Updated: Sep 13
Is an itchy scalp your nemesis too? Are you on a constant lookout for itchy scalp treatments? Are you one of those women who cringe, embarrassed by those sudden bouts of irritation in your scalp? Ooh, that urge to scratch your scalp no matter where you are! Well, you'll be relieved to hear that you are not alone. I have many clients who want to know how to treat itchy scalp, and for most of them, the solution comes in the form of a change in their hair care habits and in choosing the right hair care products. For some, it could be an underlying condition that can easily be treated, but no matter the cause, one factor that affects them all is using the wrong products. In this blog, we shall discuss the right approach to handling an itchy scalp for women with naturally curly hair.
The Science of Itchy scalp
First, you must understand that your scalp is unique from the rest of your skin. You'd be surprised to know that just one square centimeter of your scalp can be inhabited by up to one billion microorganisms, including bacteria, fungi, and viruses! The presence of hair follicles and sebaceous glands makes it home to a complex microbiome that can be easily disturbed.
You'll be surprised to know that the little things you do in the name of hair care affect this delicate ecosystem. Everything from your pH, temperature, moisture, and sebum content to external factors like the environment, lifestyle, and cosmetic use can play a role. That's why natural, chemical-free, and hair-healthy products are essential to keep everything balanced and get a successful itchy scalp treatment.
What does an Itchy Scalp feel like?
An itchy scalp can indicate underlying conditions like seborrheic dermatitis, dandruff, and more.
Here's what you need to know:
An itchy scalp can feel prickly and tight, with a burning sensation and even pain.
Touching your scalp or hair can worsen the itchiness.
Factors like histamine, sensory receptors, and nerve fibers contribute to itchiness.
You may also see redness, lesions, or flakes on your scalp.
You can also get an itchy scalp with bumps.
Sometimes there may be no visible signs of irritation.
Why scalp health is important for our unique hair type?
We must always remember that naturally curly hair is one of the most unique fibers in the world. The morphological variation in our hair's flexibility and coils causes it to have special requirements. It is due to this reason I created TLP to cater to the specific needs of our hair type.
Our locks have many curly "follicles" that grow in various directions. While this unique growth pattern makes our hair gorgeous, it also means our curls can be more prone to dryness and breakage. Therefore, we must ensure that we follow the proper practices and use the right itchy scalp products to look after our hair.
Here are some tips about how to treat an itchy scalp for curly hair
1. Do Not Over Wash
Washing your hair too frequently with a shampoo with harsh ingredients can remove the natural oils from your scalp, making it dry and itchy. Washing your scalp less often is one of the effective itchy scalp treatments. It is best to use a mild, moisturizing shampoo and wash your hair when needed or based on product usage. This is different for everyone. If you work out daily or sweat in your head, weekly washing is recommended. If you use harsh, heavy, or synthetic products, weekly washing is also recommended. Spot cleansing throughout the week for pomades, specifically around the perimeter, is also recommended. If none of the above, you may be able to push it to biweekly washing. I tell people not to go too long without resetting your scalp and allowing it to rest, so your natural oils can work properly to keep your scalp healthy.
2. Use a sulfate-free, pH-balancing shampoo to cleanse your hair
A disturbed pH balance of the scalp can cause your skin cells to become inflamed and irritated. And that's bad news because it can cause dryness, flaking, dandruff, itching, and even hair loss. Hence, it is essential to use a pH-balancing shampoo.
A Shampoo that I recommend: Loving You - pH balancing shampoo
This all-natural, chemical-free shampoo does it all! This sulfate-free, sud-free shampoo enhances your curl pattern, moisturizes, detangles, and preserves your natural hair texture. It's pH-balanced and gently detoxifies your scalp while cleansing your hair with its gentle, chemical-free formula. Plus, it's packed with natural ingredients like black soap, sea kelp, and Rhassoul clay to reduce inflammation, stimulate hair growth, and treat itchy scalp from sweat.
3. Detox your scalp
Our scalp is like a sponge that soaks up everything we put on it. As time passes, all these products pile up and mess with our scalp's natural balance. That's why we need to detox our hair at least once a month to clear out all the bad stuff and bring our scalp back to its healthy, pH-balanced state. However, if you are actively suffering with some of these issues, detoxing biweekly is highly recommended.
