Why Is My Scalp Itchy?

An itchy scalp is a common problem among men and there are many different common causes. As Barbers, we are aware of this common problem. So, in this week's edition of #BarberTalk by New York Barbers, we are going to discuss the different causes of an itchy scalp, as well as how to help the issue.

We hope this helps, let us know if you have any questions - we are happy to help!


Dandruff is common and almost every guy has probably had at least a little bit of dandruff at some point.

It is an overgrowth of yeast on the scalp and is quite common on oily scalps. It will cause itchiness and dry flakes of dead skin.

It can be treated with a dandruff shampoo, which contains ingredients to control yeast - such as the REDKEN Scalp Relief: Dandruff Control Shampoo.

It is a specialized dandruff shampoo with pyrithione zinc that gently cleanses hair and soothes the scalp.

If a dandruff shampoo doesn’t work you may need to see a dermatologist.

Psoriasis On The Scalp

Scalp psoriasis is a common skin disorder that forms raised, red & scaly patches of skin on your scalp. It can be as much as a single patch or several and can spread on your entire scalp as well as the forehead, the back of your neck, or behind and your ears.

It is not contagious but can run in the family and doctors believe it comes from the immune system, causing skin cells to grow too quickly and build up into patches.

Symptoms of mild scalp psoriasis usually only include slight scaling, red patches of the scalp.

But if it is moderate to severe, the symptoms can include:

  • Scaly, red, bumpy patches

  • Silvery-white scales

  • Skin flakingDry scalp

  • Itchy Scalp

  • Burning or soreness

  • Psoriasis, if moderate to severe, should be consulted about with a doctor who can help with medicated products to help with psoriasis.

If it is mild psoriasis, you can use a Sulfate-Free shampoo such as the Blends of Many Rebalancing Shampoo, designed to deeply cleanse the hair and scalp and aid with dandruff and excess sebum. This will help to contain mild psoriasis, but depending on the individual's case you may need to see a doctor if it's affecting you. 

Ringworm (Tinea Capitis)

No, not actual worms!

Ringworm is a fungal infection on the scalp. It gets the name ringworm because the fungus makes circular marks on the skin. Also called Tinea Capitis, the infection affects your scalp, causing small patches of itchy, scaly skin.

Ringworm on the scalp can cause significant hair loss of left untreated. The fungus responsible for ringworm isn’t just active on your scalp, it’s also active deep inside your hair follicles. If you suspect you have ringworm, you need to see a doctor or dermatologist to get the correct treatment.

Allergic Reaction (Contact Dermatitis)

People with sensitive skin are more prone to allergic reactions from certain hair products.

Some scalp types are more sensitive than others. There are many irritants and allergens found in shampoos, hair sprays and styling products and they are easily able to absorb into your skin.

When skin senses an ingredient as dangerous, inflammation is activated to separate and kill it. Inflammation comes hand in hand with a red itchy scalp.

Even if you’ve been using the same haircare products for a while, you may still start to get an allergic reaction.

Why is this?

Because sensitizers are ingredients that may not cause you an allergy when you first start using them, but your skin gradually becomes sensitized to them. So, a shampoo you have used for years could be the cause of your itching scalp.

If you have a sensitive scalp, you want to be using a gentle shampoo & conditioner that is sulfate-free.

Sulfates can cause scalp irritation as they strip the natural oils of the scalp, and the scalps natural water barrier is broken. Chemicals from products can then enter the top layers of skin, causing irritation and inflammation.

Sulfate-Free and Gentle Shampoo’s such as the ones in the BLENDS OF MANY Range will gently cleanse your scalp without irritation and not strip your hair of it’s natural oils needed for moisture.

They have a Rebalancing Shampoo to rebalance and cleanse the scalp and treat dandruff if you have it and an Energising Shampoo to cleanse and to revitalize thinning hair. 

Build Up Of Product

Particularly Hair Products containing silicones. If not washed out properly over time, they make your hair dull, limp and lifeless. 

Product build-up can make your scalp irritated, dry, itchy & red.

It can trap allergens, irritants and sensitizers close to your scalp.

Product build-up can interrupt your scalps natural shedding. Everyone loses skin cells from their scalp on a daily basis. If you have a layer of silicones on your scalp, it blocks the scalps ability to shed naturally.

Be sure to wash your scalp thoroughly when washing and try to use products that are water-soluble. This means they break down with water and are easily washed out, eliminating product build up. 

To prevent product build-up, we recommend using water-soluble hair products. This means they will wash out with water with ease and not build up in your hair. The American Barber Hair Styling Products are a great water-soluble option! 

Dry Scalp

Some people just have a naturally dry scalp, and it is itchy just like dry skin on any other part of your body.

When the skin is hydrated, it is soothed, conditioned and able to defend against irritants and allergens.

When the skin is dry, it is itchy and inflamed. It is also not able to defend as well against irritants and allergens.

A dry scalp left untreated can just become worse, so the key is to re-hydrate the scalp, using moisturising haircare products such as the BLENDS OF MANY Rebalancing Shampoo to cleanse and re-hydrate.

It is Sulfate Free, so it will not dry out your scalp by completely stripped it of its natural oils Pair this with the BLENDS OF MANY Rebalancing Tonic and your scalp with stay hydrated throughout the day as well! 

We hope you gained some valuable insight into some of the common causes as to why your scalp may be or can get so itchy sometimes!

If you have any questions or would like further information on this topic, or any other mens haircare related topic, please feel free to get in contact with us. We are here to help!

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Visit us here our barbershop here in Berwick for all your grooming needs. Haircut, Beard Trim or Shave. We are located at 30 Adams Lane, Berwick VIC 

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