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Why Does My Scalp Itch After Applying Oil


No matter how old we get, we can never get over that familiar feeling of sitting right in front of our mother on weekends getting our hair massaged with natural hair oils.

There’s nothing that felt more blissful than that, right? 

Well, now that we’re all grown up, the constant debate of whether to oil our tresses or not continues leaving us all baffled and confused. 

I, for one, am all in when it comes to applying hair oil and providing your locks with the required dose of moisture.

But, there are some out there who’ve observed constant itching of their scalp each time they apply hair oil. 

This isn’t uncommon and happens with several people who’ve been doing something wrong with their hair care. 

So, if you’re also one of those who’ve been facing this concern and need relief from your scalp itchiness, then we’re here to help.  

Table Of Contents:

  • Factors Causing Itchiness After Oiling
  • Is Scalp Oiling Right For Me?
  • Remedies For An Itchy Scalp

Factors Causing Itchiness After Oiling

head itch, scratching head

Hair oils with their nourishing and hydrating properties are regarded as the best concoctions when it comes to caring for your scalp. 

But, if you’re among those who’ve been experiencing itchiness or redness after oiling your hair, then one of these factors could be the reason behind this trigger:


An allergic reaction to one or more ingredients present in the hair oil could be the reason behind sudden itchiness. Allergenic chemicals such as paraphenylenediamine, ammonium thioglycolate, and glyceryl thioglycolate are often a part of several hair oils that might be disrupting your scalp’s health. 

Dry scalp

A dry scalp is more vulnerable to itching and inflammation after applying hair oil. Any of the factors such as washing with hot water, overuse of chemical-infused hair products, or styling using heat tools could be the reason behind your scalp going too dry and rough.

Sebaceous dermatitis

Sometimes, applying hair oil can further worsen the situation of contact or sebaceous dermatitis, leading to aggravated itching and redness. Discontinue using the hair oil that might be causing this problem and contact your dermatologist if the itchiness continues to deteriorate. 


As per Bridgette Hill, colorist and certified trichologist, our scalp is a delicate microbiome made up of essential bacteria and a healthy yeast called Malassezia. Certain hair oils, when applied to the scalp, can often boost the development of unhealthy bacteria and disrupt the pH balance of the scalp. That’s why he suggests being extremely careful with your choice of hair oil. 

Is Scalp Oiling Right For Me?

essential oil for hair

It’s natural to wonder if applying hair oil is doing you any good or if it’s just not meant for your locks. Though oiling your scalp has several benefits for your locks as it strengthens your follicles and enhances blood circulation, it isn’t meant for all hair types. 

Also, the frequency of applying hair oil needs to be carefully monitored as the need might be different for different hair textures.

Our scalp has its own pH level regulated by our body’s ability to produce a natural oil called sebum. The pH level might get disrupted by too much application of hair oil, which can also clog the pores and block follicles. 

Also, those with an oily or dry scalp might face hair loss due to the regular application of hair oil. 

Experts suggest considering all these factors before adding hair oil to your routine. 

Remedies For An Itchy Scalp

Now that you’re familiar with the ins and outs of your scalp and its condition, you might be thinking of simple remedies that can help you get over that constantly nagging itchy scalp. 

Check out these simple tips that can provide you some respite:

Apple cider vinegar

The all-natural agent can actively help provide your scalp relief from itchiness and inflammation. Add an ACV enriched organic shampoo free from harsh chemicals to your regimen and let it create its magic on your locks. 

Essential oils

Several essential oils have been found to work well in combating an itchy scalp. These concoctions brilliantly heal an infected scalp without causing any complications or side effects.

Peppermint essential oil infused with menthol, a cooling agent, is particularly helpful against an itchy and inflamed scalp. Lemongrass essential oil is another rich formulation known to eliminate dandruff and help against an itchy scalp. As per small research conducted in 2015, lemongrass oil-infused products work even better than a placebo solution against dandruff and inflamed scalp. 

peppermint essential oil, essential oils

Mix hair oil with another carrier oil

Getting disheartened over one hair oil not working for you won’t do any good. Rather, learn more about different natural oils available out there that might work for you. A soothing and gentle hair oil, when mixed with another carrier oil, can do the trick for you and help you moisturize your locks. 

For instance, castor oil mixed with Vitamin E-rich wheat germ oil works like a charm to boost the health of your scalp, minimize itchiness and stimulate the growth of your tresses as well. Also, argan and olive oil are two other rich formulations that can work well to improve the health of your scalp and promote the growth of your hair as well. 

Baking soda

Enriched with anti-fungal and antibacterial properties, baking soda is an effective remedy that can help you balance the pH level of your scalp and soothe your irritation as well. Microbes that cause infections to your scalp can be easily eliminated with a DIY recipe made of baking soda.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Is oiling hair not good?

Oiling exfoliates your scalp and keeps it hydrated, but if your scalp is already producing too much sebum, then oiling can lead to a build-up of residue and clogged pores. 

How long does it take for your scalp to absorb oil?

While many of us leave hair oil overnight, a period of one-two hours is sufficient for it to absorb.

How can I stop scratching my head?

Eating a healthy balanced diet, minimizing your stress levels, and keeping your scalp clean are a few ways to prevent too much scratching of the head. 



Your hair oil that was supposed to be your blanket solution against dead ends, unruly hair, and messy knots has proved to be more harmful to you than beneficial. 

But, don’t let this feel like the end of the world for you, as understanding what you’ve been doing wrong and bringing a few changes to your hair care routine can do the trick for you. 

Prevent your scalp from any more damage without sacrificing the glow and beauty of your locks with the right tips and products.

Geetika Kapoor

Deeply passionate about writing, I’m a freelancer and have been working on several writing projects for several domains across the globe since last three years. I love reviewing different products ranging from skin care products, perfumes, body lotions, feminine products, hygiene items and several others. An English teacher by profession, I love interacting with kids and discovering different personalities as well. When I’m not writing I spend most of time reading novels, listening to songs, solving tricky puzzles and travelling around the world to my favourite destinations. Collen Hoover and Nicholas Sparks are my all time favourite authors. Their writing leaves a deep impact and stays with me for long.

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