A Hair Detox I recommend: Nice/Thing - a scalp & hair detox
Nice Thing is a gentle and natural hair detox that removes toxins and buildup. It promotes healthy hair growth by nourishing and infusing nutrients, vitamins, and hydrating agents into each hair strand, improving elasticity and strength. It contains Celtic Sea Salt to increase blood flow and eliminate toxins and Basil Oil to stimulate hair growth and scalp health. Nice Thing is perfect for people with dry, itchy scalp, Seborrheic Dermatitis, Eczema, Psoriasis, those transitioning from a relaxer or protective style, and those who wear their hair loc'd.
4. Condition Your hair properly
After shampooing, another itchy scalp product you can try is a gentle conditioner that is chemical-free and leaves your hair feeling soothed.
A conditioner I recommend: Touch of Love - A moisturizing deep conditioner
This deep conditioner for curly hair is an amazing itchy scalp treatment that moisturizes your hair. No matter what type or texture of curls you have, this conditioner will help you maintain its health and shine. It is packed with natural ingredients like slippery elm that soothe your scalp and detangles your hair. Aloe vera is also in there to heal your hair, while rosemary oil fights bacteria and helps your hair grow. Sea kelp is another fantastic ingredient that allows your curls to stay consistent and gives them a better texture.
5. Incorporate Scalp massage as a part of your itchy scalp treatment
An effective way of dealing with an itchy scalp with bumps is to massage your scalp before you go to bed gently. Massaging your scalp stimulates blood flow, which helps to keep your scalp healthy and nourished. It is a great way to relax, unwind before bed, and get healthy, itch-free hair!
A natural hair oil I recommend: Heaven Scent - A hair growth-stimulating oil
Heaven Scent is a hair growth oil that smells wonderful and helps treat various scalp issues. This oil contains natural ingredients such as rosemary and tea tree oil which alleviate scalp issues such as build-up or dry or flaky scalp while stimulating your hair growth at the same time.
6. Avoid using toxic or heavy styling products on your scalp
Don't let toxic or heavy styling products ruin your scalp health! Such products can lead to build-up and bacteria on your scalp. Instead, try out TLP's itchy scalp product called WHIP IT! It's an amazing organic styling butter that adds shine and definition to your curls and moisturizes your hair and skin. This natural blend of butters and oils - like shea butter and mango butter - contains nourishing benefits that can help treat common skin issues.
7. Do not use hot water after conditioning your hair
Naturally curly hair needs natural oils to stay healthy, and hot water can strip them away. Those oils are essential because they keep your scalp hydrated and nourished - both crucial for healthy curls. If you are not careful about the water temperature, it can make your scalp dry and itchy. So, avoid excessively hot water if you are looking for an itchy scalp treatment.
8. Dehydration impacts every part of your body, including your scalp
Did you know that dehydration can affect your scalp too? That's right! To make sure your scalp stays healthy, you need to drink plenty of water. Drinking sufficient water helps keep your skin hydrated and guess what? That includes your scalp as well! So, make sure you drink enough water throughout the day. Not only will it keep you hydrated, but it will also help nourish and moisturize your hair and scalp.
Like I said, if you've ever experienced an itchy scalp, you're not alone. It's such a common condition that 25% of people report it. But there's a tricky part in all this - sometimes there's no visible evidence of irritation on the scalp, making it challenging to diagnose. That's why it's crucial to pay attention to your scalp's signals and address any discomfort promptly.
Properly using itchy scalp products and adopting healthy lifestyle habits are the best itchy scalp treatments you can incorporate. But, if you've tried everything and it's still bothering you or your symptoms are bad, it's essential to seek medical advice from a certified hair care professional.
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About The Author: Paula Bland
The founder of TLP, Paula Bland, is a medically qualified Nurse Practitioner, Hair aesthetician, and psychiatric Nurse Practitioner known for her highly effective hair consultation. Paula has a non-traditional approach to hair care and advocates a chemical-free, natural, and holistic approach. The Love of People is her brainchild, and its products reflect her approach to hair health and have helped women with naturally curly hair manage their curls in a chemical-free and organic way.