With the weather getting colder and the dry winter months upon us, you might be experiencing an itchy scalp despite following your normal hair care regimen. Because of the change in weather you might need to inject some more moisture into your routine. However, if you have tried this and you are still constantly scratching then you should consider the following as a cause for that winter time itch:
The first and most obvious would be a dry scalp. In colder months you could be experiencing not only a dry scalp but also a little dryness in your curls. What worked in the warmer, more humid months might not be enough in the cooler, dryer months. An easy fix for this is to add a heavy butter like shea butter or mango butter to your LOC/LOB routine to add an extra layer of protection and better seal in that moisture. For your scalp, lubricate it lightly with an oil, but avoid being too heavy handed to avoid buildup.
With the use of heavier products comes the much faster buildup of products on your scalp. The best solution for this to wash your hair in four to five sections with whatever cleansing products you use, condition and moisturize as usual.
An exposed scalp
Sometimes after installing a protective style like braids, flat twists, cornrows and other styles leave parts of your scalp usually hidden from the elements exposed. You may experience some itchiness, even if you washed and moisturized before styling. One way to remedy this is to lubricate your scalp with an oil: our ginger tea tree oil, is a good choice! If your scalp still is more than a little itchy then you might want to wash it again after a day or two.
Using shampoo that strips your hair
To help combat this try using a shampoo that is sulfate free. You can even go so far as to use an all-natural shampoo from Shea Moisture or Trader Joe’s. Though these shampoo options are much better for your hair they can still leave your hair feeling a little stripped. The best way to prevent this is with a pre-poo. Separate your hair into sections and spray with water. Then take your favorite oil like olive, castor, coconut oil, and coat your strands. Twist the section back up and repeat. Put on a plastic cap and apply heat for 15-30 minutes and then wash and condition as usual. You can also use a mud wash or an apple cider vinegar rinse which will clean your scalp without leaving your curls feeling stripped.
Depending on your current style your itchy scalp could be caused by an allergic reaction to a product or type of hair used in styling. Some people, including myself, experience an itchy scalp when wearing braids or twists. This can be caused by the chemicals used to treat synthetic hair creating irritation of the scalp when in close prolonged contact. This can be fixed by rinsing the extensions in a vinegar solution before use. Another allergic reaction you could be having is to a product you are using. Natural or synthetic, you may have sensitivity to the ingredient. One miracle product that many naturals are switching from is coconut oil. Some are finding their hair is behaving differently or developing a scalp irritation, all due to sensitivity to the oil. The best way to fix this is to switch to a different product with different ingredients and see how your scalp reacts to it. However, if you are experiencing more severe symptoms such as scaly patches, or painful burning irritation you may be suffering from eczema, psoriasis or another serious condition. If this is the case please seek out a dermatologist, preferably on that specializes in African American skin care.