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Dreadlock Itch: How to Soothe an Itchy Scalp after Working Out

Dreadlock Itch: How to Soothe an Itchy Scalp after Working Out

Many people deal with an itchy scalp for many different reasons. However, some people notice that their head is particularly itchy after they work out. If you have dreads, you may notice that, at this time, your head itches even more than normal. 

So, what causes dreadlock itch like this? And what can you do to fix it? Keep reading to find out.

Related: How To Clean Gunk Out Of Dreadlocks?

Why Does Your Scalp Itch When You Work Out? 

When you work out, you sweat. This is how your body naturally cools itself down and is a sign that your system is running well. However, your body doesn’t produce sweat in equal proportions all over your body. It produces more sweat in some areas than others, with your scalp being one place where plenty of sweat is produced. 

Sweat on your scalp can dry it out. In general, dry skin is itchier. So, sweat causing your scalp to dry out will make it itchy. 

However, this isn’t the only way sweat causes your skin to be itchy. Excess sweat clogs your hair follicles. When these are clogged, your body ends up producing more oil in an attempt to fix the situation. This leads to excess oil, which also causes your scalp to become itchy. 

The problem is that sweat creates two issues leading to an itchy scalp. As sweat goes hand-in-hand with a workout, your scalp ends up itching after a sweaty workout. 

A barbell on the floor next to a man

How to Prevent an Itchy Scalp After Working Out

Preventing your scalp from itching after a workout comes down to addressing the issues that cause it. This means you need to find ways to reduce sweat and promote hydration

Improve Airflow

This type of prevention starts before you even begin working out. You should try to wear your hair in a way that promotes airflow and, thus, fights against sweat. You can tie your locs up into a ponytail or wear them in another way that prevents them from simply lying against your scalp. Doing so will allow your scalp to breathe during your workout, which will cause it to produce less sweat. 

You should also consider what you wear while working out. A simple sweatband allows your hair to breathe while also working to absorb and wick away sweat. Meanwhile, a hat with minimal ventilation will trap heat in and cause your scalp to become more sweaty. 

Stay Hydrated

Once you start working out, you can also take steps to keep your body from sweating too vigorously. Staying hydrated is one way to do this. Drinking adequate water during a workout will cool your body down and is just healthy for you in general. You can also work out in air-conditioned locations, where you will be less prone to sweat anyway. 

Looking for an easy way to give your locs the moisture they need? Check out our Advanced Rose Water Spray Treatment.

Don’t Wash Too Often

You can even take steps to reduce itching after your workout. At this point, your head will probably be at least somewhat sweaty, even if you have taken steps to address sweat. Because of this, you may feel like shampooing your locs to clean them. However, you don’t need to wash your hair after every workout. In fact, washing your hair too often can damage it, which is especially dangerous for your locs. 

Instead, you can choose to cool your scalp down and remove sweat in other ways. Patting your scalp with a dry towel is a simple way to do this. Or, you can use a cool or room-temperature air jet to evaporate the sweat. Just make sure not to use a hot hair dryer, as this will damage your locs and dry out your scalp further. 

Finally, make sure to take steps to hydrate your scalp outside of workouts. You can switch to a hydrating shampoo and conditioner as a way to fix the issue. This is also helpful because it helps your locs as well. 

A man jogging with his dog

Other Common Causes of an Itchy Scalp

While sweat and oil are the common culprits when it comes to an itchy scalp after working out, they are not the only ones. Other underlying issues can lead to your scalp being itchy in general. 

Related: 4 Ways to Moisturize Your Locs


One of the most common issues that cause itching is dandruff. Dandruff is when the skin on your head starts to flake and break off into dry pieces. 

A variety of different issues can cause dandruff. It could be due to a bad reaction to a hair care product or stress. However, the most common issue leading to dandruff is that your scalp is too dry. 

To treat dandruff, you can use special hair care products designed to treat it. You can also use oil to moisten your scalp and help fight dryness. 

Lack of Stimulation

For people with newer locks, under stimulation is an often-faced issue. Before having locs, your scalp was used to more attention. You likely had to comb and brush your hair more often and may have even washed it more too. This change-up causes your scalp to feel itchy in response. 

This issue will improve with time as your scalp becomes more used to the new status quo. However, simple scalp massages can still address it in the short term. 

Allergic Reaction

Itching is sometimes the result of an allergic reaction. You may be allergic to a hair care product you use when you work out. If this is the case, the issue is not because of the workout but because of the allergy. 

The simple fix here is to switch products. Try out a plant-based product, as you will be less likely to have an allergy to one of these than a product with tons of chemicals. 

Trying to find a shampoo that won’t weigh you down? See how our 2 in 1 Co Wash for Dreadlocks can help you clean and moisturize your hair.

Serious Issues

While many scalp itchiness usually comes from common and harmless sources, the issue can be more serious. Scabies, scalp ringworm, psoriasis, nerve problems, and even cancer can all cause your scalp to itch. 

See a medical professional to determine if you have any of these issues. They will be able to confirm the situation and get you the help you need. 


Fixing an Itchy Scalp

If your scalp is itchy when you work out, you should work toward reducing sweat and emphasizing moisture. You can also look at other common causes of scalp itchiness and try to address those. If you do this, you can face dreadlock itch head-on. 

Related: Rose Water Benefits for Hair Care

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