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4 Natural Remedies to Relieve an Itchy Scalp

• Feb 6, 2013

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Via MadameNoire.com

Of the many problems that plague women and hair care, a HUGE concern is how to alleviate or get rid of itchy scalp. Sometimes scalp irritations are minor annoyances due to product build‐up or changes in the weather. While no one is excited to see loose flakes of dandruff dotting their clothing, most times this will clear up with a specially formulated shampoo for dandruff. But in other cases, itchy scalp goes from a mild inconvenience to a full‐blown, scalp‐on‐fire, can’t-keep-your-hands-out-of your‐head type disaster of epic proportions. Anyone who has experienced these symptoms knows the pain of scratching or even massaging your scalp to the point that your whole head begins to feel inflamed and tender to the touch. Chronic bouts of itchiness will leave you wondering which came first – are you frantically digging your nails in your scalp as a result of the inflammation, or is the inflammation a result of all the scratching? It is a chicken‐or‐the‐egg conundrum of the worst kind, and at the end of the day, who really cares which came first? All we want is relief.

Luckily, there are a few natural remedies you can try to see if you can finally win the war against the “itchies and the scratchies.”

1. Apple Cider Vinegar

A staple in the world of hair care, when diluted with water apple cider vinegar is used for its clarifying properties as well as its ability to help reduce hair porosity as a rinse due to its low pH balance. It also has anti‐bacterial qualities that make it particularly helpful in treating an itchy scalp that is caused by bacteria build‐up, and against any fungal condition (yeast on the scalp). Yeast don’t like an acidic environment so swabbing the scalp with an ACV solution can be helpful. Just be careful to make sure that you dilute it enough to a level where it is comfortable enough to put on your scalp, or else it will sting like crazy, especially if you have any abraded skin. The raw, unfiltered organic ACV is the best kind.

2. Aloe Vera
In case you decide to try the ACV, consider having some aloe vera gel on hand to soothe any stinging sensations that you may get. Aloe Vera can be used straight from the plant, or the organic gel can be bought commercially. Naturally emollient and calming, it is a great balm for the scalp that will also soften the hair and feed your roots.

3. Tea Tree Oil
Melaleuca  Alternifolia, or simply “Tea Tree Oil” is ubiquitous in shampoos and conditioners for this very condition in large part due to its highly antiseptic qualities. It’s a triple threat to scalp irritations because of its anti‐fungal, anti‐viral and anti‐bacterial properties. Again, Tea Tree Oil should not be used full strength and is best when used with a carrier oil. Which brings us to the next tried and true product…

4. Coconut Oil
Ever seen a moldy coconut? That’s because the capyrilic acid in coconuts inhibit the growth of fungus. Incidentally, caprylic acid is also an active ingredient in a lot of vitamin supplements for women who are trying to suppress an overgrowth of candida (yeast) throughout the body. As always, look for the unfiltered, unrefined, organic extra‐virgin coconut oil, cold‐pressed if possible. It’s especially effective when infused with a few drops of tea tree oil.

Stay Away From This

If you co‐wash instead of using an actual shampoo, this might be a good time to take a break and use a product that won’t just leave more build‐up on your already beleaguered scalp. Do try to avoid shampoos with harsh detergents that will strip your scalp (and hair) of its natural oils, further adding to that dreaded tight and dry feeling. If your shampoo has sodium lauryl sulfate or sodium laureth sulfate as an ingredient, it probably won’t be doing you any favors. Look for shampoos without sulfates and parabens and with nourishing oils that will soothe your skin.

Word to the Wise
One final word of caution: itchy scalp can be caused for a variety of reasons that are not always easy to self‐diagnose. If you are experiencing symptoms that don’t seem to be responding to any treatments, or have broken skin or open sores on the scalp, please see your dermatologist or a licensed trichologist for an accurate diagnosis of your condition. In some cases, professional care may be required, for a complete analysis and evaluation of your diet, as well as any medications

Ladies, how do you relieve your itchy scalp?

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Allison
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Allison

Is this TIDE or is the BGLH????

