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Thread: Hair Products safe for seb derm

  1. #1
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    Default Hair Products safe for seb derm

    Does anyone have any recommendations for seb derm safe hair conditioners and pomades/waxes? Do they even exist? I'm going to begin washing with Hegor, but I'm afraid it will be too drying. I also need to use something in my hair for styling.

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    Senior Member Tom Busby's Avatar
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    Hegor 150 is very drying because the primary surfactant is sodium lauryl sulfate. For styling, you're right, none of the pomades and waxes are likely to be ok, as far as I know, but if you post the ingredients of a particular product, I might be able to describe whether it's ok or not, from a malassezia point of view.

    You could mix 10% Cerave PM with 90% Aloe Vera Gel if you want to make something for yourself. That way you can dial in the proportions that work best for you, instead of buying a drawer-full of commercial products.

    I don't use hair styling products, but I've tried something similar to this 10/90 mix, as an experiment, and it seemed ok from an aesthetic point of view, but I'm not a good judge of hair styling products because I don't use them.

    If you want to make something thicker and sticky, which might actually look good on curly hair, you could mix up 10% Vaseline or Aquaphor with 90% Aloe Vera Gel, although this will probably not wash out easily -- but since we're discussing personal preferences for hair styling, it's possible that it would be ok, from a malassezia point of view.

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    I found a conditioner on Amazon from Magick Botanicals.

    Ingredients:
    Purified Water With botanical extracts of Clover, Sage, Chamomile, Sea Kelp, Rosemary, Melissa, Horsetail, Yarrow and Coltsfoot, Aloe Vera, Octyl Palmitate, Stearyl and Cetyl Emulsifiers, Germaben. Fragrance Free. No Animal Testing. No Animal By-Products.

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    Senior Member Tom Busby's Avatar
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    The product you asked about is probably similar to the first 10/90 mix I suggested. I don't see a problem from a malassezia point of view. The product you asked about is probably 94% water, 3% Aloe Vera powder, 3% emulsifiers and Octyl Palmitate (which feels slightly oily but soaks in faster than most oils), and 0.01% botanical extracts. The botanicals are probably about one drop each, or less. I like botanical extracts, but they're expensive and the only thing they add is a very nice aroma.

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    Thanks, Tom. You're right about it being less expensive to simply try to make my own conditioner. I'll give it a shot.

    I want to make sure I understand what "feeds" malassezia. Are the food grade oils that you've talked about in other threads the only cosmetic ingredients we need to worry about?

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    Senior Member Tom Busby's Avatar
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    Hi Neil, yes, as I understand the research, malassezia evolved to metabolize oils that are C12 - C20, which are the same carbon chain lengths as natural body sebum. If we avoid those oils, we're in good shape to stop the food-cycle for malassezia. Oils are the only problem -- all the other emulsifiers and fatty acids (amphiphilic) ingredients are not a problem, although the names might at first sound like they're in the "food grade" range for malassezia.

    Making your own cosmetic products is a very good idea. Just make a shot glass (50 ml when full) small batch to start out. If you don't like it, toss it and start over. You could buy a "mini measure" shot glass to simplify measuring -- the markings are very accurate.

    My personal opinion on extracts is that lavender extract and arnica extract are minimalist and smell good together. There's no right or wrong here but these two are a good place to start, without spending a bundle on dozens of nice-smelling extracts. One drop of each will make 8 ounces smell good, so there's no need to go overboard.

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    Quick update: the Cerave/aloe vera mix is still a work in progress. I tried it out and thought it looked okay, but my hair is very thick, wavy, and difficult to hold in place. I may honestly have to settle for a commercial product. I'm hoping I can at least do some "damage control" and find one that doesn't contain a ton of bad ingredients.

    Tom, what's the verdict on beeswax, hemp seed oil, and wheat germ oil? I'm definitely going to avoid anything that contains coconut oil, castor oil, and mineral oil, but that leaves very few options.

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    Senior Member Tom Busby's Avatar
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    Hi Neil, all waxes and oils, except for MCT oil and Vaseline/Aquaphor can be metabolized by malassezia. Beeswax might be ok, but no one has ever studied this.

    Maybe try to substitute a portion of Vaseline for a portion of the CeraVe. With thick wavy hair I'm not surprised that you find the 10/90 CevaVe/Aloe Vera Gel mix too lightweight.

    You have to heat Aquaphor or Vaseline to about 120F, where it liquefies and becomes clear. You don't need a thermometer because the appearance-change is obvious. Then stir it into the CeraVe. Watch out because CeraVe will break (the emulsion separates) with too much heat, so I can't guarantee the best temp for this to work, but if I recall correctly CeraVe breaks at about 130F, so you still have small temp' window in which this will work. Mix a small batch in a shot glass. Stir them together with a knife, or whatever you like. Start with a 1:9 ratio of Vaseline/Aquaphor to CeraVe, and work up from there.

    You can also try "dielectric grease," which is simply highly refined Vaseline, and melts at a slightly lower temp. You could also try "rose wax," which falls into the same unknown category as beeswax, but might be ok. You'll be able to tell if something is working or not.

    The downside of Vaseline/Aquaphor is that it doesn't wash out easily because it isn't water soluble, but blending it with CeraVe might solve this problem, somewhat.

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    Senior Member Tom Busby's Avatar
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    Ahh, I just thought of what would make a thick water soluble hair gel -- Hydroxypropyl Methylcellulose (HPMC). You can order it from modernistpantry. A concentration of just 0.45% will thicken water easily. It will keep forever in the frig, in a sealed container. It doesn't support any kind of microbe or fungus, so it's safe to use on your scalp.

    I haven't tried exactly this because I don't have thick hair, but it should be good as part of a thick hair water soluble styling gel.

    You'll need to buy a digital scale -- I like the SM-5DR from AWS, about $30. You'll also need a Pyrex 250 ml cup, from Bed Bath and Beyond.

    HPMC powder turns gummy (turns into insoluble lumps) when it hits water, so you have to pre-disburse the HPMC powder in glycerin, about 5 parts glycerin to 1 part HPMC, so the HPMC is pourable and doesn't turn into lumps in the water. Any non-polar solvent will be fine to spread out (pre-disburse) the HPMC powder, but glycerin works the best in cosmetics.

    You would heat up 100 grams of distilled water to 170F for 20 minutes in a Pyrex cup covered with Saran wrap, in a pan with an inch of tap water. Then pour the 100g of hot distilled water into a blender, put the top on, turn the blender on, and add the pre-disbursed 0.45 grams of HPMC into the opening at the top of the blender. Close the spout and blend for 20-30 seconds. A glass blender is better than a plastic blender, because the hot water will glaze the plastic. The HPMC gel will air up, but the bubbles will go away as it cools. Then you can add perhaps 1% to 10% of the HPMC gel to whatever else you like.

    You can make this with cold water too, and skip heating the distilled water, but it might not be evenly thick. Hot distilled water is better.

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