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Why Does My Scalp Itch a Day After Washing?

Do you find yourself scratching your head just one day after washing your hair? If so, you’re not alone. Many people experience an itchy scalp shortly after washing their hair, and it can be a frustrating and uncomfortable experience. But why does my scalp itch a day after washing? Keep on reading for the answers…

Why Does My Scalp Itch a Day After Washing?

Common Causes of Itchy Scalp

Seborrheic Dermatitis

Seborrheic dermatitis is a common cause of an itchy scalp. This condition occurs when your body’s inflammatory response reacts to an overgrowth of yeast on your scalp, leading to itching and flaking.

To manage seborrheic dermatitis, try using a shampoo specifically formulated for this condition, and follow a consistent scalp care routine.


Psoriasis is another potential cause of an itchy scalp. Scalp psoriasis can manifest as red, raised patches that are itchy and scaly.

It’s essential to consult with a dermatologist for proper treatment, which may include medicated shampoos, topical treatments, or even light therapy.


Dandruff is a prevalent reason for experiencing an itchy scalp a day after washing. If you see flakes on your hair or clothing along with itchiness, it could be due to dandruff.

To get relief, use dandruff shampoos and scalp treatments specifically designed to combat this issue.

Some effective ingredients for dandruff shampoos include:

  • Tea tree oil
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Baking soda
  • Coconut oil


Head lice could also be causing your itchy scalp. Lice are tiny insects that attach themselves to the hair and scalp, causing intense itching.

If you suspect lice, check for nits (eggs) or live lice in your hair and consult a healthcare professional for appropriate treatment.

Allergic Reactions

Allergic reactions, such as contact dermatitis or atopic dermatitis, might be responsible for an itchy scalp. These reactions can occur due to hair care products, fragrances, or even clothing materials.

To determine whether an allergen is causing your itchiness, try switching to hypoallergenic products or consult a dermatologist for patch testing and further guidance.

Why Does My Scalp Itch a Day After Washing?

There could be several reasons why your scalp itches a day after washing. In this section, we’ll discuss some of the most common factors that can contribute to an itchy scalp, such as hair care products, weather changes, shampooing, and soaps.

Hair Care Products

Using the wrong hair care products or not rinsing them out properly can lead to an itchy scalp. For example, if you leave some shampoo or conditioner on your scalp, it can cause irritation and itchiness.

Similarly, certain hair products may contain ingredients that your skin is sensitive to or allergic to, which can also cause itching. To avoid this:

  • Make sure to rinse your hair thoroughly after shampooing and conditioning.
  • Experiment with different hair care products and choose ones that are designed for sensitive scalps.

Shampooing and Soaps

Weather Changes

Seasonal changes in weather can also contribute to your scalp itching after washing. Cold, dry air during the winter months can lead to a dry and itchy scalp because of reduced moisture in the environment.

On the other hand, hot and humid weather can cause excess sweating, which can also irritate the scalp. Here’s what you can do:

  • Keep your skin and hair well-hydrated by using a good-quality moisturizer during the winter months.
  • Use a fan or air conditioner to stay cool during the summer months and protect your scalp from excessive sweating.

Shampooing and Soaps

Not shampooing enough or using harsh soaps can lead to an itchy scalp. Using a mild shampoo designed for your hair type and washing your hair more frequently can help.

The buildup of oil on your scalp may lead to the growth of a yeast called Malassezia, which can cause itchiness and dandruff. To prevent this:

  • Shampoo your hair regularly, about every 2-3 days, depending on your hair type and lifestyle.
  • Use a gentle, sulfate-free shampoo designed for your hair type.
  • Avoid using harsh soaps on your scalp, as they may strip your skin of its natural oils and cause dryness and irritation.

When you work on addressing these factors, you’ll be well on your way to relieving your itchy scalp and maintaining the health of your hair. 

Which Other Conditions Can Cause An Itchy Scalp?

Fungal Infections

Fungal infections can cause itchiness on your scalp. One example is the overgrowth of yeast, which causes dandruff and seborrheic dermatitis.

This occurs when your body’s inflammatory response to the yeast leads to itching and flaking.

