Thus, if you have any medical issues, pleaseplease PLEASE go and have a chat with your doctor, who is actually qualified to dispense with medical advice.
If you read my breakdown of my braids here, then you may have noticed me use the word 'grunk'.
As usual, I was flippant about it, because it was something I assumed everyone had experienced before.
Not so, mes chéries! It looks like the 'Grunk', as I like to call it, is something else entirely.
Ever since I started relaxing, I remember the Grunk - loyal companion to my constantly itchy head who particularly enjoyed making its presence excessively known after 2 or 3 months in braid extensions; I thought it was something that I would just have to accept as a part of life.
Like meany older cousins.
However, I've realised that this is not true. Well, the Grunk, not the mean older cousins.
Mean older cousins are definitely a certainty of life.
If you go on forums or facebook pages or any communal hair pages, and someone describes something that sounds like The Grunk - flaking, itchy scalp that is soothed briefly after a wash, but comes back with a vengeance as soon as you look the other way, most people advise them to clarify with ACV or use a scalp scrub.
Uh, noo....build up is usually waxy product build up that leaves your hair dull(er) and lank.
The Grunk (in the context of hair) only occurs on your scalp, because your hair is dead - it cannot produce flakes.
Though with people with straighter hair, the Grunk can travel down the hair strand and settle on your shoulders.
I call it The Grunk.
For some, it is Seborrheic Dermatitis.
For other, it's dandruff.
Before you squeal, close the webpage and protectively clutch your Head and Shoulders at the very mention of the D word, hear me out.
I'm about to put on my 'smart' cap and get my JC swag on.
There is a theory that goes like this:
Everybody has microflora, known as Pityrosporum ovale or Malassezia ovalis
People with dandruff have more of the Grunkers working in the same area, so the flakes stick together and are more noticeable:
And if it's Sebhorric Dermatitis, your Grunker density may be slightly higher than that, so the flakes are extremely noticeable.
|Grunker Lights! Yay! ^_^
Journal of American Academy of Dermatology [(1985), v12(5) pg 852]
American Journal of Clinical Dermatology [(2000), v1(2) pg 75
They're basically the same thing, just different levels of severity.
I think cradle cap is also similar, but when it's present in babies, and the Seborrheic Dermatitis is similar to ezcema that people can get on other parts of the body.
I'll tell you what this doesn't mean - it doesn't mean that people with dandruff are dirty, or don't wash their hair enough.
I find it unusual that, amongst the 'natural community', topics like this haven't come up more often - almost every single person will say something about maintaining the health of your scalp being imperative for the health of your hair, but then what do you do if your scalp is flaring up something rotten? It only came to my attention when Serenity Spot brought it up on her blog.
There may be some connection between this and use of relaxers, but any evidence is purely anecdotal.
From what I can see, there's no definite cure - it's a condition that either you manage for the rest of your life, or it clears up on its own.
If you think you have too many Grunkers in your hair trunk, as a normal (albeit nosey) member of society, I would advise you go to your doctor and get their recommendation for treatment.