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WHY DO WE ITCH?

Scalp itch is a really common problem, but it can be really easy to treat. Find out why you itch and how you can treat your itchy scalp.

What causes that itchy sensation?

Many things can cause itching, from irritating insect bites and plants like poison ivy, to clothing fibers and skin issues like dandruff.

It’s thought to be a defense mechanism meant to alert our immune system to dangers such as getting bitten by a mosquito.

The itchy sensation, also called “pruritus,” comes about when receptors on the surface of the skin are triggered.

These receptors then send a signal to the brain via the spinal cord, which then causes you to react.

It’s natural to want to scratch…

Our natural instinct when we feel an itch is to scratch it in an attempt to relieve the discomfort.

Scratching temporarily interrupts the “itch” signal going to the brain, which then reduces the itching sensation. Some scientists believe that the purpose of scratching is to help your body trigger an immune response to fight off invaders.

…But scratching can damage your hair and skin

However, giving into temptation and scratching that annoying itch can damage the skin barrier, sometimes leading to further itching.

Scratching your scalp can also permanently damage your hair by stripping away its protective outer cuticle.

Dandruff is one of the most common causes of scalp itch. This is because about half of the population is irritated by oleic acid that is produced by Malassezia globosa (a naturally occurring microbe on the scalp). This irritation does two things:

  1. makes you itch

  2. makes your body start to rapidly shed skin cells (as dandruff flakes!)

By tackling the root cause of the itch, you help eliminate the temptation to scratch your head, and avoid causing serious damage to your hair.

How to treat an itchy scalp

So get rid of that itch and take care of your hair and scalp by using Head & Shoulders Itchy Scalp Care Shampoo every time you wash your hair.

The formula with eucalyptus relieves scalp itch¹ and provides long-lasting protection against dandruff and itchy scalp.

You could also try Instant Relief 2-in-1 for an immediate cooling sensation that calms scalp itch and gives you a revitalizing feeling of relief. Read more about itchy scalp and get more tips and advice from the experts on itchy scalp and itchy, dry, & sensitive scalp.

¹ caused by dandruff