.

  • bomegabomega Posts: 1,353Registered Users Curl Virtuoso
    My understanding is that too much acidic solution is also very damaging to the hair. I have heard of people using straight acid on their hair, but then I read an article somewhere on the Sciency Hair Blog where she showed what happens to hair with those very low pH solutions, and it is as bad as using too high pH on the hair. So, I'm not sure I would recommend straight lemon juice.

    I'm so sorry you are struggling with this. I don't have psoriasis, and I'm not a medical professional so I'm sorry I really can't help you. :/. I think the scalp massager does sound like it's worth a try. I can understand how frustrated you might feel right now. But I'm sure you will figure it out!

    I have read that henna has been used to treat psoriasis. Again, this isn't something from my own experience, but it's just a little factoid I came across when reading about henna for coloring my hair. If this is something you want to pursue, first, remember that henna colors hair with a reddish/auburn type dye. So if your hair is lighter than black, it will change your hair color to something like that. Second, henna is known to loosen curl pattern, and it actually did for me. However, I have been able to reverse and prevent this by using amla for the dye release, and only coloring the roots.
    Low-poo: Alaffia Coffee & Shea Revitalizing Shampoo for Fine/Thin Hair (summer), Alaffia Coconut & Shea Hydrating Shampoo
    Clarify: Kinky Curly Come Clean
    Rinse-out: Alaffia Coffee & Shea Revitalizing Conditioner for Fine/Thin Hair (summer), Alaffia Everyday Coconut Ultra Hydrating Conditioner
    DT: Camille Rose Naturals Algae Renew Deep Conditioner
    Leave-in: As I Am Leave-in
    Styler: Lily of the Desert 99% Aloe Vera Gelly
    Treatment: Daily tea spray; Coconut oil overnight treatment; Citric acid rinse for hard water; 2-step Henndigo w/ amla to cover gray

    2C, fine, low porosity, low/medium density, protein sensitive

    Looking for styling products and tools

    iHerb Code KQS149 for 5% off your order
  • bellamichellebellamichelle Posts: 5Registered Users, Curl Ambassador Curl Neophyte
    Hello Curlyfae,  I do not have psoriasis but I do get an itchy scalp fairly easily which I think is due to chemicals in so many products. When I cut them out, I notice improvement.  I currently use a mix of baking soda, Castile soap diluted in filtered water with some tea tree, rosemary and peppermint essential oil mixed in.  I let it sit for maybe 5 minutes, gently scrub my scalp and rinse it out well.  Then I rinse with a mixture of filtered water, white or apple cider vinegar and lavender, geranium and rosemary essential oils.  I have this in a spray bottle or a #2 plastic squeeze bottle with a flip top so I can direct where and how much I direct the rinse across my scalp and all over my hair. I leave this on white i finish showering and then rinse it out.  I mix 2-3 drops of Lavender EOs into a tsp or 2 of coconut oil in the palm of my hand and then squeeze it into my hair from the top of my head to the ends of my hair.  Then I plop it while I get ready for my day.  I usually let it air dry and my hair is very soft and the curls and waves are nice.  

    I think you might be happy with an occasional baking soda wash if you always follow it with the vinegar rinse. 

    Michelle

Leave a Comment

BoldItalicStrikethroughOrdered listUnordered list
Emoji
Image
Align leftAlign centerAlign rightToggle HTML viewToggle full pageToggle lights
Drop image/file