What is the Connection Between Itching Scalp and Hair Loss?

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  • Written By: Sarah Sullins
  • Edited By: Michelle Arevalo
  • Last Modified Date: 21 September 2019
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There are several connections between an itching scalp and hair loss, including using strong shampoos, ringworm, heat, tension, and psoriasis. These problems may also be the result of stress, too much salt in the diet, not enough iron in the diet, or chemotherapy. A woman who has recently given birth may experience hair loss and an itchy scalp as well. Yeast infections of the scalp, aggravated by excessive amounts of sugar and dairy in the diet, may also result in this condition.

A scalp that itches and hair that falls out might be caused by a shampoo that is too strong. Often, these types of cleansers cause infections of the scalp because they damage the follicles. One of the most common kinds of infections is known as folliculitis. With this condition, small pimples typically begin to appear around the follicles of the hair, and, if the condition is severe, these turn into boils. Antibiotics are needed to treat this problem; if treatment is not used, scarring and permanent hair loss is often the result.

Too much heat can cause itching scalp and hair loss, as will too much tension. Problems with hair tension are often seen in people of African descent who tightly braid their hair. This type of tension and pulling can cause irritation on the scalp and will often destroy the hair root. Identifying the problem early, taking measures toward reducing pulling, and soothing the scalp will often prevent permanent damage.


Psoriasis is a very common condition in which red lesions appear on a person’s scalp as the result of skin cells that replace themselves too quickly. This problem is not contagious and is often treated with special shampoos that have zinc pyrithione in them. Herbal supplements, like avocado oil or birch, can also help to reduce itching, heal psoriasis, and prevent hair loss.

Ringworm appears as red itchy patches of skin. It is a fungal infection, and, when it is localized on the head, it may cause itching and hair loss. This problem is very contagious, but can usually be taken care of with over-the-counter medicine. If the fungal infection is severe, however, a prescription may be needed.

Issues in a person’s diet may also result in itching scalp and hair loss. This may be caused if a person does not eat enough protein or enough foods with iron in them. Although many debate the issue, some people believe that too much salt can choke and kill hair follicles. An excessive amount of sugar or dairy products can feed yeast on the scalp, and this may cause dermatitis and dry skin that leads to these symptoms as well.

Genetics, cancer treatments, stress, and giving birth are all common reasons for these symptoms. Some may result in permanent or long-term hair loss, while others are only temporary problems. Many times, the cause of the itchiness is the cause of the hair loss, so identifying the exact problem often plays a key role in getting the hair to grow back.


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Post 3

I had a scalp fungal infection briefly (not ringworm). My scalp was just very oily and itchy. I would scratch it a lot which caused more hair to fall out than usual. I also had some dandruff. My doctor gave me anti-fungal shampoo which resolved the problem completely.

Post 2

A psychological compulsion to touch or pick the scalp can cause these issues as well. I knew someone who had a habit of picking her scalp. She wasn't even aware of it most of the time. But she had scabs and wounds on her scalp as a result. It would cause hair loss and the scalp would itch and tingle because it was trying to recover from all the picking. She stopped doing this after seeing a doctor, receiving therapy and taking medications.

Post 1

It's also possible for the itching and the hair loss to be unconnected. They may be caused by two different scalp conditions occurring at the same time.

For example, hair loss may be genetic or hormonal. And an itchy scalp may be due to dry scalp or a scalp infection.

So I think it's best to see a doctor about this. Especially if there are underlying conditions like infections, hormonal changes or vitamin deficiencies, it's important to find and treat them.

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