Dreadlock itch and Faux Locs itch for dreads hair featured image graphics.

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Are you new to the loc journey, or have you had your dreads for quite some time? No matter the scenario, we have all the answers you need to stop that itchy scalp and relieve your loc irritation finally!


An itch by definition is the presence of a comfortable tingling or uneasy sensation, which is associated with a desire to scratch

Cambridge Dictionary.

For those of your new to the loc game, your locs do not itch all the time, or at least they shouldn’t. When that itch becomes a problem, you need to step up the remedies and get to work. You have only a tiny window of time before you need to get a professional involved, i.e., a Physician, Dermatologist, Cosmetologist, or Loc Expert.

Dreadlock itch and faux locs scratch dry scalp irritation remedy statistics


An itchy scalp, also known as scalp pruritus (proo-RIE-tus), is a common problem that can cause frustrating symptoms, such as frequent scratching and discomfort. The most common cause of scalp pruritus with dreadlocks is dry skin.
You are not alone.
OVER 64% OF NEW LOC WEARERS REPORT SCALP ITCH OR IRRITATION Let’s look at some quick fixes to resolve that itch!


When it comes to locs, many factors can equate to causing your scalp irritation.
If you are brand new to dreadlocks or Crochet Faux Locs, then a fair amount of itchiness is expected for the first few weeks!
When your hair is free to move and flow, it doesn’t like to be locked up all of a sudden. When your head starts to itch, it’s just your scalp begging for some scalp stimulation.

Black male african american model with long dreadlock faux loc crochet hairstyles sitting at park with loc itch issues.


Don’t worry; we have all the best remedies to help minimize those irritable symptoms:

  1. First, try massaging localized areas with a gentle circular motion. This will help stimulate the hair follicles, scalp and create a circulatory movement to help reduce any irritation.
  2. If you installed Crochet Faux Locs with a cornrow technique, try gently running your fingers on your scalp along the rows of twisted hair to avoid disturbing the windings.
  3. Take a bath; it might be time for you to wash your head, especially if you are also noticing a loc odor coming from your dreads. 
  4. A spritz of a cooling peppermint spray or dab of witch hazel might be all your need to remedy that troubled scalp itch.
  5. Grab a crochet hook or specialized dread scratching tool (Ex: “The head Honcho” tool at Sally’s beauty), and insert it directly into the base or root of your dreads to scratch the hell out of those problems areas!


The most common cause of an itchy scalp during a loc journey is a dry scalp. If the above tips and tricks didn’t resolve the itch, you might have a dry scalp.


Dry scalp leading to Scalp itch (psurisis) and irritation is no laughing matter. A problem itch can cause you to look unprofessional in the most formal settings or stop you from having a good night’s sleep. Here are some common symptoms of dry skin. 

  1. Flakes of dead skin or Dandruff

  2. Itching

  3. Irritation

  4. Tight or dry feeling scalp

  5. Redness or Rash

 Many things can cause dry scalp, so if you have the above problems that seem to be getting worse, we need to look and see what is causing the symptoms instead of trying to remedy them!


A common misconception of dry, itchy scalp is that poor hair washing habits cause it. That’s not the case. Many factors can cause scalp and loc itch. 

  1. DANDRUFF – Dandruff is the leading cause of dry & itchy scalp. If you notice small skin flakes in your locs, collectively near the roots, then you would likely assume you are having dandruff issues. 

  2. CONTACT DERMATITIS FROM DREADLOCK SHAMPOO – It’s hard to find the best hair care products for your dreads and synthetic locs; sometimes, even the best brands can cause dry or itchy scalp.

  3. WASHING TOO MUCH – Too much washing can strip your scalp of the natural oils it needs to stay hydrated. Over time, you can dry out your hair to the point where it becomes brittle and breaks. 

  4. WEATHER CHANGES – If you are acclimated to humid environments, your scalp could be drying out due to the weather or loss of humidity and vise versa. This is very common in the winter, where dry cold air begins to blow more often. 

  5. ECZEMA – Eczema is a common skin condition that can leave your scalp dry and itchy with redness and cracking. Atopic eczema often runs in families, so if one or both of your parents had eczema, you might get it too.

  6. SCALP PSORIASIS – Those with Psoriasis have symptoms where their immune system misfires and makes their skin cells multiply much faster than usual. This causes blocked pores and build-up along with the roots and scalp.


