“My hair itches like crazy!!”
We’re advocates of the fly hairstyle, but there’s a special kind of madness that women who wear braids or weaves know all about. We’re talking about fingers-in-your-braids, pat-your-weave kind of situation that itches like crazy!
The fact is, the synthetic hair that makes some of the most amazing braid and weave styles possible is actually treated with alkaline lye. It makes the braiding hair wear longer and makes it heat-resistant. But can also cause a reaction that can lead to a miserable scalp.
Kinky and curly-haired naturalistas aren’t exempt. Nor are ladies with relaxed hair. In fact, black women are more likely to have dry skin all over our bodies, including our scalps.
But beyond naturally dry skin, there may be another factor: microorganisms that live on our scalps. According to dryscalpgone.com, dandruff all comes down to a microbe that lives on everyone’s heads:
- The microbe Malassezia globosa exists on the human scalp and feeds on natural scalp oils
- It then produces oleic acid, which causes a reaction in about half the population
- That reaction takes the form of — you guessed it — dandruff. You can have any combination of flakes, dryness or the dreaded itch.
On top of all that, dandruff can be made worse by hot weather, dry weather and stress. Honestly, dandruff can just be hard to avoid.
So how get relief for hair that itches like crazy?
1. Spray your scalp with a 1:3 apple cider vinegar to water mixture to restore scalp pH
Dry scalp can be treated by using natural remedies such as apple cider vinegar rinses to help restore the pH on your scalp and remove build up left behind by shampoos, conditioners, and other hair products.
Spray this mixture on your scalp and let it sit for 15-30 minutes before washing. You can also spray on your scalp and let air dry (the smell goes away as soon as it dries) for an instant scalp refresher.
2. Treat your scalp with a dandruff-fighting essential oil mix with lemongrass, cinnamon, peppermint or lavender oil
Mix a light-bodied carrier oil with and a dandruff-fighting essential oil like lemongrass, cinnamon, peppermint or lavender oil. Each of these are antimicrobial and work to clear the cells and hair follicles of debris. They also work as anti-inflammatory agents to provide soothing relief to your skin. These powerhouse oils only require a few drops per ½ cup of a carrier oil.
Carriers oils help dilute the powerful essential oils, some of which should not be directly applied to the skin. One of our favorites is almond oil, a lightweight, antioxidant-rich hypoallergenic oil that is readily absorbed into the skin. You can also use jojoba, coconut or extra virgin olive oil.
3. Check product labels for drying ingredients that can make dandruff worse
Product ingredients like sodium laurel sulfate, alcohol, formaldehyde and alcohol all work to strip moisture from your hair and scalp, which can make dandruff worse.
4. Keep styling products away from your scalp
If hair products get on your scalp, they can mix with your natural sebum, creating a waxy film. That film can clog your pores and leading to an irritated, itchy scalp. The same goes for heavy hair oils and greases.
5. Minimize refined sugar, processed foods and processed oils in your diet
We know, you’ve heard it before. Sugar, processed foods and processed oils (like corn, soy, canola, safflower and sunflower oil) are bad for your body. But who knew that they have anything at all to do with your scalp? As it turns out, our normal metabolic processes turn them into the stuff that help Malassezia globosa thrive. And when those microbes are happy, they make a lot of dandruff. If you minimize how much sugar and refined oils that go into your body, you may be surprised at the whole-body results.
6. See your dermatologist if your scalp looks unusual. It could mean another condition like seborrheic dermatitis, eczema or psoriasis
If you have any of the following symptoms, you should have a doctor take a look:
- Red and itchy scalp
- Additional flakes around your eyebrows, nose or behind your ears
- Lumpy or patchy-looking dandruff
- Scaly skin on other parts of your body
Do you have hair that itches like crazy? Tell us how you got rid of your dandruff!