I am one person that used to have serious problems with itchy scalp, both when my hair was relaxed and natural.
When my hair was relaxed: Whenever I install box braids or weave with extensions, my scalp starts to itch about 2 or 3 days later. Whenever I diced hot pepper, my scalp would itch like mad once the fumes from the pepper rises. The more my hair was due for a relaxer, the more serious the itching. I even used the intensity of the itching caused by the pepper to gauge how due my hair was for another relaxing round. It just occurred to me now that I have never researched why cutting pepper always affected my scalp. Well, this post is not about pepper so let’s move on.
When my hair was natural: The itching did not stop. Whenever I rocked twists with my natural hair, the itching started the next day. I scratched my head like mad because I could hardly control myself most times. Many times, I scratched my head till it bled. Sores on my scalp were a regular occurrence. It was that bad. I heard about tea tree oil, so I went to a store and got a bottle of oil, labelled tea tree oil. The more I used the oil, the worse my problem got. The issue was that the oil was a mixture of several things and tea tree oil, but as at then, I was too ignorant to know that I had to read the ingredients before purchasing stuffs for my hair. The one thing I knew is that anytime I added this thing, my head was set on fire.
Later, I started implementing a good hair care regime. It was months later that I realised my scalp no longer itched. So what happened that my issue disappeared just like that never to surface again?
Without trying to go scientific on you, I will try to explain as simply as possible.
a. First things first. If you have unrelenting itchy scalp issues, it means your scalp is unhealthy. Yes, there is something like unhealthy scalp. Your hair can be in a great state, while your scalp is terrible. It is rare for healthy scalp to itch. So what you are trying to achieve is restoring the health of your scalp.
b. When your hair is braided or woven too tight with extensions, you are likely to have itchy scalp issues, so be careful when adding those extras to your head.
c. If you have itchy scalp issues, the more your scratch it, the worse the condition gets, so try to keep those hands off your head.
d. Human hair/scalp is naturally acidic, have a pH of 4.5 - 5.5. When you have itchy scalp issues, it means your hair is getting more neutral/alkaline than acidic most times. This can be caused by the products you have chosen to use or accumulated build-up on your scalp. Note that even when some people don’t have build-up on their scalp, it still itches, which is the category I fell into. What you should do is try to restore your scalp back to its acidic state. This would help you get rid of whatever build up is clogging your pores, soothe your scalp, and restore the healthy state of your scalp.
There are three simple ways I will mention, two of which recommend to you
1. Do the tea rinse after washing your hair. Pour a small bucket of tea extract over and over again on your hair.
2. Do the ACV rinse. Pour the a 1:3 diluted with water ACV on your scalp, in order to restore your hair back to its acidic state
These two methods above is what I know worked for me, and works for everyone I know that has tried it because it helps with scalp health and therefore leaving no room for itchy scalp. If you measure the pH of most products that deal with itch scalp, you will find out that they are more safely acidic than neutral.
3. Use lemon juice to rinse your hair. Although this method works, lemon juice has a very low pH of 2, i.e it is highly acidic, and shouldn’t be as a lone ingredient on the hair.
You should know that there are other ways to treat itchy scalp, like using herbs like rosemary, hibiscus, nettle, etc. I only mentioned the above because they are simple, cheap and easy.
So in summary, remember, when next that scalp itches, it is an indication of unhealth scalp, but do not fret because the solution is simple. Just restore your hair to its acidic state, and you are good.