Ready to learn all about how to stop your hair from itching without washing it? Read on for the answer to this issue and more!
Many effective methods exist for preventing and reducing hair itchiness without using shampoo to wash the hair, including certain types of oil, household substances like baking soda, and products like aloe vera gel. These remedies can soothe the scalp and even reverse some hair issues that cause an itchy scalp.
When you do not wash your hair with shampoo, it may cause an itchy scalp, but you will soon learn how to combat this pesky side effect!
Keep reading to learn about methods to relieve itchy scalps, why your scalp gets itchy, and more!
How To Stop Your Hair From Itching Without Washing It
Breaking the cycle of daily shampooing is tough since you must slowly wean yourself off the chemical-filled commercial shampoos.
Your hair follicles also need to adjust their sebum (hair oil) production.
When putting more and more time between shampoo washes, you might run into a whole new challenge: an itchy scalp.
During the 2-6 week adjustment period without shampoo, use these 15 tips to relieve an itchy, flaky scalp (source 1).
1. Aloe Vera Gel
Aloe vera gel has soothing, hydrating characteristics that help your scalp feel less itchy.
The best part about this itchy scalp home remedy is that it works almost immediately.
Apply aloe vera gel directly on the scalp and leave it for about 20 minutes.
The scalp should feel a cooling sensation and be less itchy. Rinse out the aloe vera with clean, cool water.
2. Apple Cider Vinegar Rinse
The antibacterial goodness in apple cider vinegar helps this substance support your scalp health.
ACV fights off dandruff and clarifies your hair, keeping it clean and itch-free.
Mix ACV for your hair with water (the ratio should be 1:1). Pour the solution onto your scalp or dip the hair and scalp into a tub filled with ACV and water.
Let it soak into your scalp and hair for about 10 minutes, then rinse the solution thoroughly to remove it from your hair.
3. Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is another substance with antimicrobial qualities that help relieve itchy scalps. This handy oil is also anti-inflammatory, so it helps relieve scalp inflammation.
Apply tea tree oil directly to the scalp after combining it with carrier oil like olive oil. Massage it into the scalp, then rinse thoroughly.
4. Lemon Juice
The acidity in lemon juice may help balance your scalp’s pH levels.
Lemon juice makes your hair shinier and even fights dandruff, which may just be the cause of your itchy scalp.
Before using lemon juice, ensure you are not allergic to lemons by doing a small patch test.
Dilute the lemon juice with water and apply it directly to the scalp.
Note that lemon juice also lightens hair over time, so if that is an unwanted side effect, select another no-poo method to relieve your itchy scalp (source 1)
5. Coconut Oil
This thick, heavy oil has a delicious scent and can help relieve itchy, dry scalps. Coconut oil is also antifungal, so it will help fight dandruff.
Warm up coconut oil before applying it so you can use it in liquid form. Warming the oil also helps it penetrate your scalp and hair follicles.
Massage it in and leave the oil on for a few hours before rinsing it.
As mentioned above, there’s typically a 2-6 week adjustment period when you first get into a “No-Poo” hair care routine.
During that timeframe, you’ll do well to learn how to relax even though your scalp feels a little itchy.
Itchy scalps may be distracting and even exasperating, leading to stress or anxiety.
Mitigate these effects by doing daily meditations to take your mind off the itchy scalp.
In a more relaxed state, you may feel less tempted to scratch your scalp, protecting your scalp and hair from damage.
You will also be able to handle the gentle treatments on this list more patiently.
Washing hair with aspirin is a safe alternative to shampoo that simultaneously helps with itchy scalps or dandruff.
Aspirin has salicylic acid, a main ingredient in dandruff shampoos that relieves scalp irritation.
Crush up a few aspirin tablets and mix them into water or one of the solutions on this list, then massage it directly onto your scalp. Rinse thoroughly after use (source 1).
8. Olive Oil
Head to the kitchen for this next solution for how to stop itchy scalp issues.
Olive oil is full of antioxidants, healthy fats, and anti-inflammatory qualities that soothe itchy scalps.
This oil also helps with scalp psoriasis, which might be the cause of scalp irritation or itching. Warm up olive oil, apply it directly to your scalp, and rub it in.
Olive oil can stay in the hair for a few hours or even overnight. When the treatment is complete, rinse it out well with lukewarm water.
9. Colloidal Oatmeal
Colloidal oatmeal’s popularity in the health and beauty industry is growing and for good reason. It’s a finely grounded, boiled oat mix that relieves itchy skin and scalps.
