Can Hair Products Make Your Scalp Itchy? Is Your Shampoo too Harsh?

Have you’ve spent the evening styling your hair into the perfect blow wave only to be left with an itchy scalp? If so, you might be wondering if your hair products are to blame. But before you throw them all away, let’s find out if hair products make your scalp itchy and what you can do for relief.

Young girl itching her scalp with both hands looking frustrated.

What Hair Products Make Your Scalp Itchy?

Check Your Shampoo

Hair products are meant to leave us with luscious, flowing, voluminous hair, but unfortunately, that’s not always the case. When considering whether hair products make your scalp itchy, shampoos with SLS (sodium Laureth sulfate or sodium lauryl sulfate) are often to blame. Shampoos with SLS are very drying and can cause redness, irritation, cell damage, and excess stripping of the hair’s natural oils. Yikes! If you notice itchiness or redness after using your shampoo, switch it up to an SLS-free shampoo which should stop the itching. And if your hair has already endured the effects of SLS, using an activating serum can help restore and revitalize your locks. 

Watch Out For Silicone

You’ll find silicone in a ton of hair products that promise to smooth the hair, like conditioners and serums. Silicone coats the hair which reduces frizz and smooths down flyaways. While silicone sounds great in theory, it does come with a distinct downside. Silicone can irritate and coat the scalp leading to build-up, which can cause itchiness. When you’re shopping for your hair care, look out for any ingredients ending in “cone.” If you’re after a natural alternative for smooth, frizz-free hair, jojoba oil and argran oil both work wonders!

Run From Resin

Hairsprays, as well as curl boosting sprays, often contain resin. Resin acts as the “hold” by creating a layer over your hair, shaping it into place. Like silicone, resin can suffocate your scalp by creating build-up, preventing it from breathing, locking in sweat, and causing itchiness. Don’t worry though, you’ll still be able to style your hair using a natural hairspray without having to worry about an itchy scalp!

Wondering what hair products to use for shiny, healthy hair? Click here to find out!

Woman with long shiny healthy hair

How to Find Relief From an Itchy Scalp?

If the damage is done and you’re currently dealing with an infuriatingly itchy scalp from using the wrong hair care products, keep reading. Luckily, there are ways you can get some much-needed quick relief so you can get back to styling your gorgeous locks!

Itchy Scalp Remedy #1 Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar, a trusty kitchen staple, can also work wonders for your hair! ACV has antibacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-inflammatory properties, all of which can help calm an itchy scalp. To make the concoction, dilute the apple cider vinegar in water using a 1 to 1 ratio. Wash it out with warm water after a few minutes and follow with your favorite SLS-free shampoo and conditioner.

Itchy Scalp Remedy #2 Exfoliation

We exfoliate our faces and bodies with all types of luxurious sugars and scrubs, so why not our hair? Exfoliating the scalp helps unclog pores and remove dead skin cells, which work wonders on flaky scalps and build-up from our hair products. Using a really good exfoliator will help combat the damage done from SLS, resin, and silicone. Exfoliating will also allow the scalp to breathe and help tackle the itch.

Itchy Scalp Remedy #3 Coconut Oil

If you’re dealing with a dry, itchy scalp, applying a healthy lather of oil all over your head may sound very appealing! Coconut oil, in particular, contains lauric acid, which is a natural antimicrobial product. It can also help to nourish the scalp as well as reduce oil build-up. Warm a healthy dollop of coconut oil between your hands and massage it into your scalp, making sure to cover it evenly. Allow the coconut oil to sit on your hair for 20 to 30 minutes before washing off.

So it turns out, yes, hair products make your scalp itchy. But after trying out the itchy scalp remedies, you should be able to gain some much-needed relief! Remember to look out for any ingredients that could irritate your scalp, and when in doubt, opt for natural, plant-based hair products.

For more on hair care and beauty, make sure to join our newsletter below!

About Jurnee

Jurnee is a writer and creative from New Zealand passionate about covering health, wellness, and fashion.