There are all sorts of dry itchy scalp remedies and treatments out there but most of them just don’t work.
If you’ve suffered for ages with an itchy scalp, you know the story.
The special shampoo stops your scalp itching BUT only used daily.
Let it go a day – or heaven forbid two – and your scalp is all over itchy and breaking out in sores. Frequent washing means damaged frizzy hair.
I suffered this for years until I found:
I now wash my hair weekly – at most – with ordinary shampoo and yet my scalp has stopped itching and the crusty red sores are gone.
So what’s the answer?
Please note this post does not give qualified medical advice.
Table of Contents
What Are The Causes Of A Very Itchy Scalp?
Itchy scalps have various causes.
The most common causes of very itchy dry scalps that keep itching are:
- Scalp psoriasis
- Seborrheic dermatitis.
Scalp Psoriasis & Dermatitis
Symptoms are similar and include:
- Persistently itchy scalp
- Large flakes of silver or red skin
- Red patches especially on hair lines
- Sores that may weep
- Crusting and scabbing.
The remedies in this post can help with psoriasis and dermatitis.
Other common fungal and parasite infections can cause an itchy scalp but it is pretty easy to distinguish these and get immediate treatment.
- Raised rash of red spots across the body that are very itchy at night
- Caused by mites burrowing in skin
- Requires medical treatment.
- Isolated circles of sore skin surrounded by a red circle
- Caused by the athlete’s foot fungus
- Requires anti-fungal treatment.
- Sudden itching all over head but especially by ears & nape of neck
- Most common in children
- Treat with DIY head lice remedies.
- Small white flakes around parting caused by a fungal infection
- Relieve with DIY dandruff remedies
- Many people with psoriasis or dermatitis also have dandruff, you may not be able to relieve dandruff without fixing these first.
I’ll now cover how I got rid of my dry itchy scalp. Jump to the itchy scalp remedies if you are in a real rush.
How I Got Rid Of My Dry Flaking & Itchy Scalp
Itchy Scalp Symptoms
My scalp became itchy in my teens.
I assumed it was dandruff but dandruff shampoos didn’t help.
It flaked and weeping red sores developed at the back of my scalp.
After trying lots of treatments I discovered coal tar shampoos – like Neutrogena T/Gel – that managed it.
But only if used daily. The result was very dry frizzy hair. And I still had red sores if I skipped the daily wash.
The coal tar also came with health risks and guidance for short term use only. I used it for years as it was the only thing that helped stop itching.
It was actually making things worse.
My scalp became so dry from daily washing it lost any ability to heal itself. Dermatitis & dandruff built up on top of the underlying psoriasis.
I thought I was stuck with it.
But I now use NO treatments and am totally itch and scab FREE!!
So what was the remedy?
Well we need to wind back to my teen self and what I was eating …
My Dreadful Diet
I honestly could not see that I had a dreadful diet. But I definitely did.
A few years before my psoriasis first appeared, I gave up meat.
And I survived my teens & 20s on:
- Pasta & tomato sauce on loop
- Little proper protein
- Crazy low iron levels (despite taking daily supplements)
- Loads of veg but mostly tomatoes, peppers & aubergines
- Loads of fruit but mostly orange juice, satsumas & bananas
- Typical teen loads of sugar
- Daily doses of coca-cola
- Carbtastic amounts of bread & rice (on top of all that pasta).
Working in tech start-ups I also went day after day without daylight!!
It was a recipe for inflammation.
And that is what scalp psoriasis is : an inflammatory condition.
No scalp treatment in the world will make good what goes in our gut.
And in fact, healing my gut was the real remedy for my sorry scalp.
It also allowed me to de-treat my hair after all those years of abuse.
How I Healed My Gut & De-treated My Hair
Healing my gut took time.
But in 2 weeks I cut inflammation enough to start de-treating my hair:
To do this I simply :
- Switched to coconut shampoo
- Went a day extra without washing.
And this became a virtuous circle :
- Less inflammation = less washing
- Less washing = less scalp stress
- Less scalp stress = less itching
- Less itching = less washing …
You get the picture. After six months or so of de-treatment I could :
- Wash my hair weekly
- Use a basic shampoo
- Barely show it the conditioner.
But healing my inflammation was key. It transformed my sore, itchy scalp and – a big shock – sorted my :
So if you’ve suffered for ages with an itchy scalp do give it a go. In the next sections I’ll cover in detail the :
Real Remedies For A Seriously Itchy Scalp
Scalp psoriasis and dermatitis are both inflammatory conditions with some inherited genetic origins.
But the true culprit is diet.
And the real remedy is – pardon my French – to : stop eating sh*t!!
