Battling an itchy scalp can become an agonizing experience especially if you don’t know its exact causes. And to top it off, the itching tends to get worse in the summer months as humidity levels start to rise and the heat kicks in. Pinpointing the real causes of an itchy scalp in summer can be a daunting task outside of a health care professional’s office, but here are the most common culprits.
Heat and Humidity
With rising temperatures comes a lot of humidity. Beside humidity making your hair frizz, it can also cause your scalp to itch when going outdoors. Plus, when humidity is paired with hot weather the itch can get out of control. Heat and humidity in summer are so detrimental to your scalp because they create the perfect environment for yeast and bacteria on your scalp to thrive. When the tiny microorganisms try to take over, our immune system starts to fight them off through inflammation, redness, and lots of itching.
Quick fix: A quality dandruff shampoo or a good anti-fungal product can help keep the itching and redness of the scalp in check if the symptoms are caused by a yeast infection, such as Malassezia. Another quick fix is to use a dehumidifier at home to keep humidity within normal limits. High humidity can be so bad for scalp health that it can even trigger hair loss and dermatitis. A dehumidifier should keep your home mold-free as well.
An itchy scalp in summer can be caused by an inflammatory skin condition known as dandruff, or seborrheic dermatitis. Unsightly white, oily flakes in your hair and on your shoulders are the first red flag that you may have developed dandruff, which has many causes and can appear at any age. The most common causes of dandruff are genetics, oily scalp, yeast microorganisms, stress, poor nutrition, and the use of wrong skin care products. Dandruff can get worse in summer, if there is too much heat and humidity.
Quick Fix: The easy road most people take is an over the counter dandruff shampoo, but dandruff shampoos, although effective, have their share of downsides. They might contain toxic fillers, such as Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) and parabens, and may need to be used continuously for dandruff not to make a surprise comeback.
A less known quick fix for an itchy scalp caused by dandruff or fungal infections is amber Listerine. It is believed that the plant-based oils in the popular antiseptic mouthwash have anti-fungal properties and can help soothe an itchy scalp and clear up any flakiness. Just let Listerine sit in for at least 5 minutes as part of your regular shampooing routine and rinse it out.
An itchy scalp in summer may be caused by a dry scalp not dandruff but most people mistake a dry scalp for dandruff because the two have flakiness in common. However, the scalp can get dry when it is not properly moisturized and nourished. Other possible causes are dehydration (if you don’t drink enough water, the body detours its dwindling water supplies to vital organs, putting extremities such as your scalp on standby), and chlorine in pool water and saltwater. Chlorine, an effective sanitizing agent used in most commercial swimming pools, can dry out your skin and causes it to itch as it strips of skin of its protective layer of natural oil, aka sebum.
Quick Fix: Boost your daily water intake and find a good natural oil that nourishes the skin and keeps moisture in. A really quick fix for an itchy scalp is a scalp massage with CBD oil, a little known remedy for dry skin rich with antioxidants, easily absorbed into the skin without blocking the pores, and a great natural moisturizer as it nourishes and moisturizes hair follicles like very few natural remedies do. Other natural oils that you may want to try are coconut oil and jojoba oil.