Home remedies for itchy scalp

An itchy scalp, also known as Scalp Pruritus, is a common problem among individuals that causes significant discomfort, with frequent scratching being the most common symptom. An itchy scalp may also lead to skin infections, swelling, redness, balding, and damaged hair.

Causes:

  • Unwashed hair: When the hair isn’t washed frequently enough and becomes oily, skin cells build up on the scalp that causes itching and may subsequently lead to dandruff.
  • Dandruff due to fungi or seborrheic dermatitis: Dandruff is commonly caused by a fungus and is described as the whitish, greasy flakes that appear on the scalp and hair, causing itching and redness. Dandruff is also associated with Seborrheic Dermatitis, which occurs when an excessive amount of oil is produced by the oil glands in the scalp, resulting in inflammation and redness.
  • Scalp Ringworm (Tinea Capitis): It is caused by contagious fungi, which can overgrow under specific circumstances and cause itching, inflammation, black dots, hair loss etc.
  • Head Lice: Head lice cause intense itching due to a reaction of the skin with the lice saliva. It mostly affects children, but can be seen in adults as well.
  • Contact Dermatitis: This occurs when your scalp comes in contact with a specific shampoo, or heat styling product. The skin becomes red with papules and vesicles.
  • Psoriasis: It is a chronic condition that results in plaques i.e. raised red scaly areas on the skin. 
  • Allergic reaction to the medication
  • Excessive anxiety and stress
  • Improper diet

 Home Remedies For Itchy Scalp

Tea Tree Oil:

Tea tree oil is extremely rich in antifungal, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial properties. It nourishes the scalp, eliminating dryness, while simultaneously getting rid of clogged hair follicles.

Directions of use:

  1. To 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil, add a few drops of tea tree oil and massage it onto the scalp.
  2. Let it be on the scalp for 1 to 2 hours and then wash it off with regular shampoo and water.

OR

  1. Use a tea tree or oil-based shampoo, or add a few drops of it to your regular shampoo while washing your hair.

Coconut oil:

Coconut oil moisturizes the scalp, therefore, reducing dryness and itching. It is also rich in anti-bacterial properties, which help in getting rid of infection-causing fungi and avoiding infections like scalp ringworm.

Directions of use:

  1. Apply slightly warmed up coconut oil onto the scalp and massage it into the hair roots.
  2. Let it be on the scalp for 2-3 hours, or even overnight, allowing the scalp to absorb in the oil.
  3. Subsequently, rinse it off with a mild shampoo and water.

OR

  1. Add a few drops of coconut oil to your shampoo while washing your hair.

Lemon juice:

Lemon juice is particularly useful in getting rid of dandruff, due to its anti-bacterial properties. It acts as a cleaning agent by removing the bacteria that cause itching. 

Directions of use:

  1. Apply freshly squeezed lemon juice all over the scalp. In case of sensitive skin dilute the lemon juice with the help of some water or yogurt.
  2. Leave it for 10 minutes on the scalp and then wash it off with a mild shampoo and water.

Aloe vera:

Aloe vera is rich in anti-microbial as well as moisturizing properties that relieve the scalp from itching and dryness. It also has large amounts of anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties along with enzymes that help in getting rid of accumulated dead skin cells. 

Directions of use:

  1. Apply freshly squeezed gel from an aloe vera leaf and apply it onto the scalp.
  2. Leave it on for 15 to 20 minutes, and then wash it off with all my shampoo and water.

OR

  1. Alternatively, the packaged gel can also be used.

Apple cider vinegar:

Apple cider vinegar is rich in antifungal and antibacterial properties that create an inhospitable environment for fungi to grow thus, reducing infections. It acts as a cleansing agent by exfoliating the dead skin cells that accumulate on the scalp and cause itching. It also balances the pH level of the scalp, subsequently reducing diners and itching.

Directions of use:

  1. Wash your hair only with water, thoroughly, and let it dry completely.
  2. Mix equal quantities of apple cider vinegar and water and transfer the solution into a spray bottle. Spray the solution onto your scalp and massage it in.
  3. Leave it on for 15 to 30 minutes and then wash it off with a mild shampoo and water.

Baking soda:

Baking soda works to exfoliate the skin, thus, reducing dandruff that is caused by overactive fungi. It also balances the pH level of the scalp, preventing redness and itching.

Directions of use:

  1. Apply a paste of baking soda and water directly onto the scalp.
  2. Leave it on for 10 to 15 minutes and then rinse it off with water.

OR

  1. For effective results, apply or little olive oil to the scalp before putting the paste of baking soda and water.

Onion juice:

Onion juice contains antibacterial, antifungal, and anti-microbial properties that keep the scalp infection-free, providing relief from itching due to dandruff and ringworm. The antioxidants present nourish the scalp and reduce inflammation.