Val
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Val

-_‐

Ubah Uma Luar
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Ubah Uma Luar

I agree with the brak from co washing!
Now that i took a break for 2 months i definetely noticed my scalp is cleaner and at ease.
For me ‘Yes ‘to tomatoe’s shampoo works wonders for my hair and scalp.

Oh and i never used oils on my scalp.
Now that i do that for 2 months by massaging it on wednesday and saturday noticed even less itch!!

Good Luck BEAUTY’S

D.P.
Guest
D.P.

The only time I ever suffer from any itchy scalp is when I do something that will obviously cause bacteria to arise and don’t use my common sense. 1. When I don’t wash my hair with shampoo. I don’t care what anyone says, you need shampoo to kill the bacteria. Your choice on the shampoo. Most people will say, “I co wash only and don’t use shampoo and I suffer from an itchy scalp”. I shampoo once a week (sometimes once every two weeks, it just depends on my mood) and I rarely if ever am itching my scalp. 2.… Read more »

abi
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abi

looking back i realize i suffered the most when i used too many products, both relaxed and at the beginning of being natural. i was surprised to learn that the answer is just by making things simpler. watch the products you use especially if they are products that cause buildup. watch how you manipulate your hair, especially if you touch it often. you are transferring dirt and goodness knows what else may be on your hands onto your strands and scalp. make sure your is dry, whether you air dry it or you heat tools. if you dont allow your… Read more »

Grey Poupon
Guest
Grey Poupon

ACV doesn’t clarify. Kills the fungus responsible for dandruff but it doesn’t clarify.

merry
Guest
merry

i use acv.

i also sometimes take a 1/4 teaspoon of castor oil and rub it into my scalp.

i clean my hair/scalp with herbs.

Michelle
Guest
Michelle

I massage a mixture of castor, olive and coconut oils with a few drops of both tea tree and rosemary oils added to it.

Dolores
Guest
Dolores

shampoo and water works every time.

df
Guest
df

not for everyone

Her
Guest
Her

Yoghurt helped me once too

shelby
Guest

My scalp gets irritated really easily and I’ve tried the tea tree oil and I use mother acv but sometimes I say eff it and just use head and shoulders. Works fine for me

B. Hutton
Guest
B. Hutton

I have ezcema. A few days after using tea tree oil on my scalp with a carrior oil like grapeseed oil, my scalp rarely itches. My scalp used to have soars, so painful and uncomfortable, I was afraid it would stunt hair growth because of the severity. BUT NOT ANYMORE. been using tea tree oil for about 3 weeks now

@divinelystamped
Guest
@divinelystamped

Why does it seem like my scalp seems to itch more when I use shampoos without sulfates in it as opposed to those with sulfates in them?
Good solutions. I will try your suggestions and diet has a lot to do with it.

Rochelle
Guest
Rochelle

I love this website, I might mix coconut oil and tea tree oil together and use that. I’m ready to take these braids out, I am missing my hair 🙁 .

Cosabella_22
Guest
Cosabella_22

I agree with the missing the hair part!! I’m transitioning, scalp only seems to do the fool as the air gets colder.….warmer times I have no problem ??? I too am using braids as my protectice style and trying to hold out until the end of the month — Good luck!

Lulu
Guest
Lulu

omg this came right on time for me. my scalp was actually itching like CRAZY when I was reading this yesterday. In the past, I had added tea tree oil to my shampoo and it was gone but I had already done this twice in the past week. So yesterday, I first tried mixing TTO with so many oils and my hair was still itching! I think it’s because the TTO I now have is alot less strong. Anyway, I then tried swabbing my scalp with diluted ACV and it was very refreshing and thankfully when it dried, my scalp… Read more »

dirtychai
Guest
dirtychai

Everyone has something that works for them. For me, it’s necessary that I shampoo my hair & scalp once a week. Afterward I massage my hair and scalp with olive oil mixed with tea tree and lavender oil. My scalp needs a little help with moisture, since I have dry skin in general. If my dandruff is acting up, I’ll do an ACV rinse.

Skyless
Guest
Skyless

Ohhhhh my goodness this is good to see. My braids are just itching so badly! I want to wash them but I can’t because they’re comming down this weekend. But I just about want to put my head on a piece of carpet and rub it at this point. I WILL be trying that apple cider rinse.

