Shampoo dilemma

Hi gang,

I have a BIG problem with chemical sensitivity on my face and scalp that I’ve written about before. I have to use products with practically nothing in them otherwise they trigger very strong migraine neck ache and heavy head fog within 45 min of using the product.

Shampoo is a hassle. This issue is even documented in the literature and called “hair wash headache”. Over that past few years I have been using a product that is made for sensitive skin and is absolutely free of fragrance and other nasties. However, over the last year the shampoo has been irritating my scalp and upper forehead. It’s at the point now where I have a rash from it that is too much and needs sorting out … and a very red and itchy scalp. Gross. Uncomfortable too and does not feel healthy.

So I went to the chemist and he gave me this stuff called T/Gel that sorts out ALL sorts of scalp issues. Also have some cortisone cream for the forehead reaction. Today I tried the shampoo. It has 2% road tar extract in it. I’m not kidding. When you use it, it smells like the road out front of the house is being paved with tar. :lol: Luckily the smell wears off. People swear by this stuff.

Anyway, I don’t care if I smell like a freshly paved highway. :lol: If it works, great. The problem now is neck pain and head fog. It’s totally sent me off the rails today at work. A very clear effect. I cannot keep using this stuff or I’ll be totally incapacitated. What do I do? See a dermatologist? I think I need expert advice on mixing something up that will not “do my head in”.

:shock:

Scott,

I am sure you have tried everything…but I will mention one shampoos. Loreal now makes a sulfate free shampoo–I don’t really think it has a scent. I just thought I would mention it because maybe the sulfate free would be helpful. I do not know if it is available in Austrailia. If you google it and check out the ingredients and want to try it–I can send it to you.

I know you have a lot of trouble with shampoo. A few years ago I suggested you try the ‘no shampoo’ challenge. Did you ever try it?

http://mvertigo.cloudapp.net/t/shampoo-nightmare/1180&p=10998&hilit=shampoo+nightmare#p10998

Thanks swirlgirl. I’m trying another brand to see what happens first. If it fails I’ll look into a sulphate-free version as you suggested.

Someone at work who is also a migraineur with very sensitive skin told me to try this stuff:

http://www.paulaschoice.com.au/Skin-Care/Slip-Into-Silk-Body-Lotion/PC500-All-Over-Hair---Body-Shampoo-(1).aspx

Not cheap but a 30-day money back thing. So if it kills me I’ll send it back and move on.

Vic – I don’t think I could handle washing my hair with nothing but water for weeks on end. I thought the no shampoo thing and hair looking OK after a few weeks was a myth. Why does it take 6 weeks for example? My hair is all oiled up after a few days. How would it be any different after another few weeks passed by? It sounds more like after 6 weeks you just get used to looking like you dipped your head into a bucket of canola.

Scott
Have you had any allergy tests? That might be a good start. A compounding chemist can make up a base for many products. My compounding chemists makes creams for me without any petroleum products or derivatives/sulphates, etc. Not cheap but spent heaps on trialling different products over the years!
I do use some of the ‘GROWN’ products which are guaranteed free from all the ‘nasties’ I’m allergic to. Their shampoo is fine for me. They’ve got a good (website grown.com) & available in the chemists here.
Barb

Hi Barb – those products look really nice.

Unfortunately anything with essential oils in it = instant headache for me. About 2 months ago we wandered into an Aesop shop with similar sorts of stuff. The woman there squirted some hand cream and then a soap all over our hands. The next day I was trashed with heavy head fog and neck pain. I shudder to think what would have happened had I tried an Aesop shampoo!

— Begin quote from "scott"

Vic – I don’t think I could handle washing my hair with nothing but water for weeks on end. I thought the no shampoo thing and hair looking OK after a few weeks was a myth. Why does it take 6 weeks for example? My hair is all oiled up after a few days. How would it be any different after another few weeks passed by? It sounds more like after 6 weeks you just get used to looking like you dipped your head into a bucket of canola.

