6 Solutions for Sensitive Scalps

6 Solutions for Sensitive Scalps

Itchy, flaky scalp? Here’s what could be causing it – and the best ways to deal with the problem.

From dandruff to headaches, there are a variety of reasons for your sensitive and flaky scalp. But before you try and calm it, it’s essential to figure out the cause.


The problem: Excess oil or yeast

Dandruff is a common and harmless skin condition that causes white or grey flakes of skin to appear in your hair, and it may make your scalp feel dry and itchy. Dandruff in itself can be the product of various conditions including an overgrowth of yeast, a fungal infection or eczema.

The solution:

The best way to treat it is with a specialist anti-dandruff shampoo. For stubborn dandruff, the experts at Head & Shoulders have produced a Clinical Solutions Anti-Dandruff Shampoo (link to a specific product page), which is prescription strength and restores a healthy scalp without needing to visit a doctor.


The problem: The weather

While dandruff is often caused by excess oil, environmental fluctuations can also result in a dry, itchy scalp. Cold weather and central heating can cause the skin to dry out, making it prone to shedding.

The solution:

Avoid hot showers and wash your hair less in winter months to allow its natural oils to keep your head moisturized. In hot weather, sweating and sunburn can be the culprits. Take cool showers and use an SPF spray to protect your scalp from the sun’s harmful rays, and keep your head covered when outside.


The problem: Your hairstyle

Just like the hot weather, the heat from your hair dryer or straighteners could be the cause of the itchiness.

The solution:

Try letting your hair dry naturally while your scalp recovers, or only straighten the ends (after using a heat protection spray of course) and keep styling tools away from your sensitive scalp. Head & Shoulders Repair & Care Shampoo (link to a specific product page) is specially designed to give you flake-free hair and it’s gentle enough to use on colored or treated hair.


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The problem: Irritants and allergic reactions

You may be suffering from dermatitis (an inflammation of the skin that can produce a rash and flaking) or eczema, potentially caused by a wide range of chemicals or irritants. If this is the case, you may also have red, itchy patches around your eyebrows, face or neck. Anything from cosmetics and hair dye to your laundry detergent could be reacting with your skin.

The solution:

Start an elimination process beginning with your washing powder and strip your lifestyle back to basics to isolate the cause. If that doesn’t work, book an appointment with a dermatologist to further investigate any allergies.


The problem: Headaches and anxiety

Headaches ranging from tension to migraines can be accompanied by scalp sensitivity, pain and pressure. An itchy scalp can even be caused by stress and anxiety. While research hasn’t concluded why anxiety is linked to an itchy scalp, one possibility could be the effect it has on your hormones.

The solution:

We know it’s easier said than done, but try to limit your stress and find ways to unwind – meditation and yoga are two great options.


The problem: Infection

There is a chance you could be suffering from an infection of the hair follicles. If you have small, crusty bumps on your scalp or are struggling with itching, swelling or pus, or your skin is warm to the touch, you could have a case of folliculitis, furunculosis or carbunculosis.

The solution:

If you are in pain, or the flakes don’t clear up, pay a visit to your doctor who may prescribe a topical cream or antibiotics. The other unpleasant option is that those flakes you’re seeing could be lice. This is especially likely if you have school-age children as they spread easily from person to person. It’s important you treat lice quickly, because as well as being highly contagious, they can live for over a month on your body. Combat them with an over-the-counter treatment.


Be sure to check out this article (link to ‘Hair Care 101: What You Need to Know About Caring for a Sensitive Scalp’ [REFNO31]) for more on looking after your scalp.

Anything we’ve missed? Share your remedies for a dry, itchy scalp with us in the comments below. And for more advice on the causes of and treatments for a dry scalp, visit Head & Shoulders (link to H&S BLP).

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