Brittany
Guest
Brittany

I relieve my itchy scalp by washing my hair with my favorite sulfate free shampoo. Its Palmer’s Olive Oil Formula Anti‐Dandruff shampoo with scrubbing beads

intercessor
Guest
intercessor

I have found that regardless of what I do (I have tried several of the items listed above), my scalp still itches. I clarify (wash)my hair once a month with ACV and Bentonite clay and after deep conditioning and applying Tea Tree oil and sometimes peppermint oil (helps for a day or two) my scalp still itches. I do not use a lot of produce and co‐wash once per week. However,right after I wash my hair (as described above)it still itches. I do not have dandruff (flakes) and my scalp does not feel or look dry. But, my scalp itches… Read more »

RukiyatG
Guest

As many of the comments above noted, you may want to lay off the co‐washing for a while and see how it works for you. Co‐washing once a week may keep your hair soft, but if the conditioner build‐up is causing your scalp to itch and stay irritated it’s not beneficial to your overal hair health. I massage aloe vera gel on my scalp during my pre‐poo and let it sit for an hour or two, this seems to clear my scalp and gets the healthy stuff right down to my hair folicles. I also spray a mixture of liquid… Read more »

Taiwo
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thnku

[img]https://bglh-marketplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/407308_10150533449151818_1502195149_n.jpg[/img]
[img]https://bglh-marketplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/407308_10150533449151818_1502195149_n.jpg[/img]

gangster, badman,soldier
Guest

lol don’t need dis becos i’m a boy

Mel B
Guest
Mel B

Just quietly, check for lice if all of those treatments are not working. I have young children, and I am sad to say that TWICE I have been itchy, my coal tar shampoo has seemed to stop being effective, and then…I found the 8 legged, crawling horror shows. Nearly hurled. But here I share my knowledge with you!

Nubian
Guest
Nubian

Well that is the one thing black people NEVER have to worry about; we don’t get lice.

Mel
Guest
Mel

Get OUT! Really? Why not? I cannot tell you how badly I am wishing we were a black family right now, rather than the Italian/Maltese/English/Welsh mishmash that we see before us.

Meanwhile, I am trying the ACD rinse trick I found on this thread, so that you for that in advance.

Peachez
Guest
Peachez

She should not have said ALL Blacks. Just like not all Whites or other races are susceptible to lice. Many Blacks use thick hair greased & oils. Combine that with the different textures & it almost like a deterrent for head lice. Says nothing for pubic lice (crabs). So that person was just ignorant with their comment.

mellie
Guest
mellie

That is FALSE. black people are just as susceptible to lice than our Caucasian counterparts. Lice can live on any scalp that suits its fancy. Just ask my brother.

Dee
Guest
Dee

Actually, thick, coarse, coily hair (i.e. african american hair and the likes) are less susceptible to getting lice. There are different types of lice like hair, body, and pubis (crabs), and each of these types have different body shapes and claws. What I’m trying to point out is, lice claws over time have developed to hold on better to certain types of hair (thin, downy, fine types of hair). This is why you rarely see children with 3c‐4c thick curly hair with lice. And that’s from my advisor who is an entomologist!

Natural Alternative Remedy
Guest

Dee is spot on. They are less likely, but that doesn’t mean they never get lice. They,and anyone else with hair, can certainly get lice. However, the type of hair and how you care for it makes a big difference in how easy it is for someone to actually get lice.

-Tina

Peachez
Guest
Peachez

Um…yes Blacks do. Who told you that? What you meant to say is that Blacks & other races that use hairgrease & other substances of the like do not get lice. Lice can not thrive when the scalp is laden down with all of that artificial oil/grease/build‐up. But you DO know that not all Blacks have the same hair texture or use the same products right? Please research this more. Know your scalp.

Ashley
Guest
Ashley

You made a very ignorant comment as well Peaches.. I’m black as well but I use absolutely no products other than shampoo & conditioner. I despise grease/oils.. My hair has enough natural oils that those products aren’t necessary.

