What’s Causing Your Itchy Scalp and How to Help

If you have an itchy scalp, you know how frustrating it can be: That. Constant. Urge. To. Scratch. And when a chronic itch is compounded by a flurry of flaking each time you do scratch, it’s enough to make us scream. Good thing there are effective (and fast-acting) treatments. Here, simple strategies that will help alleviate that itch—at last.

Table of Contents

    Go easy on your scalp

    A scratchy scalp is also known as irritated skin so it’s important that you use gentle cleansing products on your hair in order to avoid exacerbating your scalp’s soreness. This means opting for formulas that are free of any harsh sulfates, the aggressive cleansing agents that can strip natural oils from the skin and worsen an inflamed scalp. It’s also wise to steer clear of heavy fragrances in your shampoos and conditioners as fragrance is another potential irritant. All of Prose formulas are sulfate-free and, when creating your customized regimen, you can always choose to make any formula fragrance-free. Prose’s new scalp mask takes sensitivity into account by only being scented with either soothing eucalyptus or refreshing grapefruit oil.

    Strive for balance

    According to Alan J. Bauman, M.D., a Boca Raton dermatologist and hair-restoration specialist, scalp skin typically becomes inflamed when it has too much—or too little—of something. “An itchy scalp can be caused by an imbalance of skin hydration, oil production, microorganism colonies and/or scalp pH levels,” he explains. The causes of imbalances vary: shampooing too much or too infrequently; coloring, chemical straightening or other professional treatments that dry out the scalp; UV exposure; or even a hair product that contains an ingredient to which you’re (unknowingly) allergic. Identifying the root cause (pun intended) of your imbalance is an important step—and a dermatologist like Dr. Bauman or a Prose-trained stylist can help you do this. Then, they can also help you devise a treatment to even the scales. For instance, a topical prebiotic, like Prose’s new prebiotic derived from non-GMO corn, can help support the “good” bacteria on the scalp and temper the negative effects of “bad” bacteria. Or, using a hair care product with some UV protection, such as Prose’s coconut and karanji oils, will minimize irritation caused by the sun.

    Address redness asap

    Finding the culprit of your scalp’s irritation is obviously key to curing it. But figuring out the cause—and then waiting for your scalp skin to heal—does take some time. To get immediate relief, as well as accelerate recovery, it is prudent to also use hair care products that boast anti-inflammatory properties. Prose recently introduced a new inflammation-quelling ingredient, coined CBD (short for Cannabidiol), made from organic hemp grown in Germany. CBD has been shown to almost-instantly calm angry skin. At Prose, to maximize its impact, we combine this active with nourishing provitamin B5 (aka panthenol) and licorice extract, which helps soothe skin.

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