How Hair Loss Causes Itchy Scalp and How To Prevent It Naturally

Eu Natural
January 2, 2018

So maybe you’ve noticed a couple of things lately.  First of all, your scalp has been really, really itchy lately.

Secondly, you seem to be losing hair.  That’s weird—and troubling. Could the two be connected?

How Hair Loss Causes Itchy Scalp and How To Prevent It Naturally

Is there a way that your hair loss could be causing your itching?  If you get to the bottom of one, maybe you can get to the bottom of both—and hopefully stop both the itching and the hair loss.

Losing hair On its own is not an itchy process … but whatever is underlying your hair loss could be causing your scalp to itch!

First of all, the simple shedding of hair should not be causing your scalp to itch.  Think about it.  You lose hair on an ongoing basis all of the time, even when it isn’t happening rapidly.  That doesn’t cause your scalp to itch.  The hair simply falls out, and that is that.

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But it is possible that the condition which is leading to your hair loss also happens to cause itching.  If you can figure out what it is and tackle it at the root (pun intended), you may be able to find some relief.

There are quite a few different conditions which could cause both itching and hair loss:

  1. Dry hair and scalp
  2. Traction alopecia
  3. Eczema (dandruff)
  4. Psoriasis
  5. Folliculitis
  6. Contact dermatitis
  7. Ringworm
  8. Lichen Planus
  9. Sarcoidosis
  10. Head lice (if you scratch)
  11. Alopecia Areata
  12. Auto-immune conditions
  13. Thyroid disorders
  14. Medications

What’s great is that most of these are not serious (with some obvious exceptions, like auto-immune conditions).  Let’s talk about each in detail—or you can just scroll down to whichever one you are interested in.  I’ve made this a comprehensive post!

How Hair Loss Causes Itchy Scalp and How To Prevent It Naturally

How Hair Loss Causes Itchy Scalp and How To Prevent It Naturally

1. Dry hair and scalp

One possibility is that there is nothing actually “wrong” with your scalp at all.  It could just be that it is extremely dry.

A super dry scalp can sometimes be mistaken for dandruff.  But it could be that those flakes on your scalp really are dry flakes of skin, and the itching you feel is due entirely to dryness.

This situation could easily be exacerbated if you keep messing with your scalp, say by scratching.  

What can cause your scalp to become so dry in the first place?  Well, there are a lot of possibilities.  Dry skin is common in the winter months.  Certain commercial hair products can really dry out your scalp (I have found that anything containing sulfates is a nightmare in that respect, though there is endless debate over this).  

I have also found that some natural treatments which are very useful in general can be overdone.  If I go overboard with apple cider vinegar (one of my all-time favourite hair treatments) for example, my scalp is usually dry and itchy for days.  

Having a dry scalp by itself will not result in hair loss, but scratching at it excessively could.  Plus, if you have managed to dry out your scalp, there is a good chance you have also dried out your hair itself.  

Dry hair is prone to breakage.  This means that what you perceive of as your “hair falling out” may not all be happening at the root.  It could be that a lot of the strands have broken off in the middle.  You will have to look closely at them or consider their length to hazard a guess about this.

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Suggested Solutions:

If you believe you are experiencing a super dry scalp, it is time to ditch commercial shampoos which dry out your hair.  I know the sulfate thing is up for debate, but I have had nothing but awful experiences with products which contain them.  

My suggestion is to switch to a natural shampoo which will not dry out your hair.  Do not shampoo your hair every day.  I stick with a couple times a week, and that is plenty.  Do some deep conditioning and consider applying some moisturizing masks to your hair and scalp.  

The first few weeks you do this, your hair and scalp may seem angry at you.  Try and ignore this.  Your body needs to adjust.  Once it does, you should find your scalp starts balancing out its sebum production.  Not only will you have less itching and hair loss, but you should notice a nice silky shine to your locks.  No more tumbleweed hair!

2. Traction Alopecia

This might sound yucky from the name, but it actually is a pretty innocuous condition, at least insofar as it isn’t any kind of disease.  It also does not have to be a permanent problem.

