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View Full Version : Anyone else get dirty/oily hair headaches?


Lady Snowflake
May 22nd, 2006, 01:39 PM
Is this just me (or just in my head)? I seem to be noticing a pattern. When my hair has been oily too long (oiling my hair for a prewash, or if I didn't get all the oil out the first wash), if I've gone too many days without washing, or if my scalp is dirty and builtup I get a "scalp type" headache. My scalp kinda feels tight, like your neck does when you have a tension headache. Actually, the headache feels like a tension headache, but originating from my scalp.

After I've washed my hair and if I've gotten my scalp clean, my headache goes away shortly after, usually as my hair is drying. Now that I've finally gotten my scalp clean of it's cruddy buildup, I'm noticing this even more. But I've had these kinds of heachaches since I was a little girl.

Does anyone else experience this? Please tell me I'm not alone! It's scary to be all alone.

Autumn
May 22nd, 2006, 01:55 PM
I don't get headaches when my hair and scalp are oily, but sometimes my scalp gets itchy when its been several days since I last washed. Not sure whats up with your headaches.

Shell
May 22nd, 2006, 02:42 PM
You are not alone! I get these too. I haven't gotten one from preoiling (I don't really do that often), but when my hair isn't clean I can get them. I have one today, because I thought I was on day 5, but clearly math was not my subject in school, because it's day 6, and I should have washed! That's okay, I'm trying to get to one week, so I'm just a bit closer.

I think the oily/dirty thing is also because I tend to wear my hair up on dirty hair days. But even wearing it down feels uncomfortable--it's actually hard to explain, but I have a feeling you know what I mean.

wonderlywroughte
May 22nd, 2006, 03:01 PM
I get it too! It's almost like the sebum has...hardened? And then when you manipulate the hair, either by massaging or putting it up or letting it down, it starts to cause a headache. I've never really experienced an all over headache though. It's always just certain spots.

5of10
May 22nd, 2006, 03:10 PM
I get it too! It's almost like the sebum has...hardened? And then when you manipulate the hair, either by massaging or putting it up or letting it down, it starts to cause a headache. I've never really experienced an all over headache though. It's always just certain spots.

Same here, I get it in certain spots. You are not alone, Lady Snowflake.

nessthing
May 22nd, 2006, 03:19 PM
We can be like a club! O__o

It's kind of like when you're sick and your skin aches, except on your scalp. I remember when I had shorter (3-4 inches) hair and the wind blew on my cowlick the wrong way I'd feel a similar sort of ache.

It happened a lot during my WO experiment. Expecially if my hair dried in a braid or thrown over the pillow.

ilumma
May 22nd, 2006, 03:23 PM
I get this sometimes, but some heavy scalp massaging usually gets rid of it. It's mostly along the back of my part, or just the top of my head in general. It might be sebum hardening and sort of cementing hair in one direction, like it can hurt if you have a lot of gel in your hair.

roxydarnit
May 22nd, 2006, 03:26 PM
I guess I need to join the club too -
I always described it as a "tight scalp" feeling - for me, it's kind of like someone pulled the skin on my scalp really tight. Thoug I don't seem to get it with oiling - it's usually when I've gone for a long time without even wetting my hair, or if I've gotten sweaty. (ick, I know...)

unaspenser
May 22nd, 2006, 04:29 PM
add me to your list. I'd never really thought about why I get headaches closer to wash days, but now it's all becoming clear. Scalp massages help me too, and if I'm trying to really extend my washing times (I'm at about 5 days right now) I'll take a hot shower with a shower cap and just let the hot water hit my (covered) head and neck, which seems to help, followed by some peppermint EO on the forehead, temples, and back of the neck. Ahhhh. Then a nap, of course. :D

Carolyn
May 22nd, 2006, 05:02 PM
Yes me too. I've had that problem for years. I've never described it as a headache but more of a sore spot on my scalp, but I'm sure we are talking about the same thing. If I go more than 2 days without washing I will start getting a sore spot. If I go another day the spot will get larger and a second spot will likely appear. I remember getting them as far back as 6th or 7th grade. At that age my mom didn't allow me to wash or style my hair and she refused to wash my hair more than once a week. I would tell her that my hair hurt but I don't think she had a clue what I was talking about.

Kitty
May 22nd, 2006, 06:18 PM
Oh I get those sore spots on my scalp too, but i wouldnt say they were headaches. Since I have been wetting my hair everyday (mainly COs and WO sometimes with a weekly CWC) I dont get it anymore....ever.
I had a friend in highschool who used to get the same thing and she had TB length hair. We used to call them hair ouchies!

spunkymonki87
May 22nd, 2006, 07:29 PM
Yep, count me in as well. Scalp aches can be caused by the accumulation of oil on the scalp (which weighs down the hair and puts stress on the root) or by wearing your hair up in an unnatural formation (especially if your hair/scalp is oily). I've got a few 'spots' on my scalp that are more prone to this. Changing my part does help--a very steep left part and then a very steep right--but there's only so much I can do with that until I've got to wash. Perpas spreading the oils lower with a BBB can alleviate the pain? Wearing your hair down at your nape is helpful as well since that's a direction hair likes to go in.

stirfry
May 22nd, 2006, 07:49 PM
Someone show me the secret handshake - I'm joining the club.

I'll take a hot shower with a shower cap and just let the hot water hit my (covered) head and neck, which seems to help

Ah - great tip, will have to remember that!

Lady Snowflake
May 23rd, 2006, 08:46 AM
I was so relieved to read all your replies and be assured that I'm not the only one.

