If an itchy scalp makes you crazy, you can fix it as follows (quickly) …
1) Change your shampoo
Shampoos with the surfactants (detergents) sodium laureth sulfate or sodium lauryl sulfate (both SLS for short) can be satisfactorily foaming, but they also dry very on the scalp. "They can even cause redness and irritation, especially if they are not formulated in addition to certain ingredients that can neutralize the irritation," says Tom Brooks, chemist and head of research and development at Leonor Greyl. Simply switching to an SLS-free shampoo such as Wella Elements Renewing Shampoo can stop your scratching within a few days.
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Wella Elements Renewing Shampoo, £ 12.20
2) Give it a rinse
"Always finish your shampoo and conditioning session with a cool water rinse – and let it last as long as it takes for the product to disappear", advises Tom. That is when your hair is quite literally squeaking.
3) Note the silicone
"Silicones do not penetrate the skin, but form a barrier on your skin or hair that blocks the penetration of other ingredients, and excessive use can weaken the hair and potentially choke your scalp, which is clearly not great for health" Tom warns. You will find silicones in many smoothing and straightening shampoos, conditioners and serums; note any words in the ingredient list that end with -methicone.
4) Do not hang with glue
"Adhesive or resinous ingredients (you can find them in many hair sprays and voluminous and curling styling products) can also choke the scalp if they are not washed away regularly", says Tom. Use an SLS-free purifying shampoo once a week; we love Unite Weekender Shampoo.
Unite Weekender Shampoo, £ 21Buy it
5) Oil up
"As with the skin on another part of the body, a dry, tight feeling can be due to a lack of moisture and oils, both in your diet and applied locally," says trichologist Sara Allison. Eat a lot of healthy fats (nuts, avocado, oily fish) and invest in ordinary moisturizing masks or oil treatments for your hair and scalp. Try Leonor Greyl Huile Secret de Beauté.
Leonor Greyl Huile Secret de Beauté, £ 43
6) Wig does not matter
"Limit the wearing of hats or wigs as much as possible, exaggeration can lead to lack of oxygen on the scalp and can cause many scalp problems", says Tom.
7) Brush your hair
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If you've tried all of the above and your scalp is still flaking, you have dandruff, which basically means that your scalp produces too many new skin cells and repels an excess of old cells. If you do not brush your hair and scalp regularly, try to do this daily, because it helps to repel skin cells and in some cases can improve the situation
8) Scrub your head
You can also take cells once a week by scrubbing your scalp just like your face. You could use a scalp scrub, but products with fruit enzymes or salicylic acid (which remove all dead cells without scrubbing) are the softest option. We love Philip Kingsley Exfoliating Scalp Mask.
Philip Kingsley Exfoliating Scalp Mask, £ 8
9) Treat rose
Persistent and excessive enthusiasm flaking may be due to overproduction of yeast or fungal infection, therefore most over-the-counter rose-shampoos contain anti-fungal or antimicrobial ingredients such as zinc pyrithione, coal tar, tea tree oil, piroctone olamine or ketoconazole. Unfortunately, most of these shampoos also contain SLS. An SLS-free detergent with anti-dandruff properties, such as Matrix Biolage Cleansing Conditioner, is worth a try.Matrix Biolage Cleansing Conditioner, £ 14.35
10) Be consistent
"If you have oily flakes and red, greasy spots that are covered with white or yellow scales on your scalp (or even elsewhere), you have seborrheic dermatitis," says Sara. "It is caused by a yeast germ that feeds on excess sebum and is caused by an allergic reaction to stress, cosmetics or food." A lack of hygiene can also disable the condition, but for that you should be pretty dirty. It can come and go and can be treated with rose shampoos – but you have to use them consistently to keep the rose out. A powerful but gentle option is the scaly itchy scalp shampoo from Philip Kingsley. If no dandruff shampoo will work after a few weeks of use, go to a doctor or a trichologist because you need a stronger prescription treatment.
Philip Kingsley Flaky Itchy Scalp Shampoo, £ 16.50
11) Consult an expert
"If your scalp is extremely scaly and extremely dry, you may have psoriasis," says Sara. "It is an autoimmune disorder that can be genetically determined, with triggers that resemble seborrhoeic eczema, with psoriasis cells will be renewed every week instead of every month, creating a massive accumulation of overlapping cells that block the follicles and the penetration of your own moisturizing sebum and cosmetic oils and lotions, hence the scalp feels so dry. "Regular anti-dandruff shampoos may not be the right option for this condition, so if you suspect that you have psoriasis, it is best to seek professional advice.