“Alopecia” refers to hair loss, and “traction” here refers to … well, traction.  Basically, if you pull on your hair a whole lot, it might start falling out.

There are a couple of situations where this is common.  First of all, for some people, hair pulling is a stim.  They do it because they find it relaxing and centering.  The habit may be conscious or unconscious, rather like nail biting or rocking back and forth.  

Others may never pull at their hair like this on purpose, but they may wear hairstyles which do.  Any tight hairstyle involving hair weaves, braids, ponytails, or so on can lead to traction alopecia, as can the use of hair clips.  Of course this is not very common overall, but it does sometimes happen.  Chemicals used to treat hair may play into the condition as well, for example those found in certain harsh relaxers.

Finally, if you wear a compressive helmet for activities such as motorcycling or skiing, the friction from the helmet may cause traction alopecia.  This is only likely to happen if the helmet is worn for long periods of time.

As you might guess, traction alopecia can really irritate your scalp.  Inflammation is a common result, so the skin may be red, painful, or itchy.  

If you do have traction alopecia, it is usually not too hard to figure it out.  If there are risk factors involved with your lifestyle (i.e. you wear tight hairstyles a lot) and you have a characteristic pattern of hair loss, there is a good chance that this is what is going on.  If your itching and/or pain get worse after you put in your braids/etc., this is another sign you may be dealing with traction alopecia.

Suggested Solutions:

Treating traction alopecia is simple and straightforward since the cause is mechanical in nature.  Stop pulling at your hair.  Quit wearing super-tight hairstyles, at least for now.  If you are treating your hair with harsh chemicals, put a stop to that too.  

Usually after about six to nine months of this, you should make a full recovery—no more itching or hair loss.  In some cases, if the alopecia has advanced too far, the follicles can become damaged, and surgical restoration may be required.  Thankfully, most cases can be resolved fully without this kind of intervention so long as they are caught early on.  

You can find a full list of suggestions for treating traction alopecia here.  Follow the suggestions and you should see your traction alopecia start clearing up.

3. Eczema (Dandruff)


One of the most common causes of hair loss and itching is eczema—specifically a type of eczema called seborrheic dermatitis, also known simply as “dandruff.”  When talking about the scalp, all three of these words can be used interchangeably.  When an infant gets this condition, we call it “cradle cap.”

Seborrheic dermatitis can start up at any age.  Once it does, it is chronic.  It will probably never go away entirely, but it may go through periods of remission.  Between those quiet phases, it may flare from time to time, causing itching, flaking, redness, and irritation.

Dandruff is a bit weird in that doctors don’t know for sure what causes it, despite how prevalent it is.  It could have to do with genetics, immune system issues, nutritional deficits, issues with hormones or the nervous system, or a yeast called Malassezia.

Seborrheic dermatitis is not linked directly with hair loss.  But you know what?  Whenever I get dandruff, I do lose hair.  I don’t know if this is because of something I am doing (like scratching or picking out dandruff flakes) or some other factor—but it definitely is a thing.

In fact, I get dandruff not only in my hair, but also on my face!  Let me tell you, few things are more unpleasant to look at than patchy eyebrows.  But that’s what happens.  After I pick out the flakes, I notice they have thinned considerably.  

It can be really hard not to scratch your head when you have eczema.  But you have to try not to, because you will only make the irritation and the hair loss worse by doing so.

Suggested Solutions:

Dandruff is chronic and has no cure, but there are a lot of steps you can take to manage the condition.  Please note that dandruff is in no way “harmful.”  It is just annoying.

Here is what I suggest you do to get your scalp eczema under control:

  • Dandruff loves to get worse when you are stressed.  So do what you can to avoid stress.  That includes getting plenty of sleep and making time to relax.
  • Get plenty of nutrition in your diet.  In particular, make sure that you are getting your vitamins along with your iron and zinc.  Cut sugar out of your diet.
  • If you are overweight, exercise and try to get down to an ideal weight.
  • Generally you see dermatitis flares on oily skin.  So if you have oily skin, try using a moisturizer on your face and a conditioner on your scalp.  Oftentimes, oily skin actually is the result of initial dryness, with your sebum glands overcompensating.  Moisturize your scalp and face properly and the glands won’t have to do this.  This should reduce the oiliness and hopefully the dermatitis too.
  • Get on a regular schedule with shampooing, and avoid products which contain harsh chemicals.
  • If the dermatitis is on your face, make sure you don’t use lotions with alcohol in them.
  • Dandruff is responsive to sunlight.  This is why your flares may be worse during the winter when you aren’t spending a lot of time outdoors.  Try and get outside and get some sun when you can.

