What makes a scalp itchy?

According to WebMD, there are several factors such as dry skin, dandruff, psoriasis and eczema.

Itchy scalp is also commonly caused by a fungal infection called seborrheic dermatitis [1].

Whatever it is causing your scalp to itch, it can certainly make you uncomfortable.

To relieve yourself of this nuisance, be sure to make use of the following natural and safe home remedies for itchy scalp.

If these do not work, it’s time that you consult your doctor.

READ MORE: 5 Best Natural Home Remedies for Dry Scalp and Dandruff

1. Aloe Vera

An ancient medicinal plant, aloe vera is known to relieve constipation, slow down skin aging, treat mouth ulcers, resolve dental problems and heal bacterial infections, among others.

It is also a popular ingredient in many skincare products [2].

Dermatologists recommend aloe vera extract for treating various inflammatory skin conditions [2].

In a 1999 study published in the Journal of Dermatological Treatment, it was shown that aloe vera is highly effective in treating seborrheic dermatitis [2].

In this double-blind clinical trial, 44 adults diagnosed with seborrheic dermatitis were asked to apply either aloe vera or a placebo on affected areas of their skin [2].

There was a significant reduction in itchiness, scaliness and inflamed areas in patients who used aloe vera [2].

It is therefore an ideal treatment for people whose itchy scalps are caused by this condition.

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 aloe vera leaf
  • 1 cup of aloe vera juice

Recommended Directions:

  • Slice the leaf into two.
  • Squeeze to release the gel.
  • Apply gel on your scalp using clean fingers.
  • Wait for 15 minutes before rinsing with cool water.
  • Repeat everyday for two to three weeks.
  • You can also use a cup of aloe vera juice to wash your affected skin after bathing.
  • Rinse with cool water afterwards.
  • Do this technique once a day for up to one month.

READ MORE: Aloe Vera Gel for Acne: 12 Sure-Fire Ways to Cure Acne

2. Apple Cider Vinegar

There are plenty good reasons why apple cider vinegar has become extremely popular among natural health proponents.

Not only does it help keep excess pounds away and maintain an ideal weight, it’s also an efficient way to keep the gut healthy.

In addition to all these, apple cider vinegar is also one of the folk remedies deemed effective in relieving dandruff [3].

Dandruff is a common condition affecting the scalp that produces white flakes and makes it itchy [3].

Vinegar helps restore proper balance of pH level in the scalp to make it difficult for fungus to thrive.

Also, the acid in this vinegar helps get rid of the chemical build up that’s caused by excessive use of commercial shampoo products.

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 cup of apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup of water

Recommended Directions:

  • Combine apple cider vinegar and water.
  • Use this solution to rinse scalp and hair.
  • Cover your head with a towel for 15 minutes.
  • Rinse off with shampoo and water.
  • Do this remedy twice a week to get rid of itchy scalp naturally.

READ MORE: 20 Reasons to Use Apple Cider Vinegar for Hair + How to Use it

3. Tea Tree Oil

A must-have essential oil, tea tree oil has many purported benefits for the health that can be of good use to you and your family.

Chickenpox, cold sores, respiratory ailments, ear infection, and congestion are just few of the many health issues that can be resolved with this highly versatile oil.

With its powerful antifungal properties, tea tree oil has also been used for years to treat many types of skin problems [456].

In 1996, German scientists probed the efficacy of this oil in inhibiting the activities of 26 dermatophytes, 32 Candida albicans species, and other yeasts [4].

Using agar dilution method, they found out that most of the isolates they have tested are susceptible to tea tree oil’s fungicidal properties [4].

Findings from this research, which were published in the Skin Pharmacology and Physiology Journal, indicate that tea tree oil is a natural fungicide that can be a potential therapy for dandruff and other skin conditions that cause itchiness in the scalp [4].

Italian researchers, meanwhile, identified that it was terpinen-4-ol that had the strongest antifungal activities [5].

This and other terpenes can easily penetrate into the scalp and produce disinfectant effects [3].

Moreover, this oil can also successfully avert allergy-triggered skin inflammation, which can also possibly cause itchiness [5].