Nina
Guest
Nina

I have also read that lice have evolved to cling more easily to straight hair (as the person above said she was told by an entomologist) and that is the reason blacks are less prone to lice — not necessarily because of the products we use. That would also explain why some blacks might get head lice anyway as we all have different hair textures.

Amanda
Guest
Amanda

I’ve had lice before and working with kids I’ve treated them for lice at summer camps. This included black children and mulatto children. Being a mixed chick I had the worst lice when I was in grade 5 and that was it. My Mom couldn’t handle it(despite her Jamaican background and her heavy handed skills with a comb) so I ended up with a high top. I definitely would not say that black people do not get lice because it’s not a tried and true fact.

DJ J
Guest
DJ J

I don’t know if you actually had lice, because last time I checked, you cannot see lice with the naked eye.

Michaela
Guest
Michaela

Yes you can, they used to check us for lice in middle school.

Mel
Guest
Mel

Oh yes you bloody can !!!!!!
It’s the eggs that are harder to see

Lora
Guest
Lora

Thanks for the tips, I didn’t realize tea tree and coconut oils could help. I’ll be trying tonight.

Peachez
Guest
Peachez

Me too. Ugh…the itch is SERIOUS in my head. No sores but it just drives me nuts even after washing.

Mona
Guest
Mona

I’ve been wearing my hair in Senegalese/Havana twists for the past two months and noticed extreme dandruff and extreme itching. I’ve come to the conclusion that all the “moisturizing” I’ve been doing has caused more harm than good. Using a daily leave‐in conditioner, combined with sweaty 100+ degree weather, and infrequent hair washing has led to itchy, flakey, crusty, greasy build‐up. Now, I’m washing my hair at least once a week (I’m not sure how that’s going to effect my twists). And, I’m taking it easy on the hair oils, at least during the summer while I’m producing a lot… Read more »

kxlot79
Guest
kxlot79

IDK if this response is too late, but I’d encourage you not to resign your healthy hair journey just yet. A lot of naturals struggle to find what works for their hair, but I’d wager that for those who do, it’s like finally becoming fluent in another language or finding a key to a door you didn’t realize you had. That’s not to say you won’t have your moments, but things will sort of click. As cliche as it may sound, hair management really does get better and easier. As far as your specific issues, its sounds like too much… Read more »

raindrops
Guest
raindrops

Could you be reacting to the hair/ braids too.…

discolady
Guest

not sure whats going on my g son hair is falling out he is only a year old looks like he is going bald form receding like a much older man top of his head the hair is slowly coming out what could it b

El
Guest
El

That is quite typical in young children. Don’t worry, it will grow back!

Mandy
Guest
Mandy

After trying every natural remedy I could get my hands on, Head & Shoulders anti‐itch eucalyptus shampoo did the job for me. I don’t care if this stuff is made from orphaned puppies, it works. Sometimes you need a few chemicals in your regimen. Now I can go weeks ignoring my scalp without any itch. And oiling my scalp gave me the worst dandruff of my life. JC from the Natural Haven wrote an interesting article about it a while back.

Kelli
Guest
Kelli

How long did the head and shoulders take to work, as in take the sever itch away?

Yoli's Green Living
Guest

One cause for itchy scalps.…dehydration. Stay high hydrated with not just water; coconut water, foods rich in water like watermelon, melons, cucumber etc.

Ms. It
Guest
Ms. It

First off if you are wearing any kind of fake hair.…WASH THAT HAIR…before you put it in your head. I put mine in a sink full of HOT water with a teaspoon of bleach and soap that I wash my clothes in. My scalp killed me for years. Felt like I had bugs all over it. Finally started using tea tree oil on it along with washing the fake hair. Completely stopped. Every product I use has tee tree oil in it. Used lice treatments and it never worked my scalp was on fire for about three years. Black people… Read more »

Hairstylist
Guest
Hairstylist

Black people can get lice. There are two different kinds. Look it up. There are the ones that can adhere to our spherical hair and ones that adhere to straight hair. As a stylist I have encountered four children,( all black) with lice. It is rare but it does happen. Please take the proper precautions and teach them not to share personal belongings with anyone.

