When the scalp starts itching it may be challenging to focus on anything else. Anyone who has experienced this knows that, sometimes, it may burst out of nowhere regardless of the season. That constant itch might seem never-ending. However, the solution is within one's gasp.
Addressing this discomfort begins with understanding the root causes of the itchy scalp. Here, you'll discover 5 common reasons, along with some advice on finding relief.
1. Reaction to hair products If your scalp is feeling dry, flaky, and itchy, it might be signaling the need for a more thorough rinse during hair care routines. Residue from shampoo and conditioner could be triggering irritation. Keep in mind that your choice of shampoo should match your hair's specific oiliness level—whether it's high, medium, or low. For some, an itchy scalp may go hand-in-hand with a rash, indicating a condition known as allergic contact dermatitis. This is especially common among individuals who frequently dye their hair.
2. Incorrect washing frequency: There's a drawback to both ends of the spectrum. Overwashing can cause surface damage, while insufficient washing might lead to the buildup of harmful substances. If you have oily hair and use daily hair care products, aim for washing your hair once every 1 or 2 days. Conversely, those with dry hair can afford to wash less frequently.
3. Climatic Factors: Just like the rest of our body, our hair and scalp can feel the impact of seasonal changes. Feeling a dry and itchy scalp during cold weather is quite common. Winter's dry winds and the use of headwear can add to the discomfort, possibly resulting in hair damage and even a rash. The more we scratch due to the increased itchiness, the more irritation sets in, creating a frustrating never-ending loop.
If your scalp is itching during the summer, lice, allergic reactions, or bacterial infections could be potential culprits. The warmer months create an environment where microbes causing dandruff to thrive and multiply. Although the itchiness might seem linked to perspiration, the true cause is often dandruff, forming a layer of dead skin.
4. Stress: Whether acute or chronic, not only it affects our mental well-being, but significantly affects our skin, one of our vital organs. Stress triggers an increase in androgen levels, leading to an oilier scalp, the perfect feast for dandruff fungus. No wonder the itch kicks in.
5. Hormone changes: Hormone changes during the menstrual cycle may have a great influence on the scalp. In particular, it's common for women's hair to become oilier before and during their period. Over time, this increased oiliness may contribute to flaking and itching, especially in women prone to dandruff.
How to Soothe an Itchy Scalp
1. Resist the Urge to Scratch
Scratching can result in abrasions and cuts, worsening the issue without addressing the root cause. If the itch persists or intensifies, seeking medical advice is advisable.
2. Stay hydrated
Adequate hydration is crucial to combat dryness and dehydration in both the hair and the scalp, as well as the entire body.