— End quote

No, it’s not a myth. It’s different after six weeks as it takes that long for your hair to get back to its natural state. Shampooing your hair strips out all the natural oils and then conditioner puts them back in.

Years ago I met a woman who didn’t wash her hair (on the advice of her hair dresser). She said it was shit for six weeks then absolutely no problems at all. She had the most glorious, shiny, clean hair.

When Richard Glover did the no shampoo test along with 600 of his listeners, ALL of them who stuck with it had greasy hair for six weeks, then, beautiful, clean, soft hair. Several years on and he’s still not using shampoo. Just washes it under the shower with water and nothing else.

This shampoo thing has been a problem for you for several years now. Surely you can handle six weeks without a product which causes you so much grief?? As a guy with short hair and who suffers so badly with shampoo I think it would be really easy desirable for you to stop - just get a really short hair cut so it’s not obviously greasy for the six weeks as it grows out.

Hi,
Got these off the “Fedup” website I use it a lot when checking brands etc… Hope its of some assistance. :slight_smile:
For people with SLS sensitivity, Envirocare Sensitive Body and Hair Cleanser (no SLS, no fragrance) www.envirocareearth.com.au may be a suitable alternative.
• Melrose Everyday or Botanicals Fragrance Free Shampoo Base & Conditioner Base from health food stores and www.allergytrain.com.au
• Simple Gentle Shampoo, Gentle Conditioner (‘no perfume no colour’) at Big W, Priceline, Kmart and pharmacies www.simpleskincare.com.au
• QV soap free wash for children with eczema from pharmacies
• Cetaphil Gentle Cleansing Bar, soap free for children with eczema, from many pharmacies www.cetaphil.com.au
• Natural Oil Workers Unscented shampoo and conditioner from health food stores in a bright blue bottle and is quite economically priced compared to other products. Ingredient List for the shampoo is: Coconut Oil, Mountain fresh water, glycerine, sodium chloride, citric acid, natural emulsifier derived from vegetable castor oil, canpres BNPD a herbal preservative. The Conditioner is similar
• Moo Goo Scalp Friendly Shampoo, ‘No fragrance’ but contains ‘fragrant oil’ moogoo.com.au/scalp-friendly-shampoo.html

— Begin quote from "Victoria"

It’s different after six weeks as it takes that long for your hair to get back to its natural state. Shampooing your hair strips out all the natural oils and then conditioner puts them back in.

— End quote

Hmmm – I’m very skeptical about this 6 week thing. Doesn’t make any logical sense to me. I’ll read up on it.

Found this: an experiment where 2 (yeah low number) people were put to the challenge and they had their scalps examined by David Salinger, director of the International Association of Trichologists.

[size=150]Week eight[/size]
By week eight, Justine had actually begun to embrace the “no shampoo” challenge.

"I’m kind of eating my words at the moment because it I think there is something in this experiment … I feel like my hair is starting to resolve itself to its natural state … I actually feel the natural oils coming back, and for someone that definitely wasn’t a believer at all in this experiment, I think it might have worked,"Justine said.

CJ didn’t really note any major change from week four to eight, and was still quite happy not using shampoo.

“At the moment the scalp feels good. At week four it was still a little bit itchy … but at the moment it feels fine … more or less the same as it did on the first day we did the experiment,” CJ said.

So they both think the “no shampoo” challenge has some merit, but what does our expert David Salinger think?

**David examined the before and after shots of both their scalps and found that both had general redness and follicle inflammation.

Justine had overall scaling on her scalp and CJ’s scalp had some nasty patches of scale and small blood spots where he had scratched his head. Neither of their scalps looked healthy. With that in mind; is it a wise move to ditch shampoo forever?

