Women's Health

Itchy & Scratchy

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SCALP

THE USUAL SUSPECTS

Flaky, itchy dandruff, bane of half the population, has three main causes: an oily scalp (not a dry one), a buildup of dead skin or styling products, or a yeast-like fungus called malassezia. Vigorously massaging shampoo into your scalp (not just into your hair) may lift product buildup, but if flaking persists, use shampoo containing zinc or salicylic acid, which treat fungus, buildup, and oil; try Head & Shoulders Classic Clean Shampoo ($7, at drugstores). Still itching after a few weeks? You may need to visit your derm to see if something else is going on.

HIDDEN CULPRITS

Ingredients in some hair products can prompt an allergic reaction, says Maria Hordinsky, M.D., professor and chair of

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