Via MadameNoire.com

Of the many problems that plague women and hair care, a HUGE concern is how to alleviate or get rid of itchy scalp. Sometimes scalp irritations are minor annoyances due to product build-up or changes in the weather. While no one is excited to see loose flakes of dandruff dotting their clothing, most times this will clear up with a specially formulated shampoo for dandruff. But in other cases, itchy scalp goes from a mild inconvenience to a full-blown, scalp-on-fire, can’t-keep-your-hands-out-of your-head type disaster of epic proportions. Anyone who has experienced these symptoms knows the pain of scratching or even massaging your scalp to the point that your whole head begins to feel inflamed and tender to the touch. Chronic bouts of itchiness will leave you wondering which came first – are you frantically digging your nails in your scalp as a result of the inflammation, or is the inflammation a result of all the scratching? It is a chicken-or-the-egg conundrum of the worst kind, and at the end of the day, who really cares which came first? All we want is relief.

Luckily, there are a few natural remedies you can try to see if you can finally win the war against the “itchies and the scratchies.”

1. Apple Cider Vinegar

A staple in the world of hair care, when diluted with water apple cider vinegar is used for its clarifying properties as well as its ability to help reduce hair porosity as a rinse due to its low pH balance. It also has anti-bacterial qualities that make it particularly helpful in treating an itchy scalp that is caused by bacteria build-up, and against any fungal condition (yeast on the scalp). Yeast don’t like an acidic environment so swabbing the scalp with an ACV solution can be helpful. Just be careful to make sure that you dilute it enough to a level where it is comfortable enough to put on your scalp, or else it will sting like crazy, especially if you have any abraded skin. The raw, unfiltered organic ACV is the best kind.

2. Aloe Vera
In case you decide to try the ACV, consider having some aloe vera gel on hand to soothe any stinging sensations that you may get. Aloe Vera can be used straight from the plant, or the organic gel can be bought commercially. Naturally emollient and calming, it is a great balm for the scalp that will also soften the hair and feed your roots.

3. Tea Tree Oil
Melaleuca  Alternifolia, or simply “Tea Tree Oil” is ubiquitous in shampoos and conditioners for this very condition in large part due to its highly antiseptic qualities. It’s a triple threat to scalp irritations because of its anti-fungal, anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties. Again, Tea Tree Oil should not be used full strength and is best when used with a carrier oil. Which brings us to the next tried and true product…

4. Coconut Oil
Ever seen a moldy coconut? That’s because the capyrilic acid in coconuts inhibit the growth of fungus. Incidentally, caprylic acid is also an active ingredient in a lot of vitamin supplements for women who are trying to suppress an overgrowth of candida (yeast) throughout the body. As always, look for the unfiltered, unrefined, organic extra-virgin coconut oil, cold-pressed if possible. It’s especially effective when infused with a few drops of tea tree oil.

Stay Away From This

If you co-wash instead of using an actual shampoo, this might be a good time to take a break and use a product that won’t just leave more build-up on your already beleaguered scalp. Do try to avoid shampoos with harsh detergents that will strip your scalp (and hair) of its natural oils, further adding to that dreaded tight and dry feeling. If your shampoo has sodium lauryl sulfate or sodium laureth sulfate as an ingredient, it probably won’t be doing you any favors. Look for shampoos without sulfates and parabens and with nourishing oils that will soothe your skin.

Word to the Wise
One final word of caution: itchy scalp can be caused for a variety of reasons that are not always easy to self-diagnose. If you are experiencing symptoms that don’t seem to be responding to any treatments, or have broken skin or open sores on the scalp, please see your dermatologist or a licensed trichologist for an accurate diagnosis of your condition. In some cases, professional care may be required, for a complete analysis and evaluation of your diet, as well as any medications

Ladies, how do you relieve your itchy scalp?

Black Girl With Long Hair

Leila Noelliste, founder of Black Girl with Long Hair (April 2008). Social media, pop culture and black beauty enthusiast. bell hooks' hair twin...

Leave a Reply

80 Comments on "4 Natural Remedies to Relieve an Itchy Scalp"

Notify of

The thing is my scalp is itchy after many days

of cornrows. I am glad my hair is growing though. Also, it has been more healthier than it used to. I wear my real hair im tired of it being called a weave, it’s not. PS Black women can have long hair….


Thanks. Good article. Leila, please use spell check and grammar check. It would make your article have more credibility.

Betty-Alexandria Pride
Betty-Alexandria Pride
By the way, with coconut oil and any oil really, you aren’t supposed to leave it on your scalp. Leaving oils on your scalp can cause your hair to a dependence on them still producing sebum correctly. I’m not sure if this supplies to essential oils like peppermint and tea tree, but @greenbeautychannel on YouTube has some informational videos that can really help with these issues. She addresses some of the products mentioned in this post. Coconut oil is not for everyone, some people are sensitive to it. It works for me, but there are a lot of YouTubers out… Read more »

Well listen I know itchy scalp can be caused by hair growth too. I just got braids in hair already have been washed before I got the done and I am dandruff free.

Hi, I’m natural 3C. I get my hair done every two weeks (wash/flat iron). For some reason, when I wash my hair it gets itchy immediately. The stylist washes my hair very well so I know that conditioner isn’t being left behind. She uses a Sulfate Free Shampoo. At first I thought it was the deep conditioner (Silicon Mix Bambu) which has a lot of fragrance. I stopped using it and although I feel better, the irritation persists. I do have very sensitive skin so I only use unscented products to wash my clothing and body. I’m starting to think… Read more »
Betty-Alexandria Pride
Betty-Alexandria Pride
You may want to take allergy medicine. For me, I would have itching spells from head to toe and taking Zyrtec (I use the Wal-Mart 88 cent kind when I run out) was the only thing that helped. I also have sensitive skin. When I’m not using aloe Vera and coconut oil which helps, I take my allergy medicine. Also, drink more water. I aim for 64fluid ounces to a gallon. When I don’t drink water, my whole body kicks me in the face. I have break outs of acne, dry scalp, and all types of hay fever. It’s serious… Read more »



Nice read. This is very helpful. Good job!


[…] Check out these quick, and easy recipes below from BGLH: […]


I have to disagree with the coconut oil. Studies have shown that it inflames the scalp and hair folicles causing more itchiness. I have tried it myself raw coconut oil and it was horrible. Peppermint oil and emu oil are a lot better.


Second that. Oiling my scalp with coconut oils always makes itch much worse.


I followed my hairstylist’s suggestion and used coconut oil too and my scalp is way itchier! It’s a really awful itch I have not experienced much. I mixed up some water, olive oil, and witch hazel this morning and spritzed some on the itchy parts, and that really seemed to help.


Peppermint oil also helps!

Catherine O

You can also try using a dry shampoo for dry scalp for daily control of the problem including the itch http://www.ebay.com/itm/Leave-in-Shampoo-/111221810799


I have never used the apple cider vineger. I should try that sometimes but when applying the aloe vera gel, should I remove it after a couple of minutes or should I just leave in on.


[…] Melaleuca  Alternifolia, or simply “Tea Tree Oil” is ubiquitous in shampoos and conditioners for this very condition in large part due to its highly antiseptic qualities. It’s a triple threat to scalp irritations because of its anti-fungal, anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties. Again, Tea Tree Oil should not be used full strength and is best when used with a carrier oil. […]