I see most of you get sore spots on your scalps, while I seem to be getting an overall ache. I guess I need to join the club too -
I always described it as a "tight scalp" feeling - for me, it's kind of like someone pulled the skin on my scalp really tight.

Yep, that's the feeling exactly! And after a bit, I get a full blown headache from it. I think the reason I get headaches from prewash oiling is probably because my hair feels really heavy when it's been oiled, and then it's pulling harder on my already "tight-feeling" scalp.

Thanks, everyone, for replying!:flowers:

ginalaurie
May 23rd, 2006, 09:05 AM
Maybe it's not the oily scalp that's causing the headaches, maybe it's that you haven't had a scalp massage (like you get when you wash your hair) in a few days. Maybe it really is a tension headache. Have you tried just massaging your head really well when you start to feel like this instead of washing? If so, does it help?

I'm really prone to muscle tension and when I get a tension headache, I use a vibrating massager on my shoulders and at the base of my head and that really helps. I could see where a shower with hot water hitting your shoulders and head would help as well as the massage your scalp is getting. It may not have anything to do with oil.

Liliana
May 23rd, 2006, 09:41 AM
I'm glad to see this thread also. I wash once a week, Friday or Saturday usually, and on Thursday I sometimes will get a sore head. Once when my scalp was sore I did a plain water wash on the top of my head, not including the length, and the soreness went away and two days later I did my usual one week wash. I always get it when my hair's dirty and I've pinned it up, and once it gets sore it rarely goes away. I've taken to doing lowest possible bun on dirty hair days and pinning ever so carefully. When it gets sore I will sometimes wear a braid down but it's not my preference, only for comfort. It will turn into a full blown headache if I don't manage to do something with it.

In the past I've been able to go up to 16 days with no wash, with no soreness. I'm not sure if the weather also affects it or what, or my hair care regimen that particular week, but there are times I can go a long time with no wash and with no soreness. :rolleyes:

I don't put oil on my scalp for prewash, only belows ears down.

Antigone
May 23rd, 2006, 12:13 PM
Yes -- this has happened to me too, although I couldn't have told you what it was...

Strange. Yet another thread I've read in which I recognise something I've experienced without ever articulating it before. Just thought it was, well, one of those things...

embee
May 23rd, 2006, 03:34 PM
Is this just me (or just in my head)? I seem to be noticing a pattern. When my hair has been oily too long (oiling my hair for a prewash, or if I didn't get all the oil out the first wash), if I've gone too many days without washing, or if my scalp is dirty and builtup I get a "scalp type" headache. My scalp kinda feels tight, like your neck does when you have a tension headache. Actually, the headache feels like a tension headache, but originating from my scalp.

When my hair is oily I very seldom wear it down, even in a braid. So the tight bun is almost always there. Sometimes I get "tight bun" headache. This may not be the story for you, as perhaps you don't bun your hair tightly when it's oily.

Lady Snowflake
May 24th, 2006, 09:39 AM
Ginalaurie, I tried your suggestion. Yesterday I had one of those "scalp headaches" so I gave myself a scalp massage without washing. Felt nice, and it did help a bit.

I waited an hour to see if the "headache" would ease even more. Then I scritched with my plastic comb. Voila! The headache went away pretty quickly. (The itchies went away, too:grin: ). It must be that sebum buildup pulling on the scalp and causing the tension. Or maybe the scritching is a more intense massage? :ponder: Ack, more confusion!:dizzy:

ginalaurie
May 24th, 2006, 02:50 PM
That's really interesting, Lady S. It's hard to imagine that sebum could weigh enough to cause much tension, but you never know. Does the scritching feel really good to you? If it does, then maybe it relaxed you enough for the headache to completely ease up. Muscles, even the ones around your head, are all "connected" to each other in ways that we normally wouldn't suspect. For instance, a strain in your low back, if it lasts for very long, can cause pains in your jaw. You might think back when you get a headache and try to remember if there's been any strain to another group of muscles recently that could be a contributing factor. I get headaches (and earaches) when I've been clenching my teeth when I sleep for example. Sheesh, bodies are so much maintainance!

I love the waves in your hair, BTW!

TwirlyTresses
May 24th, 2006, 02:57 PM
Yup, this happens to me, too! It feels different than a too-tight-bun headache for me. More like a roots-of-my-hair-are-sore headache. It's hard to describe, but happens to me with either sebum build-up or too much added oil. Scritching and massaging do seem to help.

Lady Snowflake
May 26th, 2006, 03:59 PM
Yup, this happens to me, too! It feels different than a too-tight-bun headache for me. More like a roots-of-my-hair-are-sore headache. It's hard to describe, but happens to me with either sebum build-up or too much added oil. Scritching and massaging do seem to help.

Another perfect way to describe this type of headache! And you get them from too much added oil, too, the same as me.

Thank you for the compliment on my waves, Ginalaurie!:flowers:

cassie_g
May 26th, 2006, 04:10 PM
When my hair is really dirty and I put it up all day and then let it down, it hurts where the hair is attached to the head. I think it's just from the weight of the grease/oil being in one postion and then shifting.

More like a roots-of-my-hair-are-sore headache. That's exactly it.

ginalaurie
May 26th, 2006, 05:57 PM
I can get that sore roots feeling even when my hair isn't oily. It happens when my hair is in a style that's really against the natural way it grows. (like straight up) Mine isn't an "ache" though. It just kinda "hurts" when I move my hair around, but when I'm not touching my hair or it isn't moving, I don't feel it. Is that what y'all mean?

citymorningblue
May 26th, 2006, 06:11 PM
Hmm. I don't know if this is the same thing, but after DD1 I'll get sore at my roots if I try to change my part, put my hair up or take it down. Usually I just end up putting it back because it's so bad.