irritated scalp


Every time CurlTalker Tonii2010 rubs her scalp, it burns. "I have tried olive and tea tree oil but they do nothing but make my scalp itch as well. I am so frustrated I don't know what else to do."

For Curltalker Crazy Kinky Curly, her scalp has alternated between being really itchy and being really sore. "Right now it's really tender to the touch and I don't understand why."

When your scalp gets irritated, it definitely lets you know - through dryness, oiliness, itchiness, and even painful red bumps. In fact scalp issues are one of the most searched topics on NaturallyCurly.

Here are a few remedies for irritated scalps.

1. Figure out the issue

The biggest remedies for irritated scalps is to figure out the root cause. If your scalp needs one thing and you overload it with something else, it could make matters worse. You need to figure out if your scalp is too dry, too oily, itchy, or inflamed before deciding what step to take.

In some cases, you may want to keep a journal of products you're using to track when you're experiencing the issue. It may be that a new product contains an ingredient that you're especially sensitive to.

Here are some articles about some common scalp irritants:

Signs you have a propylene glycol allergy

4 Common culprits for a cosmetic allergy

Natural hair products to avoid

2. Try a clarifying treatment

If your scalp is oily or has a buildup of product, you need to clarify it ASAP. This buildup of either natural oils or product can lead to a nasty environment perfect for the growth of fungi and bacteria, and no one wants that outcome. A few good ones to try are Elucence Volume Clarifying Shampoo or Kinky-Curly Come Clean Moisturizing Shampoo. Both of these formulas offer cleansing that is a deep down clean to help your scalp recover from a tough time.

3. Use a natural antibacterial

Another of the best remedies for irritated scalps is to use a known antibacterial element. Peppermint oil is known for fighting bacteria while giving a soothing effect for irritated scalps. Tea tree oil is also known to be antibacterial. You can either apply these oils to your hair on your own or turn to a product that already has both in it, such as EDEN BodyWorks Peppermint Tea Tree Shampoo.

4. Give yourself a massage while adding moisture

A scalp massage can be a great way to perk up your scalp. It is believed there are links between proper circulation of blood flow and overall scalp health matters. A great way to improve circulation is with a massage, and when you add in your favorite oil, whether coconut oil, olive oil, or another natural emollient, you get a massage with a little extra hydration built in. Apply your favorite oil to the scalp and massage in circular motions with the pads of your fingers for about ten minutes for the best result.

5. Try one of the new scalp treatments that are available to exfoliate your scalp

Yes, scalps need exfoliation! One of the hottest new products is Brigeo Scalp Revival Charcoal + Coconut Oil Micro-Exfoliating Shampoo, which leaves your scalp feeling clean and your hair feeling soft. We also like using Briogeo Scalp Revival Charcoal + Tea Tree Scalp Treatment and HPO Happy Scalp as scalp treatments in between washes.

6. Do DIY treatments

When your scalp is irritated and sore, give it some quick relief by grabbing these simple ingredients from the kitchen and applying them straight to the scalp: olive oil and apple cider vinegar. If your scalp is irritated and dry, olive oil has healing hydration properties that will restore moisture and balance to the scalp in a gentle, soothing way. If your scalp is packing a one-two punch of being irritated and itchy, apple cider vinegar helps calm down inflammation and dull the itchiness factor with its antibacterial properties. The best is that these two solutions are so simple to use.

Rub 1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil into scalp and rinse off after 10 minutes. For apple cider vinegar, simply make a mixture that is one part water and one part vinegar. Apply to scalp for ten minutes and rinse out, and never apply vinegar to a scalp with open cuts or blisters as this recipe would be too harsh.

7. Seek a professional

If your scalp is seriously irritated or inflamed, you may be better off seeking a professional on the matter. There are certain medical conditions which need to be treated by a dermatologist or trichologist to get them to clear up. When you have tried all your usual tricks and your scalp is still giving you trouble, it is time to seek help. Here are 15 situations where you need to see a trichologist.

Read more: 10 Products for a Sensitive Scalp