Hello Dr. Weaver,
I started getting perms at a very young age and decided to go back natural in my early 20s. Since then, I've noticed the change in my hair texture, growth and over health. When I had my relaxer, my hair and scalp seemed healthy and extremely resilient, but now, I feel like there's a new problem every day and I'm beyond frustrated and don't know what to do with it anymore!
I've had dandruff on and off since I was a child, but I recent moved to Arizona from the Midwest and my hair totally flipped out. At first there was absolutely no dryness of the hair or scalp. In fact, it was too oily and retaining disgusting residue on my follicle shafts which shampoos would fix so I had to use astringents. Then, once that cleared up, my hair started getting dryer (obviously) so I made sure to moisturize more often and things seemed fine for a while...until what I thought was a mild case of dandruff returned, which just happened to be around the time I started working out and sweating on a regular basis. I tried treating it with dandruff shampoos and dry, itchy scalp products, but it was as if my hair and scalp thought I must have been joking to think those silly things would work. NOW, it's a full blown whatever it is that has taken over my head! My symptoms are dry, itchy, sensitive scalp that's lighter colored than my natural skin tone all over and sometimes the flakes are small and white, other times they are chunky, thick and discolored. I've tried oils, ACV rinses, even anti fungal foot sprays and nothing works for longer than perhaps a day....though I could probably just run water through my hair and get the same affects. I'm so frustrated and don't know what to do anymore.
A poor, desperate, uninsured, unemployed, women
It seems as though for a variety of reasons your scalp has progressed to the point of being inflamed, scaly, and irritated which is characteristic of an eczematous condition such as seborrheic dermatitis. You can try applying an over the counter hydrocortisone solution or ointment to your scalp on a daily basis combined with a medicated shampoo once a week to get the scalp to heal. The dryness, flaking, and itching should disappear. If your hair has become overly dry, moisturizers and conditioners can help correct the damage, but it can take 6 to 12 months for resolution.
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