Shampoo nightmare

Hi All,

I know I’ve brought this up before but I simply cannot believe how sensitised I am to things that I put on my scalp – including water, no matter what the temperature. Today, I used a different shampoo just for the hell of it to see how things would go. I’m on no meds right now and have been relatively headache free for a few weeks. So today I used this other shampoo which is an anti-allergenic one I’ve had for a while (clear and no smell). The difference between this one and the other one I have been using is that it actually lathers properly. So I used it VERY quickly and made a point of nut scrubbing it into my scalp. So one hour later, the headache from hell started and now I have pain in other parts of my body too. It feels like there are a thousand pins stuck in my neck and there is brainfog. I’m trying to work out what the hell is in shamppo that triggers this so badly? Temperature change alone sets me off at a low level but these shampoos put me into the stratosphere. It’s just totally bizarre that this happens. I guess it’s allodynia and certainly is proof that I have ridiculously sensitive nerves in my head. No wonder food sets me off as well.

Sorry, shaving my head is not an option and using a “dry” shampoo sounds disgusting. Makes me think of someone from the 1600s with all of that white crap in their hair. :lol: I just want to know what chemicals are doing this. Even the so-called natural shampoos are bad and even worse if there are oils in them. I guess this is my version of light sensitivity minus the light. It’s incredibly annoying that simply washing my hair can literally ruin my day with pain, fog, and some dizziness.


You could try not using any shampoo at all and just “wash” it with water. You will have six weeks of lank, greasy hair (have hats on standby) but then the hair will only need its own oils to stay clean.

Years ago I met a woman who did this and her hair was clean, shiny glossy and tangle free.

Also, the Sydney radio personality/columnist Richard Glover recently did this six week trial. Here’s how he went … 46888.html

Good luck Greasy Head!

Hmmmm … interesting. I might try the no shampoo thing and see how long I last. Funny article.


Scott, what do you use to wash the rest of you, especially your face? If you wash your face with a certain kind of soap - the face is a pretty sensitive area - and don’t have any problem on your face, maybe you could try that on your scalp/hair.

I mean, after you follow Victoria’s advice for awhile and just use water - then when you get greasy enough, you might try whatever you wash your face with.

I know there are people who follow “simplicity” lifestyles who always use just a bar of soap for washing body and hair.

I have allodynia of my scalp also. Having my hair shampood with a bit of a scalp massage used to be the best part of getting my hair cut. Now it makes me incredibly nauseous and gives me a migraine headache. For me, I don’t think it’s the shampoo- it’s an extreme sensitivity to touch on my head.


Maryalice – I don’t use anything on my face either because I get the same result. When I’m in the shower I just use water on my face. Even if I don’t have a shower but only shave, I will end up with head pain from the water temp change on my face and the shaving cream.

Hi Claudia - welcome to mvertigo! Wow, so you get this too? You may be surprised to know that it may be the sudden tempertaure change on your scalp that triggers it and could also be the shampoo. What happens if you have a shower, wet your head and scrub it with your hands but use no shampoo? Same result?

Clearly this is yet another type of trigger for some of us. The good news is that I have had times when this mechanism seemed to be switched off. It never lasted for longer than about 2-3 days though and then it returned as usual.

Scott 8)

For me, I don’t even like someone hugging my head. Sounds funny, but since I am in a wheelchair, it happens a fair amount!

But the temperature of the water is interesting. Due to vascular changes occuring with hot & cold? I will experiment today. I use several shampoos and they all affect me the same way.