12 Whys and the solutions
Taah! taah! taah! You are at it again. Your scalp is itching. I mean you just washed your hair a few days ago. And you even used an anti-dandruff shampoo.
To even make things worse, the tempo of this weather is getting higher/hotter. The pillow soaking season is here. E come be like say you dey oven. Hot cake😅
If you would like to find a solution to this really uncomfortable situation, continue reading. I mean, this life is hard enough to even add an itchy scalp on top.
I have had a taste of this national cake, called itchy scalp. I have a very sensitive itchy scalp. It is the catalyst behind my countless experiments and years of experience in hair care.
Did I find the solution to my itchy scalp? Yes! I can help you find the solutions to yours. To find the solution to your itchy scalp, you must know the cause. From there you can tackle your problem properly.
First you have to understand that all itchy scalps are not dandruff. There are various reasons why your scalp can be flaky and itchy. They include
- Dry scalp
- Product buildup
- Wrong use of products
- Wrong Use of Bonnet
- Not washing properly.
- pH imbalance from using black soap, baking powder and relaxers
- Scalp allergies from products
- Using stale mixtures, expired products, and unhygienically Stored products
- Dirty wigs, bonnets, pillowcases and other hair tools
The key to solving your itchy scalp is identifying which is which. Of course for professional advice, it's best to see a trichologist and a dermatologist.
It is determined by your body’s sebum production (natural hair oil). The quantity of this oil can give you a peaceful scalp or a headache. A dry scalp causes itching. It can get worse during harmattan.
2. Product Buildup
Contrary to popular belief, dirt does not make your hair grow.
In your mind, you might compare yourself to someone you know that carries her hair for 3months without washing.
Please don’t. It’s not healthy.
Your scalp is different from other people’s scalp.
You sweat more or you use more products, so you need to wash more often.
Your scalp is itchy because you sweat and the sweat mixes up with your products and dumps on your scalp.
This is normal. Wash your hair!
If you use a lot of products or apply products daily, you should expect buildup faster. That means you need to wash more regularly. Like once a week or biweekly. It will be unrealistic to want to carry that style for months without itching.
If you exercise or sweat a lot, you have to wash your hair more regularly.
If you haven't clarified in months, do a scalp clarification. There is dirt your regular sulfate free shampoo cannot cleanse, that builds up over time. Your clarifying shampoo is there to deeply cleanse and free your scalp from itching.
3. Wrong Use of Products
Applying creams, conditioners and butters on your scalp is one of the reasons your scalp is itchy. Your scalp pores are too small. As a result, the butters or creams and conditioners simply clog your pores.
They don't allow it to breathe. When your scalp produces sweat that mixes up with these products, it itches you.
Microbes exist on your scalp. When you apply cream and conditioners on your scalp, you are feeding them. And they in turn itch you.
Additionally, over generously applying oils on your scalp may cause itching due to growth of microbes.
Products that go to your scalp are
1. shampoos and
However, if your scalp itches when you apply oils(like myself) then don't put oils on your scalp.
Heavy oils and butters might also cause your scalp to itch. I'm a victim of this. I don't use butters anymore.
4. Wrong Use of Bonnet
A bonnet is worn to protect your hair at night. Over wearing your bonnet or wearing your bonnet all through the day might create an unhealthy environment for your scalp.
This equals an itchy scalp. Your scalp is skin. It needs to breathe.
5. Not Washing Properly
There is a proper way to shampoo. Section your hair so you can focus on your scalp.
Use your finger pads, not your nails. Preferably use a scalp massager. It cleanses better than my hands for me. I love a squeaky clean scalp😅
How to know if your scalp is clean?
After the first wash, use your nails and scratch your scalp to see if it is clean. If it is not, shampoo again.
Make sure your scalp is clean. Not shampooing properly will result in itchy scalp because your scalp is not clean.
6. pH Imbalance from using Black Soap, Baking Soda and Relaxers
Your scalp’s pH level is acidic. Black soap, baking soda and relaxers are Alkaline.
When you use black soap or baking soda to wash your hair, you are disrupting your hair’s pH level. This results in an itchy scalp. I’ve suffered from this as well.
