Even after being long-term paleo I still had issues with a very itchy, even bleeding at times, scalp and beard. I also had dandruff that no anti-dandruff shampoo could touch... and being a fat guy I had a preference for dark clothing (slimming effect and all) so the dandruff really sucked.
After a scalp rinse and massage with diluted apple cider vinegar, and the end of using conventional shampoo, my scalp and beard healed themselves.
In place of shampoo in my shower, I have a bicycle waterbottle with 30% or so ACV and filtered water, plus a fine comb. I use the waterbottle to douse my head and beard, then I massage the areas to get the vinegar down to the skin, and finally comb my hair and beard while rinsing.
My scalp is now very healthy. I attribute it to going without shampoo and a weekly-to-biweekly cider vinegar rinse.
Fair warning though, on a particularly damaged scalp, even well diluted vinegar will sting pretty horribly. However; as it heals the stinging will get less and less. Took my scalp about a month of going shampoo-free and using vinegar before the vinegar stopped stinging.
I'm constantly dealing with skin issues - It's the one thing that changing my diet hasn't improved dramatically.
My scalp has never been as bad as other areas for me, but I was often annoyed by itchiness. I'd tried the "no-poo" methods, but wasn't thrilled with the results.
Now I've given up shampoo in favor of using conditioner only. I brush my hair at night with a boar-bristle brush to distribute oils and stimulate my scalp. In the morning when I shower I apply a large amount of conditioner and really scrub. Then I let it sit while I finish my shower and rinse it out at the end.
This has solved my scalp itchiness and my hair is much softer and shinier. I told my stylist about it when he cut it last time. He'd never heard of doing that, but agreed that it was working well for me.
You may want to check out:
Antibiotics are not the usual treatment for either of those issues, unless of course through scratching or something you have managed to get a raging infection? I would recommend a decent dermatologist to get the proper diagnosis and treatment. =)
I have found that if you have a leeky gut, it won't matter how much you change your diet, your gut needs to heel first. I was able to do this through taking chinese herbs that I got from an herbalist my accupuncturist works with. That fixed almost all of my eczema and other skin issues. It does not happen over night.
Of course you need to avoid the grains and other gut irritants.
I also had folliculitis on my scalp (red pimple like bumps), MDs usually prescribe antibiotics (topical) for this. But is only helps heel them, not prevent. So through the process of elimination I think I determined dairy as the culprit. So I essentially eliminated all dairy except for butter (sometimes I clarify it to be safe) and that has kept the issue at bay.
But overall my experience is that most ofthe skin issues start with gut problems.
Once you heel, a good probiotic will help keep the gut healthy.
I (27-year-old female) started experiencing heavy dandruff that would build up into plaques and sometimes bleed my second semester of law school. I tried:
-dermatologist--was put on anti-dandruff shampoo and a foam, worked a little but not much -Paleo--didn't change my scalp, though the skin on the rest of my body looked better -no-poo--made it worse, if anything -Vitamin D supplementation + more sunlight--this was the first thing that ever really helped
Since I moved back to Arizona from the east coast and started taking Vit D, my scalp has basically cleared up. But I also hear that this type of issue can go into remission, so I'm not imagining that it will never come back again.
Somewhat related, I got a rash all around my eyes about a week ago, that looked just like the dermatitis on my scalp. I got acupuncture, doubled my fish oil dose, cut out dairy (I'd been mostly Paleo, but lately had been consuming kefir & yogurt), and applied calendula cream. Within a day or two of making these changes, the rash cleared up (my homeopath called it eczema, so I don't know if it was related to my scalp issue--Internet research is very vague on what causes scalp dermatitis).
So for now, I would suggest combining approaches of Paleo, Vit D supplementation, finding a good shampoo that seems to soothe your scalp (whether that's ACV, OTC dandruff shampoo, or just a good moisturizing organic shampoo, which is what I've settled on using), and seriously consider starting acupuncture.
I used to get some yellowish patches on my scalp every now and again. I have no idea what it was or what caused it but it has never been back in the 6 or so years that I've been eating, paleo style.
Seriously....ckeck this out. Working for my periorial derm. and works for scalp issues too!