There are many potential causes of itchy scalp.

Until you know which one may be affecting you, it can be hard to treat it.

To help you out, we’ve listed some of the most common causes of itchy scalp here, along with some potential steps you can take to calm that skin down.

Causes of Itchy Scalp #1: Dandruff

If you see flakes on your hair or clothing, and your scalp is dry and itchy, you may have dandruff. This may be caused by irritated, oily skin, dry skin, a yeastlike fungus that feeds on the oils of the scalp, skin conditions like psoriasis and eczema, or sensitivity to hair care products.

To Fix: Most cases of dandruff will improve when you use over-the-counter dandruff shampoo. It helps reduce oil and skin cell buildup. If that doesn’t help, ask your doctor about medicated dandruff shampoo. Feel free to experiment until you find products that work for you.

Causes of Itchy Scalp #2: Hair Care Products

If you have sensitive skin and you’ve noticed a reaction to skincare products, the skin on your scalp may be sensitive too. Maybe the shampoo you’re using is too harsh, or you’re not rinsing it out completely. There may be something in your conditioner or other hair-care product that’s negatively affecting your scalp.

It could also be that you have allergic contact dermatitis, which means your skin reacts when contacting an allergen—like hair dye. Many people are sensitive to hair dye and will develop an itchy scalp after coloring their hair.

To Fix: The key is to stop using the product you’re allergic to. Cut back on everything, including shampoos, conditioners, leave-in treatments, hair sprays, mousses, and other styling products. Get a gentle shampoo and conditioner and start with that. Then gradually add back in your other products, giving yourself a couple of days in between each one so you can detect any that may be bothering you.

Calming Moisture Scalp3: Psoriasis

This is a chronic immune disease that causes raised, reddish, scaly patches on the skin and scalp. If you have psoriasis on other areas of your skin and you notice dry, red patches on your scalp, it’s likely the same thing.

To Fix: Start with over-the-counter medicated shampoos. These usually contain salicylic acid or coal tar to help control the flare-ups. If these don’t work, check with your dermatologist for other options.

You can also try some home remedies such as the following.

  • Baking Soda: Apply a baking soda paste (baking soda and water) to the affected areas and allow to sit for 5-10 minutes, then rinse off.
  • Calming Moisture: Our Calming Moisture is specifically made for the face and scalp. It contains aloe vera, which is known to help heal skin, along with other ingredients to soothe and calm while restoring balance to the scalp. Simply apply to the affected areas and rub in.
  • Coconut or avocado oil: Both of these have healthy fatty acids that can encourage skin recovery. Massage a few drops onto the scalp, put on a shower cap, and wait 20 minutes, then wash as usual.
  • Oatmeal: Oats are naturally good at relieving itch and irritation. Add some raw ground unflavored oats to a warm bath or hair soak and leave on your head for 15 minutes. (Note: Our CV Skinlabs Calming Moisture contains beta-glucan, which is from oats—another reason it works well for itchy scalp!)
  • Epsom salts: These natural salts may reduce psoriasis symptoms. Dissolve some in a warm bath and soak your scalp for at least 15 minutes.
  • Restorative Skin Balm: Use our CV Skinlabs Restorative Skin Balm to spot treat psoriasis patches. The castor oil inside it will help soothe and soften, and may even help with hair growth.

Causes of Itchy Scalp #4: Eczema

This is another common skin condition that can cause inflamed, itchy, dry skin to form on the scalp. When it occurs in babies, it’s called cradle cap. In adults, it can be one of several causes of dandruff.

Eczema on the scalp usually occurs because of the overproduction of sebum, the natural oil secreted by the sebaceous glands in the scalp. Symptoms include red and scaly patches of skin on the scalp, itching and burning, and even oozing or weeping lesions.

Eczema reacts to triggers and tends to flare up and then calm down. Potential triggers include hormonal changes, illness, stress, harsh chemicals from shampoos and soaps, and heavy sweating.

To Fix: You can use an over-the-counter dandruff shampoo to get the condition under control. Then keep your skin in its best condition by regularly applying olive oil or our Calming Moisture to the scalp and rubbing it in. Avoid using hair sprays, gels, and other styling products that have harsh ingredients. You can also try taking fish oil supplements—the natural fatty acids are good for the skin.

