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3 Types of Scalp Irritation and How to Deal with Them

Avatar • Oct 6, 2013

natural-hair-madness

I started to notice that the condition of my scalp impacted my hair routine not long after I had my first chemical relaxer. I was 12 when my hair was first relaxed, so the change in my scalp were probably compounded by factors related to puberty. Still, even after I reached adulthood I noticed changes in the condition of my scalp every few years that changed how I cared for my hair.

1. Greasy Scalp

When my hair was initially relaxed I noticed that it became oily rather quickly, something I did not experience before. An oily scalp was in part due to the products that I used as well as the impact the relaxer, a powerful chemical, had on my scalp. Because my hair was straightened, my oily scalp often led to limp, lifeless hair. I actually remember deliberately avoiding moisturizing products because I wanted my hair to remain light and “flowy”. All in the name of vanity my hair suffered. For those who are natural with fine texture, this may be something you’ve also experienced. Be sure that you aren’t sacrificing style in the name hair health.

2. Dry Scalp

Do you have memories of sitting down on the floor while an older female relative thoroughly coated you scalp with grease? I sure do. In retrospect, it’s a fond memory of my childhood because it was time that I spent with my mother. From the perspective of hair health…well, let’s just say I’ve learned that “greasing” the scalp isn’t as vital as I once thought. If you suffer from dry scalp which I began to experience later in my teens, the best way to treat it may not be by using a jar of blue (or green, or yellow) thick, heavy hair grease. Natural oils such as jojoba oil better mimic our natural oils, which don’t clog the  pores of our scalp the way thick hair greases do. Moreover, these oils don’t weight our hair down in the way that heavier oils do, which should of special concern for those with fine hair.

3. Never-Ending Buildup

There are a number of reasons you may experience buildup even two or three days after washing your hair. First, be sure that you are thoroughly cleansing your hair when washing so that all of the conditioner and shampoo you used are removed. I find that very thick shampoos can pose a problem and I refrain from applying conditioner to my scalp after I’ve detangle my hair during my pre-poo routine.  The irritation caused by excessive product on the scalp may cause itching, which makes you scratch your scalp, irritating it further. If you find this to be a continual problem, dilute your cleansing agents. When the pores on your scalp remain clogged it can interfere with hair growth/retention.

Solutions

The solutions to scalp problems not stemming from the misuse of products are varied, and it may take trial and error to find them. Natural solutions like tea tree oil, peppermint oil, grapeseed oil and jojoba oil. Diet also plays a significant role in the health of your scalp. For some women fish oil and flaxseed oil not only have health benefits but also positively impact scalp health. Be sure that whatever you do, you do it in moderation and, when necessary, under the guidance of a health care professional.

 

What solutions to scalp problems have worked for you?

 

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TWA4now
TWA4now
7 years ago

Wow! Good advise! For me, I stopped piling different types of products on my hair and my dandruff has 99% disappeared in addition to co-washing and yes washing my hair once or twice a month!

Dananana
Dananana
7 years ago
Reply to  TWA4now

Co-sign! Using fewer products on my hair between wash days, using diluted shampoo every other wash day (instead of only cowashing), and incorporating tea tree or lavender essential oils in my regimen has banished my itchy scalp.

B
B
7 years ago

Anyone deal with sudden scalp allergies? After years of using all sorts of oils on my scalp problem free I suddenly can’t use any without getting a burning sensation. This reaction has now spread to the use of any hair product (leave ins, DCs…) even when they are not used directly on the scalp but as we all know what is used on the length ends up touching the scalp at times.

Help 🙁

Teetee
Teetee
7 years ago
Reply to  B

You should consult a dermatologist

Maxine
Maxine
7 years ago
Reply to  B

Hey B. Do you shampoo your hair regularly? Maybe your scalp needs to be clarified. That’s my 2 cents. But more information about your regimen would also help to understand what’s going on. I know a lot of naturals say that we should wash our hair like twice a month, but for a lot of people that isn’t practical. I for one must wash my hair about 3 times a week. I exercise daily. I do hot yoga 6 days a week. Plus, I got to college in a polluted urban city where walking is my form of transportation. To suggest… Read more »

JENNID
JENNID
7 years ago
Reply to  Maxine

I agree. Some of us simply must wash our hair more often due to our lifestyles and enviornment. Lol on fire is right. Ive had that sensation more than I care to have. Now I just go ahead and wash. Don’t care how cute the style is holding up or if I got a mad crazy schedule. If my scalp ain’t happy ill be miserable. Oh and due to the fact that I’m back to using a sulfate shampoo I can get by using a light grease on my scalp in the fall and winter with no probe as it… Read more »

B
B
7 years ago
Reply to  Maxine

Thank you! Thank you! I washed with shampoo for the first time in a while and all is fine! No burning sensation and no allergic type reaction, thanks again!

ADRZ
ADRZ
7 years ago

I found out that greasy scalp feeling, never-ending building up, etc. is caused possibly by oiling or put stuffs on my scalp directly because when you touch your scalp with stuffs like oil and co-wash. Anything, they buildup quicker no matter if you just clarify shampoo. So I stopped put stuffs on my scalp , all of that disappear! I only dilute with shampoo like shea moisture black soap shampoo and tree tea, peppermint, or essential oil. Shea moisture shampoo is great because it is made for itchy scalp. I have it for a long long time. Along with

Ivy Victoria
Ivy Victoria
7 years ago

Does anyone else have scalp ezema ? Treatment is so expensive and and I always have to change them or rotate because after a while it doesn’t work anymore , it’s super hard for me to grow my hair out cus of it . Plus my hair is like 4e‑f or something more so moisture is hard for me . Does anyone have suggestions ?

nicole
nicole
7 years ago
Reply to  Ivy Victoria

I experienced a form of scalp eczema for years as a child. Eventually, I had to see a dermatologist my first year of college because my symptoms were so bad. My scalp condition made my hair dry, weak and difficult to deal with. I used the product the dermatologist gave me for about 5 years. I slowly stopped using the medicated shampoo and creams he prescribed to me. And now, I use an oil mix (olive, coconut, lavender,and jojoba oil) on my scalp about 2–3 times a week while I massage my scalp. I do not use shampoos because it… Read more »

mangomadness
mangomadness
7 years ago

For bulid-up, I: unravel each twisted section to rinse shampoo, conditioner, deep conditioner, etc. throughly and I cleanse my scalp with diluted shampoo via a color applicator bottle.

the mane captain
7 years ago

I shampoo my scalp every 2weeks or I do a brown sugar scrub. I also do an ACV rinse. below are instructions for some of the things I do to help calm an irritating scalp.

brownsugar: http://themanecaptain.blogspot.ca/2013/09/all-natural-remedies-for-itchy-scalp.html

reasons why your scalp itches: http://themanecaptain.blogspot.ca/2013/09/why-does-my-scalp-itch-you-could-be.html

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Hillz
Hillz
7 years ago

I don’t really get dandruff but when I do, there is only one cause.. dry scalp. I use Emami amla hair food and it works better compared to oils but I only use it when there is dandruff and its a conditioner so I have to rinse it off. but if my scalp just feels itchy I use debur vatika garlic enriched oil. Once or twice a month after using shampoo I put oil on my hair and let it sit for 30 minutes or over night then I rinse it off with warm water and follow with a conditioner.… Read more »

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