Welcome to Relaxed Redefined ~ a better, healthier way to care for chemically relaxed hair. This is a personal hair journal created to share easy, do-at-home tips and techniques that have made my hair stronger and longer. I hope you'll learn something here that will enhance your healthy hair journey or better yet insprire you to start one. Happy Hair Growting!

6.15.2011

Seborrheic Dermatitis and Salt Water

My name is MrsT and I have Seborrheic Dermatitis, which is just a fancy clinical term for severe dandruff and dry scalp. I was first diagnosed by a Dermatoligist as a teenager and have dealt with chronic bouts off and on for years since. I've had multiple prescription shampoos and ointments, tried all sorts of homemade concoctions and am very careful and aware of any product that I apply directly to my scalp. My scalp responds or doesn't respond to these interventions with varying degrees of success, but it eventurally it comes back. Its hard to explain the level of painful dryness and itching that Dermatitis can cause, along with severe flaking to the point of bleeding and skin discoloration. That's right my scalp has flaked to the point of bleeding and this flaking has left scars that would not fully heal leaving the skin around my hairline about 3 shades lighter than the rest of my face. In Seborrheic Dermatitis the normal bacteria that live on the scalp (all over our bodies actually) overfeed off the natural oil produced by our scalps (called sebum--and any other oil that is applied) and in turn causes the scalp to severely dry out (the "moisture" has been eaten away)
this dryness triggers the skin cells on the scalp to turn over and slough off very quickly--hence the extreme flaking, and the rapid cell turn over prevents new skin from regrowing quickly enough to fully heal the affected areas. Needless to say my extreme scalp issue makes getting a relaxer a very touchy issue, the best course of action probably would be for me to stop getting relaxers all together as the unhealed areas of my scalp easily burn leading to more scaring.  However, (call me crazy) I 've always been willing to to endure the irritation and a few burns in exchange for straight roots, especially since I started stretching my relaxers further and further apart. That may not make sense to others, but its just the way its always been for me, so I deal with it.

And then one day it all stopped. I've been hesitant to write this post for fear of jinxing my current remission, but I'm so excited about the current state of my scalp I can't keep it to myself anymore. Since returning from my vacation in the Virgin Islands earlier this year, I have had zero scalp issues. No itching, no extreme dryness, and best of all no flaking severe or otherwise, absolutely none at all! I'm not sure what happened, but I think it may have had something to do with the salt water, or maybe it was all the humidity, I really can say for sure. All I know is that my scalp is healthy for the first time in a long time, and I love it. I got my relaxer touch up last week with zero irritation or burning, and not one scab or scar. I really can't remember the last time that happened, but I am so grateful. I haven't changed any of my staple products or routines since being in the Atlantic Ocean so the water is the only trigger I can think of. I've found a few correlating anecdotes online from other Dermatitis sufferer's but no clinical research or documentation. All I know is if my dermatitis should return, I know the first thing I'll be looking for--if not a trip to the beach certainly a homemade salt water mix. In the mean time I'm going to enjoy fully enjoy a summer of a healthy scalp and growing hair.

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