#5: Diabetes

Is an itchy scalp connected with diabetes? Not something you’d normally think about, but yes—diabetes can affect the nerves in the scalp, causing them to itch.

To Fix: Controlling your diabetes and keeping your blood sugar levels under control can also help control scalp itch. Meanwhile, take care of your scalp with gentle cleansing, thorough rinsing, and the application of natural moisturizing solutions like coconut oil, Calming Moisture, and our Rescue + Relief Spray, which naturally calms the itch.

Some Other Potential Causes of Itchy Scalp

In addition to those listed above, there are some other potential causes of itchy scalp. These include:

Rescue Scalp IrritationWig Wearing

Wig wearers often experience dry, itchy scalp. Often, this is caused by the fabric of the wig itself. It may also be due to bacterial buildup from sweating under the wig, or reactions to the glue or tape used to keep the wig in place.

To reduce the itch, choose a good quality wig, wear a cotton or silk liner, and if you’re wearing it all day, refresh your scalp several times a day. Our Rescue & Relief Spray works great!

Head Lice

This is caused by tiny insects called lice that get into the hair. They jump from one person’s head to another and are sometimes passed around among young kids in school. If you suspect head lice, talk to your doctor, and use a lice shampoo for treatment.

Scalp Ringworm

This is a type of fungus that can cause a red and itchy rash. Treatment requires prescription medication, so check with your doctor.


An intense, annoying itch may be a sign of scabies. These are tiny mites that burrow into the scalp. It’s uncommon to be affected by them, but possible if you come into close contact with someone who has them, or you’ve stayed somewhere that was infested. See your dermatologist, as over-the-counter treatments usually are not effective.

Sensitive Skin

Having sensitive skin, in general, makes you more susceptible to having a sensitive scalp, too. Treat your scalp as you would your skin—use only gentle products, and regularly moisturize.

Shaving Your Scalp

Just like shaving can cause itchy skin on your legs or under the arms, shaving your scalp can also lead to itching and irritation. This is usually a sign of razor burn. To protect your skin, use a fresh, sharp razor or clippers and a soothing shave cream or gel. Rinse, then apply an alcohol-free aftershave or spritz (try our Rescue + Relief Spray) and follow with a non-irritating moisturizer. We recommend our Calming Moisture.

Precancerous Legion

This is less common, but it’s possible. If you see a crusty spot on your scalp that itches, it may be the beginning of skin cancer, caused by years of sun exposure. Check with your dermatologist.

Do you know what’s causing your itchy scalp?

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How to Fix Bleach Damaged Hair


Are you addicted to hair bleach and now have major hair damage? Put down the scissors! Before you go in for the big chop, we have a few recommendations for how to fix damaged bleached hair and grow out bleached hair. Keep reading to learn more!

What Causes Bleach-Damaged Hair?

Before we get into how to repair damaged, bleached hair, let’s talk about why bleach is so damaging for your locks.

Taking any kind of drastic measure to lighten hair has the potential to damage hair strands’ health and integrity—and, you know, making all that bleached hair fall out in clumps. The bleaching process opens up the cuticle, the protective layer on the outside of the hair strand. This allows the bleaching agent to penetrate the hair shaft and dissolve the pigment, which is what normally gives your hair its natural color.

However, overprocessing hair can damage or even destroy the cuticle. If the hair’s protective layer is damaged or gone, the hair can become extremely dry, brittle, and may even break off completely.

Some people’s hair is more resistant to bleach damage, but all hair has its limits. If you’re not careful with the conditioning products and heat-styling tools that you use, bleach eventually can do deep damage to hair over time.

woman dry damaged bleached hair how to fix bleach damaged hair viviscal hair blog

How to Fix Damaged Bleached Hair

In case you’re also a bleach addict or dealing with some minor breakage, here are our tips for how to repair your bleach-damaged hair—or, better yet, how to make sure you never get there in the first place.

1. Cut Down on Shampoo

Bleach-damaged hair has a compromised or destroyed cuticle. When the cuticle is not fully intact, moisture can escape from the hair. Translation? Bleach-damaged hair is very dry.

