Do you struggle with a sore scalp? Lots of us may experience periods of soreness on our scalp, potentially accompanied by scalp itching, flaking, tightness and hair loss.
Easing a sore scalp is a passion for us, as some of the Suvarna team have personal experience of it. We have created this guide, firstly to help you understand what may be behind your scalp concerns, and secondly, what you can do to remedy them.
Sore Scalp - Psoriasis
More extreme scalp soreness, and potentially with scaling or red, raised areas of the scalp can be due to scalp psoriasis. According to psoriasis.co.uk, up to 56% of people with psoriasis on their body, also experience it on their scalp, neck, ears and forehead. This can not only be painful, but it can also be embarrassing with visible effects clear to see.
Psoriasis is not a curable condition, but it can be managed. Firstly, no matter how hard it is, don’t pick the scales. It can lead to infection and real pain.
Secondly, take a critical look at the ingredients if you're using a medicated shampoo. These can show results, but many contain harsh ingredients like sulphates that can aggravate symptoms.
Instead, we recommend an organic, natural and scent-free shampoo, with ingredients like chamomile to soothe the pain and inflammation.
When brushing/combing, do it gently with a wide tooth wooden comb or brush with super-soft natural bristles. Always try to leave hair to air-dry and hot air from blow-dryers don’t help.
A patch of scalp eczema or even adult cradle cap can flare up suddenly without explanation. Some dermatologists put this down to stress, product build-up or just an allergy that's manifested over a period of time. The advice remains similar to above: Look for gentle shampoos and conditioners with lots of natural ingredients and avoid anything heavily scented. You can try applying a soothing balm like Odylique's Soothing Salve.
Allergies can affect anyone, at any time. You can be allergic to hair colour, shampoo, conditioner, styling products, oils or foods and dust, which can show up on your scalp.
Allergy prone scalps may be sore or itching, which can lead to scratches and infection.
Eliminate all detergents and styling products for a little while to see what may be triggering the reaction. Our guide to the no-poo method shows how easy it can be to settle the scalp with a chemical free routine.
Alternatively, if you cannot tolerate soap, this clay shampoo might help absorb grease and give you a better result, it turns into a gel when mixed with water which soothes as it applies.
Chemical Burns from Hair Colouring:
If you use commercial hair colourants, it’s vital to do a patch test to ensure you’re not allergic, but even if you do you can still find your scalp is sore after colouring.
Many traditional box dyes in the UK include PPD which is highly allergenic. If you use bleach, that too can burn the scalp very quickly.
If you colour too regularly, or don’t protect areas that are especially sensitive, like the tips of the ears, you may find these can crack and become dry after colouring.
If you’re looking to cover greys, or deepen your colour and shine, we’d always recommend switching to an organic henna - based dye.
Henna contains anti-inflammatory properties that work to actively soothe and nurture the scalp as opposed to drying. If you’ve never used Henna or natural colours before, our hair care centre is an amazing reference point of learning to get started.
If you have your hair tied up every day, use a lot of products or dryers and straighteners, it can put a lot of stress not just on your hair but your scalp.
Firstly, give your hair a break regularly. Have at least one day a week, where you don’t tie it up, air dry it and don’t coat it in sprays and gels.
Secondly, always use protective sprays, to ensure the hair doesn’t snap and keep your dryer at the lower heat settings to avoid stressing the scalp.
Finally, use a soothing oil treatment (ours is beautiful when gently warmed, and left on your head for 30 minutes) and avoid those harsh bristled ceramic brushes. They’re great at styling but the nylon bristles tend to really tear at the scalp.
For more advice on natural hair care and scalp soothing treatments, ask our experts here