A considerable number of the population suffers from the well-known condition called itchy scalp. It’s a very annoying and stressful experience, but it can also be perilous and lead to hair loss if not treated properly and on time.
In the following few lines, you’ll discover what’s the connection between an itchy scalp and hair loss, the main culprits for their emergence, as well as how to prevent them.
What is an Itchy Scalp?
An itchy scalp, or so-called scalp pruritus, is a common condition that prevails worldwide among both men and women. The reasons for this condition are plenty, and it’s usually followed by bumps, scaly patches, and even hair loss. Once the structure of hair follicles is disturbed, hair loss can occur.
But the good news is that if itchy scalp is treated correctly and on time, hair usually regrows, restoring the previous volume and glow.
What’s the Connection Between an Itchy Scalp and Hair Loss?
Although they can arise separately, we can find a thin line between these two conditions. Here’s what connects them most often:
- Allergic reactions to hair products can cause scalp itching, damage hair follicles, and lead to hair loss.
- Scar tissue formed after hair loss can lead to itching.
- If you scratch your scalp aggressively, you are likely to damage your skin and hair follicles, which automatically leads to hair loss.
It’s vital to mention that hereditary hair loss has nothing to do with this topic. In these cases, itching won’t be the main culprit for your hair loss, but guess who will? Heritage!
What Causes an Itchy Scalp and Hair Loss?
Before we move on to this section, it’s good to know that average hair loss is between 50 and 100 hairs a day. This is what you see while combing and washing your hair.
However, if you notice that you lose more hair than usual or crusty spots on your scalp, it’s undoubtedly a sign of alarm!
Here are the main culprits for an itchy scalp and hair loss:
- Dandruff, also known as seborrhea, occurs when oil glands on the scalp become overactive. This is the most common enemy of the majority of men and women worldwide. Seeing it on your black shirt or a new black dress can be very embarrassing, but the dandruff problem doesn’t stop here. It’s also one of the most frequent reasons for itchy scalp. Dandruff rarely leads to hair loss, only if left untreated for a long time.
- Allergic reactions to hair care products can irritate the scalp and cause itching. In most examples, these reactions are temporary, and the best solution is to change the shampoo respectively other hair products, such as conditioner, gel, or hair dye. However, if the irritation continues, it can damage hair follicles and lead to hair loss. The cause of allergies is usually a chemical called paraphenylenediamine (PPD), one of the ingredients found in many black hair dyes. Irritation is usually treated with creams or medications, and in most cases, leaves no severe consequences.
- Psoriasis is an autoimmune disorder that gives rise to red, dry patches, typically on the elbows, trunk, knees, and scalp. If it appears on the scalp, it may lead to hair loss only if a person with psoriasis has scratched the scabs and they have fallen out. Instead of the scab, the bald spot will appear.
- Scalp ringworm is a fungal infection that damages the hair follicles and leads to hair loss. Fortunately, it is successfully treated with antifungal creams that help hair grow and restore its former shine.
- Folliculitis. As the name implies, Folliculitis is the inflammation of hair follicles provoked by bacterial or fungal infections. They are characterized by itching and temporary hair loss—the solution is antibiotics or antifungal medications.
- Stress is the primary source of many health conditions, including this one. Some life-changing events may cause itchiness and potentially lead to hair loss. The solution to this is to give your best to avoid stressful situations. If that’s not possible, you can always take a good, long walk, which is excellent not only for the health of your hair but also for your well-being.
Medical Treatments for an Itchy Scalp and Hair Loss
If the annoying itching doesn’t stop and you lose a lot of hair daily, it’s time to see a doctor. Medical treatments vary on the origin of these conditions, ranging from steroids, antifungal creams, and immunotherapy to minoxidil, finasteride, and hair transplantation.
Of course, an expert will give you the right solution according to the nature of your condition.
Natural and At-home Treatments for Itchy Scalp
And now, let’s see what you can do to prevent an itchy scalp and hair loss. Here’s how to help yourself when it comes to this condition to avoid potential hair loss:
1. Healthy foods.
The vital ingredients for your scalp are as follows:
- Vitamin A, D, E
- Amino acids.
However, you should be cautious with these supplements and take them only if you’re 100% sure that you have this condition. Otherwise, excessive intake of these nutrients may lead to hair loss!
2. Targeted shampoos.
If you, for example, suffer from dandruff, you should utilize hair products that prevent and remove dandruff, such Root Vitals Shampoo
3. Treat your hair gently:
- Gently apply the shampoo without aggressively rubbing your scalp.
- Let your hair air dry. The less heat you use, the less likely you are to lose hair.
- Do not keep your hair tightly tied in a ponytail all day long. Instead, give your hair a little breather.
4. Allow yourself to enjoy a scalp massage.
Scalp massages increase blood flow and stimulate hair cells leading to an increase in hair thickness.
When to See a Doctor?
In the subsequent few cases, it would be best to visit the doctor immediately:
- If itching interferes with your sleep;
- If you notice crusty patches;
- If your scalp burns to the touch;
- Excessive hair loss that results in bald spots all over your scalp.