Most people automatically assume that an itchy scalp means you’ve got dandruff, and while this could be true, there are a range reasons your scalp could be suffering – but the good news is that there are a range of remedies, too.
If you suffer from certain allergies or skin conditions like psoriasis, visiting a dermatologist should be your first point of call, but if that’s not the root cause (see what we did there?!), you may want to consider some of these options…
1. Rinse, rinse, rinse. You need to make sure you are rinsing all the shampoo and conditioner – or any other treatment, like a mask – off your hair completely (preferably with cool water – it’s better for your hair’s health). Continuously leaving product build-up behind will affect your scalp, while also preventing shampoo and conditioner from being able to do their job.
2. Switch up your products. We’ve spoken about sulphates that are in products like shampoo which help them to foam up, and while they aren’t necessarily harmful, people with sensitive skin (remember, your scalp is covered in skin, too!) may find them incredibly harsh and drying, causing redness, inflammation and itching. Try switching to a sulfate-free shampoo – there are plenty on the market – and see if that solves the itchy scalp situation.
3. Gain some clarity. Product build-up can cause skin irritation, as it essentially ‘suffocates’ your scalp and weighs down your hair, leading to the need to scratch. If you regularly use products on your locks (think hairspray, frizz-control creams, mousse, oils, heat sprays, and so on), you may need to use a clarifying shampoo to strip all the product away completely – something regular shampoos may struggle to do.
Many brands have a clarifying shampoo (we love Morrocanoil’s Clarifying Shampoo), and while they may seem a bit more pricey, you don’t use them more than once a week, so the product will last, while hopefully helping with that itchy scalp.
4. Give your head a break. If wigs and hats are your thing, you may want to take a break from them when your scalp is suffering. Wearing a wig or hat will prevent a sufficient amount of oxygen to get to the scalp (yip, another ‘suffocating’ incident!), which may be the cause of the irritation. Take a break – and use the time to make sure your hats and wigs are clean!
5. Brush, brush, brush. Brushing your hair has an exfoliating effect on the scalp and will help you get rid of the dead skin cells that build up (as will a good massage when you shampoo your locks). If your head is looking a bit dandruffy, there is a build-up of these cells, and brushing is a good way to get them moving.
SEE ALSO: 4 ways to maintain your natural hair
6. Bid dandruff farewell. If you are seeing plenty of flakes on your scalp, dandruff is the most likely culprit for the itching, but simply using anti-dandruff shampoos – together with some of the other remedies we’ve given you – should have the problem under control in no time… so don’t plan on going into hiding any time soon!