If you often scratch your itchy scalp and believe that it makes you look like you are thinking about a solution to a very difficult problem, then think twice. Constant scratching your head is unsightly and makes it obvious that you are suffering from a skin disease. Whatever causes the itchiness on your scalp should be addressed immediately as the infection that affects the skin on your head may spread to other parts of your body and pose a health hazard.
Why does my scalp get itchy?
The list of factors that can cause itchy scalp is quite long and includes dry skin, dandruff, fungus, bacterial infection, ringworm, lice, psoriasis, dermatitis, wrong diet and inappropriate hair products. In order to choose the right treatment for your scalp condition, it is crucial that you define what the underlying problem of your itchy scalp is. If the symptoms indicate various problems, contact a dermatologist who will be able to give you the correct diagnosis and recommend the right treatment. If you know the reason for your itchy scalp and want to treat it with some natural home remedies, there is a wide range of products that can bring you relief.
Home remedies for itchy scalp
Its soothing properties make aloe vera a widely used ingredient in the products designed to treat various types of skin damage and irritation. Aloe vera kills bacteria and fungus as well as moisturises and regenerates the skin. On top of that, it acts as a gentle exfoliator so it removes the dead skin cells. If you look for a quick relief for itchy scalp, wash your hair with a gentle shampoo and rinse it well. Take a teaspoon of aloe vera gel or natural aloe vera pulp and rub it into your scalp. Leave it on for 10-15 minutes and rinse your skin with lukewarm water. Repeat this process every day and after a week, you will notice a great improvement in the condition of your scalp.
Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil has strong antibacterial and antifungal properties, therefore makes a perfect remedy for various skin problems that cause itchy scalp. In the most common form it’s highly concentrated and if you have a sensitive skin, you might have to dilute it before use. Otherwise, you can apply it directly on the affected skin, rub it in with circular motions and leave it on for an hour, then rinse it off with warm water. If you feel like undiluted tea tree oil causes a further itchiness or even a burning sensation, mix equal amounts of tea tree oil and olive oil or almond oil and then apply it to your scalp. Olive oil will give you the extra effect of skin regeneration and it will nourish your hair.
In case you have a very sensitive skin and even diluted tea tree oil causes discomfort, simply add a few drops to the water that you use to rinse your hair after shampooing. Make sure all the shampoo is washed off first before you rinse your hair with the tea tree solution. It’s supposed to stay on your scalp and heal it gradually.
Unlike tea tree oil, this product is very gentle on your skin, but highly effective at the same time. Coconut oil kills fungus and bacteria, moisturises the scalp and reduces the symptoms of irritation and redness. If your scalp condition is caused by a bacterial infection of the hair follicles, called folliculitis, coconut oil will deal with it in no time. Heat the coconut oil a bit before the application in order to boost its effectiveness and to make it easier to massage it into the scalp. Rub the oil into the skin and wrap your head with a towel. Leave it on for an hour and rinse off with warm water. If you don’t have oily hair and are not afraid that the coconut oil will make it look greasy and heavy, you can leave the product on for the night to maximise the results. Repeat the procedure every two days for two weeks and when you notice the reduction of the itchy scalp symptoms, continue the treatment once a week for a month in order to prevent the problem from recurring.
Sesame oil moisturises and soothes the skin as well as works antiseptically. It relieves the symptoms of itchy scalp, especially if it’s caused by dry skin, dandruff or a bacterial infection. Rubbing sesame oil into your scalp helps lock the moisture in and boost the skin regeneration process. To get rid of itchiness on your scalp, take a tablespoon of sesame oil, rub it gently into the skin on your head and leave it on for 10 minutes. For best results, heat the oil before use or wrap your head after the application with a towel soaked in hot water.
If your itchy scalp is the result of a bacterial infection, you can treat it with lemon juice. It does not only kill bacteria but also removes dead skin cells and gives your skin a boost of vitamin C, which is necessary for regenerating and strengthening the skin. Since lemon juice has a high concentration of acids, you shouldn’t use it on the scalp that’s broken as it will cause stinging on the vulnerable skin. You can use lemon juice to treat your itchy scalp similarly to tea tree oil. Either apply it directly on the scalp and rinse it off after 15 minutes or prepare a solution of ¼ cup of lemon juice and 2 cups of water. Use this mix to rinse your head after shampooing and rinsing it with clean water.
