Eager for your hair to start growing? You could be looking for signs everywhere, especially if your scalp starts to itch.
Unfortunately, in most cases, an itchy scalp doesn’t mean hair growth. In fact, an itchy scalp is more commonly linked with hair loss and scalp problems.
But there are dozens of potential causes of an itchy scalp according to the NHS. So don’t necessarily assume that all that head scratching means your hair is about to fall out.
In this article, we’ll outline some of the most common causes of scalp itching, how you can tell if your hair is growing, and what scalp itching can mean.
There’s not much evidence to suggest that your scalp starts to itch when hair starts growing, though there are some anecdotal reports of this.
However, if you’ve been using a hair loss treatment, your scalp might become irritated and itchy as a reaction to the treatment. For example, some people report an itchy scalp when using Minoxidil .
Rosemary oil for hair and topical Finasteride can also lead to scalp itchiness, which may be confused with itching due to new growth [1-2].
Some hair loss treatments, like Minoxidil spray, contain ingredients that might irritate your scalp and make it feel itchy. Propylene glycol is a known irritant in topical Minoxidil, but switching to a propylene glycol-free formula like Minoxidil foam can reduce scalp itchiness.
In rare cases, you might be allergic to the ingredients in your hair loss treatment . This might manifest as hives, swelling, or a rash.
To avoid more severe reactions, always do a patch test before using a new treatment. Apply a small amount of the solution behind your ear and leave it for 24 hours to see if any symptoms develop.
In itself, an itchy scalp won’t usually prevent hair growth. However, it may be a sign of an underlying condition that limits growth or even causes hair loss. These conditions might include:
Excessive scalp scratching might also damage your hair follicles, which could lead to temporary hair shedding.
So if an itchy scalp doesn’t mean hair growth, what does? Here are some of the telltale signs that your hair is growing through:
For most people, new hair growth won’t be visible for at least a couple of weeks. The best way to monitor regrowth is to take weekly photos of your scalp (ideally using the same camera, lighting, and position) to monitor your progress.
New hair growth on your scalp isn’t usually prickly, as terminal hair tends to be fine and soft as it grows in. Prickly hair is often associated with freshly shaved hair or regrowth on other areas of your body besides your scalp.
However, if you have naturally coarse hair, you might feel some prickliness when new scalp hair starts to grow.
If an itchy scalp doesn’t usually signify hair growth, what is making your head itch? Let’s explore some of the most common causes of scalp itchiness.
There are lots of other possible causes of an itchy scalp, which is why it’s important to get checked out by a trichologist if you’re not sure what’s making your head itch.
If your hair seems to have stopped growing, it’s time to check in with a trichologist. An underlying condition may have disrupted your hair growth cycle, or you may have a hair loss condition that’s causing your hair to fall out.
The Wimpole Clinic’s trichology team can help you uncover the causes of your hair problems, and find the best male hair loss treatment or female hair loss treatment for you.
Book a consultation with our team today to get a diagnosis and discuss the treatment options available to you.
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