Scalp Pain and Tension Isn’t Normal – Here’s What It Means

July 07, 2022

Scalp tension and pain are, quite simply, uncomfortable.


There are a variety of reasons for scalp pain and tension, including inflammatory scalp conditions (seborrheic dermatitis, psoriasis, dandruff), scarring alopecia’s, seasonal allergies, food allergies, and medication. Even tight hairstyles, like a ponytail or braid, can lead to scalp pain and tenderness if worn tightly over long periods of time.


A common misconception is that buildup can lead to scalp pain and tenderness. However, scalp pain is typically caused under the scalp, below the epidermal layer, so product buildup that rests on top of the epidermis will typically not cause scalp pain.


Fortunately, there are simple ways to remedy the pain and tension. Certified trichologist and Advanced Trichology founder William Gaunitz, FWTS, says:


- Wear your hair down rather than styled in a ponytail or braid

- Massage your scalp with coconut oil 2-3 times per week (leave it in for about 45 minutes then wash out as normal)

- A vigorous scalp massage where you move the scalp over the skull to reduce tension

- Use a Gua sha hand tool to massage over the scalp nightly


    In some cases, scalp pain is a result of scalp microbials. In this case, using scalp treatments that include tea tree oil or neem can help get rid of out-of-balance microbials on the scalp and reduce tension.


    Gaunitz shared even more about scalp tension and ways to find relief with MindBodyGreen.


    For more information on scalp health, visit, and follow us on Instagram at @AdvancedTrichology.