Causes Of Itchy Scalp Leading To Hair Loss
The following conditions can cause an itchy scalp and hair loss:
An Itchy Scalp And Hair Loss: Are They Related
Do you have an itchy scalp? Youre not alone. Scalp itching, or scalp pruritus, is a common skin issue that affects just about everyone from time to time.
An itchy scalp can develop for a range of reasons, from washing your hair with a shampoo thats formulated using harsh chemicals to several common skin conditions.
The good news is that an itchy scalp isnt likely to cause hair loss, at least not directly. However, some skin conditions that cause you to develop an itchy scalp may affect your hair follicles and contribute to hair shedding or, in some cases, permanent hair loss.
Below, weve listed some of the most common causes of an itchy scalp, as well as the effects of these conditions on hair loss. Weve also explained what you can do to treat scalp itching.
Finally, weve talked about why an itchy scalp generally isnt a sign of male pattern baldness, as well as the steps that you can take if youre starting to lose your hair
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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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.
Will Apple Cider Vinegar Provide Relief From An Itchy Scalp
Apple cider vinegar has properties which make it act as an astringent. It also has antibacterial and anti-fungal properties that will deal with infections in the scalp and will eliminate the accumulated dead cells from the scalp.
How to apply: Mix one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar with four tablespoons of water in a bowl. Apply this mixture all over your scalp and massage it in. This will relieve the itching considerably. Leave it on for an hour and wash is off with a mild shampoo and cold water.
Frequency of treatment: You can do this treatment twice a week to begin with, and bring it down to once a week when you see a difference.
Tip: Apple cider vinegar can cause a burning sensation on blistered or torn skin. Avoid if you have already blistered your scalp by itching.
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Tips For Dandruff Treatment
To decrease the buildup of dandruff’s dead skin cells, try using an antidandruff shampoo daily. Leave shampoo on for 5 minutes, then rinse well. You may need to try several dandruff shampoos to find one that works best for you. If one stops working, try another. If that doesn’t help, call your doctor.
How To Sooth The Itch:
Dandruff is a chronic condition that has no cure for it and it may flare up from time to time. However, you can treat it.
The best recommendation is to speak to your dermatologist about which dandruff shampoo may work best for you. One of the good things about shampoos that can help with dandruff is they have active ingredients such as salicylic acid, pyrithione zinc, selenium sulfide, etc. to help keep the malassezia fungus at bay.
However, if you prefer to go the natural route then you can try some DIY remedies or use shampoos that contain tea tree, which is a natural ingredient that helps to sooth irritation.
But do not apply tea tree directly to your scalp as it will cause severe irritation. One recommended treatment is to do a pre-shampoo treatment with Apple Cider Vinegar . Another great option is to take a raw Aloe Vera leaf that has been cut open and apply the gel to your scalp for 15 minutes prior to washing and conditioning you hair.
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Signs Its Time To See A Professional
With all this in mind, it can still be difficult to know whether the scalp itch youre experiencing is normal, or if it is symptomatic of an underlying condition. You should make an appointment with a local trichologist or dermatologist if the itching:
- Persists for over a few weeks
- Comes with burning, red flaky patches, white scaling, or pus-filled pimples
- Is so intense that you scratch it to the point of bleeding.
- Causes or is accompanied by hair loss in the inflamed area.
- Takes place at the bottom/back area of the head and is severe.
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, we’ll tell you if your itching scalp is caused by dandruff or dry scalp.
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C Itchy Scalp And Hair Loss
However, there are many reasons that you might be experiencing hair loss with an itchy scalp such as stress or excessive styling, and a really common reason is excessive scratching.
Excessive scratching can weaken the roots of your hair and can cause it to fall out. If you find that you are experiencing hair loss and an itchy scalp, try to treat your itchy scalp first to see if this helps. You can do this by implementing a simple hair care routine and reading our treatment section, below.
Will Lemon Juice Help For Relief From An Itchy Scalp
Lemon juice is a natural ingredient that works against the microbes due to the acidity. It also helps clears the scalp of accumulated dirt and dead cells.
How to apply: Take two fresh lemons and wash them well. Pat dry with a clean cloth and cut and juice them. Apply this fresh lemon juice on your scalp with a cotton ball. Leave it on for 10 minutes and then rinse it away with a mild shampoo and cold water.