You also should probably invest in a product to help you treat your scalp and face eczema directly.  Your options here include antifungal cream, prescription corticosteroids (only if your dandruff is really bad), and medicated shampoos.

I highly suggest checking out this great page from American Family Physician.  Scroll down and you will find an awesome chart which compares different products on the market for treating eczema.  You can see which ones are over-the-counter and whether you can use them on your scalp, face, and the rest of your body.  Brief instructions as well as cost estimates are provided as well.

I’ve had dandruff for as long as I can remember, but a couple of years ago, it became more severe, attacking my face along with my scalp and causing intense itching.

Right now, I am controlling my eczema with two products:

  • JASON Natural Cosmetics Dandruff Relief Shampoo.  This sulfur-based shampoo also contains salicylic acid, and does a pretty good job keeping dandruff to a minimum on my scalp.  I haven’t researched the ingredients list in detail, but most of the stuff looks to be pretty innocuous.  I will say that it smells positively awful, but hey, it works, and it is affordable.
  • Neutrogena T-Gel Shampoo.  This shampoo works great.  The only problem with it is that it is on the pricey side (the bottles are really small), so I have stopped using it for my scalp.  I do however continue to use it on my face.  The active ingredient is coal tar, and the product also contains menthol.  The menthol provides this delightful tingling “cool” effect which makes my skin feel amazing and relieves the itching right away.   

I use the JASON shampoo once a week, and a cheaper natural shampoo once a week (I only wash my hair twice a week).  The T-Gel I apply only as needed when I have a flare in my eyebrows or around my nose or forehead.  This makes it last a long time.

If I do this consistently, my dandruff stays at bay.  I have had so much less itching, and only minimal hair loss (and mostly confined to my eyebrows).

So if you think dandruff may be the cause of your hair loss and itching woes, check out the chart I referred you to, or consider the products above.  They sure have worked for me.  They may do the trick for you too.

4. Psoriasis

Sometimes people refer to eczema and psoriasis as if they are the same thing, but they are actually two different skin conditions (it is easy to see why this is so confusing, considering that dermatitis and eczema are the same).  

The two are similar, but they are not the same.  Psoriasis causes the appearance of raised scaly red patches.  The heightened degree of thickening and inflammation present is what distinguishes the symptoms from those of eczema/dandruff.

Like eczema, psoriasis can begin at any age, though it typically starts between ages 15-35.  It is not contagious (eczema isn’t either).

Another similarity between eczema and psoriasis is that scientists do not know what causes psoriasis either.  It is thought that both genetics and immune system functioning are involved. 

There are actually a number of different forms of psoriasis including plaque psoriasis, guttate psoriasis, pustular psoriasis, and erythrodermic psoriasis.  

Psoriasis can be unpleasant to look at, and it can also produce stinging, burning, and itching sensations.  So if it occurs on your scalp, it can drive you crazy.

Can psoriasis occur only on the scalp?  Yes, but this is not typical.  Most of the time, if you have psoriasis on your scalp, you are also going to have flares elsewhere on your body.  So this can help you to distinguish whether you might have psoriasis or eczema if other clues are not enough to make the difference clear.  

Can it cause your hair to fall out?  Not directly.  Hair loss is however common in conjunction with psoriasis for a few reasons.  As with eczema, you may feel an urge to scratch at your head a lot or pick at the scales.  This can pull out hair.  You might also lose hair if you use harsh products to treat the psoriasis.  

itchy scalp hair loss
Source: @webmd

Suggested Solutions:

Psoriasis typically responds to the same types of treatments which are effective with treating eczema.  So remember the salicylic acid and coal tar I talked about earlier—the active ingredients in JASON Dandruff Relief Shampoo and T-Gel respectively?  Those usually work on psoriasis too.

