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View Full Version : Unbearably itchy scalp



eri401
September 5th, 2011, 10:39 PM
I'm having a bit of a problem here.

Since summer began, I began washing my hair daily and I switched from Garnier Triple to a Whole Foods non-sulfate shampoo soon after. However, I also started getting a very itchy scalp - unbearably itchy actually.

Initially I thought it was because my scalp had not re-adusted to frequent shampooing (ie too dry?) but I experimented and this is not the case. It is the END of summer now and the itchiness is still there.

Then I thought it was the new shampoo irritating my scalp. I alternated with my familiar shampoos but nothing helped. It seems unlikely given how gentle the Whole Foods brand is, too.

It is not dandruff as my scalp is not oily and I don't have 'flakes.' Still, I used a dandruff shampoo today and my scalp started to itch as soon as I got out of the shower.

I am not losing hair (not more than usual), have not changed anything else in my diet, and do not have unusually hard water. Nothing else has really changed other than the weather + gentle shampoo.

What is going on?!? :(:confused: Does anyone have any self-diagnosis tips?

xoerincolleen
September 5th, 2011, 10:43 PM
I don't know what could be causing it, but have you tried doing an ACV rinse? Those help calm the itchies for me.

McFearless
September 5th, 2011, 10:47 PM
Do you have gunky, thick sebum build up on your scalp?

I second the acv rinse. It took me two weeks of frequent use(3 times a week) before the itchies stopped. Dandruff shampoos won't help you I don't think.

Mairéad
September 5th, 2011, 10:47 PM
I certainly am not qualified to lead anyone to a diagnosis of anything. But, I could give you ideas to try. How about you try ACV rinses? I hear these can help with scalp itchies.

Also, what conditioner do you use? My mom has scabs and itchiness on her scalp and using cone-less and SLS-free products seemed to help her problem. Have you tried using a no-poo method? Or at least alternate no-poo washes within your routine? If you've only begun washing this frequently your scalp may be overworked.

emelnd
September 5th, 2011, 10:49 PM
Maybe you should see a dermatologist. Unbearably itchy is very itchy :)

eri401
September 5th, 2011, 10:55 PM
Thank you all for the ACV tip. Hmm...


Do you have gunky, thick sebum build up on your scalp?


Yes? I am washing frequently so there isn't much buildup BUT the other day in the shower, I realized I had sebum under my nails after I washed my scalp. That was unusual and I thought my gentle shampoo was maybe too gentle to effectively wash my scalp. So I have been washing with a sulfate shampoo once a week (just a cheap Suave in lieu of a chelating shampoo). It hasn't stemmed the itchies that much though.

McFearless
September 5th, 2011, 11:03 PM
Yes? I am washing frequently so there isn't much buildup BUT the other day in the shower, I realized I had sebum under my nails after I washed my scalp. That was unusual and I thought my gentle shampoo was maybe too gentle to effectively wash my scalp. So I have been washing with a sulfate shampoo once a week (just a cheap Suave in lieu of a chelating shampoo). It hasn't stemmed the itchies that much though.

I co wash to keep my hair happy but I still get that gross, chunky sebum buildup occasionally that I didn't when using an SLS shampoo. What helps is a scalp massage with olive oil before washing. It really loosens up all the build up. In the shower I scritch the scalp very lightly with my nails to remove whatever build up wasn't washed away.

eri401
September 5th, 2011, 11:06 PM
I co wash to keep my hair happy but I still get that gross, chunky sebum buildup occasionally that I didn't when using an SLS shampoo. What helps is a scalp massage with olive oil before washing. It really loosens up all the build up. In the shower I scritch the scalp very lightly with my nails to remove whatever build up wasn't washed away.

Ahh so it is the build up that is causing the itchiness?

I will try this and see if it works. Thank you all! LHC to the rescue of my hair (again) :)

McFearless
September 5th, 2011, 11:22 PM
Ahh so it is the build up that is causing the itchiness?

I will try this and see if it works. Thank you all! LHC to the rescue of my hair (again) :)

Well thats the case for me. Good luck and let us know if it works for you :)

ccmso12
September 5th, 2011, 11:39 PM
perhaps get a lice check also?

julliams
September 6th, 2011, 01:02 AM
When my scalp was like this I discovered that it was actually dry dry dry. I dipped my fingers in olive oil and massaged them into my scalp all over. I literally stopped the itchiness that day - it simply stopped. I have never looked back.

Desideira
September 6th, 2011, 01:57 AM
If it very itchy I woudl advice tos ee a dermatologist or trichologist.

Iswitched form normal shampoo to sls fre and it helped me to reduce itchinees but it took weeks before it happend.I also observed that my skin dont like parabens. Its make my skin tichy too.

