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Why Is The Top Of My Head Tender & How Can I Get Relief?

Has your scalp felt tender and sore on touching lately? Or is it hurting when you brush or put your hair down on the pillow at night? What is causing all this problem? It could be scalp tenderness.

Scalp tenderness may include tingling, numbness, itching, stinging and throbbing. People may suffer from various symptoms altogether. Most of the time, scalp tenderness is a painful condition, including skin flaking, scaling, and peeling.

Through this blog, we have clarified, “Why is the top of my head tender?” Read further!

Causes Behind Head Tenderness

The below section explains some of the possible causes of head tenderness:

Conditions Related To Skin

You may experience scalp tenderness because of various skin conditions. These are:

  • Sunburn
  • Insect bites
  • Head lice
  • Psoriasis
  • Eczema
  • Rashes

Because of these conditions, you can feel pain, tenderness, inflammation, peeling, and skin flaking. Moreover, in such cases, you can experience scalp bleeding or pus.

Dandruff can affect those skin areas where the natural oil collects. You can feel red patches on the scalp. Most people avoid getting treatment because of embarrassment or irritation. Sometimes, dandruff can also be caused by ringworms or fungal infections.

Scalp psoriasis can cause scalp tenderness, flaking, or crusting skin. It is not like dandruff. In this, your skin feels dry with a silvery sheen. Hormones, cold weather, stress, or dry air can cause scalp psoriasis.

Lichen planus can also lead to scale or flake scalp. This condition can be caused by stress, or you get a side effect from any of the medications.

In extreme cases, these problems can cause hair loss.


Furunculosis, carbunculosis, and folliculitis are all hair follicle infections that can lead to scalp sensitivity. Due to these infections, you can feel soreness, pain, and other issues. Mostly, the back of the neck, the armpit, or the back of the scalp gets affected. Moreover, the pus can sometimes be taken out from the skin lesions.

Occipital Neuralgia

You can experience scalp tenderness because of occipital neuralgia. You can feel pain throughout the neck, scalp, and head. It can make your scalp more sensitive. You may feel pain even if you touch it. Moreover, the scalp may become numb.

It is a rare type of nerve pain and is typically caused due to injury or a pinched nerve.

Hair Loss

A study in 2022 showed that people with hair loss of 32% have reported scalp sensitivity. Most of the hair loss conditions are related to scalp sensitivity.


Taking tension can also cause scalp pain. Depression, anxiety, and stress can create and worsen the symptoms of scalp tenderness. Moreover, it also makes muscles tense.


The cause of flakes of dandruff can be lice. You should immediately seek medical attention if you suffer from red bumps or itchiness that may ooze or crust. Lice can live on your scalp for about 30 days. Even lice eggs can live longer.

Temporal Arteritis

In temporal arteritis conditions, the temporal artery becomes very tender to the touch and when inflamed. You may feel symptoms like visual disturbances, headaches, and jaw pain.

Most of the time, temporal arteritis affects older adults.

Also Read: How to deal with a tender headed child as a parent?

Other Possibilities

You may feel scalp pain because of these reasons:

  • Cold
  • Wind
  • Heat
  • Sunburn 
  • Allergic reactions
  • Tight headbands, hairstyles and helmets
  • Hair curlers, flat irons, and hair dryers

This pain can also lead to hair loss. Brushing or rubbing your wet hair can break hair follicles, and this can cause scalp irritation and hair loss. You can face more problems because of over-brushing.

You should consult a doctor if experiencing severe, painful, or prolonged scalp sensitivity.

Home Remedies You Can Try   

Home remedies to get relief from scalp tenderness are: 

  • Massage the scalp in a circular motion with the fingertips. Use an oil that is free of chemicals and has a boost of essential oils to speedify the healing process. Products like The Original Tender Head Adult Oil are our personal favorites in the category. The oil not only has a blend of 11 essential oils, but it is specifically designed to soothe an irritating scalp. 
  • For about 10-minute intervals, apply heat or cold packs.
  • Lose your tight hair position that has been held for a long period.

Stretching techniques can also be helpful for your scalp tenderness, which is caused by muscle soreness, tension, and headaches.

How You Can Prevent Scalp Tenderness 

If you follow a care routine, it can help you prevent scalp tenderness in most of the cases. Below are some of the things that you should avoid:

  • Do not spend too much time in the sun
  • Avoid using chemicals that can damage your hair, like devices or dyes
  • Avoid doing tight hairstyles on the scalp
  • Do not use hair products that contain harsh chemicals
  • Stress can also lead to scalp tenderness

Avoid sharing brushes and ties as it can cause infections like fungus or lice. 

Most importantly, don’t just put any hair product over your scalp, especially if it is not chemical-free.

Chemicals in haircare products can further irritate your scalp, worsening the condition. So, what should you do? Invest in haircare brands that manufacture products specifically for tender heads, like The Original Tender Head. Thus, you can ensure everything you put over your scalp not only will not cause irritation but will also help soothe your scalp and heal tenderheadedness.


Like we take care of any other part of our body, the same way scalp is also an essential part of our body. From the start, only if you understand how to eliminate problems like dryness, hair loss, itchiness, and discomfort. It will make things easier for you. When you know the reason behind “why is the top of my head tender,” it gets easy to eliminate the issue and look for a better treatment. In addition, if you have tried everything and are still facing head tender, you must consult a medical expert.

Moreover, the products you use on your scalp also make a lot of difference. Using trusted products can benefit you if you want to eliminate tender heads. To check out a range of products that can help soothe your tender head, click here.

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