Skip to content



If you see flakes on your scalp or on your clothes, it might not be dandruff! That’s right, there could be more to your skin shedding than meets the eye. So, what’s causing that flaky scalp?

Flakes on your scalp can appear as a result of skin conditions, like dandruff, or as a result of environmental factors that have dried or irritated your scalp. Just like the skin on the rest of your body can appear flaky when it’s dry, your scalp reacts the same. Because, after all, your scalp is skin.

Why flakes appear on your scalp

Let’s look at some of the reasons flakes might appear on your scalp:

  • Dandruff. This is caused by a naturally occurring fungus that lives on our scalp. Yep, everyone has scalp fungus! But 1 in 2 people are sensitive to the oils this fungus produces. Our skin’s sensitivity to these oils causes excessive skin shedding – flakes - and irritation.

  • Dry skin. Just like the skin on the rest of your body, when your scalp’s dry it will flake and sometimes itch. 

  • Sunburn. If you were recently exposed to the sun without protection, you might be experiencing flaking as your skin sheds burnt layers.

  • Scalp conditions. Dandruff isn’t the only scalp condition which can cause dryness, flaking and irritation. There are more severe conditions, like psoriasis – a rarer genetic condition – that have similar symptoms. If you’ve already tried washing regularly with Head & Shoulders anti-dandruff shampoo with little results, see your doctor or dermatologist.

What causes flaking?

Most causes of flaking mentioned above can be treated with a moisturising scalp care shampoo and conditioner. Just like you’d reach for a moisturizer to take care of any dry skin on your body, a moisturizing scalp care shampoo can help you with dry skin on the scalp.

Swap out your normal products for Head & Shoulders Dry Scalp Care Shampoo. They don’t just treat flakes, but also help your scalp to become healthier and more moisturized.

If you’ve over exposed your scalp to sun, treat your scalp gently until your skin has fully healed and is no longer red and sore.

A topical pain-relieving gel may help bring you some relief outside the shower, and you can try a moisturizing shampoo and conditioner duo to help restore moisture and support a healthy scalp.

And, just like for the rest of your body, remember to apply sunscreen to your part line next time you’re in the sun. Also avoid UV damage by wearing a hat for protection.

Cookie Preference