5 reasons your itchy scalp may be itching and how you can fix it
Hair Care

5 Reasons Your Itchy Scalp May Be Itching and How You Can Fix It

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Let’s Find the Culprit to Your Itchy Scalp!

Does your scalp seem to itch nonstop at times? You’re not alone.

Most people deal with having an itchy scalp at some point in their lives, including me! It is very common and easy to treat in most cases. While it may be a widespread issue, that doesn’t take away from the fact that it’s a nuisance to deal with daily.

You scratch and scratch, but it doesn’t seem to go away. How annoying is that?!

towel dry hair

What’s The “root” of Your Itchy Scalp?

So, what causes this uncomfortable sensation that keeps us scratching and continuously in distress throughout the day? Several factors may play a role in having an itchy scalp, so let’s dive into those potential causes.


I know it’s a pain when you notice that you have white flakes all over your dark clothes!

Those white flakes are a result of dead skin cells that tend to fall off your scalp, otherwise known as dandruff. Anything from stress to changes in the weather can cause or worsen the presence of dandruff in your hair.

You may even experience a more severe form of dandruff called seborrheic dermatitis which occurs when your body overreacts to Malassezia, a yeast that lives on your skin.

Seborrheic dermatitis can also lead to red, scaly patches of skin. Doesn’t sound too fun, does it?


Dry Scalp

Another common cause of itchy scalp is dryness which can remove nutrients and oils from your hair.

Harsh chemicals, lack of moisture and weather changes can dry out your scalp and strip it of everything that it needs for nourishment. You can even dry out your scalp by washing it excessively or by experiencing other skin health issues.

Whether you are dealing with dehydration or changes in your overall health, a dry scalp will always lead to an itchy scalp.



If you find that your scalp is not only itchy but also appears to be reddish and scaly, you may suffer from scalp psoriasis.

This skin disorder can cause patches of the skin on your scalp to raise and turn red while looking similar to dandruff. Although there is no apparent cause for psoriasis, it is known as an autoimmune disease that can likely be hereditary.

Residue Build-Up

We all expose our hair and scalp to various forms of dirt and grit throughout the day. Being out in the heat and working out also causes you to sweat which gets trapped in your hair and scalp.

Build-up doesn’t always come from dirt and sweat – it can also come from natural oils and leave-in hair products. Residue build-up happens to us all now and then, so it is essential to keep your scalp as fresh as you can in between washes.

sebum hair build up

Sensitive Skin

Have you noticed that your skin is super sensitive which causes your body to react to specific products that you use?

That could also be the case for your scalp. Check the ingredients listed on the hair products that you use and make sure you are not using anything that could potentially cause you to have an allergic reaction. You can find many allergens in hair products that do not interact well with a lot of skin types, so make sure you know what you’re coming into contact with at all times!

Sometimes we use the wrong products. Companies design all hair products specifically for a particular type of hair. Make sure you research any product before trying it out, especially if your skin is sensitive.

Take the time to find the products that are best suited for your hair and scalp before committing to them.

Stop Scratching and Start Healing Your Scalp

If you’re experiencing any of the scalp conditions described above, don’t worry – there are plenty of solutions that can help you take a step forward to having a healthier scalp!

Add More Moisture to Your Scalp

One of the most important things that you can do to improve the health of your scalp is to make sure you are getting the proper amount of hydration.

There are several hydration methods that you can incorporate into your hair routines such as deep conditioning, hot oil treatments and the simplest of them all, drinking lots of water!

While it is highly discouraged to wash your hair too often, try developing a weekly wash routine. That will allow you to cleanse your hair and add moisture without stripping it of its nutrients. For a better conditioning experience, make sure you are using the right conditioner for your scalp.

moisturize hair

Try Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil, derived from the Melaleuca alternifolia tree, is an essential oil that is used to treat many skin conditions.

This oil can be used to fight against fungi, bacteria and various viruses that affect the skin because of its antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. Try it on your scalp by using tea tree oil-infused shampoo or by adding a few drops to a bottle of shampoo that you already use.