Also, a fungal infection like ringworm can affect your scalp, causing itchiness, redness, and even hair loss. Be sure to watch for any unusual patches or irritations on your scalp.

Iron Deficiency Anemia

Iron deficiency anemia could be behind your itchy scalp. When your body lacks iron, it can’t produce enough hemoglobin, which carries oxygen to your cells.

This may lead to undernourished hair follicles resulting in an itchy and dry scalp. To determine if this is the cause, you might consider discussing it with your healthcare provider and getting a blood test.

Liver Disease

Lastly, liver disease might be a potential cause for your scalp itchiness. When your liver isn’t functioning properly, it’s unable to filter toxins effectively, which could lead to skin irritations and itchiness, including on your scalp.

As well as having an itchy scalp, other symptoms of liver disease may include fatigue, yellowing of the skin or eyes, and abdominal pain.

If you suspect that your itchy scalp is related to a liver issue, consult your healthcare provider for further assessment and guidance.

Top Tips On Treating an Itchy Scalp

Medicated Shampoos

Using medicated shampoos can be an effective way to treat an itchy scalp. There are several types of medicated shampoos available on the market, some of which contain ingredients such as salicylic acid, coal tar, and zinc pyrithione.

These ingredients work to soothe the scalp, reduce inflammation, and combat fungus or bacteria that could be causing the itchiness. 

Natural Hair Oils and Remedies

Incorporating natural oils and remedies into your scalp care routine can also provide relief from itchiness. Tea tree oil, for example, is known for its anti-inflammatory and anti-fungal properties that can help soothe an irritated scalp.

You can add a few drops of tea tree oil to your regular shampoo or look for a shampoo that already includes it as an ingredient.

Another option is to apply natural oils, such as coconut oil or almond oil, directly to your scalp before washing your hair. These oils can moisturize and promote a healthy scalp environment.

When to Consult a Dermatologist

Topical Agents

If your itchy scalp persists even after trying medicated shampoos and natural remedies, you may want to consider using topical agents.

Topical cortisone, for instance, is an over-the-counter medication that can help reduce inflammation and itchiness on the scalp.

For more stubborn cases, your healthcare provider might prescribe an antifungal shampoo or oral antibiotics to target the underlying cause of your symptoms.

Shampoos containing pyrethrin or permethrin can be useful in treating specific scalp conditions, such as lice.

When to Consult a Dermatologist

There are times when an itchy scalp can be more than just a temporary annoyance. If you notice any of the following symptoms accompanying your scalp itchiness, it’s important to consult a dermatologist:

  • Persistent itching that doesn’t improve or worsens over time
  • Visible hair loss or bald patches, as these may indicate a more serious underlying condition
  • Redness, swelling, or any signs of infection in the affected area
  • A sudden increase in the severity of itchiness or accompanying symptoms

When you visit a dermatologist, they will typically start by asking about your medical history to get a better understanding of your overall health and any potential triggers for your scalp pruritus (itchiness).

This may involve questions about your diet, environment, stress levels, and hair care routines.

The dermatologist may then conduct a physical examination to look for any underlying causes of your itchy scalp, such as skin conditions like psoriasis or eczema.

Or the presence of Malassezia, a type of yeast that can lead to dandruff. In some cases, they may also take a skin sample for further testing.

Based on your medical history and examination findings, the dermatologist will recommend appropriate treatments for your itchy scalp. These may include:

  • Topical medications to control inflammation and itching
  • Special shampoos or hair care products to address the underlying cause
  • Changes in your diet, environment, or hair care routine to reduce possible triggers
  • Oral medications or more intensive treatments, if necessary

How to Stop Scalp Itch?

To stop scalp itch, first, identify the cause. Common causes include dandruff, seborrheic dermatitis, and contact dermatitis.

Use a dandruff shampoo or try scalp treatments to help with dandruff-related itchiness.

If it’s due to contact dermatitis, avoid using potentially irritating hair products or ingredients. Consult a dermatologist for professional advice on specific treatments tailored to your needs.

Autoimmune Link to Itchy Scalp

An autoimmune disorder called psoriasis can cause an itchy scalp. Psoriasis results in inflamed, scaly patches of skin.

