Have you ever felt a strange pain at the roots of your hair? And, just by taking down that tight ponytail, you’ve felt relieved too? Well, this pain is real, and originates at the nerves of your scalp.
In order to get rid of this pain, you need to first understand why your scalp hurts so often. So, let us get into the details and look at ways to alleviate the pain.
Why Does My Scalp Hurt To Touch?
The pain, burning or tingling sensation that you may experience when you move your hair comes from the nerves on your scalp. You feel a strong pull on your head. This happens when the blood vessels in the skin of your scalp are inflamed and press the surrounding nerves, causing scalp sensitivity .
The inflammation can have several causes like:
- Tight ponytails or complex hairstyles
- Scalp psoriasis 
- Scalp folliculitis
- Seborrheic dermatitis or dandruff 
- Allergic contact dermatitis
- Dysesthesia or burning hair syndrome
- Extreme temperatures
- Head injuries
- Scalp pain or allodynia as a side effect of migraine 
- Frequent use of helmets
- Regular use of hair dryers, curlers, and flat irons
Word of Caution:
Seek immediate medical help if your scalp pain is accompanied by blindness in one or both eyes, jerky movements, unconsciousness, blood or fluid from nose, ears or mouth.
How To Fix Scalp Pain?
1. Treat Underlying Medical Conditions
If scalp pain is a regular symptom for you, consult your dermatologist to understand if there is an underlying medical condition. You can self examine by gently brushing your hair to check if there are any flakes or scales. If you notice them, you could be having eczema, psoriasis or dandruff.
If your scalp pain is due to a headache, a painkiller can relieve the symptoms. Folliculitis  is another inflamed infection of the scalp. Your doctor may prescribe an antibacterial cleanser and an antibiotic to get rid of the infection.
2. Discontinue Harsh Hair Care
If your pain is due to an allergic reaction from a hair care product, the first step is to stop the usage of this product. Give you hair and scalp some rest. Do not apply any oils or conditioners until the condition subsides.
3. Scalp Massage With Essential Oils
Essential oils like lavender and rosemary can heal sores that may be causing a scalp pain. Always use a carrier oil to dilute first. Apply the oil with your finger tips or a cotton ball evenly on your scalp and hair. Gently massage for 15 minutes and wash with a gentle shampoo.
Do a patch test  to see if the essential oil actually suits your skin. You can apply it on a patch of your skin like the forearm and wait for 24 hours. If you don't see any allergic reaction, hurray, you can use it on your scalp!
4. Topical Home Remedies
A. Lemon Juice
Lemon juice is anti-inflammatory, which means it can relieve scalp pain and tenderness. Besides, lemon is acidic and can restore the pH of your scalp. Add a few drops of lemon juice to your shampoo or conditioner, massage for five minutes and rise off.
B. Aloe Vera Gel
Aloe vera is anti-inflammatory and extremely soothing for your scalp. Cut open a fresh aloe vera leaf to extract the pulp or juice. Apply it on your scalp and leave it on for 30 minutes. Rinse the gel with plain water. You can shampoo your hair the next day.
5. OTC Medicines/Shampoos
If your scalp pain is due to an infection or dandruff, you can turn to OTC (over the counter) medications and shampoos. Remember to avoid ingredients like alcohols, fragrances, dyes, parabens and sulfates  in your shampoos if you have had an allergic reaction with a product.
Always use shampoos and conditioners that suit your hair. If the scalp pain and symptoms like flakes due to dandruff refuse to go away with OTC medication, ask your doctor to give you prescription-strength shampoos.
If your scalp pain is associated with scaly patches, hair loss or bleeding zones, visit your dermatologist.
How To Prevent Scalp Pain?
- Always read the labels of hair care products to rule out any allergic ingredients.
- High ponytails, updos, buns, braids etc. can cause scalp pain. Try and style your hair into loose hairstyles.
- Always brush your hair gently with a wide-toothed comb.
- Keep stress at bay using meditation or yoga.
- Limit your time in the sun to prevent scalp pain and hair damage.
- Step out with your natural hair instead of heat styling your hair every now and then.
Scalp pain is a temporary scenario arising mostly from tight hairstyles. The one that stems from a harsh hair care ingredient can be treated using mild shampoos. However, chronic scalp pain deserves medical attention.
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