Hair Loss With A Sensitive Scalp

in Hair-loss

I often get correspondence from folks who notice a very definite correlation between thinning or shedding hair and a sore, sensitive or painful scalp. I often hear comments like "I really never had any scalp issues before I noticed my hair loss. But now that my hair is thinning out, my scalp hurts, itches, and is bothering me more than it ever has."

They often ask if the scalp issue is causing the hair loss or if it's really the other way around. The answer truly does depend on the reason for the hair loss. Sometimes, scalp issues can cause hair loss. And other times, the hair loss comes before the scalp issues. I will discuss this more in the following article.

Scalp Issues That Come Before Hair Loss: In my experience, these situations are less common than androgenic or telogen effluvium hair loss that affects the scalp. However, sometimes the scalp is injured, inflamed, or has a reaction that can set off hair loss. Examples are infections, ring worm, yeast issues, or allergic or autoimmune reactions. In some situations, you can tie the scalp issue to a new product or regimen that you've recently introduced. Sometimes, it is the result of medications or medical issues. But often, a quick inventory of any changes in your regimen, medicines, or health concerns can help you pinpoint if this is a possibility.

Sensitive Scalp That Happens After Hair Thinning Or Hair Loss: It's more common for me to hear from people who tell me that they're pretty sure that their hair loss came before the issues that they are having with their scalp. There are a few different things that can contribute to this.

Perhaps the most common is androgenic alopecia (AGA.) In this situation, the hair follicle is reacting to an increased sensitivity to androgens that often happens over time. The follicle begins to struggle to maintain healthy hair and, as a result, hair thinning or shedding is the results. (Miniaturization can also occur, which also contributes to this thinning.) This process (and this androgen sensitivity) can also affect the scalp and make it feel painful, itchy, or overly sensitive.

Another possibility is TE or CTE (telogen effluvium or chronic telogen effluvium.) This is a condition in which the hair sheds because of some sort of stress or change in your body or lifestyle. Examples are extreme stress, crash diets, surgery, giving birth, introducing or stopping medications, etc. What happens here is that many of your hair follicles reset themselves and go into the resting phase all at once.

Now, this happens on a smaller scale naturally. At any given time, it's said that 5 - 10 percent of our follicles are resting or shedding. But, if you have TE, this happens on a much larger scale. And this process can cause some inflammation that in turn can make your scalp feel painful or sensitive. Also, regrowth can sometimes cause some discomfort, especially if a lot of it is occurring at one time.

What Can I Do About This: The first course of action might be to take a look at your regimen and see if there is anything that is new or could be causing this. Have you changed shampoos, hair dyes, or conditioners, etc. lately? If not, the next course of action would be to look at the cause of your hair loss. Because often, once the hair loss slows, the scalp will also get better.

But sometimes, pinpointing the cause of your hair loss is a slow and methodical process. In the meantime, it's often a good idea to try to diminish the inflammation that is possibly the culprit. There are commercial products for this, but many of them are very harsh and some of them do more harm to an already wounded scalp. There are some good natural anti inflammatories, but it's important to dilute and then rotate them so that you're not doing anything to clog your follicles because the second most important aspect of addressing hair loss is making sure that your regrowth is vigorous and not miniaturized.

How do I know all of this? Because I lived it. In my quest to end my scalp sensitivity, pain, and hair loss, I looked at my shedding triggers, my iron, my thyroid, my adrenals, my hormones, and my scalp's health. It was a long, hard, frustrating journey which all but wrecked my self esteem but I finally found something that helped quite a bit. You can read a very personal story at

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Ava Alderman has 7169 articles online and 9 fans

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Hair Loss With A Sensitive Scalp

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This article was published on 2010/10/05