If you suspect you have psoriasis or another autoimmune condition, consult your healthcare provider for diagnosis and appropriate treatment options.

Should Daily Washing Your Hair Help with An Itchy Scalp or Make It Worse?

Best Shampoo for Itch Relief?

To find the best shampoo for itch relief, look for products specifically formulated to address your scalp concerns.

If your main issue is dandruff, try using a dandruff shampoo containing ingredients like pyrithione zinc, salicylic acid, or selenium sulfide. You should also avoid shampoos with harsh chemicals that can further irritate your scalp.

Should Daily Washing Your Hair Help with An Itchy Scalp or Make It Worse?

Washing your hair daily can be helpful or harmful, depending on the cause of your itchy scalp. If you have a greasy scalp, washing daily can help remove excess oil.

However, if your itchiness is due to a dry scalp, overwashing can strip your scalp of its natural oils and make the problem worse. Adjust your hair-washing frequency according to your scalp’s needs.

Home Remedies for Itchy Scalp

Some home remedies for itchy scalp include:

  1. Tea tree oil: Add a few drops to your shampoo for its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties.
  2. Apple cider vinegar: Dilute with water and rinse your scalp for its antimicrobial and pH-balancing benefits.
  3. Aloe vera: Apply pure aloe vera gel to soothe any inflammation and moisturize a dry scalp.

Remember, always do a patch test to ensure you’re not sensitive or allergic to any home remedy ingredients before applying them to your scalp.

Can My Choice of Hair Products Cause the Scalp to Itch?

Yes, some hair products can cause the scalp to become itchy due to harsh chemicals or ingredients. Make sure to rinse the shampoo and conditioner thoroughly out of your hair and opt for gentle, soothing products to treat your itchy scalp.

How Can I Stop the Itch After Washing My Scalp and Hair?

How Can I Stop the Itch After Washing My Scalp and Hair?

To stop the itch, try switching to a mild shampoo and conditioner, apply a scalp treatment specifically designed to soothe itchy patches, or consider using a natural remedy like apple cider vinegar or tea tree oil to treat your itchy scalp.

Is It Possible that My Hair Washing Technique Is Causing My Itchy Scalp?

Not thoroughly rinsing the shampoo and conditioner out of your hair is causing your scalp to itch. Make sure to rinse your hair with plenty of water, massaging your scalp gently to ensure all product is washed away.

Could an Itchy Scalp Be a Sign of Something More Serious?

In some cases, an intensely itchy scalp without signs of dandruff or flakiness could signal an underlying issue like scalp ringworm or an allergic reaction. If your itchiness persists, it’s best to consult a doctor or dermatologist to rule out more serious causes of scalp itchiness.

Can Dead Skin Cells on The Scalp Cause Itchiness?

Yes, a buildup of dead skin cells on the scalp can cause the scalp to itch. Exfoliating your scalp using gentle products or a scalp brush helps to remove these dead skin cells and alleviate itchiness.


Why Does My Scalp Oil Make My Scalp Itchy?

Excess scalp oil can lead to a buildup on the hair shaft, which may cause your scalp to become irritated and itchy. Washing your hair regularly with a gentle shampoo helps to control the oil production and prevent itchiness.

Can an Infection Like Scalp Ringworm Cause My Scalp to Itch?

Scalp ringworm is a fungal infection that can cause itchy patches to form on the scalp, often accompanied by redness and hair loss. If you suspect you may have scalp ringworm, it’s best to consult a doctor for diagnosis and treatment.


Itchy scalp can be a frustrating and uncomfortable experience. Common causes of an itchy scalp include seborrheic dermatitis, psoriasis, dandruff, lice infestations, and allergic reactions.

You may also find that weather changes or improper hair care habits are causing your itchy scalp, and hair may be overloaded in product build-up, causing your scalp issue.

To treat an itchy scalp, you should use medicated shampoos, natural oils and remedies, topical agents, or visit a dermatologist for further assessment if your symptoms persist.

Try to identify potential triggers such as diet or environment and maintain a consistent hair care routine.

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