I gave myself a haircut last week and now my scalp itches. Help!
April 11, 2020 10:16 AM   Subscribe

A week ago I decided it was time to trim my overgrown pixie cut. Since all we had were nail scissors and a beard trimmer, I opted to tackle the increasingly mushrooming volume of my hair with an asymmetric cut where I buzzed one side close (2-3mm), then transitioned it around the back with the trimmer, then used scissors to thin out the other side. It looks pretty rad in a queer apocalyptic haircut way ("Ladies, please! I'm social distancing!"), but in the past two days, and not sooner, EVERYTHING ITCHES in the areas where I used the trimmer.

I wash my hair daily and haven't changed my shampoo or cleaning routine. I am outside 3-5 hours/day, but usually only in direct sun for 90 mins or less. I'm trying not to scratch. Is this a normal effect of switching to a buzz cut? What else should I be doing? My suffering scalp thanks you for your advice.
posted by deludingmyself to Health & Fitness (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Person with a beard here: Hair growing back from a close trip like your 2-3 mm, or from a complete shave, for that matter, can itch at some stage of growing back, particularly in areas with tender skin not used to shaves or close trims. (As I understand it, this happens in shaved pubic areas as well.) I think if you keep it clean it will be fine in a few days.
posted by beagle at 10:28 AM on April 11, 2020

This could be sun allergy if more sunlight is reaching your scalp than it’s used to. I have this and get very itchy at the start of every summer, but only in a few areas of my skin. Even a little bit of exposure can trigger it for skin that’s not used to the sunlight.

For me, it lasts a few days and then mostly goes away, unless I spend a long time in the sun again. Wearing a hat outside would probably be the best preventative.
posted by mbrubeck at 10:30 AM on April 11, 2020 [1 favorite]

I buzzed my hair a while back and the same thing happened to me. Dunno why, but I solved it by switching to Head & Shoulders for a while -- even though I wasn't having explicit flaky dandruff symptoms, the itching was solved by that.
posted by BlahLaLa at 11:52 AM on April 11, 2020

I have alternated between letting my hair grow out and then buzzing it all off. Wash the buzz with the same mild soap you'd use to wash your face. Without that length and products it's just regular short thicker denser body hair just like the stuff on your arms and pits and bits. When it grows out long enough to really be hair, go back to the shampoo routine. Or the Sun thing, you might want to SPF that new to the sun bit.
posted by zengargoyle at 12:12 PM on April 11, 2020

I have that on my legs. Moisturising lots really helps the grow-out stage.
posted by I claim sanctuary at 1:06 PM on April 11, 2020

Yes, you dropped yourself right before peak itch. It’ll pass.
posted by rockindata at 1:31 PM on April 11, 2020 [1 favorite]

The skin is shifting because it's being pulled differently: There's less weight, the hair grows at different angles because of that, and the tension has changed. Depending on how tightly packed the hair was before and how big an area was cut, the whole scalp may be shifting a bit - and this will be more noticeable in the area that now has more exposure to air and no hair forcing it to stay put where it was before.

Frequent brushing may help get past the itching stage faster.
posted by ErisLordFreedom at 12:21 PM on April 12, 2020

I started wearing hats outside, and found some dermarest shampoo and tried that, and it grew a little, and within a week it was fine. I think there might be something to the sun allergy theory, as my skin has been weirdly sensitive to sun before. Thanks all!
posted by deludingmyself at 11:59 AM on April 27, 2020

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