Baking soda is a very popular ingredient of numerous home and pharmaceutical remedies due to its versatile properties. When you use it as a remedy for itchy scalp, it exfoliates the dead skin cells, reduces dandruff, kills bacteria and fungi that cause infections and regulates the pH of your skin. The easiest way to use soda in order to relieve the symptoms of an itchy scalp is to prepare a rinse of 4 tablespoons of soda and 4 cups of water. Shampoo your hair, wash off the foam with clean water, then rinse it with the baking soda solution. Leave it on for 20-30 minutes and wash it off with warm water.
Alternatively, you can prepare a paste of 3 tablespoons of soda and 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Mix the ingredients well until you get a paste. If necessary, add a few more drops of olive oil or water. Apply the paste to the areas that are itchy or simply massage it into the entire scalp. Leave it on for 15 minutes and rinse well. Repeat the procedure once a day until you notice a significant reduction of all the symptoms.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is often recommended by hairdressers as a product that cleanses, disinfects, exfoliates and conditions the hair and scalp. It does not only heal infections and relieve itchiness but also leaves the hair silky and shiny. It has such a wide range of properties that you can actually forget about all the other remedies. That is, if only you can handle the smell of vinegar and if your scalp is not broken.
Prepare a mix of equal amounts of apple cider vinegar and water and either apply it to your skin with a cotton ball or rinse the hair and scalp with it. Leave it on and wrap your head with a towel. After an hour, take the towel off and first rinse the hair with warm water, then with a stream of cold water. This will both provide a further relief from the itchy scalp syndromes and give your hair a beautiful shine.
In order to prevent the recurrence of itchy scalp syndromes, put some of the water and apple cider vinegar solution into a spray bottle and once a week spritz your hair with it before bedtime.
An alternative method of improving your scalp condition through the use of apple cider vinegar is adding it to your food, e.g salads and dips or drinking 2 tablespoons of vinegar dissolved in a glass of water every day.
Banana and Avocado Mask
In case the itchiness of your scalp is caused by dandruff and dryness, you might want to try some natural moisturisers to relieve the symptoms. If you’ve ever tried a banana and avocado mask on your face, you know how well it nourishes and moisturises the skin. The good news is that it does the same great job when applied on the scalp and the hair. To make a banana and avocado mask, mash one banana and half an avocado. Choose ripe fruits so that it’s easier to blend them together into a smooth paste. Apply the mask on your scalp and hair and leave it on for 30 minutes. You can cover it with a shower cap to avoid any potential mess. Rinse it off with warm water, then shampoo your hair as usual.
For an extra antibacterial or antifungal effect, you can add a tablespoon of organic oil to the mask.
How to avoid itchy scalp
Once you get rid of itchy scalp syndromes, you should take proper care of the skin on your head so that the problem doesn’t come back.
Try Various Hair Products
Many of us are used to certain haircare brands and are not very willing to try products different to the ones we know well. However, using the same shampoo, conditioner, hair gel etc. may result in a build-up of harmful chemicals from those products on our scalp. Every few weeks you should try to change at least the shampoo or perform a deep cleansing on your hair and scalp by applying the baking soda treatment described above.
Whenever possible, choose haircare products that contain natural ingredients in order to protect your scalp from harmful chemicals. They can dry your skin and devoid it of much-needed nutrients. If you have to use certain products that contain alcohol and chemicals, make sure that twice a week you apply a moisturising mask on your hair and scalp.
Improve Blood Circulation
In order to maintain the scalp in a good condition and to boost its regeneration, you should regularly brush your hair. If you have short hair, you can simply use the brush to perform a massage on the scalp. Alternatively, use some essential oils and run them into your scalp in circular motion. This will stimulate the blood circulation, rejuvenate the skin on your head, moisturise it and protect it from future itchiness.
Watch Your Diet
What you put on your plate is reflected in the condition of your skin and the overall wellbeing. The nutrients that play the most important role in maintaining a healthy skin are omega 3 fatty acids, zinc, and vitamins C, A, B and E. If your circumstances do not allow you incorporate too many foods rich in those nutrients, consider taking supplements in order to avoid not only an itchy scalp but many other skin conditions.
When you undergo a prolonged stress, you might notice that your hair becomes thinner or that you start losing it. This condition occurs when the hormone levels in your body change rapidly due to stress. Hair loss affects, in turn, your hair follicles as they get irritated and damaged. The regeneration process of the hair may take a long time so it’s best if you don’t let stress influence you to that extent. If you have a very stressful job or personal situation, try to find a few minutes a day just for yourself to practice conscious breathing, meditate or exercise. It will have a healing effect on your whole body, not just your itchy scalp.