Having a well moisturized scalp is one of the most important steps when it comes to having healthy hair. Oftentimes, we focus on making our curls look as beautiful as possible and without realizing it, we begin to neglect the health of our scalp. If you’ve ever experienced having a dry or itchy scalp, you know how annoying, inconvenient, and painful this can be. When untreated, dry/itchy scalp can lead to even more harmful skin conditions. Usually* dry, itchy scalp is non-threatening and may be due to one or more of the following reasons:
- Not moisturizing the hair often enough
- Using heat excessively
- Using shampoos that strip the hair of moisture
- An allergic reaction to a product
- Product buildup
*Keep in mind that if you notice scabbing or scaly patches on your scalp that are painful, these are signs of more severe irritations such as eczema, psoriasis, or other skin conditions. For help in this area, please seek a dermatologist.
That being said, dry itchy scalp is a common problem for many naturals and it can certainly be tackled! Here are five easy ways to address this issue:
1. Mist your scalp with a moisturizing leave-in conditioner.
This tip is especially great for naturals who have a protective style like box braids or crochet braids installed. I’m currently wearing box braids myself and lately, I’ve been using the CURLS Lavish Curls Moisturizer. This moisturizer is incredibly nourishing and has no sulfates, silicones, parabens, mineral or petrolatum oils. Some key ingredients are water, glycerin, which naturally pulls moisture from the hair into your strands, and jojoba oil, which not only aids in soothing the scalp but also adds shine and elasticity to the hair.
2. Do a scalp massage!
One of the best ways to alleviate an itchy scalp is to apply your favorite oil and follow up with a 5-15 minute scalp massage. I do this at least 3 times a week and it leaves my scalp feeling absolutely amazing. When massaging your scalp, remember not to scratch (even though it’s tempting!) by using the balls of your fingers and not your fingertips or nails to do the work. Also, try to use a light oil such as grapeseed oil or coconut oil. These oils both soothe dryness and irritation and are easy for your hair to absorb and won’t weigh your hair down as it travels down the hair shaft. Lastly, scalp massages loosen up dead skin cells, so they are also great to do right before a wash. You can also try a scalp massager like this one by VitaGoods for an even better scalp massage.
3. Use a moisturizing deep conditioner.
Sometimes when your scalp is dry, it may just be due for a little TLC. After using a sulfate-free shampoo and your favorite conditioner, follow up with a moisturizing deep conditioner. You can purchase a deep conditioner, make some from scratch, or do what I do: start with your favorite store deep conditioner and add to it. When my hair’s feeling especially dry, I like to add aloe vera juice and coconut oil to my mixture. Unsure of what to look for in a moisturizing deep conditioner? Check out this post to discover the best ingredients to include in your DIY deep conditioner recipes.
4. Apply an apple cider vinegar rinse or leave-in.
Apple cider vinegar has many benefits when it comes to hair: it will remove product build-up, treat dandruff, and leave your scalp feeling completely restored. For an ACV rinse, mix one part ACV with one part warm water. Apply this rinse after shampooing your hair, paying special attention to your scalp. Leave the mix in for 2-5 minutes, rinse it out, and proceed with your wash routine. You can use the same concoction as a leave-in by spraying it to your scalp after deep conditioning and then styling as usual.
5. Try a homemade remedy.
There are many do-it-yourself remedies for dry, itchy scalp, many of which are all-natural and super easy to make. For a great home remedy for your scalp, check out this video from HeyFranHey: