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How do I get rid of dandruff when it isn't dandruff?

I have had these crazy, persistant white flakes at the front of my scalp for years. I have been told it is dandruff, and used dandruff shampoo....didn't work. I have tried that coal tar shampoo, the various brands of anti-dandruff shampoo, over-conditioning and nettle shampoo. Nothing works. My doctor thinks it is a type of eczema, but he told me to try a prescription shampoo, only it cost me $15 each time and the bottle only has 6 oz of shampoo. That literally lasts me maybe 2-3 weeks, if I stretch it.

I have been told it is hairspray, but I don't use hairspray, or any other hair styling products. I am getting disgusted with it, because I usually wear my hair in a ponytail, so of course the little flakes just sit right there in front, saying hi to the world! I feel very down when I look in the mirror now.

Anyone know of any other remedies I could try? Help!


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Asked by AnimalsLady at 2:38 AM on Oct. 12, 2009 in Health

Level 1 (2 Credits)
Answers (20)
  • Randa took the words right out of my mouth - or fingers, I guess. My hair stylist suggested using tea tree oil shampoo. I found mine at Sally Beauty Supply, it was $6.49 for a 16 oz bottle. There's a conditioner too. The only thing I would caution is to only use it like once a week. I wash my hair twice a week, on Monday and Thursday nights. Monday nights I wash with the regular shampoo I always used, and on Thursday nights, I wash with the tea tree oil one. I've heard a lot of people say it can really dry out your hair and scalp if you use it every time you wash, which can cause other problems.

    Answer by tropicalmama at 6:31 AM on Oct. 12, 2009

  • my daughter had it soooooooooooo bad ,,the coal tar worked!!!! It was caked on white flakes......try it again,,,do 7 days in a row,,,,,leave in for 20 min,,,,,,,,,and buy generic,,let me know

    Answer by cameron536 at 7:01 AM on Oct. 12, 2009

  • Paul Mitchell

    Answer by bella69147 at 7:52 AM on Oct. 12, 2009

  • I have scales on my scalp too. They can itch like crazy too and the scales will keep regenerating, but itch more and more. It is Seborrheic Dermatitis. It's kind of like eczema, but a little different. Prescription steroid creams will clear it up, but using steroids that close to your face is a bad idea, so I try not use the cream that often. I can control it with Head and shoulders, but when I get a moderate breakout (usually brought on by stress) then I have found that using Avon Moisture Therapy cream right on that spot clears it up and takes away the itch. I don't know why it works or even why I tried it, but it works for me and it's cheap. My friends daughter has eczema and they swear by Avon's SSS body cream, they say it clears her skin right up and if they don't use it for a few days she breaks out again. I have heard about the tea tree oil, I just haven't needed to try it yet. Good luck!

    Answer by slw123 at 8:20 AM on Oct. 12, 2009

  • mix a little shampoo with a salicylic acid base to it with a couple generic uncoated aspirin tablets and rub that in your hair and scalp. wait for a few minutes then shampoo as you would normally. this is really supposed to work, hope it does for ya.

    Answer by jewjewbee at 8:29 AM on Oct. 12, 2009

  • Sometimes flakes just at the hairline could mean you are not washing the shampoo all the way out. So first, make sure you rinse your hair real good. The tea tree shampoo can be found at Dollar general store if you have one. It is only $2 per bottle here. You can also try Seabreeze. It is a drying agent. This is at sally beauty suppy and should only be $2-3. Apply it after your shower to your hairline, before you dry your hair. Another thing you can try is getting a stiff brush, brush all the flakes off you can before shampooing, then apply leave in conditioner just to your problem area. Before drying your hair. ~hope this helps~

    Answer by dons_doll at 8:34 AM on Oct. 12, 2009

  • If it is excema, eliminate dairy.

    Try going "no poo" for 3 or 4 weeks: I use a paste of apple cider vinegar and baking soda.

    Answer by rkoloms at 8:35 AM on Oct. 12, 2009

  • use any type of excema cream IN your hair...let it sit for a while then rinse well...after that do your normal shampoo and condition...once a week i also use TGel...that stuff stinks, but works GREAT!

    Answer by blueeyedgrl2377 at 8:56 AM on Oct. 12, 2009

  • yeah I have them too and the problem is I flake them off and then they itch like crazy. My doctor also prescribed medicated shampoo but I use Head and Shoulders (okay cheap Target brand) for dry scalp and it has helped.

    Answer by pagirl71 at 8:56 AM on Oct. 12, 2009

  • Try putting a heavy moisturizer on your scalp right before bed. Use Eucerin or Aveno (the one with the dark blue lid). Then take a shower in the morning to wash out the greasiness of the lotion. I'd try any standard eczema treatment just on your scalp instead. Do it before bed and wash in the am.

    Good luck! It sounds like you have a lot of good ideas and suggestions here!

    Answer by beckcorc at 9:07 AM on Oct. 12, 2009

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