Dry Itchy Scalp 9 Healthy Scalp Habits You Should Practice
Do you often find yourself scratching your head? Having an itching scalp is no joke! Luckily, there are many things you can do to treat a dry scalp.
CEO & Co-founder, Hairlust
Rasmus co-founded HairLust in early 2017 and has dedicated his life to making sustainable and innovative hair care products. Hes constantly up to date with the newest research in hair, including hair loss studies. Rasmus has a business background from Copenhagen Business School and has for the past +8 years worked with hair care around the clock.
Keep reading to learn what causes a dry itchy scalp, as well as our picks for the best dry scalp treatments. Plus, weâll tell you if your itching scalp is caused by dandruff or dry scalp.
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How To Avoid Itchy Scalp And Hair Loss
We cant fix a problem that we dont understand. Thats why its so important to dig into the root-causes that are behind the symptoms that youre experiencing its so much more effective and efficient to correct the underlying imbalances that keep us from feeling our best versus playing whack-a-mole with symptoms as they arise.
Here are the top lab tests for people who are experiencing itchy scalp and hair loss. Working with practitioner trained in Functional Medicine is the best way to determine which lab tests are right for you.
- GI Map: This is a stool test that is able to evaluate your digestion, as well as look for gut dysbiosis . Many people overlook gut testing because they dont feel that they have symptoms of stomach issues. However, Ive had many clients who were surprised by their results despite having normal digestion. This test has also been really helpful for those struggling with histamine issues which is a key mediator of scalp itch.
- DUTCH Complete: DUTCH is an acronym standing for Dried Urine Test for Comprehensive Hormones and the complete package includes an assessment of adrenal health and sex hormone testing. For women with scalp itch, the comprehensive assessment of estrogen metabolites can be helpful as estrogen dominance and histamine issues are frequently associated. Hormones also control sebum production and can indirectly influence our skin microflora, potentially making us more susceptible to scalp infections such as Malassezia.
Sjogrens Syndrome With Extremely Dry Itchy Scalp And Hair Is Falling Out
Is there any shampoo and conditioner that anyone uses that helps with these symptoms? I am having a hard time getting into the dr and need help now. My hair seems to be falling out at an alarming rate and my scalp is super dry, itchy and burns. I have been trying to do some research and it seems that chemicals like sulfate may be the problem. Looking at the ingredients it is hard to tell what is going to help me.
0 likes, 11 replies
Posted 5 years ago
You might try asking at a health food store. Back when I used to have itchy scalpI used head & shoulders, but only when things were bad. Sometimes one needs to change shampoos in order to stop the itching & burning regardless of ss. And olive oil or mayo hair treatment might help too.
A lot of shampoo for color treated hair now specifies that it’s sulfate free.
Posted 5 years ago
Also, do you use a concealor that works well for you? I have extremely dry eye lids and dark circles around my eyes. I think it might be an irritation from my make up. I have tried a hypoallergenic concealor from the grocery store but it isn’t helping. I have found a really good hypoallergenic mascara that helps a little. What about body wash? I use a hypoallergenic body wash but my skin is still super dry. Does anyone use a body wash that they like? I am so glad that I found this site. I feel so alone with so many unanswered questions because I can’t get into the dr right now. All they have told me the last time I went was that I had ss.
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Hair Loss Treatments May Cause Dry Scalp
Hair products used to slow hair loss or boost hair regrowth may cause allergic contact dermatitis with side effects that mimic the symptoms of dandruff. Minoxidil, specifically, may affect scalp health by drying out the skin. Since this medication requires consistent use to counter hair loss, the dryness may worsen over time, leading to flaking, redness, and potentially itching. If thats the case, talk to your dermatologist about what youre experiencing and whether an alternative treatment to address alopecia may be better for you and your hair care routine.
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How Will Onion Juice Help With An Itchy Scalp
Onions have antimicrobial qualities which will combat infections. Onion juice or pulp has also been used since time immemorial for curing dandruff, which causes an itchy scalp.
How to apply: Take a new juicy onion, dont take one that looks dry. Peel and grate the onion, and squeeze out the juice. If you dont mind the pulp with onion bits on your hair, then dont squeeze, simply use the pulp. Apply the juice or pulp on your scalp using a cotton ball. Leave it on for 20 minutes and then rinse it off with a mild shampoo and lukewarm water.
