It has been an ongoing discussion on this blog that I just can’t get my scalp under control. From the time I started blogging, I had been fighting with it – for a number of reasons. The first being, I’m allergic to coconut and coconut-based ingredients are present in all commercial shampoos. They are listed as cocamidopropyl betaine, coconut oil, coco-glucoside, sodium methyl cocoyl taurate, cocamide DEA, potassium cocoate, sodium cocoyl glutamate… The list goes on and on.
Pretty much, I side-eye anything that has coco- or coca- in its name.
I had been washing my hair with shampoo until sometime in 2009 and my skin was in a mess. My forehead, temples and neck were flaking – I couldn’t even think of wearing a dark coloured top without shaming myself. Once I stopped shampooing with commercial shampoos, I saw a HUGE difference in my scalp. It stopped flaking and itching.
That worked… for a minute. I was experimenting with co-washing and that was a complete mess. I didn’t find that co-washing got my scalp clean enough. Mind you, it was still healing from using shampoos for how many years. So, I probably should have found something that would have cleaned any residue off. I tried baking soda and apple cider vinegar rinses.
They did not work. I tried this for about six to eight months.
So, I started using liquid black soap – which worked, but the damage was already done. My scalp was a mess – back to flaking, itching and embarrassing me on the regular. This continued until March 2011. After my dad was sick, my scalp got ridiculous to epic proportions. I thought it was just the irritation from the products and the improper cleansing and the stress that I was under.
A couple of weeks ago, I remembered I had a bottle of Head & Shoulders Classic Clean conditioner that I had bought a few months before. I used it once and, probably when I decided to use more natural products, I put it down. I love the idea of using more natural products, but my scalp was out of control. I washed my hair with Henna Sooq’s Berhempsu shampoo bar and then I quickly co-washed with the Head & Shoulders.
Here are the ingredients:
Active ingredient: Pyrithione zinc. Inactive ingredients: Water, stearamidopropyl dimethylamine, cetyl alcohol, quaternium-18, stearyl alcohol, PEG-2M, cetearyl alcohol, polysorbate 60, fragrance, benzyl alcohol, phenoxyethanol, dimethicone, hydroxyethylcellulose, glyceryl stearate, oleyl alcohol, citric acid, methylparaben, propylparaben
So, what happened?
- Day 1 – great; clean scalp.
- Day 2 – still great.
- Day 3 – clean scalp and no itching
- Day 4 – still clean? Yay!
Gasp! I have never – or at least never in present memory – had my scalp remain clean for longer than four days. Normally, by that time my scalp would be on the warpath, but this time it was calm and happy.
I didn’t want to sing Head & Shoulders’ praises too early because sometimes things work well once and then don’t work so well on the second or third try.
Today, I am singing Head & Shoulders Classic Clean conditioner’s praises! Today is two weeks since my last wash and there are no flakes. There is no itchy scalp. There is no ashy-ness creeping down from my hairline to my forehead and temples. My scalp looks like most people’s scalps – clean and pretty 🙂
So, not only do I have an allergic reaction to coconut and coconut-based ingredients – the doctor called it contact dermatitis – but I am also dealing with good ol’ fashioned dandruff, that I believe was brought on by not dealing with the allergy properly and irritating my scalp by not cleansing it as properly as I should have – because I couldn’t find a shampoo that would work until it was too dang late – to the point that dandruff took over.
I could be so off on this diagnosis, but I know there were about three months between not shampooing and co-washing that my scalp was in pretty good condition. Anyhow, Head & Shoulders Classic Clean is a staple in my shower.