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Why does my scalp itch?

September 04, 2020

Why does my scalp itch?

There are lots of reasons why scalps itch and here we outline some of the common ones, and how you can avoid them. There's really no need to suffer.

If your skin is irritated, your body will trigger an itch response within seconds. These irritant stimuli activate a neural pathway where information is sent via the spinal cord and a protein (NPPB) is produced. NPPB receptors in the brain release another protein (GRP), which sends the itch signal to the site of stimulus, prompting you to move or scratch etc.

1. Poor Rinsing
Very common and simple to deal with, a dry, flaky or itchy scalp may simply be shampoo or conditioner residue. Leaving some shampoo on your scalp can irritate it. It’s not good enough to dunk the head in dirty bath water. Rinse the final shampoo thoroughly with clean water and then for 30 seconds more.

2. Excess sebum or product build up.

Excess oiliness and pollution can accumulate on the scalp and cause irritation. Many modern hair products are highly synthetic and can build up on the scalp causing the roots to become clogged and the scalp itchy. Many dry shampoos are notorious for this as are silicone laden products. If your scalp tends to be oily then Balancing Scalp Shampoo helps regulate and reduce the excess oiliness and strengthen the hair, using natural ingredients.

3. Flakiness

In the same way that the rest of your skin sheds as it renews, your scalp is no different. It’s easy for dead skin cells on the rest of your body to fall away. Less so on top of your head within a forest of hair. Occasional flakes are rarely dandruff, but exfoliating the scalp regularly, avoids dead skin cells hanging around and getting clogged, which can lead to more problematic scalp issues such as seborrheic dermatitis which gives angry red patches, itching and flakiness.

The Scalp Exfoliating Treatment & Scalp Exfoliating Shampoo can give regular TLC ensuring your scalp is clean, fresh, and your hair growing strong and glossy.

Exfoliating Scalp Treatment is applied to the wet hair in sections and massaged onto the scalp. Leave for 20 minutes and the natural fruit acids help lift away dead skin and build up. Follow up with Exfoliating Scalp Shampoo at least twice a week. The plant extracts help clear flakiness and soothe scalp, stimulating blood flow and promoting cellular renewal. Its anti-dandruff, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties help strengthen hair and reduce hair loss.

Amazing Scalp Exfoliating Ingredients
• Regenerative exfoliants use AHA fruit acids from bilberry, sugar maple and citrus fruits

• Soothing and anti-inflammatory aloe-rich formula with extracts of comfrey, olive oil and lemongrass

• Stimulating and purifying oils of eucalyptus, rosemary, peppermint and lavender

• Unique cashmere protein; almost identical to human hair to strengthen, rebuild and protect

• ZERO– Silicone, phthalates, parabens, xenoestrogens, micro-beads and other nasties.

4. Dandruff

Dandruff and seborrheic dermatitis are common causes of itchy scalp. Seborrheic dermatitis can come from stress, seasonal changes, fluctuating hormones, or excess yeast growth on the skin. Dandruff is normally oily, not dry, and exacerbated by high sugar levels in the diet.

5. Unwanted Guests

Scratching the head with no sign of flaking or sore patches could mean headlice. These freeloaders are widespread at private boarding schools and very good at camouflage. An adult head louse is tiny at just 2 to 3mm long, and can lay eggs that are coloured to blend in with the hair. Head lice like clean and dirty hair. Clean hair is easier to walk around.

The reproductive cycle is around 7-10 days with eggs hatching from the base of the hairshaft near the scalp, so thorough combing daily for over 10 days will clear the scalp. We had a few incidents with these when my daughters were at boarding school and this is the method we used. Thorough means combing small section by section, from the scalp through to end, and can take 20 minutes. Using some conditioner with tea tree oil mixed in helps ease the combing and annoy the lice. Missing a few lice keeps the outbreak going as adults can lay 6 eggs per day. There are some powerful chemicals out there like pyrethrin and permethrin which make it easier (not for pets, goldfish or bees), but I prefer the more natural methods.

6. Formication
This is the feeling of insects crawling across or underneath your skin. Formication is known as a type of paraesthesia, feeling sensations on your skin that don't link to a physical cause.

7. Muscle Fatigue - more of an ache than an itch

When we're cold, tiny muscles at the base of each hair contract to make them stand on end. This traps an insulating layer of air close to the skin which helps limit heat loss. It can distort the skin creating goose bumps. All mammals share this hair-raising trait, called piloerection.

When our hair spends prolonged periods laying against the natural direction of the muscle, such as with plaits, ponytails, or greasy hair flattened, it can cause a multitude of small muscle aches under the scalp once freed. A little like having your arm held behind your back for an hour then released.

Healthy Scalps = Healthy Hair

Scalps are a continuation of the skin on your face and deserve regular attention. Clean fresh scalps are a key element in having healthy hair. Regular exfoliating will keep the scalp clean, breathable, and the hair healthier. No more itching, or flakes on the shoulders.

These are the 3 scalp care products that make a difference

Scalp Exfoliating Treatment - £19
Scalp Exfoliating Shampoo - £24
Balancing Scalp Shampoo - £21

 Michael Van Clarke

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