Top 10 Reason For Itchy Scalp And Hair Loss You Should Consider

15/08/2023 91 views
Reason For Itchy Scalp And Hair Loss

An itchy scalp accompanied by hair loss can be a distressing condition that affects many individuals. Understanding the reasons behind this dual symptom is crucial for effective management and treatment.

Several factors can contribute to an itchy scalp and hair loss, ranging from underlying medical conditions to lifestyle choices and external factors. Identifying the root cause is essential to address the issue and restore scalp and hair health.

Is Itchy Scalp Related to Hair Loss?

Itchy scalp
Itchy scalp

Yes, an itchy scalp can be related to hair loss. There are several conditions that can cause both symptoms, including:

  • Scalp psoriasis: Psoriasis is a chronic autoimmune condition that affects the skin, including the scalp. It can cause red, scaly patches on the scalp, accompanied by itching. In some cases, excessive scratching or inflammation can lead to temporary hair loss.
  • Seborrheic dermatitis: This is a common scalp condition characterized by redness, itching, and flaking of the skin. It can also affect the hair follicles, leading to hair loss.
  • Tinea capitis: Also known as scalp ringworm, it is a fungal infection that can cause itching, scaling, and hair loss in affected areas.
  • Alopecia areata: This is an autoimmune condition where the immune system mistakenly attacks the hair follicles, leading to hair loss. It can sometimes be associated with itchiness or a tingling sensation on the scalp.

What Are The Main Causes For Itchy Scalp And Hair Loss?


Dandruff is a common cause of an itchy scalp and hair loss. It is characterized by the shedding of dead skin cells from the scalp. The main cause of dandruff is an overgrowth of a yeast-like fungus called Malassezia. This fungus feeds on the natural oils produced by the scalp, leading to irritation and increased cell turnover. The excessive shedding of skin cells can clog hair follicles, leading to hair thinning and breakage.

Factors that can contribute to dandruff include:

  • Dry skin: Dry scalp can lead to the development of dandruff as the skin flakes off more easily.
  • Sebaceous gland activity: Excessive oil production by the sebaceous glands can create an environment favorable for the growth of Malassezia.
  • Sensitivity to Malassezia: Some individuals may have a heightened sensitivity to the presence of Malassezia, resulting in an inflammatory response and increased flaking.

Treatment for dandruff usually involves the use of anti-dandruff shampoos containing ingredients such as zinc pyrithione, ketoconazole, selenium sulfide, or coal tar. These ingredients help to reduce the growth of Malassezia and alleviate symptoms.

Allergic reaction

Allergic reaction
Allergic reaction

An allergic reaction can cause scalp itching and hair loss. Allergens that come into contact with the scalp can trigger an immune response, leading to inflammation and irritation. This can result in itching, redness, and hair loss. Common allergens that can cause a reaction on the scalp include:

  • Hair care products: Certain ingredients in the best shampoo for itchy scalp and hair loss, conditioners, hair dyes, or styling products can cause an allergic reaction in some individuals. These ingredients may include fragrances, preservatives, or specific chemicals.
  • Metals: Some people may develop an allergic reaction to metals like nickel, which is commonly found in jewelry or hair accessories. Contact with these metals can cause an allergic response on the scalp.
  • Environmental allergens: Pollen, dust mites, or pet dander can trigger an allergic reaction when they come into contact with the scalp, leading to itchiness and hair loss.

Identifying and avoiding the specific allergen is crucial in managing the symptoms. Treatment may involve using hypoallergenic hair care products, minimizing exposure to known allergens, and, in severe cases, seeking medical attention for prescription medications or allergy testing.

Tinea capitis

Tinea capitis, also known as scalp ringworm, is a fungal infection that can cause both itching and hair loss. It is primarily caused by dermatophyte fungi, which thrive in warm and moist environments. Common symptoms of tinea capitis include:

  • Itchy, red, and scaly patches on the scalp
  • Hair breakage or loss in circular patterns
  • Pus-filled sores or bumps on the scalp

Tinea capitis is contagious and can spread through direct contact with infected individuals, contaminated items like combs or hats, or from pets such as cats and dogs. Children are more susceptible to this condition.

Treatment for tinea capitis typically involves antifungal medications, either in oral or topical form, depending on the severity of the infection. Oral medications are usually necessary to effectively eradicate the fungus from the scalp.

Additionally, practicing good hygiene, avoiding sharing personal items, and treating infected pets can help prevent the spread of tinea capitis.

Head Lice

Head Lice
Head Lice

Head lice are small insects that infest the scalp and cause itching. They are a common problem, especially among children. The itching is primarily due to the lice feeding on blood from the scalp. Scratching the scalp excessively can lead to hair loss.

Here are some treatments to consider:

  • Over-the-counter medicated shampoos containing pyrethrin or permethrin can be used to kill the lice. Follow the instructions on the package carefully.
  • Combining the hair with a fine-toothed comb called a nit comb can help remove the lice and their eggs (nits) from the hair.
  • It is important to wash all bedding, clothing, and personal items that may have come into contact with the lice to prevent reinfestation.
  • In severe cases, prescription-strength treatments may be necessary.


Scabies is a contagious skin condition caused by the microscopic mite Sarcoptes scabiei. While it primarily affects the skin, it can also cause itching and hair loss on the scalp in some cases.

Here are some treatments to consider:

Prescription topical creams or lotions containing permethrin or ivermectin are typically used to treat scabies. These medications help kill the mites.

  • It is crucial to apply the medication to the entire body, including the scalp, and leave it on for the recommended duration before rinsing.
  • All bedding, clothing, and personal items used within the last few days should be washed in hot water to prevent reinfestation.
  • Close contacts may also need to be treated, even if they do not show symptoms.

