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6 expert tips against annoying itching on the head: how to stop head itching immediately

 Your scalp itches and burns all the time and nothing helps? We will help you find out why this is and what works against it.

Back view of man arranging his hair

How it itches! To drive you mad. Small consolation: You are not alone with itching on your scalp: Almost 75% of the world's population suffers from it. But help is coming! Our experts reveal the causes behind the itching and give tips on what to do with scalp problems. Whether organic care products, anti-dandruff shampoos from the drugstore or simple home remedies, there is guaranteed to be something for every scalp type.

Why does the scalp itch?

If the scalp itches or burns, then the "skin barrier", the natural protective layer of the skin, is disturbed. The reasons for this can be predisposition, stress, or the wrong diet. But dry heated air in winter or excessive UV radiation in summer can also lead to itching, because both of these dry out the scalp." Usually itching is not the only thing. Concomitant symptoms are often redness, flakes, papules, pustules, and blisters," emphasizes the Hamburg dermatologist Dr. Susanne Steinkraus. All of these changes can indicate inflammation and thus the cause of the scalp itch 5 most common causes of scalp itching:

1. Improper hair care is often the problem

Does a lot help a lot? In this case not! "Too many care products, too frequent hot washing and blow-drying can bring the scalp out of balance in the long run. Shampoos with aggressive tensides are particularly dangerous because they create foam and loosen grease and dirt from the hair," emphasizes dermatologist Steinkraus. On the other hand, special shampoos for sensitive scalps that use fewer surfactants are more suitable. Dandruff shampoos fall into this category and can also be used by people without dandruff but with a sensitive scalp. We recommend the 🛒 Scalp Relief Dandruff Control Shampoo from Redken (from $23.00) and, as a slightly cheaper alternative, the classic from Head & Shoulders.🛒 Chemical treatments - such as colorants - can also cause itching on the scalp.

Danger! No matter how mild your shampoo is, when washing your hair, make sure that the shampoo is completely rinsed out. Otherwise, itching can occur quickly.

close up man washing his hair

2. Itchy scalp can be a sign of dandruff

If you have to scratch your head frequently, you may have dandruff. The body reacts to irritation with dandruff and itching. Dandruff can have both mundane and medically relevant causes, such as allergic reactions. Anyone who has to complain about sebum-rich skin and yellowish flakes should definitely consult a doctor. "Such dandruff often occurs as part of seborrheic dermatitis, an inflammatory skin disease," explains Dr. Steinkraus. Your doctor can prescribe special drugs. Unfortunately, an anti-dandruff shampoo from the drugstore is usually not enough.

3. Dry scalp itchy

If other parts of your body are also prone to dryness, a dry scalp is likely the cause of the itching. Any hair type can be affected, whether it is thick, thin, straight, or curly hair, whether you have dandruff or not. The same applies here: It is best to use a shampoo specially designed for sensitive, dry scalps, always rinse thoroughly and not blow-dry the hair too hot. We tested the DermoCapillaire Scalp Soothing Urea Shampoo from Eucerin 🛒 and it helped us a lot.

4. Fungal or bacterial infections cause severe itching

A fungus on the scalp also causes itching. "Here the skin can also show red and scaly spots. In addition, the lymph nodes in the neck and throat area can be enlarged.", explains the naturopath Claudia Dippel.

 Warning: the itching can also come from lice. Parents of young children are particularly often affected. The lice form small nits (eggs) that are easy to find when the scalp is closely inspected.

5. The wrong diet disturbs the balance of your scalp

Not only external influences such as heat or cold can put a strain on your scalp. What you eat every day also affects the balance of the scalp. Intolerance or a lack of minerals and amino acids can be reasons for an itchy scalp. It is best to have your blood checked for any deficiencies if the itching does not go away despite an adapted care routine.

What to do about itchy scalp

"Itchy scalp can have harmless temporary causes, but it can also indicate serious illnesses," emphasizes dermatologist Susanne Steinkraus. It is therefore essential, before treating your scalp, to know what the problem is in the first place. It is best to first try whether a mild dandruff shampoo (e.g. 🛒Urea Akut Shampoo from Sebamed (from $15.95) solves the problem. Most of the time the problem solves itself. Not with you? Then please do not fool around with your doctor for too long, but rather seek out a doctor as soon as possible. "Finding the cause should always be in the foreground," advises our expert. Depending on the cause, different home remedies, cosmetics, or conventional medical treatments can be of great help:

Indecisive bearded man standing clueless, scratching head

Tip 1: switch to milder care

Check whether your care products irritate your scalp! Naturopath Claudia Dippel recommends simply observing the hair care routine closely. Starting with the shampoo, to styling products and headgear: leave out individual things and watch carefully whether the itching subsides. And: "It's best not to wash your hair every day with shampoo and only with water in between," says Dippel. Here you can find the best shampoos for men.

Tip 2: do-it-yourself tea tree oil spray

Tea tree oil is not only a relief for skin blemishes but also for itching on the scalp. The reason: the essential oil has an antiseptic, i.e. anti-inflammatory effect because it kills bacteria and fungi. For a homemade anti-itch tea tree oil spray, take an empty spray bottle and fill it up with 95 ml of water. Then add 5 ml of tea tree oil (e.g.🛒tea tree oil from Natura Pur (from $7.82 ). Shake vigorously. If you have a sensitive, dry scalp, start with a lower dose of tea tree oil: 2 ml is sufficient.

Tip 3: A brush with boar bristles improves blood circulation

If you have to struggle with itching on your scalp from time to time, you can preventively when itching-free times - with a brush made of wild boar bristles (e.g.🛒from Belula). "This stimulates the blood circulation. Sebum production is regulated. Dryness, but also hair that is too greasy, improves", explains alternative practitioner Dippel.

Tip 4: Home remedies like baking soda help with dandruff

If you don't want to buy a new shampoo right away, you can also try baking powder, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, or coconut oil. We can particularly recommend 🛒Pure Coconut Oil from COCO&CO (from $13.99). According to many testimonials in hair care forums, natural products help at least with occasional and slight dandruff. But: There are no scientific studies on effectiveness. And you won't get a strong dandruff problem under control with it.

Tip 5: You can change a lot with the right diet

"Depending on the cause, a change in diet can be very helpful," says Dippel. "A healthy diet can make up for a lot, especially in the case of acidosis and high-stress levels. In such cases, important minerals and amino acids, which are necessary as building materials for a healthy scalp, are usually missing. "The expert, therefore, recommends consuming healthy fats such as omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids Contain hemp oil.

But: "Before you start a (complex) change in diet, you should first leave out the usual care products or replace them with others. The scalp usually reacts to certain ingredients in an allergic and irritated manner,"

Seriously looking young handsome man with blue eyes touching his hair

What should I definitely not do if I have an itchy scalp?

Easier said than done, but don't give in to the itching! "In case of doubt, scratching will only make things worse, since micro-injuries can cause bacteria to penetrate," says dermatologist Dr. Steinkraus.

Frequent hair washing should also be avoided. And after washing, you should never blow-dry too hot. Better just lukewarm. Too much styling can also irritate the scalp. That is why it makes sense to leave out styling products entirely for a long time.

Scalp problems usually only go away with regular and, above all, appropriate treatment. Pay attention not only to external factors but also to your diet. Basically, give your scalp some time to regulate and definitely see a doctor if the itching doesn't go away despite our tips.
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