So you can try the exact same products I recommended for dandruff to try and treat your psoriasis.  If your psoriasis is particularly harsh however, you might want to think about a prescription medication.  Other options include office treatments like steroid injections and phototherapy.  

As with dandruff, you cannot cure psoriasis.  But if you stick with your treatments diligently, you should be able to get the itching and hair loss contained and experience fewer and fewer flare-ups.

5. Folliculitis

Sometimes your hair follicles can get inflamed.  This can happen if you have a fungal or bacterial infection on your scalp.  This condition is referred to as “folliculitis.”

In appearance, folliculitis can look like an acne outbreak.  Usually the bumps are red or white.  Picture razor burn and you’ll have the right idea—this is actually a form of folliculitis.  Over time, the bumps can evolve into crusted-over sores that refuse to go away.

Folliculitis can cause itching because of the inflammation.  It can also feel sore—and it can cause hair loss directly.  

Most mild folliculitis cases can resolve swiftly.  Those which are more severe may require prescription medication to clear up.

Whatever you do, try really hard not to scratch.  Not only does scratching cause more hair loss, but it also can make the infection worse.  The more you spread it around, the harder it will be for it to go away.  

Suggested Solutions:

Mild folliculitis can actually clear up by itself within several days if you just leave it alone.  If you have a more severe case, consult with a doctor to see if medication is needed to treat the underlying infection.  In some cases, dandruff shampoos can help to get rid of folliculitis.  

6. Contact dermatitis

Dandruff is one type of dermatitis, but there are other forms as well which can potentially affect your scalp and cause itching and hair loss.  

Contact dermatitis is what the name implies—it is dermatitis which appears as a result of contact with some kind of allergen or irritant.  

So for example, you might start using a new shampoo and start experiencing itching and inflammation on your scalp.  It turns out that you are allergic to some ingredient in the shampoo, and that is what is causing the itching (and hair loss, if you scratch your head frequently).

Suggested Solutions:

If your symptoms resemble contact dermatitis and you have recently started using a new shampoo or conditioner, then try switching away from it for a time to see if that might be what is causing the itching and hair loss you are experiencing.  If indeed your symptoms go away, and then come back if you try using the product again, it could very well be contact dermatitis.  Just stop using the product in question and choose something different.

7. Ringworm


There are some other infections of the scalp which may also lead to both itching and hair loss.  One of those is ringworm.  When ringworm occurs on the scalp, it is known as “tinea capitis.”

Ringworm on the scalp is typified by bald patches which may form all over your scalp.  Those patches are scaly in texture and itch.

While ringworm of the scalp is most often seen in children, it may sometimes show up on adults as well.

How can you tell whether you might have ringworm?  Well, the bald patches are usually round, so that is one sign to look for.  They may also gradually increase in size.  They might be scaly and/or have a reddish or grayish color.

You might notice a number of small black dots.  This is actually hair that has broken right at the scalp.  The hair around the bald patches may be weak and come out easily when tugged at.  Your scalp might be tender.

Wondering where ringworm comes from?  The infection is the result of fungi referred to as “dermatophytes.”  They attack both the scalp and the hair shaft, which is why your hair falls out and breaks near the site of the infection.

If you have ringworm, you picked it up from somewhere.  It is contagious, so you might have gotten it from a person or from an animal, like a dog or a cat.  Puppies and kitties in particular are frequent carriers.  You can also pick up ringworm from an infected surface.

Incidentally, if you get that same fungus elsewhere on your body, it can cause other infections like athlete’s foot or jock itch.

In some cases, ringworm can progress, leading to what is known as “kerion.”  This inflammatory condition causes swollen, raised spots on the scalp which may produce pus.  A thick yellow rust may also form.  Kerion is painful, and can result in even more hair loss.  If scars form, the hair loss in those spots could be permanent.

Suggested Solutions:

If you suspect you have ringworm, you’ll have to head to the doctor’s office.  If you are diagnosed with it, then you will likely be given an antifungal medication to take.  You also may need to use a prescription-based medicated shampoo to wash your hair.  

