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A Little Poisoning Along the Road to ME/CFS
Looking at my symptoms, many of which are far less these days and some are gone, it would be easy to figure that I'd just been dealing with some heavy-duty menopausal issues.
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Shampoos + haircuts + brainfog

Discussion in 'Hypersensitivity and Intolerance' started by helios, Dec 9, 2012.

  1. helios

    helios

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    I have not found much info on this particular aspect of CFS/MCS but its something I'd like to know if many others have had to deal with this.
    I have noticed I feel better after I get a haircut. I have noticed this phenomenon now since I first started feeling unwell in my late teens and I am sure part of the reason why my grades fell at the time was because I grew my hair long. When I say I feel better it means...I feel more positive, have more energy, have reduced brain fog, head seems cooler, pickup in appetite, pickup in libido, food intolerances don't seem so bad, I look healthier (slight weight gain + reduced dark circles under eyes).

    Just simply saying I feel better from getting a hair cut sounds ridiculous on the face of it, as there is no psychological reason for the change in health, so I can only surmise that it is because I have less hair on my head so less shampoo residue on my head, but I want to hear what others say. I knew from past experience that I had trouble with shampoo. Many years back I used to just use whatever cheap shampoo from the supermarket. After seeing an allergist and finding out about chemical sensitivities, I changed to low allergy shampoo and noticed immediate difference in brain fog. I still found though that if I used a low allergy shampoo for while (couple of months) that when I switched to another shampoo that my health would pickup for a week, so it was like I was even becoming sensitive to the low allergy (baby formula) shampoos...and of course the fact I feel better after a haircut as just another element of this. Its crazy.

    Years back, I did try using beer + eggs (cant remember exact ingredients) as substitute for shampoo but I noticed no difference. Over the years on and off I used a 2nd hair wash using backing soda and I think this helped with reduced brain fog, but it was not good for my hair. Anyway my hair is fairly short now..say 2-4cm in length. The ultimate answer would be to shave my head and I would love to do that to remove this element from my life, but the bald look would definitely not suit me, as I am thin build & underweight, so I would end up with the POW look.

    so my hair is short already + I use low fragrance shampoos already + I swap the 5 I use around every few days to minimise becoming too sensitive to them, and I don't often use conditioners as well because they seemed to be worse because they coated the hair, so I am not sure what else to do. Even the no fragrance ones smell for me after using them for a while. I tried a shampoo made out of hemp oil instead of coconut oil and that was okay for a while but no breakthrough a it had a fragrance. I had tried shampoo without lauryl sulphate / sodium laureth sulfate I thought (very hard to find).

    Can anyone relate to this? and if so were you able to remove this sensitivity from your life without going bald.
     
    Mij and taniaaust1 like this.
  2. Sushi

    Sushi Moderator and Senior Member Albuquerque

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    helios

    I am very careful with the ingredients in shampoo but, that said, I don't have a problem with the "pure" ones.

    Have you looked at this database on the ingredients in body products? Here is a link to the shampoo section:

    http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/browse/shampoo/

    It is amazing to see the toxic ingredients that are in so-called good brands.

    Sushi
     
  3. Valentijn

    Valentijn Activity Level: 3

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    Less hair to wash = less PEM?
     
    taniaaust1 likes this.
  4. helios

    helios

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    thanks for speedy replies.
    PEM...I would say a little bit I guess, but it was more a case of more energy (physical + brain wise)

    thanks for the ingredients list. I will have a look. The thing is though 2 of the shampoos I am using are low allergy baby type ones, supposedly they should be at the good end of the market for MCS people. At my health food store there's got to be at least a dozen non supermarket brands, and really nothing much is novel in terms of ingredients. A neem one is pretty good, but still I find practically every shampoo has the same coconut oil foaming agent in them. The ones that promote themselves as being all natural with a number of 'good for hair' herbs have been really bad for me.
     
  5. urbantravels

    urbantravels disjecta membra

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    Herbal whatnots are definitely a big allergy trigger. I've had dermatological allergies for many years now, and the more crap is listed on the bottle - synthetic OR botanical - the greater the danger. "Hypoallergenic" doesn't really have a specific meaning, it's just a claim that the ingredients in a thing are *less likely* to cause an allergic reaction than some random, unspecified "other" ingredients. And of course no two people react to exactly the same things, so we're completely stuck with trial and error. It drives me insane that so many products have such a huge slew of unnecessary ingredients in them.