Frequency of treatment: You can use this treatment once every week.
Tip: Cover your head with a shower cap while you wait, since the pungency of onions will cause your eyes to water.
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Can Dry Scalp Cause Hair Loss
Many factors are contributing to both dry scalp and hair loss, so in some way, the two overlap at some point, but are not necessarily linked.
If you have a dry, itchy scalp, you probably keep scratching it, damaging your hair in the process too. And a weak scalp cannot hold a full head of thick and strong hair either.
How Is Dandruff Treated
In most cases, over-the-counter dandruff shampoo can control a persons dandruff. Check the labels for these common active ingredients:
- selenium sulfide 1% shampoo
- zinc pyrithione shampoo
- tar-based shampoo . Tar-based shampoos can make the scalp more sensitive to sunlight, so users should wear a hat outside. Dont use a tar shampoo on dyed or treated hair. Long-term use can stain skin, hair, and nails.
- ketoconazole shampoo
Follow the label directions on how much to use and how often. When your dandruff improves, its OK to use dandruff shampoo less often. Once a week might be enough to keep flakes off your shoulders.
If dandruff doesnt get better after 46 weeks, try another shampoo with a different active ingredient.
Talk to the pharmacist if you have any questions about dandruff shampoos.
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What Is Scalp Inflammation
Scalp inflammation is exactly what it sounds like — inflammation that affects the skin on the top, sides and back of your head.
Theres no specific medical condition called scalp inflammation. However, a variety of conditions can cause your scalp to become inflamed. These include:
Seborrheic dermatitis.Seborrheic dermatitis is a common skin disease that can cause a red, scale-like rash to develop on your scalp. The affected area may look swollen and greasy, with a white or yellow scale. The rash caused by seborrheic dermatitis is often itchy. When itched, dry skin can flake off from the scalp, resulting in persistent dandruff.
Folliculitis. Folliculitis is a type of infection that develops in your hair follicles. It causes small sores to develop on your scalp. These sores often look similar to acne lesions and may develop a crust-like texture that doesnt heal. Although folliculitis usually isnt painful, it may cause itching and discomfort. Although its common on your scalp, folliculitis can also develop in other parts of your body.
Scalp ringworm .Scalp ringworm is a fungal infection that can develop in your scalp and hair follicles. Its caused by the same groups of fungi that can infect your feet, torso and other parts of your body. The most common symptom of scalp ringworm is a red, itchy rash that develops across your scalp, as well as areas of hair loss. The rash caused by scalp ringworm often has a scale-like texture.
How To Keep Your Scalp Moisturized
The scalp is an extension of the skin on your face, so its equally important to keep it hydrated, nurtured and indulge in treatments to keep the collagen and skin tight and healthy, said Dr. Steven Davis, a board-certified plastic surgeon with Davis Cosmetic Plastic Surgery.
This might become especially important during cold and dry seasons like the winter, which commonly lead to dryness of the skin scalp.
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How To Prevent An Itchy Scalp And Hair Loss
1. Avoid the urge to scratch your scalp.
2. Use gentle shampoos free of sulfates, parabens, colors, fragrances and alcohols.
3. Eat a diet rich in vitamins, proteins and minerals like zinc and iron.
4. Follow a good hair care routine – cleansing, conditioning and oiling.
5. Massage your scalp with oils like coconut, olive and castor oil for improved blood circulation.
How To Treat An Itchy Scalp And Hair Fall
If you have a dry scalp, wash with a gentle shampoo, and use a moisturizing conditioner. For mild dandruff, wash your hair every day with a gentle shampoo to reduce the amount of oil on your scalp. You may go for an anti-dandruff shampoo in case of severe dandruff.
Shampoos containing tea tree oil are an alternative remedy for dandruff . Anti-dandruff shampoos containing salicylic acid, coal tar, zinc pyrithione, ketoconazole, and selenium sulfide can also help.
Essential oils like peppermint and rosemary can soothe an itchy scalp and reduce hair fall. Remember to dilute the essential oil with a carrier oil like coconut or olive oil. Furthermore, oral or topical steroids reduce scalp inflammation. Immunotherapy may also help with autoimmune scalp conditions.
