Does Scratching Your Itchy Scalp Cause Hair Loss?

Scratching our head whenever it’s itching seems like a normal thing for many men like us. Who doesn’t do that, right?

But do you know that scratching the scalp can cause or worsen your hair loss problem? Yes, it can!

And if you find it difficult to keep your fingers off your itchy scalp, we are here to help!

Today in this article, we will talk about the things you need to know about the effects of excessive scratching on your scalp. We will also share with you ways to prevent an itchy scalp and hair loss that it may cause. 

Interested in this topic? Then keep on reading, and let’s learn together!

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Does Scratching Your Head Damage Hair?

Scratching your scalp for a long time can cause damage to your hair follicles and strands. It can induce inflamed hair follicles that can worsen scalp itchiness. Scalp irritation such as this may lead to damaged hair, making it prone to hair fall.

However, scratching a normal itch will not make your hair fall out. But if you notice symptoms such as severe itching and hair loss, this might be because of an underlying scalp condition.

Why Do You Experience Hair Loss From Scratching Your Head?

Excessive and aggressive scratching can damage the skin and hair follicles. For many, this damage would result in temporary hair loss and could lead to wounds, scabbing, and scars.

Scratching can also cause the itchy skin to become more tender, making it less effective in protecting your head from harmful bacteria. It can also weaken its ability to hold and protect your hair.

Moreover, scars will worsen scalp itching because the formed scar tissue can damage the nerve fibers in the skin and will only force you to scratch it more and create bald patches on your head.

Scalp Conditions Leading To Hair Loss

Asian man scratching scalp with black hair.

But not only poor scalp health can induce an itchy scalp and hair loss. Several conditions may prevent new hair growth and may result in further hair loss. Let’s take a look at the most common causes.

Alopecia Areata

Alopecia areata is an auto-immune disease. In this condition, the immune system cannot recognize the hair follicles and mistakenly attacks them as if it was a foreign body invading our system.

This forces the follicles to come out and make your scalp itch, which could cause inflammation that leads to hair loss while creating a bald patch on the outer layer of the skin.

Alopecia areata often occurs in people with a family history of other auto-immune diseases, such as scalp psoriasis and lichen planopilaris.

Fungal Infections

Another condition that may lead to an itchy scalp and hair loss is a fungal infection. Scalp ringworm, also known as tinea capitis, is the most common fungal infection that causes hair loss in men. This can cause a very itchy scalp and red patches in the shape of a ring.

Ringworms and other fungal infections penetrate deep into the hair shaft and weaken the hair follicles until hair loss occurs in our heads.


Folliculitis is a type of skin condition that results in inflammation of the hair follicles. The cause of this disorder might be a fungal or bacterial infection. This infection can lead to temporary hair loss and itchy bumps on the skin and scalp.

Commonly after treatment, hair grows back again. But in rare cases and if left untreated for a long time, this can lead to permanent hair loss.

Atopic Dermatitis

Atopic dermatitis is also one of the common skin conditions that can lead to severe scalp itching, also known as scalp pruritus.

This condition does not directly cause hair loss. However, this condition can inflict unbearable itchiness that can lead to hair loss because of aggressive scratching. 

Allergic Reactions

Sometimes, itchy scalp and hair loss can also be due to allergic reactions from hair products that you use. Many hair care products can irritate your scalp and cause hair follicle inflammation beneath the scalp. It can be your anti-dandruff shampoos, conditioner, hair gel or spray, and hair dyes.

Another common cause of this allergic reaction is the harsh chemicals called paraphenylenediamine. This is usually found as a main ingredient in black hair dyes.

Natural Home Remedies To Stop Itching

Natural oil vials that help prevent hair loss by applying to scalp.

Thankfully, there are available home remedies that you can use to treat hair loss and an itchy scalp. These home remedies are proven to naturally help your itchy scalp and prevent intense hair loss.

Essential Oils

Essential oils have long been used as alternative treatment options for hair growth in different parts of the world. These natural oils contain elements that can soothe itchy scalp, improve hair growth, and prevent hair loss.

They are also known for their ability to treat atopic dermatitis and other scalp conditions mentioned above.

Some of the best essential oils that you can use when your scalp itches include:

  • Bergamot Oil
  • Tea Tree Oil
  • Peppermint Oil 
  • Jojoba Oil
  • Rosemary Oil


Sometimes, the culprit behind your itchy scalp is dandruff. This flaking skin can cause an itchy and dry scalp that can irritate you for the whole day.

The easiest way to treat this at home is by using the best anti-dandruff shampoo available on the market, the Nizoral shampoo. It’s great for controlling symptoms such as itching and flaking skin, but it also gets right to the root of dandruff as it kills the fungus that causes it. 

Creams or Ointments

Creams and ointments with tea tree oil extract ingredients are the go-to options for people who want to prevent itchy scalp and hair loss due to several scalp conditions. Using these hair loss treatment creams can result in increased hair thickness and enhance the overall health of our hair.

Another benefit of these natural topical treatment products is that they are easy to use, affordable, and have no reported side effects.

But if your itchy scalp condition is caused by an allergic reaction, you can use allergy creams to relieve the itchiness.

How To Prevent An Itchy Scalp

Many washing hair with his hands using shampoo.

Besides using home remedies, there are also other ways to prevent scalp itchiness and hair loss that it may cause. These ways include:

  • Avoiding Excessive Scratching
  • Using Gentle Medicated Shampoo
  • Balanced Diet and Healthy Lifestyle
  • Taking Hair Growth Supplements to Avoid Vitamin deficiency
  • Keeping the Hair Clean and Dry
  • Massaging the Scalp to Stimulate Blood Flow
  • Avoiding Direct High Heat on the Scalp

Frequently Asked Questions

Is It Good To Scratch Your Scalp?

No, unnecessary scratching on your head can cause damage not only to the scalp but also to your hair follicles. Continuous scratching can lead to temporary hair loss.

How Do You Stimulate Hair Growth?

One of the simple yet effective ways to stimulate hair growth is by using the best hair growth supplements.

Should You Scratch Your Scalp With Your Nails?

No, scratching your scalp with your nails may cause wounds that are prone to infection. These wounds can even worsen the itchiness of the scalp.


And now we are done, we do hope that this article has helped you understand the effects of extreme scratching on your scalp that lead to severe hair loss problems.

Now that we know about these skin conditions that cause itchy scalps, this is the time to learn more about hair loss and its causes. You can check out the article about 3 types of alopecia and how to treat them.

Fact Checked by our Director of Dermatology We know that understanding how your skin and hair work can seem scary, so my team and I devote our time to thoroughly researching every single topic and product we write about. We hope you find our reviews helpful and informative.

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