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There’s nothing more annoying than an itchy scalp. We’ve all experienced it, but if your scalp is itchy over a long period of time there’s probably something more going on behind the scenes. You might just be surprised at the causes of an itchy, flaky scalp.

While there are many different itchy scalp causes, dandruff is one of the most common culprits. So, what causes dandruff?

Dandruff itself is caused by the microbe Malassezia globosa. A fungus that is naturally present on everyone’s scalp, its natural processes encourage skin shedding – visible as dandruff flakes – and an itchy scalp.

But there are certain habits that can send your itchy scalp into overdrive. Here’s what could be behind your need to scratch…

1. Wearing a hat

So, can wearing a hat cause dandruff? Sorry to break it to you, but if you’re suffering from an itchy scalp it may be time to give the headwear a rest. When you wear something on your head, you create a warm and humid micro-climate – the perfect setting for the dandruff-causing microbe Malassezia globosa to thrive. The result? Flare ups or a worsening of existing dandruff symptoms. There is good news though, using a dandruff shampoo regularly will protect your scalp from the dandruff-causing microbe, so you don’t have to totally break up with your hat collection. 

2. Being stuck inside

Air conditioning in the summer and central heating in the winter both suck moisture from the air, and this dry environment can aggravate an already sensitive scalp. So, add air-conditioning and heating to dry, itchy scalp causes. Washing your hair with Head & Shoulders’ Itchy Scalp Shampoo not only helps to clear up flakes but moisturizes your scalp so drying factors like air conditioning, central heating and heat styling don’t trigger itchiness.

4. Heat and pollution

Every day, your scalp is exposed to all sorts of external factors which can cause irritation, such as pollution, UV rays and heat. So, if you’re wondering what causes dandruff, the answer is all of the above. Make sure to keep using an anti-dandruff shampoo, even when you don’t seem to be suffering from flakes, as it will protect your scalp and help to prevent symptoms from coming back.

5. Going to bed with wet hair

If you leave your hair wet at bedtime, you’re creating the ideal damp, warm environment for Malassezia globosa to thrive which is what causes dandruff. This one is a nice easy issue to fix; always dry your hair before hitting the hay for the night – ideally on a low setting to protect your scalp.

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