Why Is My Scalp Itchy?


An itchy scalp is a common problem among both men and women and there are many different common causes. As Hairdressers, we are aware of this common problem. So, in this weeks edition of #HairTalk we are going to discuss the different causes and why they cause an itchy scalp, as well as how to help the issue.

We hope this helps!


Dandruff is common and almost everyone has probably had at least a little bit of dandruff in their lifetime.


It is an overgrowth of yeast on the scalp and is quite common on oily scalps. It will cause itchiness and dry flakes of dead skin.

It can be treated with a dandruff shampoo, which contains ingredients to control yeast. If that doesn’t work you may need to see a dermatologist.


Ringworm (Tinea Capitis)

No, not actual worms!

Ringworm is a fungal infection on the scalp.  It gets the name ringworm because the fungus makes circular marks on the skin. Also called Tinea capitis, the infection affects your scalp, causing small patches of itchy, scaly skin.


Ringworm on the scalp can cause significant hair loss of left untreated. The fungus responsible for ringworm isn’t just active on your scalp, it’s also active deep inside your hair follicles. If you suspect you have ringworm, you need to see a doctor or dermatologist to get the correct treatment.


Allergic Reaction (Contact Dermatitis)


People with sensitive skin are more prone to allergic reactions from certain hair products.

Some scalp types are more sensitive than others. There are many irritants and allergens found in shampoos, hair sprays and styling products and they easily able to absorb into your skin.


You could even be allergic to hair colour.



When skin senses an ingredient as dangerous, inflammation is activated to separate and kill it. Inflammation comes hand in hand with a red itchy scalp.

Even if you’ve been using the same haircare products for a while, you may still start to get an allergic reaction.


Why is this?

Because sensitisers are ingredients which may not cause you an allergy when you first start using them, but your skin gradually becomes sensitised to them. So, a shampoo you have used for years could be the cause of your itching scalp.

If you have a sensitive scalp, you want to be using a gentle shampoo & conditioner that is sulfate free.

Sulfates can cause scalp irritation as they strip the natural oils off the scalp, and the scalps natural water barrier is broken. Chemicals from products can then enter the top layers of skin, causing irritation and inflammation.


Sulfate-Free Shampoo’s will gently cleanse your scalp without irritation and not strip your hair of it’s natural oils needed for moisture.


Build Up Of Product

Particularly Hair Products containing silicones. If not washed out properly over time, they make your hair dull, limp and lifeless.

Product build-up can make your scalp irritated, dry, itchy & red.

It can trap allergens, irritants and sensitisers close to your scalp.

Product build up can interrupt your scalps natural shedding. Everyone looses skin cells from their scalp on a daily basis. If you have a layer of silicones on your scalp, it blocks the scalps ability to shed naturally.



Be sure to wash your scalp thoroughly when washing and try to use products that are water soluble. This means they break down with water and are easily washed out, eliminating product build up.

To remove product build up, the REDKEN Clean Maniac Shampoo is a sulfate-free daily shampoo powered by micellar technology to gently remove product build up, dirt and impurities from the hair.


Dry Scalp


Some people just have a naturally dry scalp, and it is itchy just like dry skin on any other part of your body.

When the skin is hydrated, it is soothed, conditioned and able to defend against irritants and allergens.

When the skin is dry, it is itchy and inflamed. It is also not able to defend as well against irritants and allergens.




We hope you gained some valuable insight into some of the common causes as to why your scalp may be or can get so itchy sometimes!

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