5 Effective Treatments for an Itchy Scalp

May 7th 2016

Sometimes itchy scalp is simply a reaction to the use of various hair products; try narrowing down your hair product selection or changing things up to see if a new shampoo or hair gel makes a difference. Itchy scalp is usually just an inconvenience and perhaps a cosmetic problem, and home remedies or over-the-counter treatments typically keep it at bay.

Lemon Juice or Apple Cider Vinegar

Lemon juice and apple cider vinegar both have antiseptic qualities that can help ease an itchy scalp and lessen dandruff. Try pouring either substance onto your scalp or, if your scalp is sensitive or the itchiness is mild, dilute it with water and apply it using a spray bottle. Let the solution sit in your hair for a few minutes before washing it out. You can use this remedy daily with no damage to your hair.

Dandruff Shampoo

When an itchy scalp is accompanied by dandruff, a dandruff shampoo is often the first line of attack. Dandruff shampoos come in both over-the-counter and prescription formulations. Start with an over-the-counter formula, but if it doesn't work, you may need to visit a dermatologist to get a prescription for something stronger. Different shampoos are designed to target the reason for your itchy scalp and dandruff, so you might want to test out several options.

Treatment of Parasites

Itchy scalp can be far different to treat when it's caused by the presence of parasites such as lice or ringworm. Even though lice-removal shampoos and creams are available, in most cases, the lice and nits must be picked out by hand, often with a second treatment to catch any eggs as they hatch. Prescription shampoos are available if over-the-counter treatments and nit-picking don't work. Ringworm always requires medical treatment, which typically consists of oral antifungal medications; treatment may take up to six weeks to be effective.

Baking Soda

Apply baking soda to damp hair several times a week, and let it sit for up to 15 minutes before washing it out. Baking soda helps to ease itchy scalp because of the way its natural alkaline nature interacts with the pH of your scalp.

Topical Oils

Tea tree oil is often effective on an itchy scalp that has significant scaly patches of skin. Watch out for any allergic reactions, and stop using it if you experience any. Coconut oil is also helpful and imparts a wonderful scent to your hair after each treatment. Even a simple hot-oil treatment using warm olive oil can make a big difference.


Itchy scalp, a condition that is often accompanied by dandruff, can be caused by several different skin ailments. While dermatological conditions such as psoriasis, eczema and seborrheic dermatitis can be unpleasant, none of them are dangerous, and in most cases, they can be successfully treated without much trouble. Sometimes you can deal with an itchy scalp simply through home remedies, while in other cases, the condition may require medication. When in doubt, always check with a medical professional.

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