The avenanthramides and phenols in colloidal oatmeals are responsible for this substance’s antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
To use colloidal oatmeal, mix it with water to create a homemade oatmeal mask. Apply this paste to your scalp and massage it well.
Leave it on the scalp for 20 minutes before rinsing it out.
10. Lemongrass Oil
The antifungal and antibacterial characteristics that lemongrass oil has may help reduce the itchiness of your scalp if it has excessive bacterial growth.
Lemongrass oil even helps fight dandruff, which may occur as you venture into the no-poo world.
So, to use lemongrass oil, add a small amount to a carrier oil (like olive oil).
Massage it onto the scalp. You may also run it down the length of your hair.
Leave it in for just a few minutes, then rinse well in lukewarm water.
11. Peppermint Oil
The cooling effect of peppermint oil works wonders on an itchy scalp.
Diluting this oil and adding it directly onto the scalp provides instant relief.
Do a patch test with a small section of your scalp before covering the whole area to avoid irritation.
It must be diluted, so do not try to add 100% peppermint oil to the scalp.
12. Baking Soda
Baking soda exfoliates the scalp, clearing away built-up products and dead skin cells.
Ridding your scalp of dirt will help relieve the itchiness.
Add some water to baking soda to turn it into a paste. Then, apply it to the scalp and rinse it out with water.
13. Neem Oil
There are many benefits of applying neem oil to the hair and scalp, including relieving itchiness.
Neem oil is antifungal and anti-inflammatory, so it is effective for scalp health.
Put neem oil directly on the scalp for about 30 minutes to allow it to soak into the hair follicles.
Rinse it out well with lukewarm water.
Use it once per week or even daily.
14. Lavender Oil
The microbial properties in lavender oil benefit your scalp by slowing bacterial growth and preventing itchiness.
If you have subscribed to the No-Poo method, use lavender oil on your scalp a few times weekly.
Mix lavender oil with carrier oil before massaging it on your scalp for the best results.
15. Jojoba Oil
If the cause of your itchy scalp seems to be dryness, try applying jojoba oil. It is similar to sebum, the natural hair oil your scalp produces.
By moisturizing the scalp, jojoba oil will prevent itchiness.
Use it with a carrier oil weekly to relieve scalp irritation.
Why Does Your Head Get Itchy When You Don’t Wash It?
Not using shampoo to wash your hair daily or every few days may lead to scalp itchiness.
Several reasons are behind this phenomenon, as listed below:
Natural Oil Build-Up
Hair’s natural oil is called sebum.
It is necessary for hair to stay moist, strong, and healthy.
Daily shampooing signals the follicles to produce more sebum, producing excessively oily hair.
That is part of the reason you might get an itchy scalp after not washing hair for two days or more.
The sebum has built up, causing unwanted itchiness.
In contrast to an extra-oily scalp, not washing the hair may eventually cause dryness. That dryness can lead to skin flakes that cause itchiness.
Increase In Dandruff
If you do not remove dirt and oil from the scalp, it might become a breeding ground for dandruff.
Note that some flakiness and dustiness are normal to experience in the early stages of ending shampoo use.
Overgrowth Of Yeast
Too much sebum may cause yeast to grow on the scalp, known as Malassezia.
This yeast causes irritation and itchiness.
If you do not wash your hair, but you continue using styling products like gel and hairspray, they will inevitably build up on your scalp.
They can clog pores and cause an itchy scalp.
Hair products can adhere dead skin cells and other dirt onto the scalp, so it is critical to remove them with another method or avoid hair products.
Allergies may cause scalp irritation and itchiness.
If you were exposed to an allergen and did not wash it out of your hair, it could be the root cause of your itchy scalp.
Change In pH Level
When the scalp’s pH levels change, it could allow more bacteria to grow, leading to itchiness.
Sweat And Dirt Accumulation
The combination of dried sweat and environmental pollutants or dirt can lead to an itchy scalp.
Not removing these irritants may even cause inflammation, so it is best to at least rinse hair after physical activities.
What Causes An Itchy Scalp In Adults?
Below are some key reasons that cause itchy scalps in adults:
Finding relief for an irritated scalp feels good, but what can an itchy scalp be a sign of?
It could indicate seborrheic dermatitis, a chronic skin issue when the yeast fungus Malassezia takes over.
Psoriasis, specifically scalp psoriasis, causes highly irritated, itchy, red, scaly scalps.
