Saturday, 9 February 2019

Flaky scalp

Awkward selfie to try to show off the state of my scalp. Looks normal from a distance (luckily!).

My scalps tendency to get "flakes" around autumn and winter has really gone crazy this winter.
I don't think this winter has been particularly bad up here in the north (At least not compared to some of the insane weather other people have experienced this season!), but the flakes have been more irritating. They are dry, itchy and really cling to the scalp and hair. Also, they are bright white so they really don't blend in at all! Some times they have even clumped together and formed little gunk-formations!

CO washes doesn't help entirely with washing these out, since they aren't greasy enough to be bound by the surfactant ingredients so they can be rinsed out.
But they are greasy enough that a scalp scrub will loosen them from the scalp... But then they just cling to the first 1-2 cm of roots instead. Most attempts to loosen them up only seems to provoke my scalp into becoming greasier as well.

I tried massaging them out. That just seemed to trigger my scalp into getting my itchy and greasy.
I tried brushing them out. That also just seemed to trigger my scalp into getting my itchy and greasy.
I tried scritching them out. That also just seemed to trigger my scalp into getting my itchy and greasy.


Awkward zoom to try to show off the state of my scalp.

Most advice on these irritating white scalp flakes seems to center on the same few items, so it was quite irritating to seek advice for it. It basically left me with the frustrated "But I do that already!"-feeling.

I got a humidifier last autumn in the hope that it would lessen the difference between cold and wet outside and hot and dry inside. I also doubled my omega-3 supplements. I'm not really sure any of it helped a whole lot, but at least it should be good for my skin generally?

One thing I didn't see mentioned anywhere, but I had the thought of, was to get back on my hyaluronic acid-supplements. I'm not really sure that would actually help the flakes themselves, but it should help the moisture level of my skin. Maybe it will lessen the irritation of having the flakes?

And also...


  1. Same here. My hair flakes like crazy and hates washes in winter. I could go 2 weeks without washing my hair. I have 1c/f/m/ii though

  2. We want to see your length in a photo! Would you upload this soon?

  3. Welcome to my hell. This is a mild form of dandruff---dandruff has various stages, and varying types. This is dry dandruff from an irritation to the skin due to the lack of moisture. I can get the really horrific stuff that leaves a disgusting plaque like substance that is very painful, the scalp is inflammed, and when you peel off the flakes, the scalp bleeds. That is the worst I've had.

    There are many options, but given your skin sensitivity, I would do tests on the back of your neck with any product before trying them.

    First off, the dandruff/flakes cling to the hair because, in essence, it's flaking off skin cells. They are murder to get off, and it takes a bit of time for them to disappear.

    Head and Shoulders would work for your level of flakes----but again, test it. It shouldn't have an issue for your skin because it contains zinc oxide--which heals skin. The key for ANY shampoo (or conditioner) to work, is you MUST leave it on the scalp to work---and I think only the shampoo is medicated, not the conditioner.

    If you want to steer away from shampoos, find some asprin---salacylic acid is known to combat flakes on the scalp. It's recommend to crush up an asprin and then add to your shampoo (in your case, conditioner). given how thick your hair is, I'd use a few or more. The fact your scalp is greasy is the key here---your scalp is dry, it produces grease to lubricate, and not washing it away, then its a perfect breeding ground for the fungus that causes dandruff---which actually lies just UNDER the scalp--hence the need to let any type of medicated shampoo to sit on the scalp for a few minutes.

    Nizoral works for medium flares, but a) it smells NASTY, b) your hair will hate it and c) you can't use on color treated hair (for those who have treated hair like I do now). I did find a way to use this and not dry my ends out---I shampooed with this product and slathered my length prior to it with conditioner. It worked! :D Leaving it on the scalp to let the medication work was so bad because the smell is terrible. I highly recommend Head and Shoulders as the scent is at least bearable, and apparently safe on color treated hair, but I found it too drying.

    This is why I wash daily with a mild clarifying shampoo---H&S allowed me to go 2-3 days without a wash, but it came at a price---dry ends and I found it didn't leave my scalp as happy as I'd like. I went back to using neutrogena daily clarifying shampoo and what a difference. Not 1 flake and this winter has been BRUTAL!

    Can you use tea tree oil??? That is a natural antifungal---that may be a good try as well!

    Good luck---I've been dealing with this for years, and it will settle down.

  4. Hi there!
    I don't know if you've ever heard of or tried it, but I thought it wouldn't hurt to suggest: when I have allergic reactions (be it allergic rhinitis or some kind of dermatitis/rash) and my scalp is affected too, what did work for me was gently massaging a mix of jojoba oil and aloe vera gel on my scalp the day before my wash day. It's basically 1 tablespoon of jojoba oil, 60 ml aloe vera gel + 15 drops of rosemary essential oil and 10 drops of atlas cedar essential oil - if your skin can't handle the essential oils or you're not sure they would work for you, I'd recommend skipping them and simply using the mix of jojoba oil and aloe vera gel. After my skin was not so sensitive I would also do an apple cider vinegar rinse after washing my hair - a very diluted one, like 1-2 tablespoons of vinegar to 500ml of water in room temperature.
    These two home treatments worked very well for me, but I do understand it's not everyone's cup of tea. Anyways, I do hope your scalp will get better!

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