Throughout the time I’ve suffered with hair loss I’ve had several episodes of scalp pain, sensitivity and a burning sensation. Trying to touch my head, lying down on a pillow or even moving my hair slightly would cause excruciating severe pain to my scalp. I had no idea what caused this and why it was sporadic, it would last for while then just disappear, last episode I had was this past July. Apparently there is a correlation between hair loss, telogen effluvium and scalp pain, also called trichodynia.
This is what I found about it on Wikipedia:
Trichodynia is a condition where the patient experiences a painful sensation on their scalp. The pain sometimes is described as burning. Trichodynia often is associated with hair loss, but some studies show it has no connection to hair loss. Often there is an underlying psycho-somatic cause, such as stress, depression or anxiety.
Only a few studies have been conducted on this condition. A theory behind the condition is that nerves innervating scalp hair follicles send pain messages back to the brain when the follicle no longer has a hair in it, in a similar way to phantom limb pain. Another theory is that people who have this condition (sometimes called “ponytail syndrome”) have super-sensitive nerves in their scalp.
A possible treatment is to halt hair loss in the patient, however it is important to understand and address any underlying psychologic comorbity (humm…of course I’m thinking, easier said than done)
I also wanted to share this article I found about it:
Hair Pain (Trichodynia): Frequency and Relationship to Hair Loss and Patient Gender
Barbara Willimann, Ralph M. Trüeb
Background: Patients complaining of hair loss frequently claim that their hair has become painful. Objective and Methods: The aim of the study was to evaluate the frequency of this phenomenon and its relationship to hair loss. Patients seeking advice for hair loss either spontaneously reported or were questioned about painful sensations of the scalp. Hair loss activity was quantified by a hair pull, daily count and wash test. Telogen percentage was obtained by a hair pluck. The scalp surface was examined by dermatoscopy. Results: Of 403 examined patients, 20% of women and 9% of men reported hair pain, irrespective of the cause and activity of hair loss. A minority presented scalp telangiectasia. This strongly correlated with hair pain. Conclusions: Hair pain (trichodynia) affects a significant proportion of patients complaining of hair loss and may increase the anxiety. The symptom neither allows discrimination of the cause nor correlates with the activity of hair loss. A higher prevalence of female patients might be connected to gender-related differences in pain perception in relation to anxiety. The role of vasoactive neuropeptides in the interaction between the central nervous system and skin reactivity is discussed. In the absence of any correlation with quantitative parameters of hair loss or specific morphologic changes of the scalp, management remains empiric and tailored to the individual.