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Itchy Scalp and Thinning Hair? Tips and Advice That May Help

The other day, I received similar emails from both a man and a woman who described having an itchy, tingling scalp with hair loss that seemed accelerated and was accompanied by thinning.  Both wanted to know what they could do about their scalp (which hopefully would also help the hair loss.)  In truth, there are several reasons that these two things occur side by side or simultaneously.  I will discuss these things in the following article.

The Most Common Cause For An Itching Scalp Accompanied By Shedding Or Thinning Hair: By far, the most common cause for this condition is an over reaction to your scalp to the androgens that are on it.  Now, this may be a sudden onset of symptoms because either your hormones are changing, the androgens are increasing, or your sensitivity to the androgens is increasing.  All three of these things generally occur with age.   And, these things tie into genetic or androgenic hair loss, meaning your standard, run of the mill, patterned baldness or thinning.  Sometimes this is patterned (typically with more loss happening at the temples, crown, or top) or it can be more diffuse (especially in women.)

The treatments depend on how aggressive you wan to be and how bad the thinning really is.  Some people will only seek relief for the itching.  Tea tree oil is good for this as are anti inflammatory shampoos.  If you want to address the thinning, you will need to address the sensitivity at the follicles. However with that said, you will want to try things gradually and you should be very careful about any treatment that can affect or change your hormones, as hormonal vulnerability might just be what caused this. I often recommend starting with things that are placed on your scalp rather than going internally and taking things into your body.

Itchy Scalp Accompanied By Telogen Effluvium (TE):  Sometimes, for whatever reason, your follicles will go through a shed or a sort of spring cleaning.  This can occur, again, because of changing hormones, changing medications, illness, stress, and many other things.  Often, you will get shedding that will sort of run its course, and hopefully, end after a few months.  In the meantime though, since so many follicles are being shed out at one time, you can get a tight, itchy, or painful scalp while this is happening.

Now, sometimes, the thinning is caused as a result of the shedding, but sometimes miniaturization takes place. What this means is that your hair is growing back thinner and finer as the result of being affected by the androgens that I discussed above.  If your regrowth looks fine though, you’re typically over the TE hump and can just focus on reducing the inflammation of your scalp.

Other Considerations: Dermatological Conditions Of The Scalp: Sometimes, your scalp itches or looks angry because it’s having some reaction due to injury, allergic reactions, yeast, infections, or products that are injuring it.  This is typically something that your dermatologist can pinpoint with a sun lamp.  Sometimes, you will have reactions on other parts of your body other than the scalp.  You might see sores or bumps on the scalp.  Ask yourself if you have changed products or regimens. Thinning with these conditions is somewhat rare, although I have heard of this happening.

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