An itchy scalp and associated hair loss can have multiple causes. But most often, the condition can be prevented. Read through the following section.
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Hair Loss And Scalp Itching: How To Prevent It
If youâre worried your hair is thinning, there are simple steps you can take to keep your scalp healthy and keep your hair looking full and thick.
Hair loss is completely natural â in fact, you lose hair every day. Youâll normally find it on your hairbrush, in the shower or on your clothes. Itâs not always something to worry about as your hair regrows at a similar rate.â¯
But when your hair breaks more easily and you start to see more hair on your hairbrush, it can be a worry.
But the good news is, by keeping your scalp in good condition you canâ¯keep your hair for longer, and keep it looking fuller and thicker.
Is Dry Scalp Correlated To Accelerated Hair Loss
Regardless of the time of year, a dry and flaky scalp can be extremely irritating and embarrassing. Apart from the constant urge to scratch it, dry scalp is correlated to accelerated hair loss as well.
What is the link between the two?
Although they can occur independently, there may sometimes be a link between hair loss and scalp itching. There can be various reasons for a dry and itchy scalp such as fungal infections, allergic reactions to hair products, inflamed hair follicles, etc. they can cause hair loss. In other cases, scarring on the scalp can cause severe itching because scar tissue can damage the nerve fibers in the skin. If a person’s hair loss has led to the formation of scar tissue, this may be causing the itching.
If you scratch a dry scalp repeatedly or aggressively, it leads to extensive damage of the skin on your scalp and hair follicles, so very soon you notice lots of hair fall, along with bleeding and scabbing.
What are the reasons for a dry and flaky scalp?
Otherwise known as dandruff, and even though the condition makes the scalp look dry, it is actually due to having too much oil. Dandruff is caused by an overproduction of oil or other secretions in the skin, or an increase in normal skin yeasts. The oil on the scalp prevents dead skin cells from shedding like they normally do, so they become more apparent in the form of flakes along the hairline.
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How To Relieve Dry Scalp
Depending on the severity and cause of your dry, itchy scalp, some home remedies may help relieve symptoms. If you suspect you have a health condition that’s causing your dry, itchy scalp, see your doctor for an official diagnosis before trying any of the following:
- Avoid products that can irritate and dry the scalp to the point of it becoming itchy.
- Use shampoos that have anti-inflammatory ingredients such as zinc pyrithione.
- Use moisturizing scalp treatments.
- Use oils that can help relieve scalp dryness and itchiness, such as coconut oil, jojoba oil, tea tree oil, and avocado oil.
- Use a humidifier to help with dryness in the air.
- Use a cool compress on the area to relieve itchiness and pain and to prevent yourself from scratching.
Itchy Scalp And Hair Loss: Could There Be A Connection
Itchy scalp and hair loss can both be frustrating and potentially embarrassing conditions. But can scalp itching cause hair loss? What about vice versa? The two often go hand in hand, and if youre experiencing both, its helpful to see where they may cross over. Read on to learn about potential connections between the two.
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A Surprising Side Effect
Among the medications that list hair loss as a side effect are anticlotting drugs, cholesterol-lowering drugs, antidepressants, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs , and drugs for menopause, birth control, and antibiotics. Usually, hair grows back when the medication is stopped, but may not in some cases.
What Can I Do To Prevent An Itchy Scalp
There are several precautions you can take to prevent an itchy scalp.
- If you see symptoms, use a very mild shampoo to wash your hair. Eve baby shampoo will help.
- Avoid using hot water on your hair.
- Limit hair washes to twice or thrice a week.
- Drink lots of water and fluids, at least eight glasses a day.
- Maintain a diet rich in all nutrients, especially proteins and calcium.
- Avoid using or limit the use of heat-based styling tools like curlers and hair irons. Avoid blow drying your hair as well.
- Avoid using styling creams and gels on a regular basis.
- Give your hair a break from chemical treatments like hair colouring and straightening or curling. Continuous treatments will cause damage to the hair in the long run.
Have your own personal haircare tools like combs and brushes and avoid sharing them with anyone else.
- When you buy a new haircare product, always test it to see if it causes any trouble. If your hair or scalp faces any probelms when you start using a new product, ensure your figure out whether it is the root cause or not.
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