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Dandruff is easily treated with the right shampoo, although the symptoms can be similar to other problems like a sunburnt scalp –here’s how to spot dandruff.

How to tell if you have dandruff

There are a few signs that you could be experiencing dandruff. These are:

  • flakes

  • redness

  • itchy scalp

While dandruff is common, with 1 in 2 people experiencing it in their lifetime at some point, similar symptoms may point to something different.


Head lice

Head lice symptoms are similar to dandruff; you may experience an itchy scalp that leads to scratching. Eggs, called “nits,” cling to the hair shafts. These resemble small grains of sand that can be mistaken for dandruff flakes.

How to tell the difference between dandruff and nits:

  • dandruff will fall off the scalp and hair as flakes

  • nits cling to the hair firmly

  • nits have a specific teardrop shape

  • dandruff skin flakes can be found on scalp (where they form) AND hair

  • nits will be found only on hair fibers

Lice and nits can only be treated with manual combing and removal after washing your hair with anti-lice shampoo.

Sunburnt scalp

A sunburnt scalp shares some symptoms with dandruff including redness, irritation and itchiness. If you continually use hair dryers orother heat stylers, you may experience a burn on your scalp, which can cause these too.

How to tell the difference between dandruff and sunburnt scalp:

  • Sunburn flaking is concentrated where your scalp was exposed to sun: your part line or places where your hair is thin.

  • Dandruff flaking can occur anywhere on scalp, but especially in areas less exposed to sun.

A way to check your own hair for dandruff flakes is to part your hair near your temple (just above your ear).

The color of the flakes may also give you a clue; skin that’s peeling from sunburn is white, whereas dandruff flakes may be white or yellowish.

A sunburnt scalp needs to be treated with cooling aloe. You should refrain from using heat stylers until your scalp is completely healed.

Even then, try to limit their use as they can contribute to a dry scalp, damaging your scalp’s natural moisture defenses.

Product build-up

The frequent use of styling products can cause a build-up on your hair that may also resemble dandruff. Styling products also make your hair look greasy and, if you have a sensitive scalp, the build-up may cause irritation and redness.

How to treat dandruff

If you do have dandruff, the only way to treat it is with the right shampoo.

Use our Smooth & Silky Shampoo for smooth, clean-looking hair. It removes build-up and helps prevent dandruff.

The pH-balanced formula is gentle on hair and ideal for everyday use, even on color-treated hair.

Refresh Shampoo For Men, meanwhile, cools the scalp with mint extract while leaving the hair refreshed and dandruff-free.¹

More on the symptoms of dandruff


More tips and advice from the experts:

¹ visible flakes with regular use

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