Frequency of treatment: Do it only once a week, since lemons can be acidic and can change the colour of your hair.Tip: Lemon juice will sting your skin if you apply it over cuts, so be careful.
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Premature Gray Hair Is Genetic
Going gray isn’t always related to aging. If you’re not yet 40 and see more than a few gray hairs, chances are it runs in your family. Gray usually isn’t a sign of poor health, though anemia, thyroid issues, vitamin B12 deficiency, and vitiligo can cause premature graying. You can highlight or color hair to cover the gray, but beware: Some people are sensitive to the chemicals in dyes. The result could be an itchy, burning scalp.
What Causes Pcos Related Hair Loss
In polycystic ovary syndrome, a leading cause of pattern hair loss is excess androgen levels surge in the body. Androgens are naturally produced within the ovaries, adrenal gland, and fat cells in women. These androgens play a role in stimulating pubic and underarm excessive hair growth and regulating the loss of blood during menstrual periods.
In PCOS, cysts are formed in the ovaries that lead to a surge in the level of androgens in the body. The increase in the production of cytokines pushes more of the hair in the telogen stage, causing the derma papilla to deteriorate. The affected hair becomes thinner in diameter, shorter in length, and eventually stops growing at all.
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What You Can Do About Scalp Itchiness At Home
If your doctor has ruled out underlying health conditions, there are several things you can do at home to address itchy scalp.
- Switch to high quality hair care products that dont contain known allergens.
- If dandruff is your issue, try over-the-counter anti-dandruff shampoos.
- Incorporate more hair-healthy nutrients into your diet like biotin, selenium, omega-3 fatty acids, Vitamin D, and amino acids.16
- Mix peppermint essential oil with a carrier oil and massage it into your head. Scientific evidence is limited, but it may help with healthy hair growth. And always do a patch test first.17
- Practice gentle hair care use gentle shampoos, and avoid vigorous scratching, even if your head is really, really itchy.
Itchy Scalp Shampoo Ingredients
Itchy scalp shampoos employ a number of skin-soothing ingredients to help calm the itch and nourish the hair and scalp. Here are a few of the most popular.
Tea tree oil
Tea tree oil has antifungal properties and is soothing on skin, which makes it a popular choice in itchy scalp shampoos, especially those designed to treat dandruff. It has also been proven to help with skin inflammation. Its considered safe for most people to use, but some people are allergic to it. For those people it can cause many of the conditions it would normally treat, like dermatitis. If you use a shampoo containing tea tree oil and you find have a reaction to it, stop using it immediately.
Menthol is derived from herbs like peppermint and eucalyptus. Its been shown to help decrease inflammation and reduce pain when applied topically. It also has a cooling effect when it is applied, which can be very soothing on an irritated scalp.
Salicylic acid is an ingredient commonly found in acne medications. It might not do very much to soothe your irritated scalp, but it can help to eliminate some of the dead skin cells that build up and cause an itchy scalp in the first place. However, there is usually only a small amount of salicylic acid in shampoo because it can be too drying if you use too much. If you find this to be the case for you, you might want to back off and use it less frequently or switch to a different formula that doesnt contain salicylic acid.
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When To See Your Doctor
The good news is that many cases of dandruff can be treated effectively with over-the-counter shampoos and other lifestyle measures.
That being said, dandruff isnt the only reason you may have an itchy scalp. If your dandruff is particularly stubborn or itchy, you may have psoriasis, eczema, or a true fungal infection. Your doctor can help.
If your itch isnt letting up or your scalp becomes red or swollen, speak with your doctor. Check in as well if shampoos dont help, redness and flaking spread to your face or other areas on the body, or the itching starts to interfere with your everyday life.
Sometimes the symptoms can indicate other, more serious, conditions such as Actinic keratoses or Tinea capitis , and its best to be checked out to get the best treatment.
When To Worry About Scalp Itchiness
Most of thetime, an itchy scalp isnt cause for concern. But there are times when it canindicate something more serious. See your doctor when:
- Over-the-counter shampoos dont make any difference.
- The itching keeps you up at night and affects your work or study.
- You see lice or nits in your hair.
- The itchy spots are very sore to the touch.
Dr. Piliangsays that its always a good idea to see your dermatologist when you have apersistent itchy scalp even if you think its just common dandruff. Yourdermatologist can check it out and tell you which remedies will bring you somerelief.
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