Painful Scalp & Hair Loss

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scalp-massage

It wasn’t until I decided to go natural two and half years ago that I experienced pain in my scalp towards the front of my head. I immediately attributed it to my scalp going through the healing process of not using chemicals on it anymore. Seems logical, right? Well, the pain would come and go, and sometimes it would be so painful that it would keep me up at night. From time to time I would experience itching there, but for the most part it would even be painful to the touch. Sometimes it would last for a few hours or a few minutes while other times it would last for days.

Over time I became used to it, even though in the back of my mind I kept wondering what was causing it. Fast forward to today and I now have a small bald spot in that same area of my scalp where the pain would occur. One day recently I was putzing around on the internet and I began to look up painful scalp, and what I found was A M A Z I N G! Not only is this something that is very common (unfortunately), but it’s something that men and women alike experience regardless of race. The vast majority experienced hair loss with the pain while some did not experience hair loss, just the intense scalp pain. There are various terms to explain the condition:

  • Trichodynia is a condition where the patient experiences a painful sensation on their scalp. The pain sometimes is described as burning. Trichodynia often is associated with hair loss, but some studies show it has no connection to hair loss. Often there is an underlying psycho-somatic cause, such as stress, depression or anxiety.
  • Alopecia is the medical term for hair loss. There are several patterns of natural and disease related hair loss. Hair loss may also be caused by several drugs and medications.

    Types of Hair Loss and Symptoms

    • The commonest type of hair loss is male-pattern baldness. This type of hair loss is typically caused by the effects of hormones. This is also termed androgenic or androgenetic alopecia as the cause lies in androgens of male sex hormones. There is a pattern of receding hairline along with thinning of hair over the crown.
    • Female pattern baldness – there is thinning of hair over the top of the head.
    • Alopecia areata – this is also termed patchy baldness as there are patches of baldness that come and go. This may commonly affect teenagers and young adults but may affect a person of any age. Alopecia areata is commonly caused due to a problem in the immune system. The condition may sometimes run in families.
    • Scarring alopecia – this is mainly caused after a scar over the skin. This type of alopecia is called cicatricial alopecia. The hair follicles that hold the roots of the hair may be completely destroyed. This means that the hair would not grow back at the areas affected. Some diseases and disorders also cause scarring alopecia. These include lichen planus, injury, discoid lupus etc.
    • Anagen effluvium is a more widespread hair loss that may affect the whole body apart from the scalp. This is caused most commonly due to cancer chemotherapy.
    • Telogen effluvium – leads to thinning of hair all over the body rather than baldness in patches. This may be the result of stress of some medications.

Having read all of this and how common it is, it made me feel a lot better. For one, I know I’m not alone, and for two, I now know what to look for in myself to figure out the causes. One of the biggest causes for hair loss besides heredity is STRESS. Thinking back when I first noticed the pain in my scalp, I can’t remember being stressed, but I also have a tendency to internalize my feelings too. Because the pain would come and go so randomly, I began to ignore it over time. I have a high pain tolerance as it is and I think I became used to it.

In addition to seeking medical attention by visiting a dermatologist, there are natural hair treatments for painful scalp and hair loss such as gentle scalp massages, being gentle with your hair and not pulling it or styling it too tightly, being mindful of the products you use such as your shampoos and the ingredients used in them. Pumpkin seed oil is a good natural oil that is known to help with growing hair and healing the skin, Finger detangling instead of using a comb will cause less friction damage to your hair. Protective styling as much as possible and keeping your hands out of your hair will help too.

Another key thing I need to do is keep my dandruff under control. I’ve always had a problem with dandruff since I was little, and mom used Sulfur 8 shampoo and scalp conditioner. I think I will go back to that as well as use rosemary and tea tree natural oils, and stick to a natural hair care routine. The information is out there people and research is KEY! Now that I know what I’m working with I’m going to keep a careful eye on my condition. If it worsens (the bald spot gets bigger or other symptoms develop) my next step will definitely be a trip to the dermatologist. Most importantly, you’re not alone!

Have you experienced painful scalp and or hair loss? What did you do for it? Please leave a comment below!

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9 responses »

    • Thank you my dearest Michea! I truly thought I was the only one experiencing this until I started to look it up on the internet. I really thought that this pain I was feeling was due to the relaxers I used to get and my scalp healing. I just hope that this stops and it doesn’t spread and the little bald spot I have will grow back!

  1. Indeed, great post, am still dealing with hair thinning due to an overload of stress this year, did not notice but oh boyyy did my hair pay for it, so yes, stress can contribute to major hair loss. My hair is finally beginning to return to her thickness, have 8 months to go to see recovery but am happy I know what the problem is, my remedy is a super simple hair regimen plus Vitamin E or B-12 Supplements, thank you so much for posting, makes me not alone in this hair battle. Wish you and all the girls dealing with hair problems the very best and here is to happy healthy hair days!!!!!!!!
    Smilies!!!!

    • Thank you for sharing isleofazure! Your thoughts are always so insightful! 🙂 Like you, I have also decided to go back to taking my vitamin supplements to help the health of my hair. I’m also being much gentler with my hair and I’m not pulling or tugging on it or over styling. I’m sticking to twist outs and nothing more at this point. I think it was a combination of things that caused the breakage and I’m going to post a new blog about it soon. Thanks again, and Happy Healthy Hair to the both of us! 🙂

      • Anytime my sweets!!!! Awesome plan and yes do keep posting, girls need to know that yes, naturals also have a tough time but also yes, there is are solutions and it can be resolved, thanks so much for the tips 😀 😀 😀
        Smilies!!!!!

      • Thank you so much!!! So many naturals get discouraged and just cut off all their hair and do another big chop out of frustration, but I think with time and a lot of TLC you can get your hair back healthy unless you have a serious scalp condition that forces you to cut off all of your hair.

      • Agreeed girl because when I ran into trouble, that was my first and only thought, chop it off but my Mom (Moms are soo funny) said absolutely not!!!!! So I did not and boy am I glad, so yes, before BC again just wait, do damage control and proceed with Max TLC, thanks as always my dear 😀 😀 😀
        Smilies!!!!!

      • EXACTLY! I won’t lie and say that cutting my hair didn’t come to my mind while I was freaking out about the breakage! But the more I researched the causes and read how common breakage and bald spots are, I decided to to address the problem and try to fix it before starting all over again. And yes, moms are very funny and often times right! 🙂 YAY for moms!!

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