In this article, we will be discussing the link between an itchy scalp and hair loss, the potential causes and the various treatments to help treat itchy scalp and hair loss.
While having an itchy scalp doesn’t necessarily mean you will also experience hair loss, if your scratching gets more aggressive or you have a pre-existing condition that could affect the strength of your hair follicles, hair loss could potentially occur.
Itchy scalp that could lead to hair loss can be caused by a multitude of reasons from skin conditions to using hair dyes that irritate the hair and the scalp - all of which we will go more into detail shortly. As all the issues stated can be treated either with prescription medication or topical treatment, this means that the hair loss is only temporary and can be regained once the underlying skin condition is treated completely.
While it is completely normal to experience an itchy scalp occasionally and lose an average of 50 to 100 hairs per day, you might be concerned when an itchy scalp has become more frequent, your scalp has developed irritated and crusty areas or your hair loss has noticeably increased. Here are some common causes of itchy scalp that could lead to hair loss:
It is also possible to treat itchy scalp and prevent further hair loss without requiring medical attention. Here are some ways to treat itchiness and ensure that both your hair and scalp are in the best of health:
While preventing skin conditions such as folliculitis, scalp ringworm and even dandruff from occurring can be beyond your control, it is possible to prevent itchy scalp and hair loss by being aware of the hair products that you use and the ingredients in them.
As mentioned earlier, the ingredient paraphenylendiamine (PPD) is commonly found in hair dye products and can cause allergic reactions. If you have a sensitive scalp or experience a noticeable itchiness after use, it is recommended that you stop using that hair dye product immediately as there is a possibility that it could lead to a more severe reaction and cause permanent hair loss.
Chemicals found in overly harsh shampoos and other hair styling products can also cause itchiness of the scalp. The best and easiest way to prevent this is by switching over to gentler, less irritating alternatives (like children’s shampoo or organic hair products).
While most instances of itchy scalp (and the hair loss caused by it) can be treated and reversed with the treatments stated above, if your scalp gets increasingly itchier over a prolonged amount of time and you begin to experience noticeable hair loss, it is advisable that you consult a doctor. Here at Noah, our doctors are best equipped with the knowledge to help you ascertain the root cause of your itchy scalp and hair loss. They will be able to advise you on the best treatment suited for you, and can also prescribe you the right medication should you need it.
Ishida, Waka et al. “Severe Hair Loss of the Scalp due to a Hair Dye Containing Para phenylenediamine.” ISRN dermatology vol. 2011 (2011): 947284. doi:10.5402/2011/947284 (Link)
Koyama, Taro et al. “Standardized Scalp Massage Results in Increased Hair Thickness by Inducing Stretching Forces to Dermal Papilla Cells in the Subcutaneous Tissue.” Eplasty vol. 16 e8. 25 Jan. 2016 (Link)