Which is NOT a call to obsess over a faddish diet & instantly ditch all:
- Red meat
- Fodmaps etc etc ….
But to ease both gut and scalp inflammation with 3 simple steps :
Reject Crazy Rubbish
If you are still eating any of this stuff stop for your scalp’s sake:
- Say NO to sodas – even sugar free!!
- Seriously slash sugar
- Don’t touch fake carbs e.g.
- Breakfast cereals
- Potato chips, corn puffs etc
- Nuggets, breaded bites, waffles
- Skip low fat dairy with added sugar
- Avoid processed meat products.
Boost Your Balance
We easily fib to ourselves about how much of these essentials we truly eat:
- Gorge on greens daily
- Eat a rainbow of fruit & veg weekly* (But see below for cautionary note.)
- Enjoy good fats e.g. oily fish, nuts
- If constipated eat more good fibre
- Fermented foods for a healthy gut
- Don’t as veggie / vegan go short on:
- Vitamin B12
We also need an hour outside every single day. It is non-negotiable!!! We cannot cure inflammation without it.
Keep An Eye On
Some food healthy in moderation can become inflammatory in excess so :
- Ease up on acids e.g. juice, wine
- Watch out for nightshades : e.g. tomatoes, peppers, aubergines, eggplants & potatoes
- Be alert to alliums e.g. onion, garlic
- Don’t base every meal on carbs.
It’s easy to obsess about food and adopt denial diets. We do this mostly to control anxiety not to get healthy.
But some of us are sensitive to certain very healthy foods because: we ate so much sh*t for so long!!
Reducing underlying inflammation can actually reset food sensitivities.
When I was saturated in sugar tomatoes triggered sore psoriasis flare ups. Now I am not, I can enjoy eating them in moderation.
How Quickly Will My Scalp Stop Scaling & Itching?
These remedies can stop scalps itching quickly but not instantly.
In the first two weeks you and your scalp may actually feel worse!!
You should then see a little improvement which will give you the space to start on the treatments.
After 6 weeks things speed up.
My scalp itched a lot less and every fortnight or so I could cut again how frequently I washed my hair.
After 6 months my scalp was clear.
I do keep an eye on sugars and acids at Christmas and detox a bit each Lent but I am psoriasis free.
So now let’s look at how to work the scalp treatments into the remedies.
Best Itchy Scalp Treatments
The itchy scalp shampoos I used for years actually made my scalp sicker as daily washing dried it out causing even more dermatitis and dandruff.
They stopped my scalp healing itself.
And natural itchy scalp treatments I tried didn’t help either as they didn’t tackle the inflammation inside.
Diet really is the real remedy.
But once it starts working these simple treatments help :
- Wash Hair Less Often
- Coconut Shampoo (At First)
- Go Easy On Conditioner
- Brush Scalp Nightly
- Carefully Clean Brushes
- Eat Pinterest Treatments!!!
Wash Hair Less Often
Less washing allows our naturally released sebum to moisturise, protect and heal our scalp.
So little by little as diet eases itching cut how often you wash your hair.
Coconut Shampoo (At First)
A gentle coconut shampoo eases short term itching without drying the scalp as coal-tar treatments do.
Gradually we can ween off it as our scalp starts to look after itself.
Go Easy On Conditioner
Slathering conditioner over a dry, sore scalp doesn’t really help as it can stop scalps releasing sebum.
So slowly go easier on conditioner until you need less & less.
I now only use it on my long ends.
Brush Hair & Scalp Nightly
Many of us don’t brush our scalp, we just smooth our surface hair.
But gently brushing our scalp all over stimulates it to self-care.
I was given this boar bristle brush – made here in London – which is super pricey but helped lots. Cash saved on shampoo will cover it!!
Carefully Clean Brushes
Many of us suffering with psoriasis and dermatitis also have dandruff which makes itching worse.
It’s a fungal infection so slashing sugar in our diet will see it off.
But keeping brushes clean helps.
Eat Pinterest Treatments!!
Itchy scalp treatments on Pinterest suggest everything from apple cider vinegar to coconut oil and yoghurt.
Slathering them on our head won’t treat our itchy scalp long term.
But eating them will help!!
As they are all great gut healthy anti-inflammatories that will help heal our scalp properly from within.
Stopping Your Scalp Itching
I do hope these simple remedies and treatments stop your scalp itching.
I do hope these simple remedies and treatments stop your scalp itching.
They are surprising but try them.
They had huge impact for me and by tackling root causes of inflammation eased everything from:
Let me know what works for you and please shout loud with questions.
More Hair Care Remedies
And follow me on Pinterest …
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