What Are the Treatments for a Burnt Scalp?

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Avoid picking at scabs, which can get infected due to bacteria under nails.
Avoid picking at scabs, which can get infected due to bacteria under nails. (Image: Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images)

Scalp burns from chemical relaxers and hair dyes can occur from home jobs or from a stylist not paying close enough attention. The resulting burns can be agonizing, but many may unwittingly further aggravate such burns by using shampoos and hair products containing skin-irritating alcohol and harsh sulfates. Use organic products to speed your recovery time and soothe injured skin.

Shampoos and Conditioners

Use mild, gentle shampoos and conditioners for scalp burn treatment. Rinse hair in lukewarm water only. Look for organic versions of shampoos and conditioners as such products do not contain harsh sulfates, parabens and fragrances that can further irritate the scalp. Organic baby shampoos are another option as they are very mild and are designed to cause as little irritation as possible should the product get into the baby's eyes. Avoid shampoos that are medicated to prevent further irritation.

Vitamin E Oil

Use pure vitamin E oil to treat scalp burns; simply break open a capsule and apply to affected areas as liberally as needed. Do this twice daily until skin is completely healed. The oil helps scabs and broken skin heal that much more quickly and provides a flood of moisture the burned scalp so desperately needs. Vitamin E oil's antioxidant content means it protects the skin against ultraviolet light damage, which is even more necessary when the skin is burned. Vitamin E oil may be used to treat scalps that are sunburned as well.

Aloe Vera

Like vitamin E oil, aloe vera gel is a natural topical treatment used for burns and other skin conditions. Purchase pure aloe vera gel as opposed to creams and lotions containing aloe vera as such products may contain man-made chemicals that can irritate skin. Another option is to break open an aloe vera plant and rub its pulp directly into the skin. Aloe vera's high water content (96 percent) makes it an ideal treatment for burns and other skin irritations. As with vitamin E oil, aloe vera gel makes an excellent sunburn treatment.

Additional Tips

Avoid using petroleum jelly and similar products, which are oil based and go on skin like a plastic coating, thus preventing air from reaching the skin and slowing the healing process. Refrain from dying hair until burns clear up, and consider switching to an organic, vegetable-based hair dye that won't burn the skin. Comb and brush hair gently to avoid irritating the scalp, and avoid using hairsprays, gels and other hair styling products, many of which contain alcohol which will further irritate a burned scalp.

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