Scalp Pain Pregnancy

Is it normal to feel scalp pain in pregnancy?

Are you experiencing scalp pain during pregnancy?

  • Does your scalp feel senstive or tender in pregnancy?
  • You may feel like you are constantly scratching itchy or sore patches on your scalp?
  • Some pregnant women also say that their hair hurts.
  • Or does your scalp feel sore like having spots or acne?
  • Or perhaps you experience burning sensations?
image
Is having a sore scalp common in pregnancy?

Many women complain about experiencing scalp pain during pregnancy. Hormonal changes can really create unexpected symptoms during pregnancy. Experiencing a sore scalp during pregnancy often comes as a surprise to many women.

Is your scalp feeling sore or itchy during pregnancy?

Scalp itchiness seems to occur just in patches. Once you start itching it feels like you can’t stop. You may start to feel like a gorilla, itching yourself all over – see Itchy. Which really could be something embarrassing when you are out and about or sitting at work.

On some days, the sore patches on my head would create a burning sensation and I would wonder what was causing it.

I had no idea that these sensations are linked to pregnancy. It was only after I consistently experienced a sore scalp early on in each pregnancy that I could link the patterns and put it down to being pregnant.

Upon talking to my sister about it a little while later, she said “oh my gosh, yes! I had that too and didn’t even think it was connected to being pregnant”.

Why does my scalp hurt during pregnancy?
  • Your scalp could be sore during pregnancy due to the increase in pregnancy hormones which cause an increase in hair growth (see Hair Loss). This could lead to a feeling of itchiness due to overactive hair follicles and nerve endings.
  • According to Hairy Scalp, pregnancy hormones cause our scalps to become engorged with liquids, causing a tingling, itching or even painful sensation in the nerve endings on our head.
  • The blood volume of a pregnant woman increases by up to 50% (according to American Pregnancy Association). Increased blood volume during pregnancy leads to swelling of blood vessels connected to nerve endings. When swelled blood vessels irritate nerve endings on our head, we experience a sensitive scalp.
  • The increase in the progesterone hormone causes more natural oils to be produced by your skin, according to WebMD.
  • Rausch explain that this oil, called Sebum, is also the oil produced on our scalps. Oil glands produce more Sebum and hair could become greasier more quickly, leaving you with oily hair.
  • According to the NHS, acne appears when dead skin cells and sebum mix together, causing follicles to get plugged. With more oil being produced during pregnancy, it is more likely that hair follicles could become blocked or for acne to appear on the scalp.
  • Another reason could be that your normal shampoo is drawing any leftover essential nutrients away from your scalp, leaving it dry and itchy. During pregnancy, your body draws more on many essential nutrients.
  • You may have developed an allergy to products that you have previously used without a problem. It is common to develop new allergies during pregnancy.

All of the above could explain why our scalps can be sore or sensitive to touch during pregnancy or why the roots of our hair or hair strands hurt.

Recommendations for relieving a sensitive scalp during pregnancy

  • Try using a natural hairbrush. Brush or comb your hair gently, avoid pulling or tugging it as this will only aggravate already irritated patches on your scalp.
  • Hair products: Opt for a ph neutral, natural shampoos and conditioners to reduce the amount of nutrient loss whilst washing your hair.
    • Rub natural oils such as argan oil or coconut oil into your scalp if it is feeling dry and itchy.
    • Wear your hair down or loosely; the tighter your hair is, the more you will notice any sensitive or sore patches on your scalp.
    • Keep your hands off. It is all too easy to want to itch or rub sore patches. However, the more you touch, the more painful you scalp will get.
    • Holland & Barrett recommend eating a good diet, full of vitamins and drinking plenty of water.
    • Philip Kingsley discuss that a healthy, balanced diet is especially important for our hair with a good balance of proteins, carbohydrates, iron, vitamins and minerals.

Always consult your doctor about health concerns. Get your symptoms checked and a professional opinion, as a sore scalp could also be a sign of skin conditions such as a skin infection, contact dermatitis or seborrheic dermatitis.

OUR NEWSLETTER

Join