That’s why it’s wise not to wash it as often as healthy hair. By skipping washes, you allow your scalp’s natural oils to do what they’re supposed to: moisturize your hair. Try to reduce the amount you wash your hair to once or twice per week. If your hair looks too greasy between washes, use dry shampoo to absorb the extra oil.

2. Choose a Gentle Shampoo

When you do wash your hair, make sure you’re using a gentle shampoo that won’t strip your hair, and always follow with a nourishing conditioner. We recommend using Viviscal Gorgeous Growth Densifying Shampoo and Conditioner, which gently cleanse and condition hair while fortifying it with hair-healthy vitamins and minerals. As a result, hair looks naturally thicker and fuller.

3. Get a Trim

Bleach-damaged hair often has a lot of breakage and split ends. For healthier-looking hair, get frequent, smaller trims to snip away the damage. This will help stay on top of any minor damage and avoid having to do a drastic, big chop later.

closeup trimming ends blonde hair scissors haircut how to fix bleach damaged hair viviscal hair blog

4. Avoid Heat

To repair damaged, bleached hair, try to steer away from using too many heat tools on your hair, especially right after you get it colored. Embrace your natural hair texture, or learn heat-free hairstyles or heat-free ways to curl your hair.

5. Break Out the Coconut Oil

Believe it or not, this pantry staple can be an excellent multi-tasker for fixing bleach-damaged hair. Coconut oil moisturizes and nourishes parched strands with fatty acids and vitamins. Plus, it has amino acids that can help repair the structural damage from bleaching.

Here are a few ways to incorporate coconut oil into your bleach-damaged hair routine:

  • Before your next color appointment, sleep with coconut oil in your hair. This will help strengthen and prep your hair before bleach, helping to mitigate some of the damage.
  • Apply coconut oil to your ends before bed each night to moisturize them and prevent them from splitting.
  • Use coconut oil as a moisturizing hair mask. Apply to dry hair, allow to sit for at least twenty minutes, then wash out with shampoo and conditioner.

Growing Out Bleached Hair

In some cases, bleached hair becomes too damaged to repair. When this happens, it’s time to grow out your bleached hair. Follow these tips to make the transition to your natural hair color as smooth as possible!

Ask for Lowlights

One of the most difficult parts of growing out bleached hair is dealing with the line of demarcation—the line where your bleached and natural roots meet. If you’re committed to growing out your bleached hair without cutting it, you can ask your colorist to add lowlights that blend your roots with the rest of your hair. This will make the line of demarcation less obvious, and your grow-out process will be more seamless.

balayage hair color salon stylist colorist blonde viviscal hair blog

Nourish from the Inside Out

If you’re trying to grow out bleached hair, chances are you’re looking for healthier hair. That’s where Viviscal comes in. Viviscal hair supplements are clinically proven to nourish thinning hair and promote existing hair growth from the inside out.*

The secret lies with Viviscal’s unique combination of vitamins and minerals plus AminoMar™, a proprietary collagen complex. While the results do take a while to kick in (after all, hair can only grow a maximum of a half-inch per month!) you should see thicker, fuller and healthier hair in 3-6 months.*

Embrace the Awkwardness

Let’s be real: growing out bleached hair isn’t always pretty. To get through the awkward times, look on the bright side. One bonus of letting natural hair color grow out is spending a lot less time and money in the salon. And once your natural hair color has fully grown in, you won’t need to worry about your roots anymore!

how to rehab hair damage after over-bleaching

The Big Chop

If all else fails, you can always get a pixie cut. Why? Because shorter hair is easier to grow out. Since hair grows at a rate of about a half-inch per month max, it will only take you one to three months to grow out your bleached hair. Plus, since your ends tend to be the most damaged part of your hair, your hair will look healthier while you’re growing out the bleached sections. If you’re feeling adventurous, ask your hairstylist to cut your hair into a cute pixie cut.

If you have bleach-damaged hair, there is some hope to fix it without growing out your bleached hair. With a little help from these tips—and a lot of patience—you can reclaim your healthy hair.

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