Suffering from a dry, itchy scalp is obviously no picnic. The itchiness can be maddening – especially for people who have to deal with this frustrating problem day in and day out. It can even be embarrassing. Think about being in a business meeting or on a first day and continually scratching your head. That wouldn’t make too good of an impression.
So, if you have this issue and you’re afraid of damaging your hair by using a special shampoo with harsh chemicals or medications, there are some natural remedies you might want to try.
Reasons Why You Get an Itchy Scalp
There are a few reasons that dryness of the hair can get so troublesome.
One of the most common is dandruff, an inflammatory reaction to an overabundance of yeast on the scalp.
Psoriasis, a condition affecting the immune system, is another culprit. This disease can result in scaly patches on the skin. Another common reason for an itchy scalp is ringworm, a fungal infection that causes a rash.1
Thankfully, there are many natural substances you can use in order to reduce your itching. Here are just a few.
1. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is a potent liquid with powerful antibacterial properties.2 You have to be careful to only use diluted apple cider vinegar, however. Mix about 2-4 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar with 16 ounces of water. Shampoo your hair as you usually do and then pour the mixture all over your head. Leave it in for a couple of minutes and then rinse out. Make sure to keep it out of your eyes to avoid irritation.3
2. Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil can help you find relief from an itchy scalp and might also help clear up a dandruff problem.4 It’s gentle, but it packs a punch. It can kill fungal infections that can lead to scalp dryness without damaging hair.5 But while tea tree oil is generally considered safe, you need to be careful not to swallow it, because it can be toxic.6
3. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is another effective remedy for an itchy scalp. It not only kills bacteria, it also kills the Malassezia fungus, which is a known cause of dandruff.7 Leave your hair damp after washing as usually then massage two tablespoons of warm coconut oil into your scalp. Wrap your head in a towel and let the oil sit for about 30 minutes. Rinse and shampoo as normal. Do this one or two times a week.
4. Onion Juice
Onions also have antifungal properties.8 They contain sulfur, an ingredient found in some lotions used to reduce dandruff symptoms.9 Put a couple of onions in your blender or juicer to extract the juice. Then pour it into a bowl and apply the mixture to your hair. Keep it on for about 30 minutes before rinsing. Then shampoo as normal. Try this once or twice a week to see if your itching goes away.
5. Lemon Juice
Lemon juice contains acetic acid, which can help reduce itching. In fact, acetic acid is often used to help relieve itching in the ear canal.10 Pour or spray some lemon juice on your scalp and leave for about 10 minutes before you rinse it out. You can try this daily until your itching and dryness go away, but you need to be aware of the fact that it might lighten your hair color.
6. Olive Oil
One of the best ways to restore your hair to its previous shine – and to make your scalp healthy in the process – is to use olive oil. It’s not only a natural moisturizer, it also contains properties that help to inhibit the development of harmful bacteria.11 Heat up a cup of olive oil in the microwave, until it’s slightly warm and massage into your scalp. Use a towel to cover your head and leave the mixture in for about 30 minutes before rinsing out with shampoo.
7. Aloe Vera
This is a great moisturizer that can eliminate much of the dryness that can make your scalp itch. If your problem is due to psoriasis, it’s even more important that you find an effective solution. The reason is that if you scratch your scalp too often, that could result in hair loss. Aloe vera has been shown to help reduce symptoms people suffering from the condition.12 This gentle liquid has also been shown to help reduce the itching associated with dandruff.13
Using aloe vera is very easy. Just massage some into your scalp and let it sit for about 20 minutes. Then wash your hair as normal. Do this one or two times a week to make sure your scalp stays properly moisturized.
8. Jojoba Oil
Jojoba oil is effective for an itchy scalp.14 Warm a teaspoon or two of the oil, pour in a bowl and then massage into your scalp. Let it set for about 30 minutes before rinsing it out.
Honey is not only great for sweetening your tea, it can help get rid of your itchy scalp as well. According to one study, participants who applied honey to their hair saw an improvement in symptoms associated with dandruff.15 Honey has antimicrobial properties that may help relieve itching.16
It’s incredibly simple to use honey on your hair. Wash your hair as you normally would and leave it damp. Then mix honey with a splash of water to thin it out. Massage it into your scalp for about three minutes and let it sit for two hours. Try this once a week to see if your symptoms subside.
Soothing exercises such as yoga help people manage stress. This, in turn, helps improve blood flow to the scalp and other areas of the body that itch.17 Talk to your doctor and then to a yoga trainer. You need to not only make sure your body is up to the task, you also want to make sure you do this in the safest, most effective manner possible.
When to See a Doctor
As with any type of itching, there are a few signs that you will need to see a doctor if your scalp continues to give you problems. If it doesn’t improve after a couple of weeks after using one of the above remedies, get medical help.
You’ll also need to see a doctor if the itching is so severe that it interferes with your sleep or other aspects of your life. Itching accompanied by fatigue, sudden weight loss, or fever could be the sign of a serious health issue.18
Itchy Scalp Begone!
While the remedies for an itchy scalp listed above are generally considered to be safe, you should still speak with your doctor. Get medical clearance first to make sure that there’s no chance they might negatively interact with any medications you’re taking.
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Crack an Egg…on Your Head!? (awesome DIY egg hair mask recipes)