How to take care of an itchy scalp

How to take care of an itchy scalp


Some of us have to deal with an itchy scalp which can drive
us up the wall! Apart from going through an embarrassing situation where you
are trying to “discreetly” scratch an itch during a romantic first date or
important meeting, if not properly addressed it can snowball and get
worse.  ‘Prevention is better cure’
right? So in order to prevent an itchy scalp, one needs to understand what can
cause it and then move onto solutions to heal the problem, if it has already
happened. 



See also: Fight Build-Up With Scalp Exfoliation | Check Out Our Picks!

Why is your scalp itchy? There are a number of different
reasons why your scalp might be itchy; one such cause can be skin rashes or
irritations such as dermatitis or seborrhea dermatitis. Lack of moisture or a
dry scalp can not only lead to an itchy scalp but also to dandruff. If you are
not eating a healthy or balanced diet you might be depriving your body of
sufficient water, nutrients, vitamins or other dietary necessities that can
impact the health of your scalp

Over cleansing (shampooing) your hair can also cause your
scalp to be left dry and stripped of its natural oils (sebum). Product build up
or even sweat can result in a dirty scalp or clogged up the pores which can
also contribute to an itchy scalp. One aspect that some might forget is the
ingredients found in our hair products. Regardless of if we are talking about
products that we rinse out (e.g. shampoo, conditioners or deep conditioners) or
those that we leave on our hair and scalp (e.g. leave-in conditioners, hair
spritzes or styling products). Heat or even external elements beyond our
control such as the weather can also factor into the health of our scalp.


Tips to avoid and/or treat an itchy scalp Skin
Rashes/Irritations

The first thing you want to do is consult a dermatologist
or your personal doctor. You might need to take a prescription or ointment to
heal the rashes/irritation and the best person to give you that advice is a
medical professional. From there you can discuss with a medical professional if
whether a more naturalist approach will work for you or not (read below for
some natural approaches).


Lack of moisture

If your scalp feels dry you need to
provide it with moisture (obvious I know). Applying moisturizing ingredients in
“Do It Yourself” (DIY) mixes such as Aloe Vera juice, honey, agave nectar or glycerin
can greatly aid in quenching a “thirsty” scalp. Aloe Vera juice can be a little
drying for some, in this case you can mix it with water, leave it on your scalp
for 5 minutes and then rinse it off. Honey, agave nectar or glycerin are
natural humectants that attract water molecules in areas of high concentration
(humidity) in air to areas of low concentration where they are applied (a dry
scalp). 


Depending on the climate you live in, humectants might actually do the
reverse – mainly if you live in dry colder climates. Instead of drawing in
moisture, they can lead to making your scalp feel dry if there is not enough
humidity in the air so you need to determine for yourself if they will work for
you).


Balanced Diet

Being healthy internally is important for
obvious reasons such as our overall health but you need to remember that
everything related to the body is connected. Having a poor diet and not doing
exercise impacts the body and since our skin is the largest organ covering all
of our body, what’s going on internally is reflected on the outside – our scalp
included. Drinking enough water (average 6 – 8 glasses per day) is such an
essential part of a balanced diet but so too is eating fresh fruits and raw
vegetables. Reducing the amount of sugar, starch, fatty and processed foods and
doing exercise all contribute towards healthy skin as well.


Cleansing 

The overuse of harsh chemicals that can
sometimes be found in shampoos can lead to the stripping of sebum from our
scalp. Try to use sulfate-free shampoos that are milder on the hair and scalp.
You do not need (should not need) to shampoo your hair every day or every other
day, but the frequency will ultimately depend on your hair, the products you
use and how heavy handed you are with products. There are several chemical free
alternatives to shampoo such as Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) that can be used to
cleanse the scalp & hair and actually helps restore the natural pH balance
of the scalp and hair, close our scalp’s 
pores and the cuticle of the hair, all resulting in clean yet not
stripped hair and skin. Natural ayurvedic herbs such as Skikakai and Aritha can
also be used as alternative shampoos.


Product Buildup 

The solution to product buildup is not to
completely strip our scalp dry, but to apply appropriate amounts of products
that work for us without overdoing it. If you exercise a lot and feel like your
scalp is sweaty you can use a light spritz of water with 3 – 4 drops of
essential oil such as tea tree or peppermint directly onto your scalp or onto a
cotton swab to fight through sweat and light product buildup up while at the
same time provide a cooling effect on the scalp. ACV, water and an essential
oil mixture can also be used in the same way (the ACV smell will dissipate once
it dries).

 

Ingredient lists 


In my opinion ingredient lists are
something that is often missed but really important. Sometimes we can buy into
names of products that claim to be “all natural” when in fact the ingredients
in these products are everything but natural! If you are doing everything
“right” but still suffer from an itchy scalp pick up your products and check
the back for their ingredients. Look up words you are unfamiliar with and do
your research on them. 


Also try to get products that at the very least have
water listed within the first three ingredients. You want the natural “good”
ingredients up at the top of the list as this means there is a higher
percentage of them in the product. Silicones, parabens, mineral oil and alcohol
(drying alcohols) are a no-no for some while others do not mind using them,
just remember that the only way to “rid” them from your hair is to do a
thorough cleanse because these ingredients can act like a coat and trap in
dryness.


Heat and weather 

It is not always easy or even possible to
control everything around us but limiting the use of heat on our hair can
actually effect our scalp especially when it comes to hair dryers. Therefore,
reducing the use of heat can help an already dry scalp. The weather is
something we all have to live with, but on days when it is cold and dry, using
a moisturizing scalp spritz might be in order and on days when we know it will
be hot a little less is more.


[By Maicurlsvia Global Couture]

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