Black spots in hair? Could it be moldy?

I need your opinions, ladies! I received this email two days ago  ...

Ok so I was wondering, what does this moldy hair look like? I keep looking for pictures but can't find anything. I have these black spots on my hair not all of it but where the hair tie is. when my hair is soaking wet they are black, when damp they are white, in like a perfect pattern, and when my hair is dry the spots are barely noticeable, but black. A hairdresser told me that it was wax buildup from the products I use, and to use a daily clarifying shampoo but that seems not to work either.....
I'm at a loss. Does anyone know what this could be? Experience? Stories?!? Please leave a comment!!

My response to her was as follows ...

I'm so sorry, but I have no idea what that is or what could be causing it! and my google search turned up zero results. :(

My first thought is that if the stylist was correct and it's buildup - yet the clarifying shampoos aren't working, try washing with baking soda and rinsing with vinegar! Here's my post from the blog on the topic... No 'Poo Hair Care and here's a follow up post.

Some benefits to this are found in these two articles  -

Cleaning with Vinegar and Baking Soda 
Benefits of Baking Soda

The main benefits that I see with it are that Baking soda is a great cleaner and safe to ingest. and it won't be harsh to your hair. Using a clarifying shampoo daily will dry out the rest of your hair terribly, no matter if it's curly or straight.

My other suggestion would be to vary the location of your hair tie. Find new ways to wear your hair for awhile so that if water or something was getting trapped under there - that it can't anymore.  Also, if you think it could be mold or mildew - don't pull your hair into a style until it has dried completely.

I wish I could offer more advice or suggestions! Would you like me to post this info on the blog and ask the community if anyone of the have any words of wisdom for you??
~ Karli

She responded saying she'd like your feedback! So let's help her out! Anyone? Anyone??


  1. Maybe she could wash the hair ties in some hot soapy water and put them in the dryer to dry (kill bacteria)? If she is concerned about mold in her hair she could put a little tea-tree oil in her conditioner or shampoo to "disinfect" her hair.

    Hope this helps!!

  2. I'm thinking a dermatologist may be needed. No?


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