If others around you still have ringworm after yours clears up, then you can take the following steps to try and prevent re-infection:

  • Wash your hands regularly and encourage anyone else infected you are in contact with to do the same.
  • Keep washing your hair on a regular basis with shampoo.  
  • Keep a close eye on your pets.  If you notice that they have missing patches of fur, this might be an indication of ringworm.  Take them to the vet.
  • Avoid sharing items such as hairbrushes, hats, or towels.  

Ringworm can be quite stubborn, so prevention is key!

8. Lichen Planus

Lichen planus is a disease which can show up on one or more areas of your skin—or even inside your mouth.  Like many other skin conditions, it can appear on your scalp, leading to itching and hair loss.

Some people mistake lichen planus for a form of cancer.  Thankfully, it is not.  It is also not contagious, so you do not need to worry about passing it to anyone else.  You can get it at any age.

What causes lichen planus?  Researchers still are not sure, though it may be an auto-immune disorder.

Lichen planus usually does not develop on the scalp, so it is far from the most likely explanation for itching and hair loss in this list.  It is however possible.  When lichen planus shows up on the scalp, it is called “lichen planopilaris.”

The symptoms which present with lichen planus on the scalp include redness, irritation, itching, bumps, and hair loss.  The hair loss might be patchy, or it might be a more diffuse thinning.  Over time, scars might form, and if they do, they can disrupt future hair growth.

Suggested Solutions:

Your first step if you think you might have lichen planus is to visit a dermatologist for a formal diagnosis.  If the dermatologist agrees that you have lichen planus, you can start treating it and hopefully put an end to that hair loss and itching.

Lichen planus is a chronic condition without a cure, but like eczema and psoriasis, it can go into remission, and that is your goal.

Sometimes, you actually do not have to do a thing.  If you just wait, the condition may calm down.

In other cases, you might need to take action.  A variety of different medications are used to control lichen planus.  These include corticosteroids (topical, oral or shots), antihistamines, and a few other types of ointments.  Phototherapy may be used as well.

Quite often, lichen planus cases only plague patients for about two years, and then don’t recur.  Sometimes they may flare up again in the future however.  Frequently, this occurs just a single time.  But in other cases, recurrent bouts may be on the horizon.

Sometimes after successfully treating lichen planus, you might have brown botches left over.  These often disappear with time.  If they fail to fade, talk to a dermatologist.  There are a number of treatments that can lighten them.

9. Sarcoidosis

Continuing with less likely causes of hair loss and itching, another possibility is sarcoidosis.

Sarcoidosis is an unusual condition where inflammatory cells called “granulomas” grow in or on the body.  A broad range of tissues and organs can be affected—everything from the lungs or eyes to the lymph nodes or skin.  

Sarcoidosis rarely occurs on the scalp, but it has been known to happen.  Much of the research which I have found on these occurrences seems to focus on African American women, so ethnicity and/or sex may play a role as risk factors.

Since sarcoidosis is systemic, you may present a broad range of body-wide symptoms if you have it.  I recommend checking them out in full here.

hair loss itchy scalp
Source: @ncbi

On the skin, it can show up as reddish or purplish bumps.  Sometimes open sores are also present as well as darker and lighter skin patches.  These areas may feel physically warm if you touch them.  Nodules may grow underneath the skin as well, especially in areas with scarring or tattooing.  On your scalp, this can cause hair loss, and the irritation could also present itching.  

Suggested Solutions:

If you have a reasonable suspicion of sarcoidosis, it is important to see a doctor.  Around half of cases actually self-resolve.  For those which do not, it is usually possible to control symptoms effectively using mild treatments.  There are cases however where the disease can result in serious organ damage.  You could have sarcoidosis for only a short time, or you could have it for years.

Generally you will only receive treatment for sarcoidosis if your symptoms are severe or organ-threatening.  In those cases, you may take immune-suppressing medications or corticosteroids.  In some cases, Hydroxychloroquine is prescribed for skin manifestations.

