If skin lesions accompany itchiness of the scalp, it could indicate psoriasis, seborrheic dermatitis, or other inflammatory skin condition. A combination of these symptoms could also indicate an infection such as tinea capitis or head lice.
An itchy scalp itself is challenging to manage. But does the itchiness lead to hair loss? Is it possible to treat an itchy scalp and avoid hair loss?
Get all the answers here.
Table of Contents:
- What Causes an Itchy Scalp?
- Tinea Capitis
- Head Lice
- The Link Between Itchy Scalp and Hair Loss
- Best Shampoo for Treating Itchy Scalp and Hair Loss
- Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV)
- Tea Tree Oil
- Coconut Oil
What Causes an Itchy Scalp?
If you are looking for a treatment for your itchy scalp, then it is first important to identify the cause behind the itch.
Do you know the body undergoes a complex process before generating an itch? It takes mere seconds for you to feel something. But the process behind it is quite lengthy.
The body generates the sensation of itching in response to a stimulus, which is an irritant. For example, you may experience an itch after an insect bite. Certain fabrics, too, may cause itching as an allergic reaction.
The irritant is identified by neurons, cells in the nervous system serving as message transmitters. Information about the irritant is transmitted to the spinal cord. A protein called NPPB is produced in response to the message.
The NPPB protein releases another protein – gastrin-releasing peptide – or GRP receptor. The function of the GRP receptor is to transmit the sensation of itch through the spinal cord. The itching sensation then gets delivered at the site of irritation. The result – human beings feel the itch and scratch it for relief.
Here are some reasons why the scalp may feel itchy:
Itching can be due to yeast that feeds on the oil or dirt build-up on the scalp. The presence of yeast on the scalp is normal. But when yeast is in excess, it can cause dandruff.
If you see white flakes falling off your scalp along with itching, dandruff is usually the cause. Itching due to dandruff can also occur without flaking. So, if your scalp is itchy but no flakes are falling, dandruff could still be the cause.
An anti-dandruff shampoo can help remove dandruff and the resulting itching.
Scalp irritants can also cause itching. Hair products with harsh chemicals and hair styling treatments are the usual causes of scalp irritations. Go for haircare products with natural ingredients. If you suspect a coloring product is a cause, wash off your color.
You may also be allergic to a specific ingredient in a product. Use hair care products for a week to test your scalp’s acceptance of the product. Avoid combining different haircare products. Use each product on its own.
Known commonly as ringworm, Tinea Capitis is a fungal scalp infection. The infection affects the scalp at the follicular level. The infection spreads to the hair follicle, causing bald patches.
Tinea Capitis patches are usually elevated in appearance with a stubbly or black-dotted surface. These patches and hair loss can increase over time.
Tinea Capitis affects the scalp deeper, necessitating consultation with a dermatologist.
An autoimmune disease by nature, psoriasis is chronic and is more likely to occur if you have a family history. Psoriasis causes elevated scaly or reddish patches on the scalp. A gentle haircare routine can help prevent flare-ups.
These tiny culprits may be causing that irresistible itch you want to scratch. Sometimes, product residue build-up, dead skin cells, dandruff, and dirt and debris, may be mistaken for nits (lice eggs).
Consult your doctor to confirm the presence of lice before looking for a solution.
The Link Between Itchy Scalp and Hair Loss
Scalp pruritus caused by factors such as Tinea Capitis causes direct hair loss. But itching caused by other factors may not cause hair loss directly. Hair loss can occur through scratching triggered by the itch.
Repeated or vigorous scratching can damage hair follicles, resulting in hair loss.
Best Shampoo for Treating Itchy Scalp and Hair Loss
Shampoos with specific ingredients can help address itching and arrest hair loss caused by itching. Choose shampoos with the following ingredients for success in eradicating itching.
Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV)
Apple cider vinegar has excellent anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, and anti-fungal properties, which help prevent scalp infections. ACV is slightly acidic, which helps keep the scalp in a well-balanced pH state. ACV maintains pH balance without drying out the hair of its essential oils.
These properties of ACV make it a potent ingredient for addressing the itchiness of the scalp.
You may want to add the Apple Cider Vinegar shampoo by WOW Skin Science to your haircare kit. It nourishes your hair with the excellent benefits of raw ACV as well as other plant-derived ingredients.
This shampoo is perfect for a gentle detox that clears scalp build-up and prevents dandruff and scalp infections. The formulation is 100% free of harsh chemicals such as silicones, parabens, and sulfates. You get healthy, shiny hair without any side effects.
The shampoo comes with the goodness of nettle leaf extract, which has rich antioxidant properties. The extract keeps the scalp free of inflammation and soothes it.
Adding its own benefits is sweet almond oil, which has plenty of vitamin E and essential fat content. These nutrients nourish the scalp and give it a natural shine.
Argan oil is an excellent moisturizer and rich in omega-6 fatty acids, which provide essential hydration to the skin and keep strands smooth.
Take a generous amount of the shampoo and apply it to your itchy scalp. Let it settle for 4 to 6 minutes. Massage your scalp for a few minutes with your fingertips. Wash with cold water.
Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil has strong antiseptic properties. This essential oil can treat dandruff, head lice, and a dry scalp. Regular application of tea tree oil clears clogged follicles and promotes hair growth. Tea tree oil works well with carrier oils such as lavender and coconut oil.
You can obtain 100% pure tea tree oil from WOW Skin Science. The oil is prepared by the cold-press method for maximum benefit. It is available in amber packaging, preventing essential oil contamination.
You can also obtain the benefits of tea tree oil in the form of shampoo and conditioner. Get the double benefits of tea tree oil shampoo and conditioner from a single pack.
This shampoo-conditioner pack is full of natural ingredients and full of benefits for hair.
Tea tree oil works with green tea and natural oil extracts to clean the scalp, remove dandruff and prevent excess sebum production. The moisturizer works to nourish the scalp after a thorough cleanse.
Rosebay extract in the shampoo clarifies the scalp and keeps dandruff at bay. Vitamin B5 extract maintains the hydration and elasticity of strands. Vitamins E, B1, B6, and A, in sweet almond oil repair damaged scalp, prevent sun damage and keep strands well-moisturized.
Green tea extract in the conditioner nourishes the scalp and keeps the skin healthy, thanks to its polyphenol and catechin content. It also reduces hair fall. Argan oil provides plenty of hydration to the strands, keeping them soft and thick. Shea butter soothes the scalp with its emollient properties. It is also a great moisturizing agent.
Create a simple and effective haircare routine with this basic pack!
Coconut oil has lauric acid, saturated fat with strong antimicrobial properties. This acid also makes it easy for the skin to absorb coconut oil for maximum benefits.
Coconut oil can soothe eczema-induced itchiness on the scalp. The oil is also effective at eliminating lice. In a study, it was found that a mix of coconut oil and anise was potent at eradicating head lice.
You may want to obtain the excellent benefits of coconut oil through the Coconut & Avocado Natural Hair Conditioner by WOW Skin Science. This formulation offers the benefits of coconut oil along with avocado oil and sweet almond oil.
Avocado oil moisturizes strands and boosts hair volume, while sweet almond oil strengthens strands. There is also the powerful castor oil, which makes strands flexible and less prone to breakage.
It’s an amazing natural addition to your haircare routine!
Scalp itchiness is a common hair problem that can be efficiently addressed with the right products. An effective routine is essential for gentle haircare on an itchy scalp. It can also prevent an itchy scalp from arising from avoidable factors such as scalp build-up and dandruff.
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