Directions of use:

  1. Extract the juice from one or two onions by grating or peeling it, and with the help of a cotton ball apply it to the scalp thoroughly.
  2. Leave it on for 20 to 30 minutes and then wash it off with your regular shampoo and water.

Witch Hazel:

Witch hazel is a natural astringent as well as an antibacterial agent that treats an itchy scalp by reducing inflammation and getting rid of the infection. It particularly reduces the negative effects of hair colouring and blow-drying on an itchy scalp.

Directions of use:

  1. Add one part of Hazel oil to two parts of water, and massage the solution onto the scalp.
  2. Let it be on the scalp and hair for 5-10 minutes, then wash your hair well

Chamomile Spray:

Chamomile is rich in anti-inflammation properties that help in reducing redness and itching of the scalp. It also soothes an itchy scalp, relieving it from other hair ailments as well.

Directions of use:

  1. Add a handful of chamomile flowers to 2 cups of water and boil it, and let it steep until the color of the water changes.
  2. Strain the solution after it cools down, transfer it into a spray bottle, and refrigerate it.
  3. Spray the solution onto the scalp whenever you experience itching, for instant relief.

Eucalyptus oil:

Eucalyptus oil helps in fighting off scalp infections due to its richness in antiseptic and antifungal properties. It works towards eliminating dandruff i.e. one of the main causes of an itchy scalp, by preventing the accumulation of residue and cleaning out clogged pores on the scalp. It can also be used to treat mild psoriasis.

Directions of use:

  • Add 3 to 4 tablespoons of white vinegar and 1 teaspoon of eucalyptus oil to 4-5 cups of water and mix it well.
  • Apply this mixture onto the entire scalp and leave it on for 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Subsequently, wash your hair with a mild shampoo. 

Jojoba oil:

Jojoba oil is rich in moisturizing properties that penetrate the scalp, healing and hydrating it. Its easy absorption into the scalp helps to reduce the itching caused due to dryness while making the hair softer and shinier.

Directions of use:

  1. Massage jojoba oil directly onto the scalp and leave it on for 2 to 3 hours or even overnight.
  2. Subsequently, wash your hair with a mild shampoo and water.

Sesame seed oil:

Sesame seed oil is rich in healing properties. It acts as a natural lubricator, nourishing the hair, by knocking down the moisture and preventing dryness of the scalp. It also effectively removes head lice and reduces the itching caused due to them.

Directions of use:

  1. Apply warm sesame seed oil onto the scalp and massage it in.
  2. Leave it on overnight and wash your hair with a mild shampoo and water the next morning.

Oatmeal:

Oatmeal is rich in soothing moisturizing, as well as nourishing properties. These properties lock the moisture onto the scalp, reducing dryness and alleviating itching.

Directions of use:

  1. Mix 1 tablespoon of oats, raw milk, and almond oil each, and apply the mixture onto the scalp and along with the hair.
  2. Leave it on for 20 to 30 minutes and then wash it off with a mild shampoo and water.

Neem oil:

Neem oil is rich in anti-microbial and antiseptic properties. It is an effective remedy to treat dandruff and other scalp conditions as it gets rid of the infection that causes itching. It helps and keeping the scalp healthy, making the hair smooth and shiny as well.

Directions of use:

  1. Add 6 to 8 drops of neem oil into 2 tablespoons of coconut oil and mix it well.
  2. Put this oil onto the scalp and hair and let it be for 15 minutes.
  3. Subsequently, wash your hair with a mild shampoo.

Banana and avocado:

Banana and avocado are both rich in moisturizing as well as nourishing properties that treat inflammation and dandruff to eliminate an itchy scalp. Both, combined together, help in strengthening the roots and maintaining a healthy scalp.

Directions of use:

  1. Mash 1 to 2 bananas and 1 mature avocado and mix them well.
  2. Apply the paste onto the scalp and hair and leave it on for half an hour.
  3. Subsequently, wash your hair with your regular shampoo and water.

Orange peel:

The high amounts of vitamin C and citric acid present in orange peel help prevent the excretion of excess oil, which is one of the main causes of an itchy scalp. It acts as a cleansing agent and also conditions the scalp and hair.

Directions of use:

  1. Peel the orange and add freshly squeezed lemon juice to it, and mix both the ingredients in a food processor to obtain a smooth paste.
  2. Apply this paste to the scalp and leave it on for 30 minutes.
  3. Wash your hair with a mild shampoo.

Olive oil, mayonnaise, and broccoli purée:

Olive oil serves to reduce excessive oiliness from the scalp and hair; mayonnaise works to get rid of lice while hydrating the scalp and adding shine to the hair; and broccoli purée acts as a cleansing agent by getting rid of accumulated dead skin cells on the scalp, thus, reducing itching.

Directions of use:

  1. Make a paste of ½ a cup of broccoli by adding some water, and combine it with an equal amount of olive oil and mayonnaise to make a paste.
  2. Apply this paste to the scalp and leave it on for a few minutes.
  3. Thoroughly rinse your hair.

