1. Dandruff. If your scalp is dry and itchy and you see flakes on your hair or clothing, you may have dandruff.
How to get relief: If you have dandruff, using a dandruff shampoo and scalp treatments can help. You can find out how to get the best results from these products by watching the short video, How to treat dandruff.
2. Reaction to a hair care product. An itchy, dry, and flaky scalp could be telling you that you need to do a better job of rinsing the shampoo from your hair. Leaving some shampoo on your scalp can irritate it.
If you have an itchy scalp and a rash, you may have a condition called allergic contact dermatitis. This is common among people who dye their hair. Often the culprit is an ingredient in the dye called para-phenylenediamine (PPD), which is found in black hair dyes.
You could also have an allergy to a shampoo, conditioner, or other product that touches your scalp. If that’s the case, you’ll likely have an itchy rash on your scalp and any other skin that the product touches.
How to get relief: To stop the itch, you must stop using the product that’s causing the reaction. If you’re having a hard time finding it, a board-certified dermatologist can help.
3. Hives. These are red, raised, and very itchy bumps that can form anywhere on the skin, including the scalp. Hives tend to come and go within a few hours. Sometimes, hives go away and come back. If hives come and go for longer than 6 weeks, they’re called chronic (long-lasting) hives.
How to get relief: Hives often go away on their own, but if they’re long-lasting, treatment can help. Dermatologists frequently treat hives.
4. Head lice. An itchy scalp is the most common symptom of head lice. If you suspect that head lice are causing the itch, ask someone to closely examine your scalp and hair for signs of these tiny bugs.
How to get relief: To get rid of the itch, you need to get rid of the lice. You can find out how to check for head lice and treat them at home by going to, Head lice: Diagnosis and treatment
5. Scabies. Scabies is caused by a tiny bug called the human itch mite. If these mites burrow into your scalp, your scalp can become quite itchy. Itch is the most common symptom of scabies, and it can be so intense that it keeps you awake at night.
How to get relief: To make sure that you have scabies, you should see your primary care doctor or a board-certified dermatologist. If you have scabies, you will need treatment, which is only available with a doctor’s prescription.