Diva
Guest
Diva

When I use extensions in my hair, I soak them in AVC & water. You can see the film in the water when you pull them out to rinse them. Especially Kanekalon. I have lived in a house with white people before, every one of them got lice when one of the kids brought it home. I took care of the kids, I never got it. It is VERY unlikely that black people get lice. Our hair is coarser & harder to latch onto for them. I mix tea tree into my coconut oil to help. As a diabetic, I… Read more »

Salima
Guest
Salima

ACV for me. Ever seen a moldy coconut??? Yes…I’ve got 4 unfortunate moldy coconuts on my backstep right now. & who says black people don’t get lice? Not true

KynnaB
Guest
KynnaB

I will purchasing some tea tree oil today, I just put box braids in, and it always makes my scalp itch.… SN… Where did this black people can’t get lice come from? If you a scalp with hair on it you can get lice. I am black with 4c hair and I have cousins who are mixed. When I was younger they got lice and because we were glued at the hip so did I. I was wearing braids at the time and didn’t know about it until a bug crawled down my forehead at school. Lice are the size… Read more »

tosin
Guest
tosin

hmm interesting… yes coconut do get mouldy,
yes black people do get lice ,
been using coconut oil for years don,t think it is for everybody, coconut oil is great for the hair, totally made mine much healthier, but on the other hand, whenever I apply it to my scalp, man it burns .. happens to my dad as well.

Just figured this out, it never once actually helped my scalp issues..

But will be trying tea tree oil and aloe Vera 🙂

ella
Guest

Hey Ya’ll…I’ve been wearing locks for about a year now. Since about 1 month ago, the itches started. No flakes, just incredible itching…mostly towards the back of the head, and alomost impossible at night! Using the same products, no changes there.
Any ideas? I’ll purchase the tea tree and coconut oils to give them a try, but concerned that all of a sudden, this incredible itching began. Again, mostly towards the back of my head. Husband suggestion that old wives tale that since my hair was growing that was causing the itching…

Windy
Guest
Windy

It may be the gale that they use for the locks, I have a friend in school who got locks and ended up shaving his head because they glue was irritating his scalp. It alo mitgh be the weitgh of your hair because it’s more to the back of your scalp. And I’m sorry to say this, but your husband could be right about your hair growing out. Try going to the hair cutters and getting a new due.

Nef
Guest
Nef

I just got my hair done and i was like yes my weave looks great… but for the past couple days my scalp has been itching…I couldn’t get any sleep.. So tonight I said I couldn’t take it any more. I’ve been reading all of the posts and I decided to get up and wash my hair.. I knew I wouldn’t get any sleep until I did.. I used Shea moisture products I went in between the tracks and scrubbed I washed my hair twice… While my hair was wet I applied fantasia tea tree oil…then blow dried it then… Read more »

trackback

[…] I’ve been doing is looking at ways to treat my hair and scalp from time to time. I found this post and as I already had coconut and tea tree oils in my cupboards I gave it a go. This is SUCH a nice […]

RDD
Guest
RDD

Co‐signing with washing ALL added hair that is installed on your head.

Most of the itching is contaminated hair and product build up.

You CANNOT just keep adding oils and products to your hair.

Scalp has to be rinsed at least once a week!

Soak cotton balls with Witch Hazel and go right in there, use cotton swabs, too.

ACV rise, Braggs.

Abstract
Guest
Abstract

Lately I’ve been hearing about people washing synthetic hair. When I was growing up I never heard of that. Why is everyone doing it now? Has there been some change in how synthetic hair is manufactured?

Jenelle F
Guest
Jenelle F

can the apple cider vinegar be used on colored hair without affecting the color ?

