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Why Does My Scalp Itch a Day After Washing?

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Having an itchy scalp is impossible to ignore. According to Harvard-trained dermatologist Dr. Khalil A. Khatri, M.D., once you get into the itch-scratch-itch cycle, it’s difficult to get out of it. 

While it’s pretty normal to feel that annoying tingling feeling before you take a bath, it’s often an alarming case if your scalp still feels itchy after washing your hair

There could be many reasons why this happens, but what’s important is that you get to the bottom of it and apply the proper remedies and treatment to stop the itchiness.

Table of Contents:

  • Why does my scalp itch a day after washing?
  • Dandruff
  • Head lice
  • Wrong hair care products
  • Frequent washing of hair
  • How should I properly wash my hair?
  • How do I treat my itchy scalp?

Why does my scalp itch a day after washing?

A lot of people, especially those with Afro hair, suffer from scalp pruritus or itchy scalp. If you feel that your scalp is irritated, sore, flaky, and red, and your hair is thinning or falling abnormally, you possibly have an itchy scalp as well. 

There are several reasons why your scalp feels itchy even after washing it in the shower:

Dandruff

One of the most common culprits for itchy scalp is dandruff, a non-contagious skin condition where red patches and white or yellow flakes form on the scalp due to oil overproduction. 

Dandruff typically develops when you don’t shampoo enough or yeast called Malassezia has formed on your skin. 

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American dermatologist Dr. Jessica Wu, M.D. explained that the yeast feeds on the excess oil and dead skin cells on the scalp, making the skin cells shed more frequently and turn into flakes.

Head lice

Head lice are transmitted to other people through close head-to-head contact. These pesky creatures, along with head lice nits, mostly reside on the scalp, particularly behind the ears and the neckline at the back of the head. 

In some cases, they can also be found on the eyelashes and eyebrows. So, if you’re scratching around these areas, you’re possibly having an allergic reaction to louse bites.

Wrong hair care products

You could have contact dermatitis if you have an allergic reaction to certain shampoos, soaps, or other products you use for your hair. 

For example, you may have the urge to itch if you use hair dye that contains Paraphenylenediamine or PPD, which has been found to have potential toxicity. 

You may also be using shampoos that contain artificial fragrances and sodium lauryl sulfate, which causes itching. 

Contact dermatitis often manifests itself when the scalp becomes red, itchy, and flakey.

Frequent washing of hair

Our scalp normally produces a bit of oil or sebum, which helps protect and support healthy hair. But if you frequently wash your hair, you may strip these natural oils from hair, putting it at risk of breakage and damage. Consequently, your scalp will get dry, and you’ll have the constant urge to scratch it. 

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How should I properly wash my hair?

According to hair care experts, hair washing depends on the type of hair you have. 

When it comes to frequency, professional hairstylist Jorge Joao explained that people with finer hair would most likely be weighed down by the natural oils produced on their scalp, so they need to wash their hair more frequently so that the oils don’t build up and produce flakes. 

On the other hand, coarse and curly hair tends to absorb natural oil, allowing their hair to stay tame, so they can live without washing their hair every day.

In terms of hair care products, Toronto-based dermatologist Dr. Sandy Skotnicki warned against shampoos and body washes with methylisothiazolinone, a preservative that has been found moderately to highly acutely toxic in many studies. 

Instead, she recommends using fragrance-free shampoos for a start to treat an itchy scalp and allergic reactions on the face and neck.

How do I treat my itchy scalp?

Using the right products is one way of treating your itchy scalp and repairing it to its healthy state. 

Zinc pyrithione shampoo

Shampoos containing zinc pyrithione are perfect for people with an itchy scalp caused by an allergic reaction. 

Zinc pyrithione is known for clearing dead skin cells, regulating oil production, and improving overall scalp health, consequently preventing and treating dandruff. 

Zinc pyrithione shampoo has helped reduce histamine levels and itch intensity among participants of a large study made in 2011. 

With such evidence, it may be worth trying this product for yourself!

WOW Apple Cider Vinegar Shampoo

Infused with raw apple cider vinegar, the WOW Apple Cider Vinegar Shampoo can help detox itchy build-up and clogged hair follicles, as well as restore the elasticity and healthy shine of your hair. 

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For the best results, pour a generous dollop of the product onto your palm and massage it onto your scalp with your fingertips. Leave it on for up to four minutes and add an extra minute or two if you have oily hair or you suffer from dandruff. Rinse and follow it up with your favorite conditioner. 

You can use WOW Apple Cider Vinegar Shampoo once or twice a week since it already has powerful ingredients that can help treat your scalp and hair problems.

Activated Charcoal & Keratin Shampoo

After wetting your hair with warm water, apply a generous amount of lathered Activated Charcoal & Keratin Shampoo onto your scalp and massage it with your fingertips. 

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After rinsing, apply your favorite conditioner to replenish the moisture of your hair. To make your hair look shiny, rinse the conditioner off with cold water.

Activated Charcoal & Keratin Shampoo contains a botanical blend of Sweet Almond Oil, Jojoba Oil, Argan Oil, and Aloe Vera Extract, all of which can help soothe, replenish, and volumize your hair. You never have to worry about dry and frizzy hair again!

Browse through our catalog of natural and vegan clarifying shampoos to get the best products for your scalp and hair!

Radhika Bhatia

I'm a content writer, copywriter, and blogger with a background in marketing, planning, and eCommerce. I specialize in beauty writing, including skincare, cosmetics, wellness, aesthetics, and health. Classically trained and idea-savvy, I love living in the present.

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Radhika Bhatia

I'm a content writer, copywriter, and blogger with a background in marketing, planning, and eCommerce. I specialize in beauty writing, including skincare, cosmetics, wellness, aesthetics, and health. Classically trained and idea-savvy, I love living in the present.
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