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There’s one thing that I personally don’t think is discussed enough. It’s that, although there’s no question that working out is good for our mind, body and spirit, all of that sweating can be drying for the scalp and cause itching and irritation after a workout.
I don’t know about you but when sweat gets to the point that the roots of my hair become damp, sometimes that can cause my scalp to get really itchy and feel super irritating. And here’s the thing — I don’t always have the time to create an entire wash day in order to get rid of either issue.
I’m pretty sure I’m not alone in this. That’s why I thought it would be a good idea to create a bit of a hack list that consists of things that you can do for your scalp to stop the itch – without scratching.
Problem: Excessive Sweating
If when you work out, you sweat more than just a little bit, it’s going to affect you from head to toe. And the more your scalp encounters sweat, the more irritated it’s (probably) going to become. That doesn’t mean that you should reduce your workouts. It just means that you need to find a sweaty scalp workaround.
Solution: Apply Dry Shampoo Before Exercising and Wear a Headband
If you’ve never tried dry shampoo before, there’s no time like the present. It helps to absorb sweat and oil. It neutralizes that odor that may come from sweat. It also helps to keep your scalp and hair healthy. All you need to do is apply some of it to the roots of your hair before exercising. Then put a headband around your hairline. That will help to absorb even more sweat from your hair and scalp and keep sweat from running into your eyes (which is also super irritating!).
Read next: The Dos and Don’ts of Using Dry Shampoo
Problem: Greasy Scalp
Your scalp creates sebum. That said, whenever you sweat, it helps to spread the sebum, along with any oil, dirt and debris that was already on your hair to all parts of your scalp. And yes, that can make your scalp — and hair — greasy.
Solution: Clarify Your Scalp
For this one, you’re going to have to rinse your hair. The key is to do it in a way that clarifies your scalp and one of the best ways to do that is to apply an apple cider vinegar rinse to it. The properties in apple cider vinegar will help to restore your scalp’s pH levels; reduce fungal and bacterial growth; exfoliate your scalp; increase blood circulation to your hair follicles, and the anti-inflammatory properties in it can reduce dandruff flakes too.
Problem: Aggravated Dandruff
Speaking of a greasy scalp, the more you sweat, the more oil your scalp tends to produce and that can actually create more dandruff flakes. A big part of the reason is because sweat creates a moist environment that dandruff likes to thrive in.
Check out: How To Tell If You Have Dandruff Or Dry Scalp, According To Trichologists
Solution: Spritz Your Scalp with an Essential Oil Blend
The main thing that you should focus on here is doing what will make it more difficult for dandruff to flare up. One way to do that is to spritz your scalp with a combination of peppermint, rosemary and cedarwood essential oils.
- Peppermint is awesome because it contains anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties. Plus, the menthol in it will provide a cooling sensation to your scalp.
- Rosemary is good because it’s an antifungal agent and since dandruff comes from the yeast-like fungus Malassezia, your scalp can only benefit from having some of this oil on it.
- Cedarwood has both anti-inflammatory and cleansing properties that help to remove dandruff; less dandruff, less itching.
If you put a teaspoon of each oil in a small spritz bottle and then fill the rest up with distilled water and spritz your scalp where it’s itching or you notice dandruff flakes, you should feel some relief within a matter of a few minutes.
Problem: Product Buildup and Sweat
If you’re someone who uses some type of hair product on a daily basis, but you don’t wash your hair every day (or even every other day”>, there’s a pretty good chance that when you work out, the sweat is going to combine with it and create a film that can irritate your scalp and cause some major itching.
Solution: Rinse with Micellar Water
If you’re used to rinsing your hair after every workout session or you’ve currently got a protective style like braids or twists that you don’t mind getting wet, try rinsing your hair out with some micellar water. It’s the kind of water that’s specifically designed to remove product build-up, restore the pH balance of your hair and it even adds some shine and movement to your locks. After giving it a shot, you may ask yourself where it’s been all of your life.
Problem: Itchy Scalp
Whenever you sweat, there’s sodium, urea and lactate that comes out of it. When it’s on your scalp, these properties can be drying and cause your scalp to itch. As much as you may want to, you should avoid scratching because that could irritate your scalp and even create small sores. Besides, there are other options.
Solution: Take an Antihistamine or Apply Aloe Vera Gel
One way to combat this issue is to take an antihistamine prior to exercising. Another thing that you can do is rub some Aloe vera onto your scalp — before and after working out. Aloe vera is great because the antioxidants, vitamins A, B, C and E and amino acids will all help to soothe your scalp, relieve itching and help to make your hair follicles stronger in the process. It’s a way to calm your scalp and help your hair to thrive in the process. Awesome!