An itchy scalp is a common problem that can cause discomfort and embarrassment. A chronically itchy scalp can cause frustration as well. There are several possible causes of itchy scalp ranging from dandruff to the shampoo a person uses. If itching began recently, it may be necessary to check for conditions such as lice or use of a new hair care product, as these may cause itching.


Dandruff is the most common cause of itchy scalp. Dandruff, also known as seborrhea, occurs due to an overproduction of skin cells in the scalp. Most people are familiar with the white flakes of dandruff that fall from the scalp like snowflakes. Dandruff is simply dead skin cells but it can be quite irritating for those who have it in its severe form.


People often believe that only those with a dry scalp suffer from dandruff, but this is not true. People who have an oily scalp suffer from dandruff as well. In fact, their dandruff may be worse due to the heavy build up of oil which can cause the dandruff to adhere to the scalp rather than falling loose.

Dandruff Shampoos

There are several medicated brands of shampoos on the market specifically created for the treatment of dandruff. Although some people claim to have success with dandruff shampoos, others have not. If the dandruff is severe, doesn't improve or worsens with the use of a medicated shampoo, it may be wise to seek the advice of a dermatologist.

Proper Shampooing

The problem may not be the shampoo but the method of shampooing. If all of the shampoo is not rinsed out thoroughly, it can leave a residue that causes the scalp to itch, which only increases the problem rather than alleviating it.

Styling Products

Daily use of styling products such as hair spray or gel can cause the scalp to itch. Such products leave a residue and unless you shampoo daily, the residue will build up as you continue to use the product. It is best to use styling products in moderation.


Brushing can help to loosen and remove dead skin cells. Brushing also helps to keep the scalp and hair in top condition by thoroughly distributing the scalp's natural oils. You don't have to brush 100 strokes every time, but brush often for a healthy scalp and hair.