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5 Tips to Help Treat an Itchy Scalp

Itch and scratch no more.
December 21, 2022


You may have a beautiful hairstyle and a vibrant hair color, but an itchy, dry scalp that you can’t help but scratch is a major annoyance for any head of hair. Sometimes it’s paired with dandruff, and other times it’s on its own in scaly, red patches. Aside from being incredibly uncomfortable, an itchy scalp can signify an imbalance in the health of your scalp. 

Whether it’s brought on by a buildup of sweat and sebum or a reaction to an ingredient in a particular product, we’ve got your back — or scalp, rather. Read on to find out how to treat an itchy scalp.

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What Is the Main Cause of an Itchy Scalp?

According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), an itchy scalp, or scalp pruritus, is a common condition with a wide range of causes, including stress, seasonal changes, fluctuating hormones and a build up of sweat, sebum and other follicle-clogging elements. In most cases, an itchy scalp doesn’t require a doctor’s attention and can be treated with gentle daily care. 

However, you should see a dermatologist if your itchy scalp is persistent, or comes along with any bleeding or pain.

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5 Itchy Scalp Treatments

Check out these easy and affordable ways you can make an itchy scalp a thing of the past. 

1. Add a Gentle Scalp Scrub to Your Routine 

The glands on the scalp produce oil that maintains the health of your skin and hair. Unfortunately, when this oil builds up, your usual shampoo might not be able to clean it all away. Scalp scrubs are a great way to maintain the health of your scalp. To combat this, try the L’Oréal Paris EverPure Sulfate-Free Scalp Care + Detox Scrub is an invigorating scalp scrub that purifies and exfoliates the scalp, removing excess oil and product buildup while being gentle and safe for color-treated hair. 

2. Grab a Clarifying Shampoo

For a hair care routine tailored to keeping itchiness at bay and the scalp in its best shape, go for clarifying shampoo. Clarifying shampoos are used to remove excess buildup on your hair and scalp, which can help with itching. If you have wavy or curly hair, you can try the L’Oréal Paris Elvive Dream Lengths Curls Micellar Shampoo for a clarifying wash.

3. Try Apple Cider Vinegar

According to a study by the NCBI, apple cider vinegar has antifungal properties. It can be used to help reduce the itchiness accompanied by dry skin. To create a simple solution, dilute raw apple cider vinegar (you can find it in the grocery store) with warm water and use it as a rinse after shampooing to alleviate dandruff and an itchy scalp.

4. Add Some Aloe

According to the NCBI, aloe vera can benefit the scalp in a few ways. Similar to apple cider vinegar, aloe has anti-inflammatory properties, which can help soothe the uncomfortable itching on your scalp. Additionally, when applied directly to the scalp, aloe vera can gently cleanse the hair shaft and strip the itch-causing residue left behind by hair products. 

5. Check Ingredient Lists for Menthol

Peppermint oil contains a high concentration of a naturally occurring substance called menthol. Menthol (the minty flavoring often found in gum, candy and toothpaste) has a cooling effect and may help soothe the irritated skin causing you to itch. 

As with apple cider vinegar, you should make sure to dilute the peppermint oil before applying it directly to the skin. A great way to use peppermint oil as a treatment for an itchy scalp is to add peppermint oil to a shampoo, or use a menthol-infused product like the L’Oréal Paris EverPure Sulfate-Free Scalp Care + Detox Shampoo.

Next: How to Tell What Your Scalp Needs, According to a Dermatologist

Photographer: Chaunte Vaughn, Art Director: Hannah Packer, Associate Creative Producer: Becca Solovay, Digital Tech: Paul Yem, Photo Assistant: Matt Licari, Makeup Artist: Jonet Williamson, Hair Stylist: Akihisa Yamaguchi, Wardrobe Stylist: Alexis Badiyi, Wardrobe Assistant: Jazmine Alzado, Model: Shann Hitch

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