If you have an itchy scalp with dreadlocks, the first thing you need to do is find out what caused it. This is the best way to go when that pesky itchiness just won’t subside! Learning the causes of your itchy scalp will make it a lot easier to choose the best treatment. The reason is that an itchy scalp could have multiple causes and, therefore, several possible treatments, as you are about to see!
Why Do I Have Itchy Scalp with Dreadlocks?
Let’s start by dissecting the reasons why you feel like your scalp is itchy all the time! Yes, we know, it’s annoying. But finding out the root of your problem is much more important than you think.
You are having a reaction to a hair care product
Reactions to hair care products that are not suited for you are more common than you think. They can lead to inflammation or irritations that you might also be seeing on your face and neck. Should that be the cause of your itchy scalp with dreadlocks, try to rinse out the shampoo better from your locks or simply replace the product altogether.
You have dandruff
Luckily, dandruff is very easy to notice. Therefore, if you know this is your problem, try using an anti-dandruff shampoo. If you’re suffering from a mild case of dandruff or itchy scalp with dreadlocks, an over-the-counter shampoo will be enough. They have zinc pyrithione and selenium sulfide as active ingredients which will fight against the yeast that produces dandruff in the first place.
If you have severe dandruff or an itchy scalp with dreadlocks, please visit your physician. He or she will be able to prescribe you an antifungal shampoo, a medicated foam, a topical cortisone, an ointment or a solution that will help you. For more details, please see our piece on dandruff with dreadlocks.
Itchy scalp with dreadlocks may be a sign of lice
Unfortunately, lice are everywhere. And, contrary to popular belief, lice are not attracted to dirty hair. In fact, lice couldn’t care less if you hair is dirty or squeaky clean. The reason why you get lice is because they are attracted to blood.
But the good news is that you can treat a case of lice with over-the-counter shampoos even if you have dreadlocks. They have insecticides as active ingredients such as permethrin or pyrethrin.
Tip – many home remedies recipes advise you to use products such as mayonnaise to kill lice. As easy and tempting as that might sound, please don’t try it. While it is true that mayo can kill fully grown lice, it won’t do anything to lice eggs because it can’t penetrate their shell. Which means that as soon as they hatch, you will have a whole new series of lice to deal with!
Your shampoo might be too drying
Check the ingredients of your shampoo! Does it have any sodium laureth sulfate or any sodium lauryl sulfate? Both of them have the SLS acronym on some bottles and both are classified as surfactant detergents. Yes, they are sudsy and produce a very satisfying lather when you work the shampoo into your hair. But the truth is they will dry and damage your scalp. Which might be one of the reasons for itchy scalp with dreadlocks.
Here’s what Tom Brooks has to say on the matter:
“They can even cause redness and irritation, especially when they’re not formulated alongside certain ingredients that may neutralize the irritation.”
Psoriasis could cause itchy scalp with dreadlocks
Psoriasis is qualified as a chronic autoimmune disease that will manifest itself through scaly patches either on your skin or on your scalp. Even though no one knows exactly what the causes of psoriasis itself are, it is not a transmittable disease.
But you can use over-the-counter medication such as shampoos that have salicylic acid or coal tar in them so that you can control your psoriasis. Should that not work on your itchy scalp with dreadlocks, please see your physician who will recommend stronger, medicated solutions.
You have folliculitis
Simply put, folliculitis is a medical problem caused by inflamed hair follicles. The causes can be both fungal and bacterial. The bad news is that, apart from the itchy scalp with dreadlocks you are experiencing, folliculitis can also lead to hair loss if left untreated.
However, you can treat your bacterial or fungal infection with a course of antibiotics. But please do not self-medicate, especially with antibiotics! Refer to your doctor who will prescribe you said medication if and when you need it!
What about you?
Have you recognized any of the symptoms or causes we have described above when it comes to itchy scalp with dreadlocks? If you did, then you’re half way to solving your problem! Talk to your pharmacist or physician and you will be one step close to cleaner and healthier dreads!