If you’re asking yourself “why does my hair hurt” check out this article to find out. Is it because your hair’s dirty? Or is it because your ponytail’s too tight. Check it out!
Do you hate combing or brushing your hair because it hurts like crazy when you do?
If you are someone who has experienced or is experiencing hair pain and are totally freaked out about it, you need to hear this – do not be alarmed, as many people face this issue.
Hair pain or scalp pain is a totally normal problem faced by many people and there are many reasons behind why your hair hurts whenever you touch it, or maybe even when you don’t.
I know that it may scare you a bit and make you feel totally uncomfortable and uneasy, but do not worry because luckily there are ways out of it.
So, check out this article to find all the information you need to know about hair pain, why it happens and best ways to solve it.
Related: What Causes Hair Damage
Does Hair Actually Hurt: Fact Or Myth?
Well, I’d definitely say that it is a fact, but let’s talk about the real deal here.
While a lot of people feel like it’s their hair that hurts, I would like to put it this way – the hair hurts, because the pain you feel is actually arising from the scalp.
So yes, the hair hurts because your scalp hurts as the hair follicles arise from the scalp.
So every time you comb or brush your hair, tie it into a ponytail or even just try massaging your head, you will feel the pain.
Some may feel a sharp pain, while some others may simply feel a dull ache or discomfort.
There are some other symptoms that people experience like headaches, pain that pulsates only on a few parts of your scalp, you feel red bumps on your scalp, tingling sensations etc.
Why Does My Hair Hurt
1. You are someone who often experiments with new hairstyles
Hairstyling can be a major cause for why your hair hurts.
If you are someone who often wears tight buns or ponytails, braids or cornrows, your hair gets pulled and remains in that position for long hours.
This causes a certain tension to the hair strands as the hairstyle tugs on the hair follicles. Over time, you will experience scalp and hair pain.
2. The Nerve Endings on Your Scalp Are Too Sensitive
For people with sensitive skin, they can easily develop sunburns when exposed to harsh sun’s rays for long periods of time.
When the skin is sunburnt, it becomes tender and there could be chances that the skin could have peeled off making the scalp feel very sore.
Thus, when you comb your hair, the comb will rub against the scalp and cause it pain.
There are some people who suffer from nerve pain or a condition called ‘allodynia’.
This can be due to sensitive nerve issues that cause the nerves to pain even with the slightest touch, which is generally otherwise not a cause of pain to people.
So people who suffer from this condition will find their hair hurting every time it is combed or touched.
3. You’ve Got Scalp Inflammatory Disorders Like Psoriasis
Psoriasis is a disease where the skin develops rashes that are extremely itchy. While it can affect any part of the body, for a lot of people, it develops on the scalp.
When the person itches, the skin becomes sore and tender and is prone to easy bruising, which means that even combing the hair or turning your head in your sleep will be painful.
Alopecia or alopecia areata is a condition where a person experiences extreme hair loss.
While alopecia is not directly related to hair pain, this condition can make your hair follicles sore and tender, thus causing the scalp and hair to hurt.
More common in younger children, but also found on the heads of adults, are these tiny creatures called ‘head lice’.
These creatures are parasites that survive on human blood and are quick to reproduce.
Each time these lice bite the scalp to feed on the blood, it itches and the person will tend to scratch their head. Over time, the scalp will get bruised, become red and sore, giving rise to scalp pain.
Folliculitis is a very common condition experienced by many and it is a condition where there is inflammation of the hair follicles on the scalp, due to an infection.
When there is inflammation, the scalp feels sore, while there could be small boils that also form on the scalp. This can become a cause for your hair to hurt.
Many people have issues of dandruff and flaking and it is a condition that is extremely common.
Again, similar to alopecia, dandruff doesn’t have any direct relation to causing your hair to hurt, but when a person has dandruff and the flakes form, it begins to get itchy.
A person could then itch their scalp and cause it to get bruised and could also damage the hair follicles in the bargain, making your hair hurt.
4. You frequently use various products on your hair
The frequent usage of hair products like shampoos, conditioners, hair styling creams and gels, hair waxes, pomades, serums etc; can all be a huge cause for scalp buildup.
When there is buildup on the scalp, it can lead to several other problems from dandruff formation, infections like seborrheic dermatitis, eczema and such other infections that cause the skin to become red, sore and inflamed, thus leading to scalp and hair pain.
How to stop your hair from hurting
Let your hair down and ditch hairstyling for a while
Ladies, it is time to let your hair down, like literally! Leaving your hair free or even ditching the tight hairstyles and tying your hair up very loosely can help you in a major way.
If you are someone who has had their hair tied up and pulled into a tight hairstyle for a long period of time, then there could be a possibility that you’ve developed a condition called ‘traction alopecia’ as a result of it.
The best way to reverse this problem is by leaving your hair until the pain subsides or preferably, completely stops.
Get your scalp conditions treated
Scalp conditions like psoriasis, seborrheic dermatitis, folliculitis, allodynia, eczema etc; and also severe cases of dandruff requires immediate professional consultation to get the right course of treatment as these conditions can only worsen over time if not properly cared for.
Also, for those suffering from such scalp conditions will have to avoid the use of hair styling products and those products with harsh chemicals as they can further aggravate the condition.
Get your scalp cleaned
Getting your scalp buildup cleaned is very important as the buildup from the scalp can also enter into the hair follicles causing it to get clogged and can also lead to a scalp infection or be a cause for dandruff and flaking.
There are a few ways you can get rid of scalp buildup. You can make use of a clarifying shampoo, if your build up is a lot, because clarifying shampoos are the most effective.
But remember that they can dry the hair out extensively and thus after-care and conditioning is necessary. Do not use a clarifying shampoo more than once in a month.
If you do not wish to use a clarifying shampoo, you can try out other less hair damaging methods like washing your hair with micellar water or exfoliating your scalp with a scalp scrub.
For those of you who feel like you require professional assistance, you can also get your scalp professionally cleaned by a hair stylist at a salon.
For those infected with head lice, make sure to use an appropriate shampoo to get rid of them.
Use a sunscreen to avoid sunburns
Did you know that there is sunscreen for your scalp and hair too? Yes, it is a thing!
There are specific sun protection products for the hair and scalp that contain SPF, so that it can protect your skin from sunburns.
There are products like hair mists and hair powders that will settle on the scalp when used and will protect the scalp skin from damage.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about hair pain:
1. What are some good brands of sunscreen products for the hair and scalp?
You could try out brands like Neutrogena, Supergoop, Elta MD, Sun Bum, Coola, Nature’s Apothecary, etc; that are well-known brands of scalp and hair sunscreen. Choosing a sunscreen that has a minimum SPF of 30 is ideal.
2. What are some general tips to relieve scalp and hair pain?
Apply medically approved ointments to ease the pain.
Gently massage your scalp with warm oil, to promote blood circulation in the scalp.
Deep condition your hair with a hair mask. It can help soothe inflammation.
Dab a cold compress onto the areas of pain.
The final takeaway
I hope this article has helped you figure out the reason for why your hair hurts.
Try out the simple methods to relieve your scalp and hair of the pain.
But for those who are experiencing chronic hair and scalp pain, consult a medical professional at the earliest, as it is better to get treated with the right course of treatment.
Remember to also be stress free as far as possible, because your scalp and hair pain could be even due to other factors like migraine and stress headaches.
Leah LOVES hair. So much so, she dedicated an entire website to it! One of the founders of Hair Everyday and Chief Editor, Leah enjoys reviewing all the hair products and showcasing the best. She believes her most underrated articles are her hair care tips!