Asian man wearing a blue polo touching his hair to show itchy scalp causes

Itchy Scalp Causes and Remedies: What to Do to Stop the Itch

Learn about common itchy scalp causes so you'll know how to treat this hair problem.

Scratching your head could mean a few things. Maybe you’re relieving a slight tingle, or just feeling extremely puzzled, because an itchy scalp cannot be easily relieved from scratching. There are itchy scalp causes that require more long-term solutions.

This kind of infuriating itch is a common condition often linked with inflamed and broken skin under the hair, or a rash on the scalp. The common causes of scalp itching range from dandruff to psoriasis, which can likely worsen if not dealt with it in the right way. Read on as we tell you how to identify it and snuff the prickling out.

3 Common Itchy Scalp Causes

1. Dandruff

How to style short hair for men: Asian man with short black hair wearing a blue jacket and white shirt
Take care of your scalp by using an anti-dandruff shampoo for men. Credit: Hariono Halim

These white flakes are a common partner-in-crime to itchy scalp. An overgrowth of yeast called Malassezia causes the scalp to be inflamed, leading to a plague of itching and flaking. If your itchy scalp is associated with dandruff, under-washing your hair could be aggravating it further, leading to a pileup of oil and dead skin cells.

To get your scalp free from dandruff, switch to an anti-dandruff shampoo so you can get quick relief from dryness, itching, and irritation while boosting your scalp’s protective barrier against dandruff.

CLEAR Cool Sport Menthol Anti-Dandruff Shampoo for Men

Editor’s tip: Use CLEAR Cool Sport Anti-Dandruff Shampoo for Men to help you fight dandruff. It helps activate your scalp’s natural protective layer, so you can better fight and resist dandruff. It also has cooling mint that leaves your scalp fresh and presko.

2. Seborrheic Dermatitis

Seborrheic dermatitis affects oily surfaces on your body, such as the scalp and face. The result? A red, itchy rash, patches of dry skin and⁠—you guessed it⁠—dandruff.

3. Psoriasis

A close cousin of seborrheic dermatitis, psoriasis is a skin ailment that also produces symptoms like itchy scalp, soreness, and dandruff. But don’t confuse the two conditions. Psoriasis affects a larger area that goes beyond the hairline and may even cause unsightly and visible scaly patches or thick crusts.

If you suspect Seborrheic Dermatitis or Psoriasis, we recommend you consult your dermatologist to understand your condition. You might some medical advice to treat these itchy scalp causes.

DIY Dandruff Remedies to Try

If dandruff is the cause of your itchy scalp, you can try one of these natural remedies to get rid of it.

1. Apple Cider Vinegar

Flatlay of products
Credit: All Things Hair

– Contains healthy mallic acid and enzymes
– Kills dandruff-causing bacteria

½ Cup of warm water
½ Cup of apple cider vinegar


a. Mix ½ a cup of apple cider vinegar with ½ cup of warm water.
b. Gently massage the mixture into your scalp for several minutes.
c. Rinse with clean water. Wait 8-12 hours before next wash.

2. Coconut oil

Flat lay of products
Credit: All Things Hair

– Repairs damaged hair
– Conditions scalp
– Naturally anti-fungal
– High in vitamin E

4 tablespoons of coconut oil

a. Apply coconut oil onto your hair, gently massaging into the scalp.
b. Leave the coconut oil for 1 hour.
c. Shampoo your hair and rinse well.

3. Tea tree oil

– Moisturizes scalp
– Cleans scalp
– Clears bacteria
– Unclogs excess sebum from hair follicles

10-15 Drops of tea tree oil
Coconut oil
A small application bottle

1. Fill application bottle ¾ of the way with coconut oil, then add 10-15 drops of tea tree oil and mix well.
2. Massage into hair, covering the entire scalp.
3. Leave oils in overnight. Wash your hair the next day with shampoo and conditioner.

Fighting these causes shouldn’t be a problem once you know the right itchy scalp remedy. And when you’ve finally found relief, remember to always keep your scalp healthy and well-moisturized to prevent reoccurrence of both dandruff and itchy scalp.

How to Treat and Prevent Itchy Scalp

1. Wash your hair after working out.

Showering after exercising is not just a good hygienic practice to prevent body odor. It’s also good for your scalp because it removes sweat, dirt, and grime that can otherwise clog your pores and cause irritation and dandruff.

2. Minimize the use of styling products.

We’re not saying you should stop using your favorite hair wax or hair gel. We’re just recommending that you give your scalp and hair a break from these once in a while so product residue won’t accumulate on your scalp. Also, don’t forget to wash your hair at the end of the day to remove product buildup on your scalp.

3. Make sure your comb and towels are clean.

Dirt and bacteria can get trapped on your comb and towels, and if you don’t clean these, the dirt can get transferred to your hair and scalp and cause itchiness and irritation. Soak your comb in water with vinegar and baking soda, then use an old toothbrush to remove dirt. For your bath towel, always hang it wide on a rod to let it dry properly. Wash your bath towel once or twice a week.