Itchy Scalp Treatment: What Can You Do?

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If you suffer from itchy scalp, you know it can be painful and embarrassing. Just remember you are not alone thousands of people have an itchy scalp. There are hundreds of reason why your scalp can itchy – below are the top few. Most of these are easy to rule out but sometimes your problem can be more complex than others.

Dirty Scalp

If you suffer from oily hair than sebum builds up on your scalp very quickly. This over production of oils builds up on your scalp causing it to itch. It itches because dead skin and the oils on your scalp mix together and harden. Many people mistake dirty scalp for dandruff but it is not. The best thing you can do it prevent this is washing your hair at least every other day. This will prevent the build up of oils, dirt and gunk. If you have really oily hair, look for a shampoo with Zinc PCA in it. This will help regulate the oil glands in your scalp and help reduce the amount of sebum produced.

Dry Scalp

If your scalp does not produce enough oils it will tend to by dry. You can tell if you have dry scalp because the flakes will be very tiny and thin. Once your scalp gets to dry it will itch terribly and tend to be sensitive like a minor sunburn. The most common causes of dry scalp are due to washing the hair to much. If you have naturally dry hair and wash your hair daily, it will tend to make it dryer. Scalp damage due to heat. Using heating tools excessively will dry your scalp out. And weather with high wind will take the moisture out of your hair. Look for hydrating shampoos that contain emu oil to help fix dry scalp.


Extreme stress can change the hormone levels in your body causing the skin and scalp to become dry. This can last for days or even months at a time. The best way of dealing with it is by using a moisturizing shampoo or try to relax.

black-woman getting hair treatment

Neurogenic Excoriation

This is extreme scratching. It can physically damage your scalp and cause thinning hair and scalp infection.

Scalp Fungus

When you have a fungal colony develop on your scalp it will start with itchy irritated skin that starts to flake. The flakes will appear yellowish in color and sometime thick. Your scalp will become inflamed in areas and extra oily which is good for the fungus because that is what it is feeding on.

Scalp Dander

Dandruff is also caused by oily scalp. It is were your scalp becomes irritated and sheds the top layer of dead skin. It also can happen on your eye brows as well. Hormones play a huge role in dandruff that is why it is most common in teenage males. Bad eating habits can also affect it as well. Again weather can play a big role with flake production so try to stay out of extreme heat or cold.

Washing your hair with a sulfate free shampoo will help moisturize your scalp and ease the irritation, so will an emu oil based shampoo. Wash your hair in semi warm water to prevent further irritation. Stay away from harsh chemical shampoos like coal tar. Look for shampoos that contain Zinc PCA, Emu Oil and Shea Butter. Also try to avoid hair products that are alcohol based or contain mineral oils. These products cause tiny chemical reactions on your scalp that can irritate it worse.

As we stated earlier, diet has a lot to do with your scalp health.  Remember you are what you eat. So stay away from any kind of sugars and fried foods. And try to eat as much vegetables, lean meats and whole grains as possible.

UV Exposure

Having a sunburn on your scalp can cause it to itch. Even if you have a thick head of hair your scalp can burn, so if you are going to be outside for long periods of time cover up your head.

Scalp Acne

This one is pretty apparent as it shows up as tiny red bumps on your scalp and are cause by clogged follicles so find a good cleansing shampoo to help get rid of them.

Staphylococcus Aureus

Also know as follicutlis, it is cause by a bacterial infection on your scalp. It can spread easily but is also easily treated by an anti microbial shampoo.

Herpes Tonsurans

Also known as ringworm of the scalp.  It is a fungal infection that can lead to hair loss if not treated. It appears as dark specks on your scalp. Often it leads to thick yellow flakes and very sensitive and inflamed skin. It spreads very easily but is also easily treated.

Pityriasis Amiantacea

Is a scaly disorder where large gray scales develop on the scalp around the hair shaft. It can cause hair loss but is very rare. It is easily treated with antibiotics.


There are two main types of lice, body lice and crab lice. Head lice are very common and are most often found in children. You can tell it is head lice by finding the small egg sack or nit attached to the hair shaft and seeing flea like creatures in the hair. They are easily treated with lice shampoo.


Is a type of autoimmune deficiency that causes some skin cells to grow fast. This is very common on the scalp as it appears as crusty flakes that are sore to the touch. This disorder reside in small areas or encompass the entire body. It can be triggered by stress or injury. It is treatable, but can take time and patience.


It also know as dermatitis or inflammation of the skin in certain areas. It is a minor allergic reaction which often appears as a rash. It is common in sulfate allergies.

As you can see there are numerous reasons why you may be experiencing an itchy scalp.  The good thing is that an itchy scalp is easily treated and very common.  So, if you follow the treatments outlined above, it should be no problem getting rid of your itchy scalp.