What You’ll Need:

  • 2 drops of tea tree oil
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil

Recommended Directions:

  • Dilute tea tree oil in olive oil.
  • Use this mixture to massage scalp gently.
  • Use this technique everyday for two weeks.

4. Avocado

avocadoThere are many health benefits that are associated with the avocado fruit.

According to a 2013 study that can be found in the Critical Reviews of Food Science and Nutrition, an avocado is packed with dietary fiber, potassium, magnesium, vitamin A, B vitamins, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K1, choline and sodium [6].

That’s not all. Its oil is said to be composed of 71 percent monounsaturated fatty acids and 13 percent polyunsaturated fatty acids that can help promote proper levels of cholesterol [6].

With all these essential nutrients, avocados can surely do wonders in improving scalp health [6].

Numerous studies also point out that avocados have antifungal properties that can alleviate conditions that make the scalp itchy [789].

Researchers from the Washington State University, USA identified the main compound that was highly effective in inhibiting the spore germination of fungal species [7].

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 avocado, peeled
  • 1 cup of olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon of avocado oil

Recommended Directions:

  • Mash avocado using a fork.
  • Add olive oil.
  • Blend well.
  • Slather generously on the scalp.
  • Leave it on for 30 minutes.
  • Rinse off with cool water.
  • Follow this remedy daily for one to two weeks.
  • Apply a thin layer of avocado oil on your scalp.
  • Let it sit for 30 minutes to one hour before washing it off.
  • Repeat procedure once a day for up to three weeks.

5. Coconut Oil

The oil derived from the coconut, otherwise known as tree of life, has many remarkable benefits that people should get to know more about.

For one, it is an excellent source of natural fats that can help convert bad cholesterol into cholesterol.

Using coconut oil in your cooking is beneficial for your heart health, reducing the risk of heart disease.

Of course, coconut oil is not only for cooking, it can also be used on the skin and on the scalp.

In fact, there are several ways coconut oil can help relieve an itchy scalp.

First, it is a well-known antifungal that can help get rid of fungal infections on the skin [1011].

In a laboratory experiment conducted in 2004, it was found that Candida albicans and many other fungal strains were 100 percent susceptible to the minimum inhibitory concentration of coconut oil which was at 25 percent [11].

It was even more powerful than the popular antifungal medication fluconazole, and it works even on drug-resistant fungal species [11].

Second, it is a potent natural moisturizer that prevents the skin from drying out [12].

Keep in mind that dry skin is usually itchier than moisturized skin.

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 tablespoon of coconut oil

Recommended Directions:

  • Wash your hair with cool water.
  • Rub coconut oil on your scalp for a few minutes.
  • Cover with a shower cap.
  • Leave it on for 30 minutes.
  • Rinse off with shampoo and water.
  • Do this treatment three times a week.

READ MORE: Coconut Oil for Dandruff and Lice: 6 Natural Remedies

6. Oregano Oil

A highly valued medicinal herb, oregano oil has been a staple ingredient in many herbal treatments and solutions.

It plays many essential roles in traditional medicine, such as an antibacterial, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antifungal, digestive, anti-allergy, and antiparasitic.

Korean researchers from Kwangju Women’s University list oregano oil as one of the top 17 essential oils with strong inhibitory effects against the fungus that causes seborrheic dermatitis [13].

With the use of disk diffusion method, it was found that oregano oil suppressed the growth and formation of Malassezia furfur, which did not only cause this condition but other infectious diseases as well [13].

Since it is naturally emollient, oregano oil can further help treat itchy scalp by keeping the scalp skin moisturized.

What You’ll Need:

  • 5 drops of oregano oil
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil

Recommended Directions:

  • Dilute oregano oil in olive oil
  • Apply mixture on your scalp.
  • Let it sit for 20 to 30 minutes.
  • Rinse hair with cool water.
  • Repeat everyday for one week.

7. Sesame Oil

sesame-oilSesame is a plant that’s widely cultivated in many tropical regions, and is used for its host of curative effects [14].

The seeds of this plant, from which the oil is extracted, are rich  in protein and other important nutrients [14].