As a point of interest,  I once thought I might have sarcoidosis.  This was because I had a range of weird symptoms involving my skin and eyes as well as fatigue.  I had also read that sarcoidosis causes minimal or no symptoms in some people.  Coupled with an anxiety disorder, this resulted in panic.

Looking back on that, I can say quite definitively that it would have been quite a long shot.  Yes, it could have been sarcoidosis, but there were a slew of other simpler explanations for all my symptoms.

Chances are that is true for you too, especially if all you have is itching and hair falling out!  Of course, if you are in any doubt, consulting a doctor is always the smart move.

10. Head lice (if you scratch)

There are millions of people walking around right now with head lice.  If you lean in to kiss one of them or you just lean your head on the wrong shoulder, those lice can crawl down from the infected person’s hair into yours.

Head lice cannot in and of themselves make your hair fall out.  They can however cause extreme itching.  And you can bet if you scratch, your hair can start falling out or breaking.  

Secondary issues might develop too.  All of that scratching could lead to an infection, which might worsen the itching as well as the hair loss.  If you lose sleep and happen to suffer from dandruff, your dermatitis could get worse as well from all the stress.

Suggested Solutions:

There are pediculicide shampoos you can buy without a prescription at your local drug store to treat head lice.  You also should go through with a fine-toothed comb (literally) and remove head lice by hand to whatever degree you can.  

A nit comb which is designed specifically for getting rid of lice is what you need.  Oftentimes this method is more effective than the shampoos even though it is tedious and time-consuming.  Hey, it’s worth it for a full head of hair and no more itching, right?

11. Alopecia Areata

This is an autoimmune disease which affects the skin.  As “alopecia” in the name indicates, it can result in hair loss.  This can affect not just the scalp, but also the rest of the body as well.  Around 6.8 million people in the US are estimated to have alopecia areata.

alopecia areata_hair loss

While alopecia areata most commonly starts in childhood, it can spring up at any age, just like many of the other conditions I’ve discussed in this list.

Alopecia areata is genetic.  In fact, specifically it is “polygenic,” which means that both your parents need to have passed certain genes on to you for you to wind up with it.  There are also environmental factors which scientists believe play into its development.

There are several different types of alopecia areata, all of which cause hair loss in distinct patterns:

  • Alopecia totalis: This causes total hair loss on your scalp only.
  • Alopecia areata patchy: This causes coin-sized patches of baldness on your scalp and elsewhere on your body.  
  • Alopecia universalis: This is where all your hair goes away, on your scalp and all over your body.

The patchy form is thankfully the most common of the lot.  While alopecia areata cannot be cured, the good news is that the hair follicles do not die, so the hair loss is not necessarily permanent.  

Itching usually is not associated with alopecia areata.  But some patients have reported that they experience itching at the start of hair loss symptoms.  

So odds are this is not the cause of your itching and hair loss, but it is within the realm of possibility.  

Suggested Solutions:

So what if you do have alopecia areata?  It cannot be cured, but you can reduce your symptoms by covering the afflicted skin when you are outside in the bright sun or harsh wind.

If necessary, a doctor can also prescribe you a medication to help you control your symptoms.

12. Auto-immune conditions

Sometimes auto-immune conditions can result in hair loss and itching.  One which might be a culprit is lupus.

Lupus is an unusual disease in that cases can vary wildly in terms of presentation, and many of the symptoms involved can mimic other conditions.  

Some cases of lupus are mild, while others are quite severe.  Symptoms which are common with lupus include fever, fatigue, stiffness and pain in the joints, chest pain, shortness of breath, headaches, blue or white finger or toes (during cold exposure), rashes, and skin lesions.

It appears that lupus results from a combination of factors, both genetic and environmental.

When lupus affects your scalp and face, it can result in thinning hair.  Sometimes the hair falls out in clumps.  This can include both the hair on your head and your facial hair, even your eyebrows or eyelashes.  Some lupus sufferers report itching with their hair loss.  

Hair loss is often one of the first signs that a person may have lupus, and may show up before other symptoms appear.  

Suggested Solutions:

A diagnosis of lupus can be discouraging since it is an incurable disease, but there are treatment options.  

