Have you ever experienced scalp pain that is almost stingy? Does it get worse when you comb or run fingers through your hair? If you’ve wondered why and what to do about it, we are here to help.
The sharp pain actually comes from the nerves beneath your scalp skin. “There could be several underlying factors  that can lead to scalp sensitivity. Before you head for solutions, it is important to understand the root cause of the condition,’’ says Dr. Zeel Gandhi, Chief Ayurvedic Doctor at Vedix.
This article lets you understand the fundamental factors that triggers scalp pain and how you can cure it naturally through Ayurveda. Read on.
What Causes Scalp Pain?
According to Ayurveda, your scalp pain is the consequence of derangement in your doshas: Vata, Pitta, and Kapha, the vital biological energies that govern your body, mind, and emotional functionalities.
"The imbalance occurring in the Kapha dosha is the first stage, Pitta is the second and disruption in Vata is the third stage of manifestation of scalp sensitivity in your body," says Dr. Zeel.
1. Initially, when Kapha aggravates in your body, it leads to the collection of scalp oils or sebum in the follicles, causing heaviness and swelling in the blood vessels beneath them.
2. Eventually, when Pitta aggravates, you may notice the redness and heat dissipation (calor) from your scalp.
3. Finally, it leads to the spike in Vata dosha in your body and this is when you start experiencing chronic scalp pain, dryness, scar tissue formation along with black discoloration at times after healing.
Dr. Zeel says, ‘’Depending upon the innate Ayurvedic Prakriti of the person and the dosha dominance in the body, the severity of each stage varies.’’
For example, a person who is Vata dominant, may not have as much sebum accumulation as a Kapha dominant person does. But their scalp can be more dry, bumpy, and painful. Similarly, a Pitta dominant person may experience more redness and heat.
Here are some of the common scalp problems caused due to dosha imbalances on your scalp, which result in scalp pain:
1. Scalp folliculitis (most common in Kapha and Pitta dominant people)
3. Dandruff or seborrheic dermatitis
4. The immune response of your body (most common in Pitta dominant people)
5. Trichodynia (scalp dysesthesia or burning hair syndrome)
7. Allodynia (pain due to nerve-related disorders or migraine. It is most commonly noticed in Vata dominant people)
8. Various forms of headaches
‘’Stress, pollution, exposure to extreme temperature and weather conditions, overuse of heat styling tools, bad diet and lifestyle, bad hair care routine, etc. are some of the predominant factors that may affect the dosha equilibrium in your body,’’ says Dr. Zeel.
Why Does Your Scalp Hurt On Touching Your Hair?
The derangement of your doshas causes inflammation in your blood vessels, which are connected to your scalp. When you move your hair, the disrupted swollen blood vessels squeeze off the surrounding nerves, causing a painful or tingling sensation on your scalp.
Does Dirty Hair Make Your Scalp Hurt?
Dr. Zeel says, "When your scalp and hair are not washed regularly, it leads to the accumulation of scalp oils blended with dirt and grime in your hair follicles, thus increasing the Kapha dosha.’’
This leads to various pathogenic infestations that feed on your sebum, causing different scalp problems like folliculitis, psoriasis, seborrheic dermatitis, etc. which may eventually result in inflammation and scalp pain.
Ayurvedic Ways To Relieve Your Scalp Pain
1. Understand Your Doshas
You need to determine your innate Prakriti and current state of your doshas (balanced or imbalanced) before you start with Ayurvedic healing therapies for any type of health issues, including scalp pain.
You can do this either by visiting an Ayurvedic doctor or just by taking an online Prakriti questionnaire to evaluate your doshas. This gives you a precise understanding of your Ayurvedic hair type, based on which you can seek the most suitable herbal ingredients in your hair care routine.
2. Hair Care Routine
Your hair care routine plays a very significant role in having a healthy, well-nourished, and conditioned scalp and hair. Basic Ayurvedic routine for your hair involves:
A. Warm oil massage of your scalp and hair at least twice a week.
B. A proper hair wash with a herbal hair cleanser after the warm oil massage (usually, after 20-30 minutes).
C. Deep conditioning with hair masks at least once a week depending upon your scalp and hair condition.
You can also incorporate herbal serums and conditioners in your hair care routine that can boost your healthy hair growth. The right Ayurvedic ingredients used in your hair care routine keep your doshas in a balanced state and prevent extensive damage of your scalp and hair.
3. Ayurvedic Herbs
Below are some of the highly effective Ayurvedic herbs that can be used to relieve your scalp pain. Besides choosing your hair care oils, shampoos, or conditioners with these herbal ingredients, you can also use them directly in your hair care regimen as follows:
A. Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera)
It balances Vata, Pitta, and Kapha doshas. Prepare a fine paste by mixing warm distilled water into 4-5 tsp of dry ashwagandha powder. Apply it thoroughly across your scalp and give it a gentle massage for a few minutes. Wrap your scalp with a cotton towel soaked in warm water for 30-45 minutes before rinsing well using normal water.
B. Yashtimadhu (Licorice)
It balances Vata and Pitta doshas. Prepare a decoction by boiling 1-1.5 grams of licorice roots in 150-200 ml of water for about 15 minutes in low flame. Strain the decoction and keep it aside for cooling. You can apply this decoction directly or blend it with coconut oil over your scalp and massage for a few minutes. Leave it for an hour before rinsing it off thoroughly using normal water.