N
Guest
N

Just. Want says. THANKS! that’s all!

angelina
Guest
angelina

I did box braids a little less than 2 weeks ago, I’m Caucasian btw, and now my scalp is itching like crazy, is there any way I could get rid of the itch without washing it? 🙂

trackback

[…] Melaleuca  Alternifolia, or simply “Tea Tree Oil” is ubiquitous in shampoos and conditioners for this very condition in large part due to its highly antiseptic qualities. It’s a triple threat to scalp irritations because of its anti‐fungal, anti‐viral and anti‐bacterial properties. Again, Tea Tree Oil should not be used full strength and is best when used with a carrier oil. Read more… […]

trackback

[…] Melaleuca  Alternifolia, or simply “Tea Tree Oil” is ubiquitous in shampoos and conditioners for this very condition in large part due to its highly antiseptic qualities. It’s a triple threat to scalp irritations because of its anti‐fungal, anti‐viral and anti‐bacterial properties. Again, Tea Tree Oil should not be used full strength and is best when used with a carrier oil. […]

Eunijane
Guest

I have never used the apple cider vineger. I should try that sometimes but when applying the aloe vera gel, should I remove it after a couple of minutes or should I just leave in on.

Catherine O
Guest
Catherine O

You can also try using a dry shampoo for dry scalp for daily control of the problem including the itch http://www.ebay.com/itm/Leave-in-Shampoo-/111221810799

Trisha
Guest
Trisha

Peppermint oil also helps!

ania
Guest
ania

I have to disagree with the coconut oil. Studies have shown that it inflames the scalp and hair folicles causing more itchiness. I have tried it myself raw coconut oil and it was horrible. Peppermint oil and emu oil are a lot better.

Soso
Guest
Soso

Second that. Oiling my scalp with coconut oils always makes itch much worse.

Andrea
Guest
Andrea

I followed my hairstylist’s suggestion and used coconut oil too and my scalp is way itchier! It’s a really awful itch I have not experienced much. I mixed up some water, olive oil, and witch hazel this morning and spritzed some on the itchy parts, and that really seemed to help.

trackback

[…] Check out these quick, and easy recipes below from BGLH: […]

Mary
Guest

Nice read. This is very helpful. Good job!

art
Guest

thx

Seidi
Guest
Seidi

Hi, I’m natural 3C. I get my hair done every two weeks (wash/flat iron). For some reason, when I wash my hair it gets itchy immediately. The stylist washes my hair very well so I know that conditioner isn’t being left behind. She uses a Sulfate Free Shampoo. At first I thought it was the deep conditioner (Silicon Mix Bambu) which has a lot of fragrance. I stopped using it and although I feel better, the irritation persists. I do have very sensitive skin so I only use unscented products to wash my clothing and body. I’m starting to think… Read more »

Betty-Alexandria Pride
Guest
Betty-Alexandria Pride

You may want to take allergy medicine. For me, I would have itching spells from head to toe and taking Zyrtec (I use the Wal‐Mart 88 cent kind when I run out) was the only thing that helped. I also have sensitive skin. When I’m not using aloe Vera and coconut oil which helps, I take my allergy medicine. Also, drink more water. I aim for 64fluid ounces to a gallon. When I don’t drink water, my whole body kicks me in the face. I have break outs of acne, dry scalp, and all types of hay fever. It’s serious… Read more »

Esha
Guest
Esha

Well listen I know itchy scalp can be caused by hair growth too. I just got braids in hair already have been washed before I got the done and I am dandruff free.

Betty-Alexandria Pride
Guest
Betty-Alexandria Pride

By the way, with coconut oil and any oil really, you aren’t supposed to leave it on your scalp. Leaving oils on your scalp can cause your hair to a dependence on them still producing sebum correctly. I’m not sure if this supplies to essential oils like peppermint and tea tree, but @greenbeautychannel on YouTube has some informational videos that can really help with these issues. She addresses some of the products mentioned in this post. Coconut oil is not for everyone, some people are sensitive to it. It works for me, but there are a lot of YouTubers out… Read more »

Spacechick
Guest
Spacechick

Thanks. Good article. Leila, please use spell check and grammar check. It would make your article have more credibility.

Yasmeene
Guest
Yasmeene

The thing is my scalp is itchy after many days

of cornrows. I am glad my hair is growing though. Also, it has been more healthier than it used to. I wear my real hair im tired of it being called a weave, it’s not. PS Black women can have long hair.…

shelly
Guest
shelly

i am 63 yrs old had all my hair cut…went natural…and scalp is itcthy…i am daibetic..boardline

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