Why is your head so itchy?
Is it dandruff?
If not, what else could it be?
What causes itchy scalp?
Dandruff is one of the top reasons behind scalp itch (1).
Besides the itching, you’ll see the flaking. If the flakes aren’t already on your shoulders, you’ll find them in your hair.
Fortunately, this is straightforward to solve. Switch to a dandruff shampoo and follow the directions.
Generally, they recommend leaving the shampoo on your scalp for two or three minutes before rinsing.
Ingredients like ketoconazole and pyrithione zinc kill the fungus that causes dandruff.
Usually, two or three washes will be enough to fix the problem. Even one shampooing will alleviate the itching and the flaking.
But other problems are more complicated.
Is it an allergic reaction that causes the itching?
For example, you might have an allergic reaction to a hair care product.
Even if you’re not prone to allergies, you could develop a sensitivity to a specific chemical.
Hair dye is sometimes the culprit. Also, it could be your shampoo.
Shampoos have detergents that remove oil and dirt. These are called surfactants, and the most common kind used are sulfates.
But sulfates can dehydrate your scalp if you already have dry skin. Artificial fragrances and dyes may also trigger allergies.
To find out for sure, change to a shampoo and conditioner for sensitive scalps. They avoid harsh ingredients known to cause dryness and allergic reactions.
Some are even gluten-free.