I am so embarrassed by this sever crusty, flakey, spooky looking scalp of mine. I have read many tips that expect me, a women who work long hrs. in the hospital, and mother of 3 girls, care taker of a sick husband, to wash my hair daily to help alleviate this condition.. I just don't have that much me time in a day. This stuff has restricted my life.. I no longer go to hair salons due to the embarrassment and not wanting to be the topic of the salon as you will obivious be able to see these large flakes fall on a always black drape as they style my hair. I do not wear my hair in a pony tail because of it's appearance around my hairline and ears. And not to even to mention the now receeding hairline in the front due to the constant scratching and lifting of these flakes. I have tried the OTC products, but i find them to work...but gosh... the harshness of them. They have a tendency to kink, knott, tangle, mat, etc... my hair which is now thin due to me trying to comb it out after washing.. Conditioning does not seem to help loosen it.. Please tell me that there is a better option to control this so i can stop walking in shame as when my stress level rises during the day... it is very noticiable... I have relaxed, shoulder length, thick hair by the way... used to be longer before this happened. Must I be bald by 45 because of this.. im soon to be 40..HELP
Enduring chronic itching, flaking, and irritation of the scalp for weeks, months, or years can be quite a pain!
However, from what you describe, there should be a way for you to get relief. I agree that daily shampooing is not a very practical approach to trying to control this problem, because it is incompatible with most hair styles preferred by African American females and as you mentioned, medicated shampoos of all types can make the hair dry, brittle, and contribute to breakage.
Now, getting back to the itching and flaking of your scalp. You may be dealing with a more severe case of seborrheic dermatitis or psoriasis of the scalp which causes thicker silvery scaly plaques. There is also a condition called sebopsoriasis which is a combination of features of both of these disorders in the same individual.
Prescription strength anti-inflammatory medications administered topically or by injection, along with oral medications to control the itching until your scalp heals would be an appropriate treatment regimen to start with.
Of course, it would also be appropriate to do a scraping of your scalp and microscopic examination to make sure that a fungus infection is not mixed in with everything else that is going on.
All of these conditions can be aggravated by stress, so finding a way to cope and keep your life situations from getting the best of you will also help to keep your scalp from flaring up.
Also, don't give up on hair stylists. They want to help you have a healthy scalp and preserve the growth of your hair as well. The best way to handle the situation completely is with appropriate medical care combined with hair care from a professional who is comfortable with helping you to overcome your scalp inflammation.