When having a dry scalp leads to Itchy skin that lasts more than six weeks (chronic pruritus), it can affect the quality of your life. It might interrupt your sleep or cause anxiety or depression. Prolonged itching and scratching can increase the intensity of the itch, possibly leading to skin injury, infection, and scarring.

African american black male sitting on white couch upset about his dreadlocks itching and his dry scalp.


If this isn’t your first rodeo, then you know the difference between dreadlock irritation with a slight itch and a PROBLEM. Understanding what an itch is and what causes it will help you alleviate your problems.


If your quality of life is affected by an itch that started after getting dreads or synthetic locs, then it might be time to take out the updo. Your well-being is never worth any hairstyle, especially when it causes you so much pain and discomfort. Check out our HOW TO REMOVE FAUX LOCS {How to remove locs} article for all the help you need to remove those itchy locs.


Seek help from a doctor or medical professional when an itch just doesn’t feel right, starts to interrupt or distract your life, or is causing you serious discomfort. 

Another sign that you may need medical help with your scalp itch is when you notice lesions. 


A significant sign that your itch might be more than just dandruff and dry skin is when you start to notice any lesions.

The most common forms of lesions on the scalp are:

  • Scaling (i.e., Seborrheic Dermatitis, Scalp psoriasis, Contact dermatitis, Red Scalp Syndrome, Aging Skin)

  • Patches (Alopecic Patches)

  • Urticarial (i.e., Insect Bites)

  • Infestations (Scabies)

  • Other (i.e., Skin Tumors, Keloid scars/Burns)

Faux loc and dreadlock scalp itch flow chart for resolving loc itch


Most frequent questions and answers

The main cause of scalp itching is the acronym SCALLP:

  • Seborrheic Dermatitisis 
  • Contact Dermatitis
  • Anxiety
  • Lichen Planopilaris
  • Lise
  • Psoriasis

An itchy scalp after a shower is most likely caused by contact dermatitis from the chemicals in your shampoo or conditioner and your skin cells and pores on your head. Try changing your shampoo to see if the problem goes away. 

When your scalp itches only after applying essential oils like tea tree, peppermint, nag champa, or coconut oil, it is likely caused by Seborrheic dermatitis. SD is a skin condition that causes scaly patches and red skin, mainly on the scalp. The application of hair oil can worsen this situation. Hence dermatologists don’t recommend using oil too often.

Sulfates are found in many hair and deadlock shampoos. If you are noticing dry itchy scalp symptoms after a nice shower, it may be due to an allergic reaction to the sulfates. Try a sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner to eliminate any concerns. 

A small itch is never something to over concerned about, but a burning sensation is. If the burning onset started after using new hair care products, you might be having an allergic reaction to certain chemicals. Try a nice lukewarm shower to help ease the burning and tingling. If burning persists seek medical attention immediately.

An itchy scalp after breaking a sweat is most commonly caused by dandruff as your scalp is exposed to external factors during the summer months. Dandruff is caused by Malassezia, a fungus that grows on the scalp in certain conditions. 

Essential oils are great for opening pores and increasing blood circulation to your scalp. Massage oils rich in Vitamin E like argan oil and tea tree oil to help lock in moisture. 

Yes, what you put in your body is going to be equally as important as what you apply directly to your hair. Make sure to hydrate regularly and to intake lots of vitamin E and A.

When it comes to anti-dandruff treatment there’s not a more trusted brand than HEAD & SHOULDERS with Pryithone Zinc. Head & Shoulders Hair Care products arent specifically for dreads or faux locs but we find it gets the job done the best. Grab a bottle HERE

ATOPIC DERMATITIS of the scalp is a condition that would cause your skin to flare symptoms periodically. Common symptoms are:

  • Small, raised bumps, which may leak fluid and crust over when scratched
  • Thickened, cracked, scaly skin
  • Raw, sensitive, swollen skin from scratching
  • Dry skin
  • Itching, which may be severe, especially at night


  • The itching Is so uncomfortable that the condition is affecting sleep and daily activities
  • You notice you have a skin infection (i.e., Look for red streaks, pus, and yellow scabs)
  • Continues to experience symptoms despite trying home remedies


We all know a small itch can destroy a whole day of comfortability. Now you know the best ways to alieve that dread itch and to prevent your locs and scalp from becoming dry. Make sure to subscribe below to see more of our helpful dreadlock and faux locs guides!

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