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When you get a dry, itchy scalp, your first reaction is probably to wonder why it happened. Understanding the cause will lead you to the right solution. So, how do you know if it’s dandruff?

Let’s start with some easy identifiers. There are a number of ways to single out dandruff as the cause of scalp itch, but we’ll focus on the two big ones.

Signs you need anti-dandruff shampoo

If you find you’re nodding your head to either of the below, Head & Shoulders Dry Scalp Shampoo will be your best friend - if removing dandruff is something your best friend was willing to do.

Flakes of skin on your scalp. If you part your hair so you can see through to your scalp, you’ll notice flakes of skin sitting on, or close, to your scalp. Sometimes these flakes are trapped in your hair close to the root and can be tricky to pull out.

Your scalp is itchy, red and dry. If notice your scalp is dry and red, you could have dandruff – or at least the early signs of it. Dandruff symptoms, like itch, dryness and scalp redness act as signals that your scalp skin is out of balance or stressed. Eventually, this could lead to dandruff flaking.


Dandruff is the most common cause of scalp flakes, itch, dryness and redness. Roughly 50% of adults and teens will experience dandruff.

Anti-dandruff shampoo is key to restoring scalp balance and preventing a dandruff flare-up. If you think you might have dandruff, try using anti-dandruff shampoo exclusively for two weeks. If your condition does not improve, check with your doctor; you may have a condition that requires a different treatment.

How anti-dandruff shampoo works

Dandruff shampoo protects your scalp from Malassezia globosa, a fungus that lives on everyone’s scalp. When Malassezia globosa breaks down scalp oil, it creates a substance that can irritate the skin. 

When used regularly, the active ingredient in anti-dandruff shampoo helps block those irritants in-between washes, so your scalp can stay balanced and comfortable.

Which anti-dandruff shampoo is right for you?

All our anti-dandruff shampoos are clinically proven to work, containing the same active ingredients that protect your scalp from irritants.

Whatever your hair and scalp needs, you can use our hair and scalp advisor to find the right product for you.

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