That Itchy Scalp Driving You Crazy? What Causes Itchy Scalp and How To Combat It
Latest posts by Dianne Austin (see all)
It starts with a little irritation. You know that you shouldn’t scratch so you gently rub or pat that itchy spot. It doesn’t help. The next thing that you know, the itch becomes overwhelming and you’ve scratched so hard that you’ve irritated your scalp.
A constantly itchy scalp is annoying and the flaking that results from scratching is downright unattractive. There are many reasons why our scalp feels itchy but the problem itself can be easily solved – unless the itchiness is caused by a medical issue. It is always a good idea to schedule an appointment with a dermatologist if you experience chronic itching or if you notice changes in the color or texture of the skin on your scalp.
Some common causes of itchy scalp:
Scalp hairs that have been pulled too tightly. Hairstyles such as cornrows, braids and flat twists may cause itchiness if the hair is tightly pulled into your chosen style, or if you are using synthetic hair to supplement your hairstyle which is often the case with braids and cornrows. Avoid pulling the hair too tight which will help to alleviate itchiness related to hairstyling and opt out of using synthetic hair which is laden with chemicals.
You may be allergic to a product that you are using on your hair. Not all natural products are safe to use; especially if you have a sensitivity to a particular ingredient and you don’t even know it. There are also many hair products that contain chemicals that may be irritating your scalp. If you suspect that your shampoo, conditioner, or other hair product is causing you to itch, wean yourself off of the product to see if the itching goes away.
Not rinsing your hair thoroughly/overuse of hair products. We wash and condition our hair, and then we put more product in it: leave in conditioners, oils, butters gels. Too much ‘stuff’ applied in a heavy-handed way eventually clogs our scalp and makes our hair dry and dull. When it comes to hair products less is more. When applying conditioners, creams, oils and gels, use as directed and avoid the scalp as much as you can to stave off product build up. When washing and conditioning, be sure to cleanse and rinse your scalp well so that all product residue is removed.
Dry scalp. Dry scalp causes itching and flaking and is often the result of overuse of products with chemicals in it that dry out the scalp, our diet, stress, or even a hormone imbalance. If your scalp is dry and you’ve ruled out medical issues, try massaging your scalp on a regular basis to stimulate oil production. There’s an added benefit: Regular scalp massage stimulates hair growth. Jojoba oil is a great oil to use on the scalp on occasion because its makeup closely resembles the natural oils that we normally produce on our scalps.
Effective solutions that can help with that annoying itchiness:
Cleanse your scalp regularly. Natural hair is special in that it is fragile and it becomes dry, brittle and unmanageable very easily. Washing our hair and scalp on a daily basis doesn’t always work for us and it will oftentimes contribute to extreme dryness. Some just in time scalp cleansing remedies to try:
- Apple Cider Vinegar, (ACV): To clean your scalp without daily washing, prepare a mixture of 2 parts water and one part apple cider vinegar. Raw, unfiltered ACV is best. Apple Cider Vinegar is commonly used to remove product build up in the hair. Part your hair and gently massage the solution onto your scalp with a clean lint free cloth or cotton pad; concentrating on the itchy spots. The ACV works as an antiseptic and will clean your scalp. Don’t worry, the smell will dissipate once your scalp dries. ACV is a great anti-frizz agent since it balances the PH levels of your hair by smoothing the cuticle. It’s also a very effective anti-fungal treatment for dandruff and other scalp conditions. ACV can be drying so you’ll need to be careful to dilute it with the appropriate amount of water. Use more water if that works better for you
- Aloe Vera Juice: Applying pure, whole leaf aloe vera juice to the scalp is also a great way to cleanse the scalp sans the potentially drying affects of ACV. Aloe Vera is a great anti inflammatory, and it helps to reduce and eliminate scalp itch. It also promotes hair growth and has anti-fungal properties so it’s great for dandruff, eczema and psoriasis, and it moisturizes and smooths the hair shaft so it’s a great anti-frizz product. You can also use both ACV and Aloe Vera as a rinse after shampooing.
- Use an antiseptic. An antiseptic like witch hazel can be used to ease scalp itch if you are in-between shampoos and the itchiness is persistent and uncomfortable. Use a lint free cloth or cotton ball to dab the antiseptic on the itchy spots on your scalp.
“Changing attitudes about natural hair” is what we do at Natural Haircare News. Through informative articles, podcasts and videos, we go beyond just sharing the latest advice and tips on kinky, curly, wavy haircare – We shake things up and focus on the realities of wearing our hair natural.
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