    Generally speaking, I haven't found mainstream "baby shampoos" to be any less chemical-laden than other shampoos. The standard yellow Johnson's Baby Shampoo is just as poisonous to me as most other shampoos. I have no idea if they stock it in the Antipodes, but here's info on the one form of "baby shampoo" I've found that actually doesn't make me react, even if I use it to clean around my eyes. (My skin allergies primarily affect the area around my eyes and basically feel like I've been burned by acid.) Here's the web info - the "super sensitive" type is the one to look for, they have other formulas with more crap in them. - http://www.californiababy.com/super-sensitive-shampoo-bodywash-8-5-oz.html It's expensive, so I don't know if shipping etc. would be worth it to you just to try it.

    I absolutely hate the infantile term "no poo," but that's what they call it if you want to Google, - have you tried other non-shampoo hair cleaning methods? (Cider vinegar and water actually does an OK job for me, but I don't do that routinely - I do find I can tolerate the Whole Foods house brand of fragrance free shampoo and conditioner, and it's a lot cheaper than any other fragrance-free stuff I can find.)

    There are also solid "shampoo bars" which work for some people. Unfortunately the one brand I tried once made the back of my neck look like I'd been attacked by a hive of bees...
     
  6. ukxmrv

    ukxmrv Senior Member

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    1. are we talking long or short changes in hair length here. My husband hates his hair long and get a lot hotter. With it short he feels cooler and in the summer says it makes a difference.

    The head actually feeling and being cooler might be a clue to a blood pooling or circulation issue.

    2. allergies and intolerances are so individial I'd question a low allergy shampoo i.e. if one is allergic to an ingredient for me it could just as well be something "natural". There isn't a one size fits all approach to allergies

    3. Why wash your hair so often? why not wash it once a week and test the intolerance theory. If your hair is exceptionally oily, or there is a skin condition that could be a clue.

    Many people with ME and CFS aren't well enough to go to a hairdresser or to wash their hair often so hair related comments do tend to come up a lot on their groups. They tend to be allergies to the chemicals in the water supply, excessivly oily hair or scalp skin condition, PEM as it's hard to left the hands to wash the hair and to dry it.
     
    taniaaust1 likes this.
  7. justy

    justy Senior Member

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    I would also suggest just not to wash your hair at all. Hair is naturally self cleansing with oils etc and if we had never started washing off these natural oils we would never had needed to shampoo our hair at all (in effect we are stripping the hair of oils, causing the head to then make a lot more to compensate, then we get oily hair and so wash it again - vicious circle)

    None of my 4 children ever had their hair shampooed from birth - my youngest two at 12 and 9 still havent ever shampooed. The 9 year old girl has VERY long, lustrous, shiny, non smelly hair. She just rinses it in the shower in warm water once a week or so.

    We can get our hair back to this natural state, but it takes time for the natural oils to settle down. I have always wanted to try it, but as my hair is long it would be quite difficult - lots of wearing hats and having oily hair for a few months. If your hair is short, it shouldnt be that much of a problem to do.

    All the best,
    Justy x
     
  8. Valentijn

    Valentijn Activity Level: 3

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    Baby shampoos are usually just as nasty as normal ones ... just less irritating if they get in your eyes.

    http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/ seems pretty good. It's basically a database of chemicals and their dangers cross-referenced with the ingredients of various cosmetic/hygiene products. So you search for a product, and it gets a rating (0-9) based on what's in it.
     
  9. helios

    helios

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    urbantravels - I also have a lot of trouble with the th all natural herbal botanicals shampoos. Likewise, J&J baby shampoo is bad for me as well. A couple of the ones I use are 'sensitive baby' type shampoos and these are the best ones. I'll compare the super sensitive baby one in the link to my ones to see if yours maybe a little different and worth giving a shot. Thanks.
    I thought I had tried the egg + beer substitute for shampoo a number of yrs back and I thought it made my hair look crappy which is why I did not keep up with it. It might be better for me now though as in the past I used to suffer from dandruff all the time, As for solid shampoo bars I do have a couple in my regime. The morrocon mud one is the best, but I still find with these alternatives I use that I feel better for a week after I have a haircut.

    ukxmrv - I find as I have let my hair grow longer that my head does feel hotter. Yes blood circulation is an issue. I have a PET scan done measuring blood flow and my doctor told me I was one of worse ones he had. I strongly suspect really short hair allows for better cooling and is also a factor why I have better cognition in autumn winter.