So unless you are sure your favorite vendor included a pH balancer in her black soap shampoo, I think you should stick to sulfate free shampoo.
Read more here to make an informed decision
nappilynigeriangirl: THE PROBLEM WITH BLACK SOAP FOR NATURAL HAIR
Hi people, what's been on? In my last post, I explained why natural hair care is not expensive. In the bid to make…
Also, when you use relaxers without using a neutralizing shampoo to balance your pH level, you might experience an itchy scalp.
7. Scalp Allergies from Products
If you are allergic to an ingredient in a product, most times your scalp reacts by itching. It could be the dye, relaxer or ingredients found in your shampoo, like sulfate.
How do I know if I am allergic?
You will have to confirm your allergy with a trichologist or dermatologist. Or expose yourself to the product and observe.
My scalp reacts to sulfate(of course I experimented with this to have this conclusion). It itches whenever I use shampoos that contain sulfate.
Even if it is an anti-itch or anti dandruff shampoo and it has any of the sulfates, my scalp will itch.
8. Using Stale Mixtures, Expired Products, and Unhygienically Stored Products
Stale mixtures: I know you want the best for your hair and most times you do certain things out of ignorance. One of those things is mixing water, oils, leave in, etc in your spray bottle.
Microbes grow easily where there are proteins, fats, vitamins, etc. These nutrients are found in your Products. When you mix these products in water, you water down the antimicrobial preservatives that were meant to prevent microbial growth.
Microbial growth results in infection and itching. A mix of leave in, oils, and water in a spray bottle left for more than one day will cause itchy scalp.
To find out what to do to prevent this, click here. It’s time to unlearn.
Expired products: Check the expiring dates of your products. Expired products will cause itching. The fact that a product claims to be natural doesn’t mean it’s okay. Double check.
Unhygienic storage: You might be into making DIY oils like I was in 2017-2019, which is a good thing. But this can turn into a bad thing if your oils go rancid(especially carrot oil). It could that there was liquid in your storage bottle, etc
When microbes grow on your natural oils and butters, they degrade them. They also release waste products which may be toxic and irritate the scalp- Nappilynigeriangirl.
Scalp irritation=itchy scalp.
9. Dandruff: Dandruff is when there is an infection of an oily scalp by a small fungus called Malassezia furfur. It is characterized by itching and flaking of the skin on your scalp. Environmental factors may worsen during winter or harmattan.
Dandruff does not occur due to poor hygiene. Dandruff is not Build-up.
It's best to visit a dermatologist to know the underlying cause of your dandruff. So you can treat it effectively.
10. Head Lice Infestation
Lice are small parasites that suck blood. The bites of the lice result in itching. Repeated scratching of the scalp results in injury. Bacteria may grow in the injury resulting in infection.
11. Dirty Wigs, Bonnets, Pillowcases and Other Hair Tools
Your wigs and bonnets get dirty from your body sweat and product buildup. If you don’t wash these things that you use regularly it’s going to cause an itchy scalp.
Psoriasis is an autoimmune skin condition that causes scaly, itchy, and painful patches to appear on the skin. This is what it looks like on a black person.
To find out how to diagnose this condition and how to treat it, click on the link below.
You can so add scalp inflammation caused by tight hairstyles. Yes! Painful and tight hairstyles can cause itchy scalp.
This list is not exhaustive of the causes of an itchy scalp. I am not a trichologist, so everything I teach is from my personal experience, personal experiments and research.
For professional advice, please visit a dermatologist or a trichologist.
Herbs I have used for my itchy scalp include Ayurvedic herbs like Neem, fenugreek and hibiscus. I use them as a mask after shampooing.
I use an ayurvedic shampoo that contains Reetha. This shampoo is so effective, I named it the itchy scalp police. There are tons of reviews on this product but I’ll just share of them
The month has ended and you can start March with an itch free scalp. All you have to do is send a message to the link below.
We can come up with short term goals and long term goals that will help stop your itching. I can only help you if you take action by clicking the link below
End February and start March with a bang! Not a banging scalp 🌚