How To Stop Scalp Itching At Night

Reviewed by Dawn Hilton, MIT, WTS
Written by Anjali Sayee

If scalp itching at night is a common occurrence for you, it might be a chronic scalp condition. While it may be a common issue, it can quickly become more severe and complicated. Aggressively scratching your scalp can damage hair follicles and lead to hair breakage and loss. Learn about the many reasons that make your scalp itchy, the complications that might arise by constantly scratching your head, and the remedies that can help soothe the itching. Read on.

Why Does My Scalp Itch at Night?

1. Dandruff

Dandruff causes mild itchiness and flaking on your scalp without any inflammation (1). Using hair products specifically formulated for treating dandruff may help reduce the itch. However, if you experience severe itching, it is unlikely to be just dandruff. Consult a doctor for a proper diagnosis and find the exact reason.

2. Reaction To Hair Products

Your scalp may itch or develop a rash if you have an allergic reaction to an ingredient in your shampoo, conditioner, or any other hair product. You can determine the exact product that is causing the allergic reaction and replace it with one that suits your skin.

Even improper hair washing can make your scalp itch. If you do not rinse your hair thoroughly after shampooing or conditioning, the resultant product buildup can lead to itching.

3. Head Lice

Head lice are another cause of an itchy scalp (2). If you believe that the reason behind your scalp itch is head lice, try to examine your scalp to see for signs of head lice.

4. Scalp Psoriasis

Scalp psoriasis can fill your scalp with itchy, scaly patches also called plaques (3). It also may cause dandruff-like flaking and a dry scalp.

5. Atopic Dermatitis

Atopic dermatitis causes your skin to become inflamed and itchy (4). It also can irritate your scalp if it spreads.

6. Stress

Anxiety and stress might also cause scalp itching. If you are going through a major life event that is causing you stress and anxiety, you might suffer from an itching scalp (5). If the itching is due to chronic inflammatory conditions like psoriasis, seborrheic dermatitis, and pityriasis amiantacea, stress may cause flare-ups and itching.

A few natural remedies may help treat an itchy scalp. The best treatment for itch associated with chronic inflammatory conditions is Cade oil, a type of tar derived from the Juniper tree. It is a fantastic antipruritic (anti-itch) and antimitotic (it slows down cell division, reducing scale buildup) agent. You may use it and scroll down to check out other natural remedies to soothe an itchy scalp.

Natural Remedies To Stop An Itchy Scalp At Night

1. Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is known for its antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and antifungal properties (6), (7). Hence, using apple cider vinegar may help reduce scalp itching.

You Will Need

  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Water
  • Spray bottle

What You Have To Do

  • Fill half the spray bottle with apple cider vinegar and the remaining half with water.
  • Mix well and store.
  • Use the mixture whenever your scalp itches.

Note: Do a patch test on your skin to check if ACV is causing burns.

2. Peppermint Essential Oil

Peppermint has a cooling effect on the skin (8). This property might help reduce the itch.

You Will Need

What You Have To Do

  • Mix 2 drops of peppermint oil and 5 drops of carrier oil.
  • Massage the mixture into your hair.
  • Wash your hair with shampoo and conditioner after 20 minutes.

3. Lavender Essential Oil

Lavender oil helps eliminate head lice and may relieve the associated itching (9).

You Will Need

  • Lavender essential oil, 2 drops
  • Carrier oil, 5 drops

What You Have To Do

  • Mix 2 drops of lavender essential oil and 5 drops of carrier oil in the palm of your hand.
  • Massage the mixture into your hair and scalp.
  • Wash your hair with a shampoo and a conditioner after 20 to 30 minutes.

4. Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil has an anti-inflammatory effect (10). It may help ease scalp itching or irritation. The oil may also help treat the itching caused by dandruff or head lice (11). Tea tree oil repels head lice and does not treat them. You may use it as a preventive measure.

