Imagine you are out dining with friends at a nice restaurant. Your makeup is perfect. Your hair stylist has outdone himself and your hair looks perfect. You’ve selected the perfect outfit to wear. Then it happens. Your scalp starts to itch. You desperately want to scratch, but what will your friends think if you start clawing away at the itch?
The best way to avoid this ugly scenario is to prevent the itch in the first place. To help you do this we’re going to cover the causes of itchy scalp and how to treat it if you should get it.
Causes of itchy scalp
- Dandruff is one of the most common causes of itchy scalp. You probably already know that the root cause of those ugly little flakes adorning your favorite dark sweater is unknown. However, malassezia, fungi that usually lives happily on our scalp without causing problems can sometimes grow out of control. When this happens, the resulting irritation can give rise to dandruff. Other contributing factors to dandruff are stress (see didn’t we tell you to go have fun and relax), oily skin, dry skin, suppressed immune system, allergies and various illnesses.
- Other causes of itchy scalp (and dandruff) include psoriasis and seborrheic dermatitis. Both conditions present with itchy scaly red skin. If you have psoriasis on your body, you are at risk for developing it in your scalp.
- Head lice also cause itchy scalp. Ewwww!
Natural treatments for itchy scalp
- Stress related
If you have itchy scalp without any associated dandruff, consider whether your stress level has been unusually high. If this is the case, you might want to treat yourself to a nice relaxing spa treatment at home or at your favorite spa to settle those jangled nerves. If a crisis is the cause of your stress, calm yourself by the realization that it will pass. Become aware of the thoughts parading through your head that may make the situation worse. Stop and take a few deep breaths. Surround yourself with calming influences such as the right music, calming aromatherapy blends in a diffuser. Take a walk or go to the gym. Exercise changes your brain chemistry in ways that help you relax.
- Allergy related
Whatever you do, make sure any products you use are those you have used before without a reaction. When you’re going out to that dinner party it’s not a good time to allow your hair stylist to use an untried product on your hair.
- Dandruff related
If you have severe dandruff and itching, it might be wise to check with your physician and have your condition diagnosed. If you choose to self treat, there are a number of products on the market to try. I would suggest starting with Head and Shoulders as your first commercial choice. You can also use essential oils to treat the condition effectively.
Add a few drops of Clary sage, lavender, tea tree and peppermint to regular shampoo. Finish with a 50/50 rinse of white vinegar and water. (Not to worry, the vinegar smell dissipates quickly.)
There are many other natural formulations and treatments, but this will get you started. We will be covering others in future posts.
- Head lice
There are commercial insecticides you can use to rid yourself of these pesky little varmints, but for those that want them gone without adding toxins to your skin there’s a great natural remedy.
You will need to mix 50% tea tree and 50% cinnamon leaf (not the bark) essential oils to form a blend. 12 or 13 drops of each will work fine.
- Add 10 drops of your essential oil blend to 50 ml (roughly 3 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon) of 40% alcohol. Use grain alcohol or vodka.
- Rub into scalp and leave on overnight.
- In the morning add 2 drops of the blend to 100 ml (half pint) of a 50/50 mixture of vinegar and water. Rinse hair thoroughly with this mixture.
- Repeat process in 1 week.
Follow the standard procedures for getting rid of lice eggs that may be infesting linens, towels etc.
Itchy scalp and flakes just don’t aren’t a part of the goddess within so they’ve got to go. Be sure and comment on natural treatments that work well for you. We are a community of people who care about helping others. Help us get useful messages to our community.
Now go have fun and relax.