Is there anything more irritating than an itchy scalp? It can feel frustrating to spend ages styling your hair, just to ruin the finished look because you needed a good old scratching session! An itchy scalp is not something most people like to discuss with their friends, but it is far more common than you may think.
If you keep messing up your hair because you can’t resist the urge to scratch your head, we have some good news for you. As expert stylists, at Belle Amour we have seen it all and we know the best haircare tips for itchy scalps.
Causes of an Itchy Scalp
There are many reasons why your head may be feeling itchy and it is important to find the correct cause before you start any treatment. When you were younger, an itchy scalp probably meant one thing – nits! However, unless you have a child who also has head lice or you spend a lot of time around children, try not to worry too much.
The causes of itchy scalps range from easy to treat skin conditions, to serious health issues that require medical attention. Causes of an itchy scalp include:
Dandruff – Dandruff is another name for the scalp condition, seborrheic dermatitis. Dandruff is thought to be caused by hormonal fluctuations, a yeast overgrowth or changes in the temperature. People with dandruff often experience an itchy scalp and will notice white, greasy flakes of dead skin on their hair and clothes.
Product build up – Don’t want an itchy head? Don’t rush your showers! When shampoo, hair spray, serums and other products are left to build up on your hair, this can irritate the skin and lead to an itchy scalp. Sweat build up can also be a problem, clogging up oil glands and causing you to scratch your head more frequently.
Head lice – Commonly referred to as nits, head lice bite the skin of the scalp and can cause intense itching. A head lice infestation gives you the cringey feeling of something crawling all over your head and will require treatment if you want to be itch free again.
Allergic reaction – If you have suddenly developed an itchy scalp, you may be having an allergic reaction to a new hair product, medication or something else entirely. If you are getting your hair dyed, it is important to always visit the salon for a patch test first, to check you are not allergic to any of the ingredients in the dye.
Ringworm – Also known as tinea capitis, scalp ringworm is caused by a fungal infection and causes several unpleasant symptoms. If you have ringworm, your head will feel annoyingly itchy and you may also notice bald patches forming and a scaly feeling to your skin.
Psoriasis – Unlike dandruff flakes, if you have scalp psoriasis you will have silvery white, powdery particles of dead skin on your scalp. People with psoriasis also often have scaly patches on their head and can find it difficult to resist the urge to scratch the affected areas.
Atopic dermatitis/Eczema – This common skin condition can be found all over the body, including – you guessed it – on the scalp. Eczema is a chronic condition but symptoms can flare up and ease over a person’s lifetime. If you have atopic dermatitis, the skin on your scalp will be itchy, inflamed and dry. Infections are common with this condition, especially if you break the skin from too much scratching.
Skin cancer – Try not to be alarmed, but an itchy scalp can also be a sign of skin cancer. If you notice a new spot, mole or growth on your head, there is a chance this could be a melanoma or other form of skin cancer.
Itchy Scalp Treatments
As you can see, there are so many causes of an itchy scalp, some of them are not a big deal at all and others are more worrisome. If you are here to find out how to banish that pesky itchiness for good, keep reading because we have all the best haircare advice for itchy scalps. As an itchy scalp can be a symptom of more serious health conditions, it would be wise to visit a doctor if you are concerned and the symptoms do not ease after following our tips.
Dandruff can be easily managed with an anti-dandruff shampoo. Some products work better than others and it can take a little while for you to find the best treatment for your scalp. If over the counter products are not helping you to ditch that itch, your GP will be able to prescribe medicated treatments that should be more effective. Topical steroids and antifungal creams can be used to successfully treat dandruff, so contact your doctor if that bottle of Head & Shoulders is empty and your head is still itchy.
Head Lice Treatment
Head lice can be treated with a shop bought head lice treatment. These products need to be applied to your head and scalp and left for a specific amount of time before being rinsed off. It is also important to remove eggs and lice with a nit comb and follow up with a second treatment approximately a week after the first.
Product build up can play havoc with your scalp and sometimes all you need to do is give your hair a thorough rinse after washing it. Make sure you are really cleaning your scalp and removing all of the product from your hair before shutting off the shower. We know nothing beats a shampoo at the salon backwash, but deep cleaning your locks at home too will stop your scalp’s oil glands from clogging up. Also, don’t forget to wash your hair regularly in warm – not hot! – water, this will keep your scalp cleaner for longer and less likely to develop itchy and irritating skin conditions.
Our final haircare tip does not involve your hair at all, but it can work wonders for your scalp. Nutrition plays a big role in our hair and skin health and if you are struggling with an itchy scalp, we suggest taking a moment to reflect on your lifestyle choices. Are you eating too much sugar? Are you getting enough zinc, biotin and other essential vitamins and minerals? Do you need to drink more water? Are you consuming too much dairy or drinking too much alcohol? All of these things can impact the condition of your scalp and sometimes all it takes is a few healthy choices to rejuvenate your skin back to its full health.
Care For Your Hair With Belle Amour!
If you want to take good care of your scalp, you also need to be looking after your hair. At Belle Amour, we offer a wide range of hair treatments that can moisturise and revitalise dry locks, bringing a stunning shine to your hair and keeping your scalp healthy in the process.