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Why Is My Scalp Red? Top 10 Reasons and What You Can Do About It

3 mins

Sangya Shaily

Why is my scalp red? The top reasons include seborrheic dermatitis, scalp acne, psoriasis, sun damage, or other diseases. Learn how you can get relief.

A red scalp is a sign that your scalp is irritated. It looks red because your body has increased the amount of blood flow to the irritated area to deal with the irritant. 

In this article, we will cover the top 10 reasons for a red scalp as well as 7 effective remedies to deal with it.

Table of Contents:

  • Why Is My Scalp Red?
  • Seborrheic Dermatitis
  • Red Scalp Disease
  • Psoriasis
  • Scalp Acne
  • Sensitive Scalp
  • Scarring Alopecia
  • Sun Damage
  • Scalp Injury 
  • Other Diseases
  • Infections
  • How Can I Treat My Red Scalp?
  • Shampoo
  • Tea Tree Oil
  • Aloe Vera
  • Witch Hazel
  • Omega-3 Fatty Acids
  • Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Garlic

Why Is My Scalp Red?

There can be many conditions that could lead to a red scalp. Read them below. 

why is my scalp red, irritated scalp

Seborrheic Dermatitis

Seborrheic dermatitis is an inflammatory condition, which occurs on oily parts of the skin like the scalp, eyelids, chest, etc. 

It is prevalent in 3 to 5% of people across the globe, men more than women. It leads to red, flaky, and itchy skin. 

Red Scalp Disease

Red scalp disease is a condition with symptoms similar to rosacea. It causes an extremely itchy, red scalp with a burning sensation. 

Other inflammatory conditions such as dermatomyositis and rosacea can also lead to this issue. 

Psoriasis

Psoriasis is a chronic condition that causes red, itchy, flaky patches on the skin. It is commonly observed on the scalp, knees, elbows, and trunk.

Scalp Acne

Scalp acne is less common than other areas of the skin. However, it does happen. 

They look like small pimples on the scalp and even the back of the head. These pimples are usually red, itchy, and sore. 

It is caused when the pores get clogged with dead skin cells, sebum, hair products, microbes, etc. 

Sensitive Scalp

Simply having a sensitive scalp can also make it red. Often when you use a new hair product, it causes an allergic reaction to your already sensitive skin and makes it red. 

Scarring Alopecia

Scarring alopecia is a hair loss condition that leads to permanent hair loss. It is often accompanied by a red scalp along with a burning sensation or pain. 

Sun Damage

Sunburns or extensive exposure to the sun over a long period can also lead to an itchy scalp.

sunburn, skin burn, sun damage

Scalp Injury

Direct injury or trauma to the scalp due to previous accidents or surgeries may also lead to persistent scalp redness, even after the injury is treated.

Other Diseases

Diseases that may not have a direct relation to the scalp can also cause this issue. Examples include some types of cancers, polycythemia, etc. 

Infections

Infections caused due to bacteria, viruses, and fungus can cause redness in the scalp. A careful scalp examination may help in determining the root cause. 

Examples of microbes that affect the scalp include staphylococci bacteria and scalp ringworm, to name a few.

How Can I Treat My Red Scalp?

I have mentioned the top 7 effective ways which will help reduce the redness of your scalp within the first few weeks.

Shampoo

Let's start with the shampoo. Choose a deep cleansing shampoo to thoroughly remove the dirt, product, and microbial build-up responsible for causing the redness of the scalp. 

Look for hydrating, antifungal ingredients while picking the shampoo. 

WOW Activated Charcoal & Keratin Shampoo

charcoal shampoo, keratin shampoo, wow shampoo, wow hair care, buywow

WOW Activated Charcoal & Keratin Shampoo will deep cleanse your scalp to remove all the impurities and build-up. It will soothe your scalp and replenish it back with moisture. It has a detoxing formula.

Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil is known to have anti-inflammatory properties. It works as an antiseptic and can reduce the inflammation and redness associated with scalp psoriasis. 

WOW Tea Tree Essential Oil

WOW Tea Tree Essential Oil has strong healing properties. Dilute 2 to 3 drops of this oil with a few drops of coconut oil and gently massage on your scalp to relieve the itchiness and inflammation.

Aloe Vera

Aloe vera has skin-healing properties. Research has shown that it can heal seborrheic dermatitis. 

An aloe vera cream containing 0.5 percent aloe can help reduce the redness, itching, inflammation, and flaking on the scalp. It may take 3 to 4 weeks to see a noticeable difference. 

aloe vera, aloe vera benefits

Witch Hazel

According to a study, witch hazel is extremely beneficial in the treatment of red scalp and soothing the irritated scalp. 

If you have a sensitive scalp, you can dilute witch hazel extract with water and spray it on your scalp. Pat it and let it soak in. Do this once a week. 

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

You can also consider taking omega-3 fatty acids in the form of supplements. It helps in reducing inflammation and can thereby be useful to treat the irritated, red scalp. 

Apple Cider Vinegar

Studies have shown that apple cider vinegar has antibacterial, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory. 

Dilute ACV in a 1 to 5 ratio with water. Apply on the scalp and massage gently. You can use it as a post shampoo rinse.

Garlic

Garlic is a potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant agent. It can help in preventing skin infections. It can be used to reduce the symptoms of scalp psoriasis. 

Mix equal quantities of pressed raw garlic and aloe vera gel. Apply the mixture on your scalp and rinse after 15 to 20 minutes. 

garlic

There are several reasons that can lead to red, itchy scalp. Some of these are scalp psoriasis, red scalp disease, sensitive scalp, and sun damage. 

In order to prevent scalp infections and have a clean scalp, you should make sure to have a simple hair care routine. A shampoo, conditioner, and hair oil are all you need for that. 

WOW Moroccan Argan Hair Oil

WOW Moroccan Argan Hair Oil has a natural rejuvenating formula that helps in tackling itchy scalp, split ends, and frizzy locks. You can leave it on overnight to deeply condition your hair and nourish your scalp from within. 

WOW Apple Cider Vinegar Shampoo

WOW Apple Cider Vinegar Shampoo is gentle on the scalp and tough on the oil build-up. Devoid of harsh chemicals, it will help clarify and rebuild your hair. 

It is a pH level balancing shampoo meaning. It will reduce frizz and breakage without stripping the natural oils. 

Explore more on the WOW website.

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Sangya Shaily

Sangya Shaily is a content writer from Mumbai, India. She loves writing lifestyle, beauty, fashion, and health & wellness-related content, among other things. In her leisure time, she loves to indulge in reading classic literature and spend time with her family.

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Author: Sangya Shaily

Latest posts:

Sangya Shaily

Sangya Shaily is a content writer from Mumbai, India. She loves writing lifestyle, beauty, fashion, and health & wellness-related content, among other things. In her leisure time, she loves to indulge in reading classic literature and spend time with her family.
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