According to David, the answer is a definite no. Although your hair might look and feel okay, it’s your scalp that is suffering.**

Lank hair and flaky scalp vs very strong neck ache and brain fog? To me it’s no contest, at least for a trial. We give med trials longer than six weeks and they have actual side effects - like anxiety, hallucinations, weight gain, dry mouth…compare that to greasy hair… I just don’t see what you have to lose. Get a crew cut if six weeks of greasy hair bothers you. The worst that can happen is that after six weeks you still feel like you want to wash your hair and you’re no worse off than now, and in fact you’ll have had six great weeks of trigger avoidance - and you are the number one spokesman for trigger avoidance! Like I said - this has been a problem for you for YEARS. What’s six weeks?

The main reason I need to dump the current shampoo is because of scalp problems and that’s what appears to be waiting for the person who doesn’t shampoo their hair for 6 weeks. And no I don’t want to shave my head. Remember, it’s the treatment shampoo (T/Gel) producing the neck pain and head fog – i.e. full of chems to treat dry itchy scalp.

I’d rather try another shampoo as linked above first that may have no migraine effect AND no skin irritation. That seems like the best next step vs minging hair for 6 weeks. :lol: If I can’t find something that does the job, then I’ll consider something more drastic.

What about making your own?

http://www.moneysavingqueen.com/March-2012/Frugal-Living-How-to-Make-Your-Own-Shampoo/

I can’t say i have ever done it but it’s gotta be better than all the chemicals?

Another shampoo to consider; this one’s oatmeal-based. I have no idea about it (just found it randomly online), so I can only wish you good luck Scott! Hope you find one that works for you.

http://www.dermaveen.com.au/hair-scalp-care/dermaveen-oatmeal-shampoo/

I havent read this entire thread but have you tried an all natural shampoo that has tea tree oil in it- it is supposed to be good for dandruff??? t-gel smells awful i have used that before i didnt even think it worked that well either. the other thing u can do is put apple cider vinegar on your scalp that is supposed to be good for dandruff too.

Scott I tried that T/Gel stuff years ago, it made my scalp worse and the smell nearly killed me :shock:

All the strong shampoos and anti dandruff shampoos made my scalp worse. I started using the transparant shampoos and have been fine with them every since, I can wash my hair every day with those.

Hubby had a bad rash come up on his neck, we tried everything for a year and it wouldnt go, I read Johnsons Baby Shampoo was good for that sort of thing, hes been using it every since, no rash.

Mind you, he gets itchy legs after showering, its actually the water!

My dad had a healthy thick head of hair till the day he died and he used nothing but “Sunlight Soap”, they still sell it!

If all else fails, you could try Vics idea, after all, a lot of the youngsters on the chat shows on TV have the “greasy oily tied back hair” look. It just comes naturally to them to not wash their hair :shock:

Christine

Scott I have the same scalp problems, my hairdresser recommended olive oil rubbed into the scalp before shampooing. I have used a Rusk product called Nourish that helps my scalp a lot and makes my hair shiny and soft.

Also look for shampoos that are sulfate and phthalate free. Alba is a good brand.

Kathleen

All great ideas. Thanks guys … the “make your own” is certainly interesting. At least I’ll know what’s in it!

Cheers

More “make your own”, including a really simple Baking Soda shampoo for everyday use (which “sounds crazy, but it works” supposedly…some people have said it doesn’t clean hair quite well enough though…who knows!), as well as a more involved herbal tea shampoo recipe…

http://www.davidsuzuki.org/publications/downloads/2012/QueenofGreen-haircare.pdf

Thanks to the person who suggested “make your own” - might even try that myself too! Love the coconut milk ingredient in the linked recipe :slight_smile:

Hey Scott, if its good enough for the dog its good enough for you :lol:

Watch out for the lemon juice and baking soda. When I have got too darker streaks put in my hair, baking soda takes the colour out and lemon juice lifts it really blonde.

I used to use lemon juice on my cat to get rid of fleas … just a thought :lol:

Christine