The strange reason why your hair hurts
The pain is real
You know that feeling you get when you haven’t washed your hair in a while, or maybe you’ve had it lazily tucked into a topknot for a few days, and your hair starts to hurt? Like physically throb and hurt? Even though we all logically know that your hair is dead, and it has zero nerve endings or feelings, it can still feel like the ache is radiating from your scalp and down your hair shaft—and it freaking sucks.
But why? Like, sure, it doesn’t take a scientist to figure out that dirty-as-hell hair probably won’t feel the greatest, but I want to know what, exactly, is causing the the weird head pain, especially on hair that’s not even that dirty. And, as it turns out, it’s part your fault, and part your body’s fault. Which is fun.
“Not washing your hair, or just having a naturally oil scalp, can result in an accumulation of sebum on the scalp, which just sits there, causing inflammation and itchiness in the follicle,” says Yale dermatologist Mona Gohara, MD. “That alone can cause an itch or an ache, but if you then find yourself scratching your scalp, you’ll actually end up releasing cytokines, these little chemicals that start a whole inflammatory cascade through your scalp. And with more inflammation brings more blood flow to the area, resulting in that throbbing pain you feel in your ‘hair.’”
Okay, but what about the times when you just washed your hair last night, and it’s aching again just 12 hours later? Welp, your hair products are a likely cause. If you’re covering your hair and scalp with leave-ins, creams, dry shampoos, and hairsprays, all day every day, you’re basically smothering your scalp with chemicals, trapping in oils and gunk. All of which can very quickly irritate your scalp, especially if your shampoo isn’t cutting through the grime each time you rinse.
Luckily, ouch-scalp (can I call it that? Can I trademark that?) is a pretty easy fix: Wash your hair somewhat more frequently—as in, don’t wait a week to rinse your hair—use fewer thick, suffocating hair products, avoid topknots and tight hairstyles when your scalp is inflamed, and pick up a clarifying shampoo, which gently breaks down scalp oils and product build-up, without stripping your hair.
From: Elle US
Best clarifying shampoos for dirty hair
Consider this lightening shampoo a luxe, healthier-for-hair version of Sun-in. In addition to gradually lifting color, the shampoo removes excess dye to help even out a spotty dye job.
Citrus pulp provides a natural deep cleaning action and fights free radicals.
Another good-hair-day-sabotaging variable is hard water, which is why this mild cleanser contains an ingredient to remove the metals and minerals your daily shower is depositing on your head, along with a cocktail of naturally purifying ingredients, like Tea Tree Oil, Witch Hazel, and Rosemary Leaf Extract.
Think of your hair as a blank canvas for your colorist, or you if you're DIY'ing your dye job. As such, it needs to be completely clean and this build-up removing one is designed just for that while being gentle enough to use post-coloring.
Besides ridding your scalp of all the products you've piled on it, this creamy shampoo is infused with a refreshing, microcirculation stimulating eucalyptus oil.
Save your weary summer strands with this sulfate-free shampoo that revitalizes, repairs, and restores them with an ultra rich combination of Shea Butter, Quinoa, Sacha Inchi Seed Oil.
A shot of foul-tasting apple cider vinegar detoxes your insides and has similarly purifying results on your hair and scalp. But rather than dump a bottle over your head, you can wash with this OG clarifying shampoo.