It is an autoimmune disorder that targets skin cells, leading them to grow too quickly.
If the scalp psoriasis is severe enough, it could even cause hair loss.
Depending on your allergies, contact dermatitis could be causing the itchy scalp.
This condition causes skin inflammation and may be triggered by a wide range of hair care products.
Hair dyes, conditioners, new products, or creams may cause dermatitis.
Symptoms could include:
- Mild Irritation
These tiny parasites infest the scalp and feed off the blood, causing mild to severe itchiness.
When they feed on your blood, their saliva causes a slight allergic reaction, triggering an itchy scalp.
Children are the most common victims of head lice, but adults may get them, too.
If you find yourself wondering, why has my scalp started itching, it may be due to an infection.
Fungal infections like ringworms tend to cause itchy scalps.
They are more common among children, though adults may experience this issue.
Fungal infections usually cause:
- Red Patches
- Hair Loss
Stress and Anxiety
Did you know stress and anxiety can cause your scalp to produce extra sebum?
Excessive hair oil may exacerbate dandruff or dermatitis.
People with chronic stress and anxiety may also have less effective immune systems.
This effect could make your scalp less able to fight off fungal or bacterial infections, making the scalp itchier, more often.
Diet plays a strong role in various bodily functions. That includes scalp health and hair growth.
If your body is deficient in nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin B, zinc, or iron, the scalp may suffer become dried out and itchy.
How Often Should I Wash My Hair If I Have Dry Itchy Scalp?
Anyone going through the challenge of a dry and itchy scalp must pay close attention to the wash cycle their hair goes through.
The frequency of hair-washing plays a key role in the following factors:
- How the scalp functions
- How much oil it produces
- How clean it is
Manage scalp health by keeping hair washes intentional.
Daily hair washes are unnecessary, but if your hair is used to this frequency, you will need a few weeks to adjust.
Overwashing hair (especially with low-quality, high-chemical shampoo) can worsen itchy scalps.
When hair is washed too frequently, its natural oils are stripped away. That can cause more dryness and more itchiness or irritation.
Too few washes may lead to dirt and oil build-up, also causing itchiness.
Instead of shampoo, wash it every 2-3 days with natural products like baking soda and ACV.
After a few weeks, your hair will be trained to produce the right amount of sebum to support the scalp’s health.
If you try several hair-washing frequencies and products, but your scalp remains itchy or worsens, consult a doctor or dermatologist.
A licensed professional will help diagnose any underlying health issues causing the itchy scalp and provide further instruction on hair-washing.
Why Does My Scalp Itch At Night When I’m Trying To Sleep?
Itchy scalps may seem to get worse at night as soon as you lay your head on the pillow.
This phenomenon could be due to several reasons listed below:
Body Temperature Changes
The skin naturally changes temperature during the night, and usually, it tends to rise.
Heat may cause even minor irritations or itchiness in the scalp to get worse because it activates more nerves and triggers more blood flow.
You may not realize how itchy your scalp is throughout the day if you stay busy with activities.
At the end of a seemingly itch-free day, you may wonder, why does my scalp itch when I lay down at night?
You simply perceive your scalp as itchier when your attention has nowhere else to go.
Depending on your location and the climate of your sleeping area, dry air could be the culprit.
If it is cold and you use a heater, the air could dry out your hair, leading to a dry, itchy scalp at night.
If you have been telling everyone, my itchy scalp keeps me up at night, you may have already heard the advice that your bedding could have allergens causing the itchiness.
Allergens like dust mites can be prevalent in your bedding and may cause an allergic reaction.
Night-Time Hair And Scalp Care Products
Have you started applying a new night-time moisturizer or hair accessory to your scalp before you sleep?
Consider pausing its use and seeing if the itchiness goes away.
Stress and Anxiety
If your stress levels tend to rise at night when you do not have distractions to ease your mind, it is possible that those feelings of stress and anxiety make you perceive more itchiness than normal.
Plenty of solutions exist to prevent an itchy scalp without commercial shampoos.
Now that you know several methods of how to stop itchy hair without washing it, pick the method that is most accessible to you and start there.
When learning how to stop your hair from itching without washing it, you may find that a combination of natural treatments (or one in particular) gets your scalp health back on track.
How Do You Get Rid Of An Itchy Scalp Overnight?
Use soothing natural products like aloe vera gel, coconut oil, or colloidal oatmeal as overnight masks to leave your scalp feeling refreshed, moisturized, and itch-free by morning.