Why Your Scalp Pains When Moving Hair - With Solution | Bearded Chokra

Scalp Pain a.k.a Trichodynia - Root Cause & Solutions

Abhijeet Bhansali

4/24/20235 min read

Scalp pain or pain on top of the head is a very common issue faced by many people. Most of us even wonder if it will cause hair loss & what exactly is the reason behind it. Learn about scalp pain, its reason & solution in this article.

1. What is scalp pain? - When I refer to scalp pain, I am referring to the pain or discomfort that most people complain about on the top of the head or on their scalp. This pain is usually felt intermittently or while moving the hair in different directions especially while combing or styling the hair.

2. What causes scalp pain? -

  • Traction alopecia: This occurs when there is consistent pulling on the hair, causing damage to the hair follicles and resulting in pain and tenderness of the scalp.

  • Scalp psoriasis: This is a chronic autoimmune condition that affects the skin of the scalp, causing redness, flaking, and itching, which can result in pain.

  • Seborrheic dermatitis: This is a common inflammatory skin condition that causes redness, flaking, and itching of the scalp. This is commonly referred to as Dandruff.

  • Tight hairstyles: Wearing tight hairstyles like braids, ponytails, or buns can cause scalp pain, especially if worn for a prolonged period.

  • Scalp inflammation: Scalp pain may be due to inflammation of the hair follicles and the surrounding skin. This can occur due to various reasons, including fungal or bacterial infections, psoriasis, or seborrheic dermatitis. Inflammation causes the release of chemicals that stimulate nerve endings and cause pain. This inflammation could also be a result of excess itching, dry rubbing of the scalp, or vigorous massaging of the scalp while oiling.

  • Tension headaches: Tension headaches can cause pain in the scalp, particularly around the temples and the back of the head. These headaches are caused by muscle tension and may be triggered by stress, poor posture, or eye strain.

  • Allergic reactions: Allergic reactions to hair care products, such as shampoos, conditioners, or hair dyes, can cause scalp pain and irritation. This occurs due to the release of histamine, a chemical that causes inflammation and itching.

  • Trichodynia: This is a condition characterized by scalp pain without any visible signs of inflammation or irritation. The exact cause of trichodynia is not known, but it may be related to stress, anxiety, or depression. Studies have shown that people with trichodynia have higher levels of substance P, a neuropeptide that transmits pain signals, in their scalp. However, if you also frequently feel a burning sensation along with stinging pain, it might be a case of Scalp dysaesthesia & needs medical intervention. Trichodynia or scalp pain is also almost always seen in conjunction with Telogen effluvium. This indicates that people might also observe hair loss or excessive hair fall during this period.

  • Insulin Resistance: There is limited research on the direct relationship between high levels of insulin and scalp pain. However, high levels of insulin are associated with several conditions that can cause scalp pain, such as diabetes and insulin resistance. Diabetes, in particular, can cause nerve damage (neuropathy) throughout the body, including the scalp. This can lead to symptoms such as scalp pain, tingling, and numbness. Insulin resistance, a condition in which the body does not respond properly to insulin, is also associated with nerve damage and neuropathy. In addition to nerve damage, high levels of insulin and insulin resistance can also lead to inflammation, which is associated with several skin conditions that can cause scalp pain, such as psoriasis and seborrheic dermatitis.

  • Nutritional Deficiency: Deficiencies of certain B vitamins like B1 & B12, which are very closely linked to nerve function, along with magnesium and Vit.D3 deficiencies, can also lead to increased scalp pain.

3. What are the available remedies for it? -

  • Avoid tight hairstyles or hairstyles that pull your hair too tightly.

  • Wash your hair regularly with a gentle shampoo to remove any buildup of oil, dirt, and product on your scalp. However, make sure you do not shampoo your hair daily.

  • Use a wide-toothed comb to gently detangle your hair instead of a brush.

  • Apply a warm compress to your scalp to help ease any pain or discomfort.

  • If the pain persists, it's best to consult a dermatologist or healthcare professional who can help you determine the underlying cause and recommend the appropriate treatment.

➤ Treatments for Trichodynia :

  • Topical medications: Topical medications, such as capsaicin cream or lidocaine, can be applied to the scalp to reduce pain and inflammation.

  • Oral medications: Certain medications, such as tricyclic antidepressants or antiepileptic drugs, or hypertension drugs, may be prescribed to help relieve nerve pain associated with trichodynia.

  • Stress reduction techniques: Stress can exacerbate trichodynia, so stress reduction techniques, such as meditation, yoga, or deep breathing exercises, may be helpful in managing the symptoms.

  • Changes in hair care practices: Certain hair care practices, such as using harsh shampoos, brushing too vigorously, or wearing tight hairstyles, can worsen trichodynia. Making changes to your hair care routine, such as using a gentle shampoo, avoiding heat styling tools, or switching to looser hairstyles, may help to alleviate symptoms.

  • Treatment of underlying conditions: If trichodynia is caused by an underlying condition, such as scalp psoriasis or telogen effluvium, treating the underlying condition may help to alleviate symptoms.

5. What do I recommend? -

  1. Make sure your scalp is not too oily or too dry as both can lead to scalp pain. Use a shampoo that suits you best & stick to it. Apply diluted ACV to rinse hair after shampooing to avoid build-up.

  2. Do not over-style, pull, or forcefully comb hair. Too much blow-drying or the use of different products can cause issues. Some people have a habit of running their fingers through their hair constantly, sometimes without even realizing it, this needs to be controlled.

  3. Fix your dandruff issues by using a good anti-dandruff shampoo & fixing your diet & lifestyle.

  4. Fix your diet & eating pattern. Make sure you are eating enough protein & saturated fat to lower the insulin spikes & inflammation & reduce the carb intake significantly (based on your physical activity)

  5. Learn how to modulate stress. This is the biggest change you need to make. Simple things like living by your natural circadian rhythm, exposure to morning sunlight, slow exercise like walking, yoga, tai-chi - which increase oxygen intake & calm the system down along with improving lymphatic circulation. Learning breathing techniques like pranayama, nadi-shuddhi, chanting & meditation will also lead to drastic improvements in stress levels.

  6. Refrain from over-masturbation. I have noticed this out of personal experience that whenever I used to go overboard with physical stimulation, I felt scalp pain soon after.

  7. Refrain from using essential oils or harsh products directly on the scalp in the name of hair growth. Too much stimulation of the nerves from the topical use of strong therapies can also lead to too much scalp pain.

  8. Get good sleep. Improper sleep or too little sleep can also cause constant tightness or tension to be formed on the scalp, which could lead to scalp pain.

  9. Use Rose water or Diluted peppermint hydrosol. There will be times when you feel too much pain in the scalp & you need a quick fix. During these times, spray some rose water or diluted peppermint hydrosol [dilute peppermint hydrosol using 50% hydrosol & 50% filtered water - store in a glass bottle] on the scalp & massage lightly, followed by squeezing the scalp a little from all sides. This will loosen the scalp & the hydrosols will reduce inflammation & pain.

  10. Lastly, If you have verified that you have most of these symptoms but none of these solutions are working for you, then it is highly recommended that you consult a doctor for a deeper diagnosis.

scalp pain, headache, pain in head
scalp pain, headache, pain in head

Scalp Pain