If your scalp hurts when you move your hair, you may be wondering if you are suffering from a common scalp problem. Many such conditions, like seborrheic dermatitis , atopic dermatitis or scalp psoriasis  can indeed cause scalp tenderness. But so could environmental factors, like sunburn, or neurological conditions like migraines or tension headaches . Or, like over 25% of the population, you may just have a sensitive scalp .
There are numerous reasons why you may experience a tender, painful or itchy scalp when you move or touch your hair. Sometimes this scalp tenderness is limited to just one spot. It can be mild and go away without intervention, while sometimes it’s a sign of a more serious condition that requires medical assistance.
It is a good idea to see a trichologist if your scalp hurts or feels tender for more than a few days. But if this is not an option, there are ways to identify the causes of your scalp discomfort and to relieve your pain.
Keep reading to find out all you need to know about the most common reasons your scalp hurts when moving your hair, plus:
Scalp tenderness is a feeling of discomfort, pain, itching, tingling or a burning sensation on your scalp when touching it or moving your hair. It may happen every time you move your hair or only some of the time and the pain can range in intensity from mild to moderate.
Scalp tenderness can occur all over your scalp or may be more intense in certain areas. For example, if you have worn your ponytail too tight or worn hair extensions for several hours, you might experience some tenderness around the outer edges of your scalp (be aware that wearing tight ponytails can cause hair loss and heavy extensions can cause hair loss as well, as they can lead to traction alopecia).
If you experience severe pain when moving your hair and/or notice lesions, sores or scabs on your scalp, see a dermatologist or a trichologist as soon as possible, as there is a risk of infection or a more serious underlying condition.
As your hair moves, it tugs at the follicles which are rooted in your scalp. If your scalp is tender or sensitive, this can cause pain or discomfort.
There can be numerous reasons why it hurts when you move your hair. Here are some of the most common:
Scalp tenderness, burning, itching or tingling and sensitivity to pressure.
Some scalp redness can be the only visible symptom.
It generally isn’t normal to experience pain or tenderness on your scalp, unless you have recently bumped your head or undergone a hair procedure that has scalp discomfort as a known side effect.
While scalp tenderness when moving your hair often isn’t a cause for concern, it is a good idea to monitor it and seek treatment if it progresses or does not improve on its own after a few days.
Until you can get to a hair specialist to get your scalp tenderness checked out, here are some helpful things you can do at home to alleviate the discomfort you feel when moving your hair:
The relationship between scalp tenderness and hair loss depends on the reason why your scalp hurts when moving your hair. While some conditions are not likely to cause hair thinning, many others can be associated with some form of hair loss or shedding.
Any time you are concerned about a hair and scalp problem, it is best to book a consultation with a trichologist and get an accurate diagnosis. While in many cases, scalp tenderness is benign and will resolve itself with minimal intervention, if it is caused by an underlying scalp problem, it can lead to complications if left untreated. These can range from infection to scarring and permanent hair loss.
If you address the issue from the first signs of hair thinning and balding, there is a good chance any hair loss can be reversed or stopped. And if medication is not sufficient to treat your hair thinning, you may be a good candidate for a hair transplant. It is a safe and efficient procedure and the best hair transplant clinics in the UK have a 97-100% success rate. Check out the before and after hair transplant gallery to see the results for yourself.
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