C. Brahmi (Bacopa monnieri)
It balances Kapha and Vata doshas. Mix 2 tsp of brahmi powder  and 2 tsp of amla powder. Add a cup of fresh coconut water into it to form a thick and smooth paste. Apply the paste thoroughly over your scalp and let it dry for about 30 minutes. Later, wash it off properly using normal water.
D. Nimba (Neem)
It balances Pitta and Kapha doshas, but increases Vata dosha. Prepare a fine paste by grinding fresh neem leaves. Add equal parts of curd into the paste and apply it across your scalp with gentle massaging. Leave it for about 20-30 minutes before rinsing off.
E. Karpoora (camphor)
It balances Kapha and Pitta doshas. Add 1 tsp of powdered camphor into a cup of coconut oil. Massage your scalp with this oil for 5 minutes. Leave it for about 30 minutes before washing your hair with an Ayurvedic shampoo.
F. Kumari (Aloe Vera)
It balances Vata, Pitta, and Kapha doshas. Apply freshly extracted aloe vera gel on your scalp while giving a gentle massage. Let it get soaked into your scalp for 20-30 minutes before you rinse it off. You can repeat it thrice a week if you have chronic scalp pain.
4. Essential Oils
A. Lavender Oil
Lavender oil has natural anti-microbial and stress-relieving properties. Dilute 8-10 drops of lavender oil in 2-3 tsp of carrier oil such as coconut oil or olive oil. Massage your scalp with it for 5 minutes. Then, leave it for 10-15 minutes before washing your hair with an Ayurvedic shampoo.
B. Rosemary Oil
It is best to use when you have elevated Vata levels or dry scalp. Rosemary oil improves the blood circulation in your scalp by healing the damaged nerves and reducing inflammation. Add 5 drops of rosemary oil in 1 tsp of coconut or jojoba oil. Apply it across your scalp and massage it for a few minutes. Leave it for about 20 minutes before you proceed for hair wash.
C. Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is very effective in reducing scalp pain aroused due to various microbial infections like psoriasis, dandruff, etc. due to its strong anti-microbial properties. You can add 3 drops of tea tree oil in 2 tsp of any carrier oil and massage your scalp with it at least twice a week.
Important Note: We always recommend you to have a patch test on your hand before using any essential oils for your scalp treatments.
5. Ayurvedic Head Massages
Ayurvedic head massages are very useful in relaxing your scalp blood vessels. Consider regular Ayurvedic head massage therapies to relieve yourself from stress, headache, pains, migraine, insomnia, etc.
Below are some of the powerful head massage therapies in Ayurveda, which induce a deep sense of tranquility while balancing your elevated doshas.
3. Shiro vasti
4. Shiro pichu
6. Home Remedies
A. Apply lemon juice with cotton across your scalp. Leave it for about 15 minutes and then wash it off with water. You can also add a few lemon drops to your shampoo when you have scalp sensitivity. Avoid lemon juice if you have Pitta dominant Prakriti.
B. Whisk 1-2 eggs and apply it as a hair mask. Let it settle for about 20-30 minutes before washing it off. It is very helpful when you have elevated Vata, as eggs can soothe your scalp pain by controlling your scalp dryness.
C. Rinse your scalp at least once a week using diluted apple cider vinegar. It has natural antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties, which provides you great relief from scalp pain.
Other Medications To Treat Scalp Pain
Your physician may examine or recommend a scalp biopsy if necessary to identify your scalp condition. You may be suggested to use special medicated shampoos that contain soothing agents.
Over-the-counter drugs such as Ibuprofen is the most commonly used medication to relieve headaches or inflammation that cause scalp pain or sensitivity.
Please take prior consultation from your physician or Ayurvedic doctor before you follow any of the remedies and medications mentioned in this article for your scalp pain relief.
What Are The Potential Complications Of Scalp Pain?
Sometimes, serious health disorders can be the underlying reasons for your scalp pain. If neglected, this may further complicate your condition and cause permanent damage.
Below are some of the potential complications that can induce scalp pain:
1. Brain damage
2. Cancer (especially in skin)
5. Osteomyelitis  (bone infection)
6. Chronic headaches
We highly recommend you to seek immediate medical help if you experience involuntary jerky movements, vision blurring or blindness, bleeding from ears, nose or mouth, unconsciousness, etc. associated with your scalp pain.
How To Prevent Scalp Pain?
1. Avoid overuse of sports helmets.
2. Avoid excessive usage of flat iron, curlers, and dryers.
3. Avoid hairstyles that pull your hair tightly.
4. Protect your scalp and hair from extreme weather conditions and pollution by wearing a cap or scarf.
5. Avoid chemical-laden hair products and dyes.
6. Always use a wide-toothed comb (preferably made of neem wood) and use it very gently on your scalp.
It is highly beneficial to incorporate stress-relieving yoga, pranayama, and meditation in your lifestyle as emotional stress is one of the predominant factors causing Pitta dosha derangement in your body. This further leads to a variety of scalp and hair related problems.
The Last Word
Your scalp pain could be a temporary or a chronic scenario depending on the underlying cause. Ayurveda blends the natural healing and dosha balancing abilities of herbs, which relieve you from scalp pain effectively while maintaining a holistic scalp and hair health. Also, the natural line of treatment does not induce any unwanted side effects.
At Vedix, we bring you a customized Ayurvedic hair care regimen that targets your unique scalp and hair problems by balancing your elevated doshas.Know Your Dosha Now