Get Your Daily Dose of Vitamins

If you want a healthier scalp, you must improve your health.

One way to achieve a healthier lifestyle is to make sure your body is getting all the vitamins that you need for flawless skin. Many vitamins, such as Zinc and Vitamin D, have proven positive effects on skin cells. They help reduce the presence of skin disorders while also protecting skin from heat and DNA damage.


Seek Guidance from a Dermatologist

For more severe scalp conditions like psoriasis, please visit your dermatologist to receive a treatment plan.

Most dermatologists will recommend medicated shampoos that can be purchased over-the-counter to control any skin disease that you may have. If your scalp doesn’t improve, they will provide you with a stronger solution such as a topical steroid.

When in doubt, it is always best to seek help from a dermatologist because they are the skin experts!

Beautiful young hairdresser giving a new haircut to female customer at parlor

No More Itching

Continually scratching your itchy scalp is annoying and can hinder you from enjoying your daily activities. I encourage all of you to pay close attention to your scalp and treat it with care. Just like any other skin on our bodies, our scalp needs proper care as well!

About Michaela Carter

Michaela Carter is an Atlanta-based blogger for www.adashofmichaela.com, an inspirational-lifestyle blog. She is a recent college graduate from Georgia State University where she received her Bachelor's Degree in Journalism and her Master's degree in Marketing. Michaela also works as a Communications Specialist for a State of Georgia agency, specializing in social media management and content writing.

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8 thoughts on “5 Reasons Your Itchy Scalp May Be Itching and How You Can Fix It

  1. Shanta Erskine says:

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    Oo wow I have to try the tea tree oil on my hair because I’ve had itchy scalp for years & I feel like nothing helped. I’ve tried mint shampoos, dandruff shampoo nothing seems to help. But I will be using the tea tree oil & see how it helps me out *crosses fingers*.

  2. Karl says:

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    When I have an itchy scalp, I make a garlic cleanser with fresh grated garlic, olive oil and a little conditioner, massage it in and wash it out. and it does not leave a garlicky smell haha.

  3. Malika Brown says:

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    I agree that a Dermatologist should be the first line of defense if the flakes on the scalp are wet, crusty, or looks like raised lesions. Untreated dandruff or psoriasis can lead to permanent damages to the hair follicle and who wants that!

  4. Khaylin Williams says:

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    Having psoriasis is the worse. I’ve been dealing with it for a while myself and have tried a variety of things that did not help or just made it worse. Out of everything I have used the mixture of “coal” or/and “pine” tar extract with peppermint oil, lavender oil (which I mainly use to kill that smell the tar extract)and coconut oil with either my deep conditioner or I just use it as a hot oil treatment has worked the best. Another thing is to make sure that you watch out for products with a lot of alcohol in them which causes a lot of dryness to the hair and scalp.

  5. V-Chanti Carson says:

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    I have dry scalp but I think it’s due to lack of water. I use grease to accommodate it but it eats it up quick. More vitamins and water should help.

  6. Dimitra says:

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    For my dry scalp, I started using Paul Mitchell special tea tree shampoo and conditioner. I like to shampoo then let the conditioner sit for at least 3-5 min before I rinse. It helps me a lot.

  7. Crystal Medina says:

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    I experience seborrheic dermatitis and ever so often I get a flare up especially due to my stress level or diet. It can cause hair thinning and hair loss, which I have also experienced.

    Having a lot of sugary foods and dairy and not drinking enough water can make flare-ups worst and also around that time of the month because your hormones might be out of balance all can contribute to this condition.

  8. Erika Davies says:

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    Keeping your scalp moisturized is key!! I normally oil my scalp 2-3 times a week and I make sure that I drink plenty of water. I’ve learned that lack of water can also affect the health of your scalp. These are great tips to follow if you’re having an itchy scalp, or if you’re curious of ways to improve the health of your scalp.

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