During your hair growth journey, you may notice several signs that your hair is getting longer. But is an itchy scalp one of them? Does your scalp itch when your hair is growing?
To find out the answer to that and more, just read on!
This article will examine whether an itchy scalp is a sign that your hair is growing. We’ll also examine some of the most common causes of an itchy scalp and walk you through what you can do to find relief.
Table of Contents
- 1 Does Your Scalp Itch When Your Hair Is Growing?
- 2 What Causes an Itchy Scalp?
- 3 How to Stop an Itchy Scalp
- 4 When Should You Contact a Professional?
Does Your Scalp Itch When Your Hair Is Growing?
Itching can sometimes be a sign of new hair growth. Although it’s not common, new growth can occasionally cause a tingling or itchy sensation. This is particularly true if the hair is growing back from hair loss.
New hair strands have a sharp pointed end that allows them to pierce through your skin. That can cause discomfort or itchiness that resolves once your hair follicles reach a certain length.
However, it’s important to note that an itchy scalp is not usually a sign of hair growth.
It usually means that your scalp isn’t healthy. So, if you’re trying to decide whether your itchiness is the result of hair growth, keep an eye out for other symptoms.
These can take many forms, including flaking, bumps, a foul smell, or discharge.
What Causes an Itchy Scalp?
The truth is, no one wants an itchy scalp. It’s uncomfortable and distracting, and all that scratching can lead to significant breakage and hair loss. There are a variety of different reasons why you may have an itchy scalp. We’ll break them down below.
You Have a Skin Condition
Does your itchy scalp come with other symptoms like dandruff, dryness, buildup, or sores? If so, a skin condition might be to blame for your itchy scalp.
Some skin conditions, like psoriasis and eczema, can cause an overgrowth of fungus.
They can also impact your scalp’s ability to heal itself, leading to long-term complications. Skin conditions may arise from many different sources, from genetics to an overgrowth of fungus and bacteria.
They can also be an allergic response to the products you use on your hair and scalp.
Remember that fungi, pests, and bacteria can be passed from person to person. So be careful when sharing things like hats, combs, and hair-cutting equipment.
While over-the-counter treatments can usually provide some relief from skin conditions, you may have to visit a dermatologist.
You Aren’t Washing Your Hair Correctly
An itchy scalp might just indicate that you aren’t washing your hair correctly. While overwashing can throw off your skin’s natural barrier and send it into oil production overdrive, under washing your hair can have a similar effect.
You might not be using enough shampoo, not massaging your scalp long enough, or rinsing your hair improperly. That leaves behind all kinds of sweat, dirt, and skin cells and can result in microbial growth.
So make sure you use a moderate amount of shampoo and conditioner and take your time massaging it in. Once you’re confident that your scalp is clean, rinse well with warm or cool water.
It’s also important to let your hair and scalp dry before you cover it at night. Otherwise, the dark, warm, damp environment creates the perfect breeding ground for fungus and bacteria.
You Have Ingrown Hairs
Do large, reddish bumps accompany your itchy scalp? If so, ingrown hairs might be to blame for your discomfort. Ingrown hairs arise when your hair curves back in on itself and starts to grow underneath your skin.
Once your skin heals over the hair, your body treats it like a foreign substance. Your immune system attacks the strands and causes you to experience side effects like pain, swelling, redness, and itching.
How to Stop an Itchy Scalp
Narrowing down what’s causing your discomfort can be difficult. And while there are plenty of things that cause an itchy scalp, there are just as many ways to treat one!
Here are some of our favorite ways to soothe an itchy scalp.
Use an Anti-dandruff Shampoo
If an overgrowth of fungus behind your itchy scalp, anti-dandruff shampoos are an easy and inexpensive way to find relief. They contain potent antimicrobial ingredients that can kill the aforementioned fungus.
And don’t worry if you don’t have an anti-dandruff shampoo on hand.
You can make an all-natural alternative by adding a few drops of essential oil to your regular shampoo. Just let it sit a little longer than usual, so the oils have time to work their magic.
There are a variety of essential oils with antimicrobial properties, but here are some of our favorites.
Exfoliate Your Scalp
While most people know about the benefits of exfoliating your skin, your scalp can also benefit from the treatment. Chemical and physical exfoliants remove the top layer of dirt, dead skin cells, and products that build up on your scalp.
Exfoliants are so strong that they can even remove debris that regular shampoo leaves behind. Try exfoliating your hair after you’ve rinsed out shampoo.
Follow the instructions on your particular exfoliant, and rinse your hair well with warm water. Then, apply your favorite conditioner to restore your hair’s moisture.
Repeat this process once every one or two weeks.
Over time, you should see an improvement in scalp dryness, itching, and flaking. You might even see a boost in hair growth!
Change Your Haircare Routine
A chronically itchy scalp indicates that you must work on your haircare routine. Ensure you’re washing your hair often enough, and avoid going to bed with wet hair.
You should also consider reducing the amount of oil you use in your regimen. The yeast that causes dandruff and itchiness feeds on oils. And that includes your natural scalp oils, as well as the products you use on your scalp.
Regularly oiling your scalp may contribute to an overgrowth of yeast, so try cutting back to see how your hair responds.
Switch up Your Diet
Did you know that the foods you eat can contribute to your itchy scalp? Diets that are high in sugars, alcohol, and fats can inflame your scalp and cause your dandruff to flare up.
Alternatively, eating a well-balanced and nutrient-dense diet will help soothe your scalp from the inside out. You should also try to drink more water and increase your consumption of antioxidant-rich and anti-inflammatory foods.
Here are some of our favorites:
- Dark leafy greens
- Fatty fish like mackerel, salmon, and sardines
- Fresh fruits
- Green tea and coffee
When Should You Contact a Professional?
DIY remedies will be enough for most people to soothe an irritated scalp. However, they can occasionally require professional intervention. Itchiness is a primary symptom of dermatological conditions like scalp psoriasis, ringworm, or seborrheic dermatitis.
If this is the case, your symptoms probably won’t resolve on their own.
Luckily, itching isn’t the only symptom associated with these conditions. Reach out to a medical professional if your itchy scalp is accompanied by more alarming symptoms like sores, bleeding, or hair loss.
- How to Apply Tea Tree Oil on Scalp
- Why Do I Get Dandruff After Washing My Hair
- How to Get Rid of Dandruff Curly Hair
So, there you have it! Although an itchy scalp is sometimes associated with hair growth, it’s usually your scalp’s way of calling out for help.
So, reevaluate your hair care routine, and see if any areas need to be improved.
And if your itchy scalp persists, just try some of the tips we’ve gone over in this article! We hope you found all the answers you were looking for today!
Kenneth Byrd holds a BS in Accounting and Management Information Systems and an MBA from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. With over 15 years of experience, Kenneth has been dedicated to hair care since 2008, when he co-founded Curl Centric® and Natural Hair Box alongside his wife. As a team, they promote healthy hair care practices through their comprehensive platform, Curl Centric. Curl Centric is a website operated by a husband and wife team that encourages healthy hair care. At Curl Centric, we aim to help our readers take control of their hair care journey and make good decisions about products, hairstyles, and maintenance techniques. We also have strict editorial integrity; here’s an explanation of our editorial guidelines and how we make money.