Eight tips on how to deal with this annoying and hugely irritating condition
A persistently itchy, flaky and inflamed scalp is such a tricky condition to deal with. The constant urge to scratch is maddening but also embarrassing. Anyone with young children will know that the first thing that springs to mind when someone has an itchy head is nits, so any frenzied scratching can really give the wrong impression! Embarrassment aside, a tingling, itchy scalp is hugely irritating and so hard to ignore. Some people with sensitive scalps are constantly aware of the skin on their heads which feels tight, burning and tender to the touch and for many, this is a problem that goes on for years. Fortunately, it is also a problem that can be managed or even completely cured with a few simple steps, the most common one being to swap your shampoo and conditioner for products that don’t contain any perfume, parabens or colourants. The skin on your head is much thinner than the skin on the rest of your body so it can be more vulnerable to the chemicals found in many hair care ranges. We’ve put together a list of ways to soothe a sensitive scalp and to stop an itchy scalp from raising its ugly head – if you’ll excuse the pun…
- Avoid hot showers and baths. Super hot temperatures can strip away the natural oils that keep your scalp happy. Try to use warm water rather than piping hot water when you’re washing your hair.
- Try a natural hair mask. Like your face, your scalp can get dried out and irritated so give it a face pack with some blended avocado and banana or some olive oil mixed with a touch of raw honey. Follow with a gentle shampoo and conditioner like Neutral 0% that is ideal for all skin types, but specially formulated to suit sensitive skin and scalps.
- Leave your hair to dry naturally. If you can leave the hairdryer in the drawer a couple of times a week, your scalp with thank you for not blasting it with hot air and yanking at it with a brush.
- Some haircare ranges contain harsh ingredients that strip the scalp of its natural oils leaving it prone to sensitivity and inflammation. The Neutral 0% range contains no perfumes, parabens or colourants, so it’s a great choice for anyone who wants to avoid irritation.
- Take your time when you wash your hair. Using gentle massage when you wash your hair is a great way to really make sure you’re cleansing the scalp effectively and also clearing any flaky skin that might have built up and that could be causing your head to itch.
- Look into food allergies. It is possible that a red itchy scalp is a reaction to a food or food group that you’re allergic to. Some people find that dairy exacerbates a sensitive scalp. Try cutting out foods for a good few weeks that you suspect might be a trigger to see if there is any difference.
- Relax. Stress can often cause itchy flare ups. The more stressed you are, the more you scratch, the more you scratch, the worse the condition, the more stressed you are… And breathe!