The Scalp Saga Continues

In case you were wondering why my hair was straight for such a short period of time (if you follow me on Instagram @AHairStory), this is why…

Though my hair grows, I’m constantly struggling with the health of my scalp. I was told by my dermatologist a while back that I have Seborrheic Dermatitis. “Seborrheic Dermatitis is a common, inflammatory skin condition that causes flaky, white to yellowish scales to form on oily areas such as the scalp, face or inside the ear”. It’s basically the adult version of cradle cap. I’ve used Selsun Blue shampoo for years in an attempt to keep it at bay. I’ve tried Selsun Blue shampoos with different active ingredients, I’ve tried natural anti-fungals such as tea tree oil and sulfur, I’ve tried topical prescription medication and it’s still there more often than not. The only time it really decreases is if I constantly wash my hair. Great for the scalp, drying for the hair.

I found this Giovanni Don’t Be Flaky shampoo and conditioner in a beauty supply store in Brooklyn and decided to give it a try. I used the Smooth As Silk conditioner on my ends for additional moisture. I generally like Giovanni products and find them very moisturizing, so I expect this one to be the same. The active ingredient in these are 2% Salacylic Acid. I’ve used it at least twice already and my hair seems to tolerate it well. No excessive dryness, but only time will tell how well it works on my scalp. I’m becoming weary of fighting this, but it’s extremely embarrassing when my scalp begins to flake. I’ve even resorted to washing just my hairline to make myself presentable without having to wash my whole head. Sigh. Sometimes it doesn’t actually flake, but I part my hair and can see white on my scalp. What’s a natural girl to do?

It’s really a struggle. I’m currently looking for different tips and any ideas for things to try. They say it’s incurable but you can treat it. What do you think?


9 thoughts on “The Scalp Saga Continues

  1. I was actually diagnosed with the same thing a month ago although I’ve had symptoms since childhood. My dermatologist prescribed a steroid (name escapes me but can send later if interested), that I can rub on my scalp when it itches. It’s a grease. It helps stop the itching and flaking. She also recommended KeraCare anti-itch because she says it’ll stop the itching without over-drying (my dermatologist is African American and natural as we’ll). KeraCare anti-itch actually used to be my go-to shampoo/conditioner when I was relaxed and transitioning, but I needed products with more slip once I was fully natural.

    Lastly she told me a lot of time flare ups are triggered but stress (& potentially other triggers, but I know my culprit 🙂

    I totally feel your frustration girl. Mine gets super flaky then really red and irritated from my scratching (& I start to see a little hair loss), but lately it has felt under control. I’ve been washing about once a week.

    Sorry for the comment, but hope everything work out!

    • Thank you so much for the comment. I will definitely look into KeraCare. I’m not big on steroids, but I would like to know the name so I can do a little research. Mine has been on going since I was relaxed as well. I always hoped the relaxer burned out whatever was irritating my scalp. I don’t have itching, just the flaky, dry looking scalp. When it’s really irritated it gets red but that hasn’t happened in ages and I realized it was from products with citrus oil in it.

  2. Totally makes sense. The steroid is called Clobetasol Propionate Ointment USP, 0.05%. I actually don’t know too much about steroids, so any watch-outs you have would be helpful!

  3. Thanks for sharing your story!!!!! I have been searching for a shampoo for my sister who suffers from this as well, we will definitely give the Giovanni shampoo a try. She just recently consulted with a dermatologist who prescribed her a shampoo and cream, we just started using it and have not seen any results yet. Her doctor did suggest washing her hair more often like once a week. I hope it works out for you all.

  4. Pingback: Wash Day Routine | curlstories

  5. Hey Rece!

    I’m sorry that you are going through this! Gosh, it must be frustrating. I’m sure you’ve tried tons of things as you’ve listed above, but have you tried castor oil? I doubt that will stop the itching, but I know that it keeps flakes at bay because it coats the scalp. It’s super thick and keeps my hair flake free.
    The only time I suffered from severe itching was when I wore braids and I was allergic to the hair. I used diluted apple cider vinegar. I put it in a spray bottle and spritz my scalp with it. It worked like a charm, but I had to do it daily, and ended up smelling like ACV!
    I know someone who tried the steroids like the other commenter said, and it worked for them. I’d be curious to know if the castor oil would keep the flakes away. I do hope that you get some relief soon.

  6. Hi, I’m about 18 months late, but I’ve only just discovered your great website. I love your hair! Anyway my hair was of a similar length and texture to your straightened hair when it was relaxed for many years – I actually relaxed it myself at home. Not many people ever saw the full length and great condition though, because of my terrible flaky scalp. I would dread someone seeing a great big Cornflake sized flake sitting on my lovely hair. To cut a long story short, in the process of using a chemical concoction to cure the problem, I ruined my hair, cut all 18 inches of it off and have been natural for a year. I no longer have what I though was a lifelong condition and I assume its because of 2 things: I non longer chemical relax and no longer use sulfate shampoos. Basically, my scalp and skin are Very sensitive. Once you find out what it is sensitive to, you may just cure your problem. Try medical prescribed products for eczema and avoid very thick products on the scalp. Keep persevering and good luck.

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