Itchy Scalp and Hair Loss
Itchy Scalp and Hair Loss: Causes and Remedies
Dealing with an itchy scalp accompanied by hair loss can be frustrating and worrisome, particularly for women. However, it’s important to note that hair loss caused by an itchy scalp is usually not permanent and can be treated effectively. While it’s normal to lose about 100 hairs a day, severe hair loss accompanied by itching should not be ignored.
Causes of Hair Loss Due to Itchy Scalp
One common cause of hair loss due to an itchy scalp is the excessive secretion of oil, known as Scalp Dysesthesia. This excessive oil, called sebum, acts as a protective coat for the hair follicles and provides essential nutrients. However, when sebum is overproduced, it leads to inflammation, persistent flaking, and itching. This condition can also create an environment for bacterial infections, further exacerbating scalp itching. Poor hair care practices, such as the use of harmful shampoo ingredients, hair dyes, styling products, and chemical treatments, can irritate and damage the hair follicles, resulting in hair loss. Folliculitis, characterized by pus-filled boils around the hair follicles, is a common problem associated with these practices. If left untreated, it can lead to bald patches and permanent hair follicle damage.
Fungal infections, such as tinea capitis or ringworm of the scalp, can also cause an itchy scalp and hair loss. Symptoms include red patches, itchy skin, and hair loss. Failure to address this condition promptly can result in bald patches. Scalp psoriasis, a non-contagious skin disease, presents with white scales, severe itching, red patches, and temporary baldness in the affected area. Many Americans suffer from this condition. Another cause is seborrhoeic dermatitis, a hair condition caused by an inflammatory reaction to a yeast called Malassezia. This yeast feeds on the natural oils secreted by the sebaceous glands, but its excessive growth leads to skin irritation, dryness, redness, flakes, itching, and temporary hair loss. Stress is also associated with scalp itching and hair loss.
Remedies that May Help
To prevent and alleviate an itchy scalp and hair loss, incorporate these remedies into your hair care routine:
Change your shampoo: Regularly check and switch to a natural shampoo with antifungal properties. Harsh chemicals in many shampoos can strip the scalp and hair of natural oils, exacerbating the condition.
Maintain personal hygiene: Keep your scalp and hair clean by washing them more frequently, especially if they become dirty or greasy quickly. Regular washing is essential, particularly for individuals who spend time outdoors or engage in daily workouts.
Avoid heat and chemical treatments: Heat styling and chemical treatments can contribute to various scalp problems. If you choose to undergo these treatments, ensure you use appropriate hair care products specifically designed for them.
Ensure sufficient Vitamin B intake: Include Vitamin B-rich foods in your diet to support healthy hair growth and prevent deficiencies that can hinder the hair growth process.
Incorporate folic acid: Foods like seeds, nuts, and grains are excellent sources of folic acid, which promotes healthy hair. Consider adding flaxseed, a particularly rich source of folic acid, to your diet.
Consume a variety of vegetables: Make vegetables, especially lettuce and spinach, a significant part of your diet. Aim to include vegetables of different colors to support overall hair health.
Include protein-rich foods: Cheese, meat, fish, eggs, and milk are excellent sources of protein, essential for healthy hair. If you’re vegetarian, incorporate legumes and pulses to ensure an adequate protein intake.
Taking care of your hair