Scalp Psoriasis

Scalp psoriasis
Scalp psoriasis

Scalp psoriasis is an autoimmune condition characterized by the rapid growth of skin cells on the scalp, leading to redness, itching, and flaking. Scratching the scalp vigorously due to itchiness can cause temporary hair loss.

Here are some treatments to consider:

  • Medicated shampoos containing ingredients like coal tar, salicylic acid, or ketoconazole can help control scalp psoriasis. Follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer.
  • Prescription-strength topical corticosteroids or other immunosuppressant medications may be prescribed for severe cases.
  • Regularly moisturizing the scalp can help reduce itching and flaking.
  • Avoiding triggers such as stress, cold weather, and certain hair products can help manage symptoms.
  • If hair loss occurs, it is usually temporary, and hair should regrow once the condition is under control.

Scalp Ringworm

Scalp ringworm, or tinea capitis, is a fungal infection that affects the scalp and hair shafts. It can cause itching, redness, scaling, and hair loss. Despite its name, scalp ringworm is not caused by worms but by various types of fungi.

Here are some treatments to consider:

  • Oral antifungal medications are typically prescribed to treat scalp ringworm. These medications are taken for several weeks to effectively eliminate the infection.
  • In some cases, antifungal shampoos or creams may be recommended for additional topical treatment.
  • It is important to practice good hygiene, avoid sharing personal items, and regularly clean and disinfect combs and brushes to prevent the spread of the infection.
  • If there are patches of hair loss, they may take some time to regrow after the infection has been treated.

Alopecia Areata

Androgenic Areata
Androgenic Areata

Alopecia areata is an autoimmune condition where the immune system mistakenly attacks the hair follicles, resulting in hair loss. It can cause itching and patchy hair loss on the scalp.

Here are some treatments to consider::

  • Corticosteroids: Topical or injected corticosteroids can help suppress the immune response and reduce inflammation in the affected areas.
  • Topical Immunotherapy: Chemicals such as diphencyprone (DPCP) or squaric acid dibutyl ester (SADBE) can be applied to the scalp to provoke an allergic reaction, stimulating hair regrowth.
  • Minoxidil: This over-the-counter medication can promote hair growth and may be used in combination with other treatments.
  • Anthralin: This topical medication can help to normalize the immune response and promote hair regrowth.

Nerve Problems

Nerve-related issues can lead to scalp itchiness and hair loss. Conditions such as trichotillomania (hair-pulling disorder) or neuropathy can cause these symptoms.

Here are some treatments to consider:

  • Behavioral Therapy: In the case of trichotillomania, therapy can help address the underlying psychological factors and develop coping strategies to stop hair pulling.
  • Medications: In some cases, medications such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) or clomipramine may be prescribed to help manage trichotillomania.
  • Treating Underlying Conditions: If neuropathy is causing the symptoms, treating the underlying condition, such as diabetes or autoimmune disorders, can help alleviate the scalp itchiness and hair loss.

Lichen Planopilaris

Lichen planopilaris
Lichen planopilaris

Lichen planopilaris is a chronic inflammatory condition that affects the hair follicles, leading to scarring and permanent hair loss. It can cause itching, burning, and redness on the scalp. Here are some treatments to consider:

  • Topical Corticosteroids: Applying corticosteroid creams or ointments to the affected areas can help reduce inflammation and control symptoms.
  • Intralesional Corticosteroid Injections: In severe cases, corticosteroids can be injected directly into the affected areas to suppress inflammation.
  • Oral Medications: Systemic medications like hydroxychloroquine, methotrexate, or isotretinoin may be prescribed to control the immune response and slow down the progression of the disease.
  • Phototherapy: Light therapy using ultraviolet (UV) radiation can help manage symptoms and promote hair regrowth in some cases.
  • Hair Transplantation: In advanced stages with significant hair loss, hair transplantation may be considered to restore hair in areas of scarring.


How can I determine the cause of my itchy scalp and hair loss?

It is best to consult a healthcare professional or a dermatologist who can examine your scalp, review your medical history, and conduct any necessary tests to identify the underlying cause.

They may also consider your symptoms, lifestyle factors, and any recent changes in hair care routine or products used.

Can stress cause an itchy scalp and hair loss?

Stress can indeed cause hair loss
Stress can indeed cause scalp itchiness and hair loss

Yes, stress can contribute to scalp itchiness and hair loss. Stress-induced hair loss, known as telogen effluvium, can disrupt the hair growth cycle and lead to excessive shedding. It can also trigger or worsen conditions like dandruff and psoriasis, which can cause an itchy scalp thinning hair female.

Are there any home remedies to alleviate an itchy scalp?

While it’s important to address the underlying cause, there are some home remedies that may provide temporary relief for an itchy scalp. These include regularly washing your hair with a mild shampoo, avoiding excessive heat styling, using a humidifier to add moisture to the air, applying natural remedies like tea tree oil or aloe vera gel.

Can hair loss from an itchy scalp be reversed?

The possibility of reversing hair loss depends on the underlying cause. In some cases, treating the root cause, such as addressing a fungal infection or managing hormonal imbalances, can help promote hair regrowth.

However, certain conditions like genetic pattern baldness may not have a complete cure, but treatments can help slow down the progression or improve the appearance of the hair.


In conclusion, there are a variety of causes for an itchy scalp and hair loss, making thorough examination and the right therapies necessary.

To discover possible triggers or to diagnose and treat any underlying medical disorders, it is advised to seek medical guidance and expert help. It is possible to reduce these symptoms and encourage healthy hair development and scalp conditions with the right care and tailored therapies.


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