Its also possible that you ahve some allergic reaction-it can be fragrence, artificial color in shampoo or conditioner. But its just my guess.

Maybe you could try to use very gnetle baby shampoo that has no frnagrance, parabens, artificial colors, slsl?
and try it eveyday for few weeks. That what helepd me the most. I used Hipp babyshanft shampoo. The itchiness was graduatl and slowly dissaperning.

You can also try cammomile rinses.
ACV rinse is nice too

I hope it will get better
:)

florenonite
September 6th, 2011, 03:06 AM
It is not dandruff as my scalp is not oily and I don't have 'flakes.' Still, I used a dandruff shampoo today and my scalp started to itch as soon as I got out of the shower.


Dandruff shampoo makes my scalp itch like nothing else. It also does sound as if your scalp might be dry if it's itching as soon as you get out of the shower. Do you have eczema? That would certainly contribute to a dry scalp.

Otherwise it could be a fungal infection or skin disorder, both of which require a dermatologist.

indiana
September 6th, 2011, 05:50 AM
There's another thread right now about thick, waxy sebum on the scalp. I think that your itchiness might be related to that - I know my scalp itches when I skip washes and the buildup starts.

I follow good hair care practices and still need to wash daily to avoid greasiness and build up (and the inevitable itchiness). I'm hoping to find a suggestion that will work in my case. ACV has not helped. In fact, the only thing that helps is daily washing.

cheetahfast
September 6th, 2011, 06:59 AM
I agree with the posters that suggested olive oil. I personally would add one or two small drops of tea tree oil as well, it really gets rid of itches.

Charybdis
September 6th, 2011, 07:26 AM
Sounds like seborrheic dermatitis. Some people find that it worsens if they use a sulfate-free shampoo, some find that it gets better. There can be a fungal component to seborrheic dermatitis, and sulfates have mild anti-fungal properties. It sounds like your scalp may prefer a shampoo with sulfates (mine does).

I second the recommendation for massaging the scalp with oil before washing. That helps my itchies as well, even though my seborrheic dermatitis is basically under control these days. Back many years ago when my seborrheic dermatitis was really bad, the only medicated shampoos that helped were Denorex Extra Strength and Neutrogena T/Gel, both of which contain coal tar. Head and Shoulders was worse than useless.

Anje
September 6th, 2011, 08:57 AM
Have someone (family, friend, doctor, etc.) look at your scalp. At least to rule out lice and obvious irritation like eczema. Eczema and psoriasis both like to show up on scalps sometimes and both can be itchy.

Lianna
September 6th, 2011, 10:23 AM
Perhaps go back to the routine you had when you didn't have the itchies. Was it SLES? If so, perhaps your scalp is better with it.

I'm another one who gets the itchies with scalp build-up.

spidermom
September 6th, 2011, 10:32 AM
Another thing you can do to make sure you're getting your entire scalp clean is use a shower comb over the scalp only. I would mix my shampoo in some warm water, squirt it all over my scalp, then comb over the scalp (not the length) with my shower comb. Move the comb over a little bit each pass so that you get the entire scalp.

You can also mix a little oil into your shampoo solution.

Washing every day sounds like too much; I think my scalp would get itchy and dry if I did that.

headtrip_honey
September 6th, 2011, 10:34 AM
Another thing you can do to make sure you're getting your entire scalp clean is use a shower comb over the scalp only. I would mix my shampoo in some warm water, squirt it all over my scalp, then comb over the scalp (not the length) with my shower comb. Move the comb over a little bit each pass so that you get the entire scalp.

You can also mix a little oil into your shampoo solution.

Washing every day sounds like too much; I think my scalp would get itchy and dry if I did that.

It depends on what's causing the itch. If it's sebum build up related, then washing every day may be necessary.

I personally have to wash every day (with a GENTLE sls free shampoo) otherwise I get nasty build up and itch.

allycat
September 6th, 2011, 10:49 AM
I second or third the lice check. I've had two occasions that have given me itchy scalp. The first, not so bad, was a slight but constant itching that turned out to be solved by acv rinses - pH adjustment on scalp. That itch is always solved instantly with acv.

The second bout last year was what I would describe it as "unbearable." I thought I was going to go CRAZY from that itching! That turned out to be lice. Frustratingly it took me weeks to diagnose it because I'd never had lice before, and my son who had the itching first was checked out by the school nurse 4 times and I was even checked out by my own physician. Nothing. Until one afternoon I was closely inspecting my bangs in the mirror and found my first nit. A friend looked at my nape and confirmed. I was covered in bites and nits. How the dang doctor and school nurse missed it I'll never know.

Anyway, I feel for you and hope you get your itching solved too!