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Hair Follicles Produce Waxy Spheres
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Hair Follicles Produce Waxy Spheres

I have noticed that my scalp produces small yellowish waxy spheres--I have had them ever since I was a kid, and my mom and sisters have the same thing. When I brush my hair, the hairs that I find in my hairbrush often have a small round waxy ball attached to the root end. This is not the follicle, it is a buildup of dead skin cells, oil, and waxy stuff.

I have used a small comb (sold for lice and nits removal) to clean these spheres out of my hair for a few years now (once or twice a week), and I just wanted to know if anyone had ever seen or heard of this before. I don't have dandruff, but I do have very thick hair and it can sometimes be slightly oily. I dislike the feeling of styling products in my hair and never use them, and I usually shampoo it every other day (I generally don't use conditioner).

I just want to know if this is a normal thing that nobody ever talks about, or if I am a mutant that should change my hair habits? Any comments are welcome. Thanks in advance!
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Avatar_dr_f_tn
Hi

This may be a mild form of seborrheic dermatitis. Seborrheic dermatitis presents with overproduction of sebum by the sebaceous glands. In most cases, they may present with scales and may affect other parts of the body like the chest and the face.

Have you had this assessed by your dermatologist?

You may need medicated shampoos for this.

This condition is shown to be aggravated and triggered by stress and weather changes.
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Avatar_f_tn
I have not had it assessed by a dermatologist, as it hasn't been accompanied by any irritation or redness. It's more annoying than anything else--I just get sick of cleaning my scalp with a comb every few days. The thing is that I never find flakes of dead skin from my scalp, just these little waxy balls.
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Avatar_dr_f_tn
Hi

You may need a medicated shampoo for this. Also frequent and vigorous shampooing may be indicated. Is there any observed hair loss associated with this? For severe cases, they may need to apply topical corticosteroids in the area also. I suggest that you have this assessed by a dermatologist. This may be a chronic persistent scalp condition as in seborrheic dermatitic scalp conditions , however the condition may be controlled given proper medications and frequent shampooing.
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Avatar_m_tn
I know this is an old posting, but I want to add something.  I think you're describing something quite different from seborrheic dermatitis, and I really wouldn't describe it as a "mild" form, if so.  I've seen what you are talking about - these are like little spheres of hard beeswax - with emphasis on the word spheres.  I've seen them as big as a dried pea.  They work themselves out of the scalp and often leave a big, red hole.  I've always thought they were some kind of cyst.  I think they're often called sebaceous cysts, although an article in Wikipedia says true sebaceous cysts are rare and there are other kinds of cysts that happen with hair follicles etc.
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