    I have been weary of not washing my hair as I was used to having dandruff & maybe a detox effect through the scalp for many years. My hair was scraggy/limp looking on day 2 normally so I used to shampoo to make it look healthier. The dandruff disappeared when I started on testosterone which was wonderful. I now shampoo daily to help reduce DHT from the TRT, and also to help wake me up in the morning...the process of wsashing head under cold water helps to get me going in the morning I find.

    Justy - Whats made me go shampoo is that by day 2 my hair looks limp & scraggy.
     
  10. urbantravels

    urbantravels disjecta membra

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    Of the "no poo" methods out there, cider vinegar + water may be worth a try. Some people involve baking soda in this somehow but I can't imagine it does much additional good. I've done it and it seems to work moderately well.

    I never did stick with "shampooless" washing for very long, though - my hair is thick and wavy, and it makes me crazy to have it frizzy - it also tends to dry into funny shapes which CANNOT be dealt with except by the next wash. Bed head is also permanent until washing (or at least getting wet) I've been using the "wash with conditioner only" method for quite a while now, with occasional shampooings.
     
  11. taniaaust1

    taniaaust1

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    That one is certainly one any of us with MCS should be avoiding which may lead to issues. Here in Australia the Johnsons Baby Shampoo is being by our government FORCED to change as its apparently got a very harmful chemical in it which shouldnt be in shampoo. (they dont need to make the change thou to their product till next year). Its kind of scary knowing that the common baby products have dangerous chemicals in them. Seeing this commonist baby one has, I bet many of the other normal baby products have too.
    .....................

    I tend to just get natural shampoos and make sure I know all the ingrediants listed. (if u are reacting it could be to alcohol in some of these. I react to grapeseed extract .. it burns my skin and unfortunately which is used in a lot of natural products esp skin products.. apparently reactions to that arent that uncommon. Or of cause you may be reacting to anything else in the product. Ive always found it handy to work out exactly what thing is causing the reaction if you can do.

    Ive heard the following (I dont know if this the following is true but I suspect it is) that many of the baby shampoos eg I may of heard this about Johnsons.. add anesthetic to their shampoos and that is the reason why they dont sting babies eyes. This has been blamed by some as damaging some babies eyes leading to glasses needing to be worn.

    One an also buy organic shampoos.. Asmita is one of the certified organic shampoos.
     
  12. Whit

    Whit Senior Member

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    feel better after I get a haircut

    Me 2!!! WTF???
     
    Mij likes this.
  13. SickOfSickness

    SickOfSickness Senior Member

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    Some "no poo" people use castile soap as shampoo. Dr. Bronner's or there is some other Dr something that is cheaper. Dr. Bronner's makes one unscented version and one called baby mild.
     
  14. SickOfSickness

    SickOfSickness Senior Member

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    If the natural shampoos (such as egg + beer) don't work, it may be because of hard water or something else in the water supply. And I read the first 2 weeks or more, your scalp hasn't adjusted, so it's still producing too much oil. If you stick with it, it is supposed to improve.
     
  15. Comet

    Comet

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    I have been making my own liquid soap and shampoo with olive oil, castor oil and lye. Lots of recipes and tutorials on the net. Since I'm allergic to coconut and am gluten intolerant, there aren't a lot of reasonably priced choices to buy. It's kind of a pain in the neck to make, but not too bad once I got the hang of it. It's nice to have soap and shampoo that are chemical and fragrance free. As a bonus, the keratosis pilaris on my arms cleared up when I stopped using commercial soap and shampoo.

    Then I use a few concoctions I make with Shea butter, cocoa butter, grape seed oil, a little beeswax and other stuff I experiment with as body lotions and also use small amounts as leave in hair cream. Makes my hair super shiny too.
     
  16. Whit

    Whit Senior Member

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    Its not MCS.
     

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