Have you ever let your hair loose from a tight ponytail to ease the tightness, but felt it still tighten? Or have you noticed more dandruff than usual and an itchy scalp? Is your scalp tender to the touch? All of these problems are different signs that you have a sore and sore scalp.
There are many factors that contribute to itchy scalp, some more serious than others. And surely it is not nice to have an itchy scalp that is sore? Fortunately, there are various treatments that help if you have a sore scalp and relieve your pain & itching of the scalp.
What does it mean to have a sore scalp?
Having a sore scalp is usually characterized by dandruff, itching, irritation, redness, pain to the touch, and in some cases an infection or medical condition.
Scalp sensitivity can come and go, but because hair is unique and hair care is so individual, it’s important to know your individual reasons for experiencing scalp soreness. Read on to find out what could be causing your itchy scalp and what treatments are available when you have a sore scalp that you can incorporate into your hair care routine to ease your pain.
Possible causes of an itchy scalp
If you experience an itchy scalp, it is often the result of a skin condition or sensitivity to a hair routine. Let’s dive into some of the most common causes of itchy scalp and what symptoms they have.
Dandruff is a very common condition characterized by flaking of the scalp. Luckily, it’s not contagious, but it can feel awkward and embarrassing. Flaky scalps can be irritating, leading to excessive itching that can result in a sore scalp. If you want to eliminate dandruff effectively, an anti-dandruff shampoo may be what you need.
Allergic reaction to ingredients
Ingredients in products you use can be the big culprits of your skin sensitivity, without you being aware of it. You may be using products that contain generally irritating ingredients or specific ingredients that don’t go well with you or your scalp’s pH level, leading to scalp soreness and pain.
When you have been out in the sun for a long time, you may notice that you have gotten an unwanted tan. While most of us remember to use SPF on our bodies, we may forget that the skin under our hair is also exposed to the sun. Have you ever burned your leg? I have, and it’s neither pretty nor fun. Your skin will probably be sensitive for a few days until the burn subsides or until the outermost layer of skin peels off (also not fun).
If you have hair extensions, they can cause an itchy scalp. Extensions weigh your hair down, and the extra weight can lead to an itchy scalp. Scalp irritation and itching can then occur, and that’s when you know the pain in your scalp is caused by your hair extensions.
Tension headaches or tightening hairstyles
Trendy slicked back hairstyles are very in right now. Unfortunately, the tightening they cause can lead to scalp pain. If you often have your hair up in a tight knot or ponytail, that could be the cause of your tension headaches.
Hair washing routine
How often you wash your hair can play a big role in your sore scalp. Itchy scalp can be caused by washing your hair too often, especially if you use shampoos with sulfates. It could be that you are depriving your scalp of natural oils. Itchy scalp can also be because you don’t wash your hair often enough, so extra oil builds up on your roots and causes you to have greasy hair and a sensitive scalp.
Irritation from bleaching or other chemical treatments
Scalp itching can be caused by regular hair coloring or the use of harsh bleaching products. Hair dyes and bleaches are very drying and often damage the hair, causing your scalp to become sensitive, red or irritated.
Reasons where medical care may be needed
Some causes of scalp soreness may need to be treated by a doctor. It includes causes, but is not limited to, conditions such as:
- Psoriasis – This is a skin disease that causes itchy, scaly patches. The spots can be mildly uncomfortable or painfully sensitive. There are treatments but no known cure.
- Folliculitis – Hair follicle inflammation, which ultimately causes sensitivity in the area, is called folliculitis. Although most mild cases go away on their own, severe cases require antibiotics.
- Eczema – Eczema is also known as dermatitis, and is characterized by dry, itchy skin with rashes. It is linked to skin inflammation, and can make your scalp especially sore.
- Alopecia areata – This condition has symptoms such as patchy hair loss or baldness. Although the hair loss from alopecia areata is usually not permanent, there is no cure for the condition. If you think you are affected, you can read more about alopecia here .
How can you be treated when you have a sore scalp?
I understand that you want to stop itchy scalp. So how do you get rid of symptoms of having a sore scalp or an itchy scalp? Which treatments help if you have a sore scalp, varies from person to person. Figuring out what is causing your pain is the first step. Then you can more easily deal with your problems such as a sore scalp.
If product residue build-up or scalp flaking is your biggest problem, the best thing you can do is stimulate your hair follicles by using a good scalp exfoliator in the form of a good scalp scrub . Many people are aware of the importance of exfoliating the skin to remove dead skin cells that have accumulated. The concept is the same for a scalp scrub. Work the scalp scrub into your hair using your fingers, or better yet, a scalp brush to exfoliate away build-up. Plus, stimulating your hair follicles is great for hair growth! This is the ultimate self-care treatment if you have a sore scalp!
Avoid harsh hair treatments
Take a break from chemical treatments, extensions and harsh ingredients that can irritate and make your scalp even more sore. Avoid hair extensions that weigh down the scalp as well as bleaching or toning the hair. Embrace your natural hair for a while to give your scalp time to recover and give it a chance to ease the soreness.
Choose natural hair care
The ingredients in your hair products may be the root (pardon the pun) of your itchy scalp issues. Choosing natural hair care products can be the best route to take when looking for something gentle on your hair. Check the ingredients list on your shampoos and conditioners to see if they are organically certified or formulated without any allergenic perfumes, sulfates, silicons, or drying alcohols. The simpler the ingredients, the better for the scalp.
How careful with accessories
If hair bands and tight ponytails are the cause behind your itchy scalp, you should replace the hair bands with a product that is gentler on your hair. I love these hair rings because they don’t damage my hair, but still hold my hairdos in place. And the best part about them? No scalp pain!