Table of contents:

Why the head itches and how to get rid of itching
Why the head itches and how to get rid of itching

The life hacker found 18 reasons - from the most harmless to very serious.

Why the head itches and how to get rid of itching
Why the head itches and how to get rid of itching

1. Reaction to hair care products

Perhaps you just didn’t rinse off the shampoo well and this caused skin irritation.

Or maybe itching and a rash on the head are signs of allergic contact dermatitis. It is common among people who dye their hair.

You may also be allergic to shampoo, conditioner, or any other hair product. To check for suspicions, simply apply the substance to the crook of your elbow. If a rash appears there, then your fears are not in vain.

What to do

It is better to rinse your hair so that no shampoo remains on it. If it's an allergy, find and stop using the agent that causes it.

If that doesn't work, see your doctor. He will investigate the causes and possibly prescribe an antihistamine to relieve the itching.

2. Hairstyle

A casual ponytail or bun can also cause itching.


Natalya Koporeva dermatovenerologist, trichologist of the medical center "Intermed", work experience - 21 years

Hairstyles that are too tight damages the hair follicles and can cause itchy scalp and hair loss.

What to do

Stop pulling your hair down as hard as you can.

3. Dry skin

If the skin lacks moisture, it can itch and flake off. You may be drinking too little water, washing your hair too often, or using harsh shampoos.

What to do

Drink more. Use mild shampoos with hyaluronic acid or natural oils. After washing, additionally moisturize your skin with glycerin or aloe toner. Do a head massage at least once a week. And do not forget about a hat: in winter you need to protect your skin from the cold, in summer from the heat.

4. Poor hygiene

During the day, dust, germs, sweat, and sebum collect on the scalp and hair. If you do not clean your head regularly, itching may occur.

What to do

Wash your hair as it gets dirty, that is, about once every three days.

5. Hives

If your head itches, you may have hives
If your head itches, you may have hives

These red itchy bumps can appear anywhere. Hives can be caused by allergies to food, drugs, insect bites, pollen, animal dander, latex, and other materials. But it can also be chronic - its causes are unknown.

What to do

Hives often go away without treatment. But if it periodically appears and disappears for six weeks, it's time to go to the doctor. He will prescribe medications that will reduce the symptoms.

6. Dandruff or seborrheic dermatitis

Dandruff is the result of overactive sebaceous glands. It does not harm in any way, but it can be accompanied by itching. Seborrheic dermatitis - a chronic inflammation of the skin - has the same symptoms, but whitish scales can appear not only in the hair, but also on the nose, eyebrows, ears, eyelids, and chest.

What to do

If you just have dandruff, shampoo, which will contain one of these ingredients, will most likely help:

  • zinc pyrithione;
  • salicylic acid;
  • selenium sulfide;
  • ketoconazole;
  • coal tar.

It is necessary to use such shampoos strictly according to the instructions.

If the problem is seborrheic dermatitis, you will have to take medications that your doctor will choose.

7. Sunburn

Prolonged exposure to sunlight or UV radiation in tanning beds causes burns and dries out the skin.

What to do

Take a cool shower or apply a cold compress (not ice). Lubricate your skin with aloe juice or moisturizing lotion. In the future, try to protect yourself from the sun.

8. Use of medicines

The ingredients in some medicines are itchy even without the rash or irritation. Among them are allopurinol, amiodarone, amiloride, hydrochlorothiazide, estrogen, sivmastin, hydroxyethyl cellulose.

What to do

Discard the drugs that you have prescribed yourself, and ask your therapist to find new ones for you. If your doctor has prescribed medications for you, tell him about the problem. He will change the dosage or suggest an equivalent.

9. Lice

Head itches due to lice
Head itches due to lice

They run over the head, bite and itch. At the same time, anyone can become infected, because parasites are easily transmitted by touching the hair or through personal belongings. So, just in case, have someone examine your head.

What to do

Wash your hair with a shampoo containing pyrethrin or permethrin. Just read the instructions carefully and follow the directions, otherwise you can get skin irritation. Comb the nits with a fine comb. Be sure to wash clothes and bed linen in hot water (at least 54 ° C) and then iron.

If home treatment does not work, you will need the help of a dermatologist. He will examine you and write out stronger funds.

10. Scabies

If this is her, not only the head will itch, but the whole body. Moreover, it is so strong that it will be impossible to sleep. Also, a rash or crusting will appear.

What to do

Scabies does not go away on its own, it must be treated without fail. First, go to a dermatologist, he will tell you what to do and prescribe medications.

To kill scabies mites, a cream or lotion containing permethrin, lindane, benzyl benzoate, crotamiton, or sulfur is usually prescribed. And for itching, antihistamines and cool compresses are prescribed.

11. Folliculitis

This is the name of the inflammation of the hair follicles. It looks like red bumps or pimples with a white head around the hair.

What to do

You can cure a mild form of folliculitis at home:

  • Apply a piece of cheesecloth moistened with warm water or brine (1 teaspoon of salt to 2 cups of water) to your head.
  • Wash your skin with antibacterial soap twice a day.
  • Use an over-the-counter antibiotic cream or gel to fight infection.

Your condition should improve in a few days. If the bumps and itching persist, it's time to leave home treatment and go to the hospital.

12. Psoriasis

The head may itch due to psoriasis
The head may itch due to psoriasis

Psoriasis makes itself felt with dry, red patches raised above the skin and covered with white scales. Itching can be mild or severe.

What to do

The treatment plan should be drawn up by a dermatologist. Therefore, with signs of psoriasis, you need to immediately go to it.

For mild scalp psoriasis, try shampoos with salicylic acid or coal tar. They will reduce itching and make plaque invisible.

13. Eczema or atopic dermatitis

Most often, children suffer from this. The skin turns red, scales appear on it. Some people think their heads are on fire.

What to do

Go to a dermatologist. He will diagnose and prescribe treatment.

14. Deprive

Severe itching is usually caused by ringworm, but there is also a rarer form - red flat. In any case, the skin becomes scaly and reddens.

What to do

Again, you need to see a dermatologist. At home, you can only rinse your hair with warm water and use an over-the-counter emollient cream or anti-itch lotion, but this is not a substitute for medication.

15. Alopecia areata

In another way, baldness, which is often accompanied by itching.

What to do

Go to the doctor at the first sign of baldness. It is impossible to expect complete hair loss: long-term alopecia is very difficult to treat.

16. Skin cancer

Any unusual moles, nodules, or dark spots could be a sign of it. Sometimes they itch or burn.

What to do

A suspected neoplasm on the skin should be examined by an oncologist. He will already decide whether it is dangerous or not. If it is dangerous, then the neoplasm will have to be removed.

17. Lymphoma

Why the head itches: Lymphoma usually occurs in people over 50
Why the head itches: Lymphoma usually occurs in people over 50

On the skin, lymphoma appears as red or purple pimples or flat plaques. The affected area is usually itchy and scaly.

What to do

Consult a dermatologist or oncologist and, if necessary, take blood tests, biopsy, computed tomography.

18. Mental state

Depression, anxiety, psychosis, obsessive-compulsive disorder can cause phantom itching, although there is no rash or other manifestations on the skin. The maximum is damage from scratches.

What to do

Contact a psychotherapist to confirm that the cause of the itching is in a psychological state.

Treatment can be behavioral therapy or antidepressants. When the problem is resolved, the itching will also disappear.