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.
Give the shampoo and conditioner a couple of weeks to calm down your scalp.
Most of these products are mild enough to use daily, which can be a bonus. The water is what hydrates your scalp.
Don’t be afraid to shampoo more often if you’re using a gentle product.
Try a hair mask or deep conditioner if your strands or curls also feel dry.
How do you know if it’s eczema or psoriasis?
Eczema and psoriasis can make your scalp flake and itch, too.
If you suspect you have one of these conditions, speak to your doctor or dermatologist.
They may recommend a medicated cream to resolve the problem.
It’s essential to treat it as soon as possible to avoid secondary infections from scratching.
Other issues that cause the scalp to itch
Kids sometimes catch lice, scabies, or ringworm, and those all cause scalp itching.
It’s not uncommon for them to pass it on to other family members.
While scabies is too small to see with the eye, lice and ringworm are easier to detect.
Happily, prescription treatments are effective against all of these problems.
But did you know that nerve damage and scarring can also cause an itchy scalp?
Shingles, diabetes, and physical damage are examples.
You’ll want to consult with a doctor about the best course of action to solve the problem.
What if it’s just a dry scalp and not some other problem?
If you’re like me, you start to feel itchy if people talk about bug bites or lice. It’s like thinking about it makes it happen.
It’s possible to simply have a dry scalp and no additional complication.
Winter weather, dry air, swimming in chlorinated water, hard water from the faucet, and genetics all play a role.
The easiest way to overcome the challenge is to use shampoo and conditioner for dry scalp.
They are extra-moisturizing and gentle.
They avoid ingredients like sodium lauryl and sodium laureth sulfate in favor of coconut-based detergents. Take a look at the label and you’ll see what I mean.
Most times, shampoos list of sulfate as one of the first ingredients. If that’s the case, put the bottle down and reach for something different.
You don’t need perfumes, dyes, or harsh detergents to get your hair clean.
Your scalp will thank you if you treat it kindly.
Look for nourishing formulas with aloe, argan oil, and vitamins. Then follow up with conditioner.
You should notice a positive difference within a couple of weeks or less.
- https://www.aad.org/public/everyday-care/itchy-skin/itch-relief/relieve-scalp-itch accessed March 11, 2020