why is my scalp itchy

The Real Reasons Why Your Scalp Is Itchy

An itchy scalp can leave you scratching your head for answers. If you’re someone who deals with an itchy scalp, then you know how frustrating, annoying, and downright embarrassing it can be. But don’t worry, you’re not alone. Over 50% of the population experiences dandruff and itchy scalps.

Let’s comb through the most common causes of itchy scalps and how you can treat yours with AFAM.

Table of Contents

What Causes an Itchy Scalp?

Here the top 5 common causes of an itchy scalp.


Those little white flakes that cause your entire scalp to itch are known as dandruff. Dandruff is a result of excess oil or a buildup of styling products. A yeast-like fungus called Malassezia can also cause dandruff.

Seborrheic Dermatitis

Also known as seborrhea, seborrheic dermatitis is a common skin condition that produces a dry, inflamed, and itchy scalp. No one really knows what causes seborrheic dermatitis, but it has been linked to stress, hormones, and infrequent hair washing. About 3 to 10 out of every 100 people have seborrheic dermatitis.

Contact Dermatitis

Contact dermatitis is an itchy rash that can form on your scalp due to an allergic reaction. Oftentimes, certain fragrances or ingredients in hair products can cause contact dermatitis. Consider changing your hair care products if you experience this condition.

Atopic Dermatitis

Atopic dermatitis—or eczema—is typically a genetic condition that presents itself as red, itchy patches throughout your scalp. This skin condition is not solely exclusive to your scalp, as it can form behind your knees and on your elbows.


If you have a localized itch that looks like a raised, scaly patch, you likely have psoriasis. This is a genetic autoimmune condition that can show up on your scalp, hands, knees, elbows, and other parts of your body. Dry weather, stress, and medications can trigger psoriasis flare-ups.

itchy scalp guide

How To Stop an Itchy Scalp

Tips to Avoid an Itchy Scalp

As tempting as it is to scratch your scalp, scratching causes more harm than good. Maintain good scalp hygiene by washing your hair regularly, avoiding tight hairstyles, and using lukewarm water; hot water can dry your scalp out, causing more dandruff.

Irritants & Ingredients to Avoid

Fragrances and artificial dyes in hair care products can cause allergic reactions. Opt for fragrance-free or hypoallergenic options. Remember to refrain from harsh sulfates and parabens—and don’t scrub your scalp with your fingernails. Use the pads of your fingertips instead.

Itchy Scalp Remedies to Try

Tea tree oil has antifungal and antibacterial properties that can help alleviate pesky scalp itchiness. Aloe vera has soothing and moisturizing properties, making it beneficial for relieving scalp irritation. Salicylic acid can also help exfoliate the scalp to reduce flaking.

woman scratching itchy scalp

Itchy Scalp Treatment Products by AFAM

Identifying the root cause of scalp itchiness is important in finding relief. By following our recommendations, you can soothe your scalp, reduce itchiness, and restore scalp health for happier, itch-free days.

Remember, a healthy scalp is the foundation for healthy hair. Don’t wash your hair without a proper arsenal of products. Shop the itchy scalp collection at AFAM today.