You Will Need

  • Tea tree oil, 5 to 10 drops
  • Carrier oil, 10 drops

What You Have To Do

  • Mix the tea tree oil with the carrier oil.
  • Massage it into your hair.
  • Wash your hair after some time.
  • Alternatively, you can also use shampoos and other hair products containing tea tree oil.

5. Meditation

Research suggests that meditation can reduce anxiety and stress (12). It may also help relieve the associated scalp itching.

In short, your scalp feels itchy at night for many reasons. It could be because of dandruff, reaction to a hair product, head lice, scalp psoriasis, atopic dermatitis, or stress. In some cases, a dry scalp can also cause itching. Using store-bought products can worsen the itching, which is why we recommend opting for natural remedies. You can use apple cider vinegar, peppermint oil, lavender oil, or tea tree oil to soothe an itchy scalp. Massage these oils into your scalp before you sleep. You can also try meditation to stop your scalp from itching at night. If the itching persists, consult a trichologist for a complete diagnosis and treatment options.

Frequently Asked Questions

What autoimmune disease causes an itchy scalp?

Autoimmune disorders like psoriasis and alopecia might cause pruritus and an itchy scalp.

Why does my scalp itch a day after washing?

If you are not cleansing your hair properly after using a shampoo and conditioner, your hair might itch due to the product residue left behind. Also, long gaps in hair washing days may lead to the proliferation of Malassezia furfur (a type of yeast present on our scalp) and may cause itching. People who are sensitive to this yeast may experience scaly scalp and itching.

Key Takeaways

  • Itchy scalp can result from dandruff, reaction to certain ingredients in hair products, or head lice .It could also be due to a chronic inflammatory condition like seborrheic dermatitis.
  • Natural ingredients like apple cider vinegar and essential oils have anti-inflammatory and soothing properties that help reduce itching.
  • Stress and anxiety can also cause an itchy scalp, so meditation can be the best bet.

References:

Articles on StyleCraze are backed by verified information from peer-reviewed and academic research papers, reputed organizations, research institutions, and medical associations to ensure accuracy and relevance. Read our editorial policy to learn more.

    1. Seborrheic Dermatitis and Dandruff: A Comprehensive Review
      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4852869/
    2. Head lice infestations: A clinical update
      https://academic.oup.com/pch/article/23/1/e18/4860349?login=true
    3. Psoriasis
      https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/000434.htm
    4. Eczema (Atopic Dermatitis)
      https://www.niaid.nih.gov/diseases-conditions/eczema-atopic-dermatitis
    5. Stressful major life events are associated with a higher frequency of cutaneous sensory symptoms: an empirical study of non€clinical subjects
      https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1468-3083.2004.00931.x
    6. Antimicrobial activity of home disinfectants and natural products against potential human pathogens
      https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/10656352/
    7. Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) and their Pharmacological Approach towards Alzheimers Disease (AD): A Review
      http://www.ijper.org/sites/default/files/IndJPhaEdRes-54-2s-67.pdf
    8. Mentha piperita (Peppermint)
      https://journals.lww.com/dermatitis/Abstract/2010/11000/Mentha_piperita__Peppermint_.5.aspx
    9. Antimicrobial efficacy of five essential oils against oral pathogens: An in vitro study
      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4054083/
    10. A comparative study of antibacterial and anti-inflammatory effects of mouthrinse containing tea tree oil
      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5516420/
    11. Activity of tea tree oil and nerolidol alone or in combination against Pediculus capitis (head lice) and its eggs
      https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00436-012-3045-0
    12. Effects of meditation on anxiety, depression, fatigue, and quality of life of women undergoing radiation therapy for breast cancer
      https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0965229913000988
The following two tabs change content below.

Dawn Hilton

(MIT, WTS)
Dawn Hilton is a consultant trichologist practicing in West Yorkshire, UK. She graduated from the prestigious Institute of Trichologists, London,... more

LATEST ARTICLES