There is nothing worse than having an itchy scalp. You try not to itch but that persistent irritation wins out in the end.
Now this is not about your hair and how often you wash it. But about the skin on your scalp.
And a flaky scalp does not necessarily mean that you have dandruff.
There are numerous reasons that can cause your scalp to itch and sometimes flake ranging from an allergy to an afternoon in the hot sun.
Most of us do have an itchy scalp one time or another or other during our lives.
And some of us are even in the habit of itching our scalps when there is no itch. But when we are deep in thought about something.
If your scalp is itching before you decide that you must run out and buy a dandruff shampoo check some of these common causes first.
Itchy Scalp Cause 1. Your Head Is Sun Burnt.
Yes it’s correct your scalp can suffer from sunburn just like the rest of your body.
If you happen to have thinning hair on any part of your head. You will know this better than anybody.
A couple of days later after being in the sun. Your head starts to itch and your scalp starts to flake.
When going into the sun we tend to splash our bodies with sun cream but often leave our heads fully exposed to the rays of the sun.
Take precautions and remember to wear a hat or if hats are not your thing. Apply some sun cream to your parting and if your hair is thinning any areas on your scalp that will be exposed.
Itchy Scalp Cause 2. You Have A Dry Scalp.
Having an itchy and flaky scalp could be a sign that you have a dry scalp.
The signs can be like dandruff which are falling flakes and itchiness.
But it is not.
As the flakes from a dry scalp are smaller and lighter than dandruff flakes.
Your scalp becomes dry when your body isn’t producing enough sebum.
Sebum is an oil like substance that is produced by your bodies sebaceous glands. Your body’s natural way to condition your hair and to lubricate your skin.
If your scalp is dry you will probably find that the skin on other parts of your body such as your arms or legs are dry too.
Giving your scalp a good massage is an effective and easy treatment if you have a dry scalp.
By rubbing your fingertips in a circular motion whilst shampooing with a gentle shampoo or applying oil. You will stimulate the production of natural oils to both your hair follicles and your scalp.
Itchy Scalp Cause 3. You Have Just Colored Or Straightened Your Hair.
Is your scalp itching after getting your hair colored or straightened?
If so you may be having an allergic reaction to the hair dye or straightening cream.
Known as Allergic Contact Dermatitis.
As a hairstylist I have encountered this on a few occasions.
I have had clients that I have been coloring their hair for several years. Then suddenly they have an allergic reaction to that very same color.
Should you notice an irritation I would suggest that you wash your hair with a mild shampoo immediately. To ensure that there is no residual color that has been left on your scalp.
This issue will generally go away on its own.
But if you start to develop symptoms besides redness such as swelling or hives you must go straight to your doctor.
I cannot stress enough the importance of carrying out a patch test when you are coloring or straightening your hair for the first time.
Or even if there has been a long gap between the application of these chemicals.
How Carry Out A Patch Test If Coloring Your Own Hair.
- Mix a small amount of the color with a small amount of the peroxide.
- Clean with soap and water or alcohol a small area behind your ear or on your inner elbow .
- Apply a small amount of your mixed color to this area.
- Let it dry and leave it there for twenty-four hours.
- If in that time you develop an irritation or inflammation in that area.
- Wash off and DO NOT USE THE PRODUCT.
Itchy Scalp Cause 4. Your Scalp Is Reacting To The Hair Products You Are Using.
You have been shampooing your hair with your favorite shampoo for years. Or have been using the same hair mousse for some time.
How can you suddenly become allergic to it?
But believe it or not it can.
Although the allergy has been there for a while it has now blown up to the stage where you notice it.
You can become sensitized to a hair product and develop what is known as allergic contact dermatitis.
Your skin develops an allergic reaction maybe to a fragrance or preservative within your usual hair product.
This causes your body to release inflammatory chemicals that make your skin irritated and itchy.
Flaking and redness could appear on your scalp.
And maybe a small rash on other areas of your body where the product touched your skin.
If you find that you have an allergic reaction stop using all your regular hair products for 3 to 4 weeks.
Change you shampoo and conditioner immediately to a mild shampoo and conditioner. That is suitable for a sensitive skin and scalp.
Then after 3 to 4 weeks slowly introduce one of your regular products back to your hair. If there is no reaction after a few weeks go ahead and introduce another one.
This way you will be able to identify the product that you are allergic too.
Itchy Scalp Cause 5. Product Build Up From Silicone.
We all use products on our hair whether it is shampoos and conditioners or dressing and finishing products.
But these products can cause a build up on your scalp especially if they happen to contain silicone’s or resin types of ingredients.
Manufacturers do add silicone to many different hair products. Essentially to give your hair its lovely soft sheen.
Look out for them in smoothing and straightening shampoos, conditioners and serums.
If you don’t want silicone’s on your hair check the ingredients list for any word ending with Methicone.
Unfortunately some silicone products are not water based.
Over time these can form a coat on your skin and hair. Which can then trap allergens and irritants close to your scalp.
Your scalp like the rest of your body sheds skin cells every day. But if you have a layer of silicone’s sat on top your scalp these cells cannot fall away very easily.
Which can leave you with a flaking and dry scalp or a red itchy scalp.
Itchy Scalp Cause 6. Resin Ingredients Can Cause Product Build Up.
Hairsprays as well as volumizing and curl boosting products for your hair do generally contain a resin ingredient.
The Polymers aka resins hold your hair in place or at a given shape by creating a film on your hair.
Yet if used to close to your scalp they can do the same by creating a film on the skin on the top of your head.
So suffocating your scalp. By preventing it from breathing and keeping sweat blocked in.
The Best Way To Say Goodbye To Product Build Up.
As most of us do use styling products on our hair there is great habit to adopt in your hair care regime.
Give your hair and scalp a treat with a good detox. At least once a month if not every couple of weeks if you use a lot of product on your hair.
Shampooing on a regular basis with a clarifying shampoo and your scalp will thank you for it.
Because this will essentially clear away any product that may have built on your hair or scalp.
Leaving you with a fresh clean feeling.
Thank you for taking the time to read my post. I hope that you found it informative.