The Scientific Reason Your Hair Hurts After, Like, Three Days of Not Washing It

Curated via Twitter from Glamour’s twitter account….

If you’re having scalp pain due to greasiness, you want to try to reduce yeast levels with an antifungal drugstore shampoo, like Nizoral 1 percent shampoo, Zeichner says, adding that a tar extract-based shampoo like Neutrogena T-Gel, can continue to reduce inflammation. “Remember that while these shampoos may wash hair, they should really be used as scalp treatments,” he says.

If you don’t wash your hair for awhile, oils that your scalp produces naturally accumulate around your hair shaft, promoting the overgrowth of yeast on your scalp, explains Joshua Zeichner, M. D. , a New York City-based board-certified dermatologist and director of cosmetic and clinical research in dermatology at Mount Sinai Medical Center.

When levels of the yeast rise, like when you don’t wash your hair for a few days, your body is more likely to react, causing the itchiness or discomfort, says Cynthia Bailey, M. D. , a diplomat of the American Board of Dermatology and president and CEO of Advanced Skin Care and Dermatology Inc.

Even with the miracle that is dry shampoo, scheduling regular full washes can sometimes fall to the bottom of the to-do list. Gross? Sure. True? Definitely. (Hey, washing and styling is time consuming. ) Of course, when you don’t have time to wash your hair, you can end up with a scalp full of grease.

There can be other factors at play with greasy scalp pain, too—namely the fact that you also tend to put your hair up when it’s oily, and that can also feel uncomfortable, Bailey says.

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