Listerine:

Listerine is commonly used as a mouthwash due to its rich anti-septic and anti-microbial properties. These properties also help in getting rid of an itchy scalp, by reducing dandruff and treating infections caused due to yeast and fungi.

Directions of use:

  1. Add ½ a cup of Listerine to ½ a cup of water and mix it well.
  2. Apply this mixture onto the scalp and leave it on for five minutes.
  3. Wash your hair well with mild shampoo and water

Argan oil:

Argan oil has various nourishing as well as moisturizing properties that help in maintaining a healthy scalp. These properties prevent scalp infections and make argan oil an effective remedy for the treatment of psoriasis.

Directions of use:

  1. Apply argan oil onto the scalp while gently massaging it in.
  2. Leave it on for 2 to 3 hours or overnight, subsequently washing it with a mild shampoo.

Aspirin:

Aspirin helps to get rid of itching call you to dandruff. Its richness in salicylic acid is what helps reduce flakiness on the scalp. It also acts as a cleansing agent, exfoliating the scalp of the accumulated dead skin cells.

Directions of use:

  1. Add finely crushed powder made from two aspirins into your regular shampoo, and wash your hair with it, massaging it in.
  2. Let the shampoo be on the scalp for a few minutes, then wash off with water. In case you completely want to get rid of the aspirin, wash your hair with plain shampoo once again.

Precautions:

  • If lemon juice is used regularly for a long period of time, it can lighten the hair colour.
  • Undiluted onion juice can cause irritation and discomfort to certain individuals. If this occurs, mix it with olive oil and then put it.
  • In case of any open lesions on the scalp, do not use Listerine.
  • If the itching does not decrease or improve with the use of home remedies, consult a doctor.

Myths and facts:

Myth: The scalp has the ability to clean itself, therefore a regular wash isn’t important.

Fact: Your hair cannot clean itself. A regular wash is a must; else the hair will get dirtier causing an irritated and itchy scalp.

Myth: Dandruff has nothing to do with hair growth.

Fact: Research has shown that a flaky scalp can have a negative impact on hair growth. The thick flakes clog the hair follicles thus resulting in fallout.

Myth: Head lice prefer long hair.

Fact: Head lice thrive on all kinds of hair i.e. short, long, clean, or dirty.

Myth: All flakes on the scalp are a sign of dandruff.

Fact: Not all flakes are associated with dandruff. Seborrheic dermatitis shows itself as thick, sticky, yellow coloured flakes on the scalp; while psoriasis is an autoimmune condition, which causes the build-up of dark plaques.

Tips for a healthy scalp:

  • Gently brush your hair daily.
  • Avoid using chemicals and harsh shampoos.
  • The body should remain hydrated throughout the day, especially during summers. This can be done by consuming 1-2 litres of water every day.
  • Follow a balanced and nutritional diet.
  • Avoid hot water for rinsing your hair.
  • Avoid over washing your hair.
  • Dry your hair properly after each wash.
  • Limit the use of hair styling products.

OTC products effective for itchy scalp:

  • Shahnaz Husain Sha Henna Scalp Cleanser – It contains the real goodness of henna, Brahmi, and shikakai, and controls excessive oil secretion, therefore reducing itching.
  • Khadi Herbal Neem Sat Shampoo– it contains neem, lemon, Brahmi, tulsi shikakai, amla and methi seeds, which moisturize the hair, and help to get rid of an itchy and irritating scalp.
  • Neutrogena T-gel– It is a tar-based shampoo and coal that works to slow down the process of flaking of the skin cells, thereby, reducing dandruff. 
  • Schwarzkopf Bonacure Scalp Therapy Deep Cleansing Shampoo– It acts as a cleansing agent by controlling excessive oil secretion on the scalp, removing existing buildup, and nourishing the scalp and hair.
  • Himalaya Tea Tree & Aloe Vera Anti Dandruff Shampoo– it contains herbal ingredients that aim to vanquish the root cause of dandruff, while soothing and moisturizing the head as well.

Frequently asked questions:

Question: How frequently should I wash my hair?

Answer: Not more than twice a week if you use traditional and regular shampoos. However, if you have extremely greasy or oily hair, it can be washed on every alternate day. 

Question: Is dandruff contagious?

Answer: No, dandruff isn’t contagious. You cannot spread or catch it.

Question: Is it true that the more often I shampoo, the cleaner my hair will be?

Answer: No, excessive use of shampoo can dry out the scalp, causing itching and irritation. 

Question: Does my diet impact my scalp and hair growth?

Answer: Yes, your diet can have an impact on your scalp and hair growth. If you do not get proper nutrients, or remain hydrated enough, your scalp will remain unhealthy and be a hospitable environment for yeast and fungi to grow, resulting in infections.

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published.