They also contain sesamin and sesamolin, which have been confirmed to have positive effects on people’s blood pressure and cholesterol levels [14].

Sesame oil, meanwhile, has been shown to have compounds that exhibit strong antifungal properties, as indicated in some studies [1516].

This oil gives relief for itchy scalp by toning down fungal infections and keeping the scalp skin moisturized.

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 teaspoon of sesame oil

Recommended Directions:

  • Warm sesame oil in a pan.
  • Let it cool a little.
  • Massage your scalp gently with this oil.
  • Cover head with a towel.
  • Leave it on for 10 minutes before rinsing off with cool water.
  • Shampoo and rinse hair.
  • Repeat remedy once a day for two weeks.

8. Eucalyptus Oil

The soothing minty feel of eucalyptus oil can certainly relieve your itchy scalp.

Apart from this, it also has been found to put up a strong fight against Malassezia Furfur, the leading cause of dandruff and seborrheic dermatitis, as reported in an Indian study conducted in 2006 [17].

Other studies release findings that serve as proof to eucalyptus oil’s antifungal properties [1819].

Eucalyptol is usually the main active compound pointed out as responsible for eucalyptus’ pharmacological effects.

However, this time, researchers from Hong Kong identified that it is Macrocarpal C which works wonders in combating infection-causing fungi [18].

The primary ways it suppresses the growth and spread of these fungi is by increasing the membrane permeability and destroying the cells of the fungal species [18].

What You’ll Need:

  • 6 drops of eucalyptus oil
  • 1 teaspoon of olive oil

Recommended Directions:

  • Add eucalyptus oil to olive oil.
  • Massage your head with this oil mixture.
  • Wait for 10 minutes before rinsing with cool water.
  • Follow this remedy once a day for up to two weeks.

9. Indian Gooseberry

If you’ve known for a long time how healthy and nutritious Indian gooseberry is, you’d probably have eaten it more often.

Also called amla, this fruit is typically grown in India and Southeast Asia.

It has a distinctive sour taste which you probably wouldn’t mind as it is loaded with essential nutrients such as B vitamins, vitamin C, calcium, iron, phosphorus, carotene and many antioxidants.

If you’d like to put an end to the problem of itchy scalp, this can also be a reliable solution.

A 2014 study in the International Journal of Biological and Pharmaceutical Research investigated the efficacy of Indian gooseberry in resolving scalp problems such as dandruff [20].

Researchers have found that this herbal remedy worked against the fungi that cause this common skin infection [20].

Apart from destroying fungi that infect the scalp, it can also help nourish it and keep it healthy.

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 teaspoon of Indian gooseberry powder
  • 1 teaspoon of water

Recommended Directions:

  • Add Indian gooseberry powder to water to form a paste.
  • Spread a layer of this mixture on your scalp.
  • Let it sit for 30 minutes before washing with water.
  • Do this remedy once a day for five to seven days.

10. Basil Oil

A famous culinary herb that infuses unique flavor and aroma to dishes, basil is widely used worldwide.

Did you know that it’s also highly prized for its excellent medicinal properties?

With its eugenol, linalool, citral, terpineol, and citral, basil is a potent antibacterial and anti-inflammatory, which can keep many types of ailments at bay.

For itchy scalp, it helps by killing the source of infection, which is a fungus called Malassezia, responsible for dandruff and seborrheic dermatitis [21].

As with other essential oils recommended here, it’s important to dilute basil oil first in a carrier oil like jojoba oil.

Using it in pure form may possibly cause skin irritation and allergic reactions.

What You’ll Need:

Recommended Directions:

  • Combine the two oils in a bowl.
  • Massage scalp with this mixture.
  • Wait for 10 to 15 minutes before rinsing with cool water.
  • Repeat daily for up to three weeks.

Bottom Line

Itchy scalp can be annoying and uncomfortable.

It can also be a sign that you have seborrheic dermatitis.

Don’t wait for itchy scalp to worsen before you treat it with these practical and effective home remedies.

Share with us your experience of using the natural remedies for itchy scalp discussed above. Write in the comment section.

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