In the case of your hair, once you start treatment, you should notice re-growth.  There are some exceptions however.  If you end up with round lesions on your scalp, your hair follicles in those areas will be scarred, which means that hair will not return to those spots.

It is also common for the hairline to take on a ragged appearance because the hair there can turn brittle.  This is actually referred to as “lupus hair.”

What treatments can help you fight your lupus symptoms?

  • A number of different drugs are available for lupus.  These include NSAIDs, antimalarial drugs, corticosteroids, immunosuppressants, and biologics.  
  • Covering yourself as best you can in bright sunlight can help to reduce lupus flares, protecting you from hair loss as well as other symptoms.
  • Exercising and eating a healthy diet is important in managing lupus.  Calcium and vitamin D supplements may be beneficial.  There are also some initial indications that fish oil (or other sources of omega-3 fatty acids) may be helpful.
  • You also should avoid smoking with lupus.

Remember, there are quite a few potential causes of itching and hair loss which are far likelier than lupus.

13. Thyroid disorders


Sometimes hormonal disorders are responsible for hair and scalp issues, including itching and hair loss.

Hypothyroidism is a condition where your thyroid gland is not producing enough thyroxine.  Along with symptoms like cold sensitivity, pallor, depression, constipation, weight gain, fatigue, weakness, and brittle nails, this condition can also lead to an itchy scalp and hair loss.  

The opposite condition is hyperthyroidism—there is where your thyroid is producing too much thyroxine.

As you might guess, an overactive thyroid can cause many “opposite” symptoms.  Instead of the “run down” effects of hypothyroid, you get “wound up” effects like nervousness, sweating, rapid heartbeat, and weight loss.

Nevertheless, hyperthyroidism, like hypothyroidism, can cause itching and hair loss as well.

In both cases, the loss of hair tends to be diffuse rather than appearing as bald patches.  Again, there are many other more likely possibilities for itching and hair loss, but if you have other symptoms of a thyroid disorder, it is worth checking out.

Suggested Solutions:

Should a doctor find out that you do have an overactive or underactive thyroid, you will begin treatment for the disorder.  Your exact treatment depends on which thyroid disorder you have:

  • For hyperthyroidism: Possible treatments include radioactive iodine, anti-thyroid medications, beta blockers or surgery.  You can also supplement your diet.
  • For hypothyroidism: To treat this condition, it is necessary to take a synthetic thyroid hormone.
  • Make sure that you do not use supplements for your hair which happen to contain iodine.  Doing so—or taking iodine in any other dosage than your doctor recommends—could throw off your hormonal balance.

The great news is that usually your hair will start growing back in once you begin treatment.  It generally takes a few months before a full head of hair is recovered.  

14. Medications

Finally, there are a number of medications which can cause hair loss and/or associated itching.  Ironically, certain medications for thyroid disorders may even result in diffuse hair loss.  

Another example is an antidepressant called Wellbutrin.  Thankfully the side effect of hair loss is rare, but some patients who have experienced it also report itching.

Suggested Solutions:

You will need to weigh the pros and cons of any medications you are taking to decide whether their side effects are worthwhile.   If your current medication is resulting in itching and hair loss, talk to your doctor about alternatives which might work better for you.


 Most of the Time, Itching and Hair Loss Are Not Indicative of a Serious Problem

My goal with this list was to be as thorough as possible.  Could there be causes of itching and hair loss which are not on this list?  Yes, but I have covered as many scenarios as I could think of.

Try and keep in mind that many of the causes I have shared with you are not likely, especially if you do not have other associated symptoms.  

Most hair loss and itching are caused by relatively innocuous conditions like dandruff, dry scalp, traction alopecia, and minor infections.

So try not to panic.  Think about your symptoms and see if you can figure out which causes are most likely given your situation.  Give home treatments a try, and see if the itching and hair loss start clearing up.  

There might be occasions where you do need to see a doctor, and if you have any doubts, you should.  It is always be best to play it safe.

But in most cases, itching and hair loss should be manageable or go away altogether with basic home treatment and/or some simple changes in how you care for your hair.


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