An itchy scalp can be caused by many things – from psoriasis to not thoroughly rinsing shampoo. Here are some solutions to help ease a flaky or itchy scalp.
5 things you can do to soothe your flaky, itchy scalp
Some factors, in addition to a change in the seasons, can cause dry scalp, including stress, certain shampoos and hair products, and dietary deficiencies.
1. Use gentle but soothing shampoo and conditioner
The first is to avoid chemical-based shampoos and wash thoroughly using our natural mānuka oil-infused shampoo on your itchy scalp. Our shampoo is formulated without Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) or other potential scalp-irritating ingredients. Instead, our Shampoo is full of natural ingredients that will cleanse and nourish your scalp and hair. Mānuka oil is anti-bacterial and anti-fungal making it very effective for treating dandruff by unclogging pores in the scalp and helps rid your scalp of irritating chemical residues left behind by other shampoos and products.
Our second top tip is to gently massage your scalp when you shampoo your hair. This will help to loosen flakes without leaving your scalp damaged or irritated. In addition, leave the shampoo on the scalp for upwards of two minutes - this is to allow active ingredients like mānuka oil to clear the scalp and skin of bacteria.
3. Rinse well
Always rinse your hair well when using shampoo and conditioner. It sounds obvious but some products, particularly ‘body building’ or ‘strengthening’ ones can leave deposits on your skin or hair and are hard to rinse out fully. If you like using these types of products, use our deep cleansing Manuka Biotic Shampoo every other or every few washes to really cleanse your scalp and hair.
4. Try a natural remedy
If you have an excessively flaky, greasy scalp, you may also like to try this natural remedy. Start by massaging your scalp with jojoba or coconut oil with 1-2 drops of mānuka oil for at least 30 minutes before shampooing. This calms the oil glands in your scalp, which release too much sebum to cause greasiness.
Using a natural conditioner with rich hydrating botanical oils like Argan oil, Olive oil, Avocado oil, Vitamin E and B5, for instance, will help soothe the most sensitive scalps. Most importantly, it will help restore your scalp’s moisture levels if they are out of whack.
5. Investigate your diet and vitamins
Dietary deficiencies like depriving your body of enough water or essential nutrients of healthier foods could cause your scalp to dry out. The best vitamins for dry scalps are; Omega-3&6 they help keep your skin and scalp hydrated. Vitamin D deficiencies can cause dry, flaky skin. Vitamin A & C are two vitamins are known to promote the production of natural oils in the scalp. As a result, these natural oils help the scalp retain moisture and not dry out. Lastly, vitamin B-12 can help skin retain moisture, reducing the redness and dryness commonly associated with scalp irritation. Therefore, vitamin supplements coupled with a healthy diet and plenty of water will help to keep the skin barrier healthy. (1)
Do you know someone suffering an itchy scalp?
Like all itchy, flaky skin conditions, the trigger or cause of an itchy scalp might be one of many things. These include chronic conditions such as: dandruff, seborrheic dermatitis, psoriasis, and eczema, all of which can be aggravated by the use of harsh artificial additives, found in many of today’s hair shampoos and conditioners. Add to that all the chemicals in hair dyes, hair gels and styling sprays, and it’s no wonder we are all scratching our heads! Itchiness can also be caused, or aggravated, by fungal infections or parasites such as: nits, head lice, dust mites or other airborne allergens.
Is sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) the cause of your itchy scalp?
One of the most common causes of an itchy scalp is harsh foaming agents, particularly the detergent sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS). It is used in many shampoos and is what gives them their foaminess. However, it is known as the most common cause of skin and scalp irritation.
Simply avoiding all the products with this ingredient will make a massive difference to your itchy scalp.
We do not use SLS in any of our products.
Is seborrheic eczema the cause of your itchy scalp?
Skin conditions such as seborrheic eczema and scalp psoriasis also cause itchiness and flaking. As a result, seborrheic eczema produces greasier, yellowy flakes, whilst red patches with silver scales characterise scalp psoriasis. Flaking occurs when the scalp loses more dead skin cells than usual, and they aren’t removed by brushing or washing your hair.
If you have flakiness without the itching, you probably have dandruff which is most common in people with oily hair. Dandruff is a common and very visible condition, made worse when your scalp isn’t properly moisturised. Most supermarket brands of chemical-based anti-dandruff shampoos may clear away dead skin cells, but they won’t equalise your scalp’s moisture. Furthermore, these ingredients can continue to irritate your scalp, causing your skin to flake and itch even more.