Does Dandruff Cause Hair Loss?

June 1st, 2020

Dandruff is a common skin problem that can happen to the best of us. Many guys will experience dandruff at least once in their lifetime. It usually hits after puberty and remains dormant on and off, especially throughout your 30s and 40s. However, many guys can experience persistent dandruff at any age which may indirectly lead to hair loss. 

Whatever the case may be, you might be wondering how dandruff can cause hair loss. You might notice hair thinning after you’ve been itching your head for days on end. While that’s to be expected, it’s usually not the full picture of what’s actually causing increased hair fall. 

Read on to find out what the deal is with dandruff and hair loss. 

What causes dandruff?

Dandruff is primarily observed as skin flakes on the scalp. It’s also accompanied by an itchy, crusty scalp, which may be more severe depending on other factors like stress and environmental conditions. However, since dandruff can affect people differently, the cause of flare ups is often dictated by your body’s skin processes. 

One of the primary causes of dandruff is seborrheic dermatitis, an inflammatory skin condition that presents as irritated, itchy, and oily skin patches. While this condition can also occur on your eyebrows and chest hair, seborrheic dermatitis usually occurs on the scalp. 

The exact cause of seborrheic dermatitis is not entirely understood, although the amount of sebum (oil) produced on your scalp can play a role. A certain type of microscopic fungus called Malassezia can also influence the severity of dandruff. Malassezia—a yeastlike fungus that’s part of your scalp’s natural microbiota—can feed on scalp sebum and cause increased irritation or excess skin cell growth.  

Other possible causes of dandruff include:

  • Not washing your hair with shampoo on a regular basis
  • Hot, dry weather conditions
  • Allergic reactions or sensitivity to shampoo or hair products (contact dermatitis)
  • Dry skin
  • Irritated skin
  • Other skin conditions like psoriasis and eczema 

How can dandruff cause hair loss?

Dandruff does not directly cause hair loss. Instead, it’s the itching associated with dandruff that can cause hair loss. If you constantly scratch your scalp, you can end up damaging the hair follicles. This can eventually lead to hair follicles dying off, resulting in hair loss.

While this type of hair loss is usually temporary, hair loss from dandruff can worsen as a result of other causes, such as male pattern baldness or a sensitive scalp. If you have dandruff, you may find yourself experiencing hair loss at an accelerated rate. Therefore, even though dandruff is not a direct cause of thinning hair, it’s important to take care of it to prevent hair loss and scalp damage. Scratching the scalp can also increase the risk of infection, which can compound the problem. 

How can you get rid of dandruff?

Some cases of dandruff are mild and can be treated with an over-the-counter shampoo. It’s best to see a dermatologist if you are experiencing dandruff, especially if it’s causing some degree of hair loss. They may prescribe you a more potent shampoo depending on the cause.

Other ways to prevent dandruff include:

  • Shampoo your hair more often. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, Caucasian and Asian people should wash their hair daily. African Americans should wash their hair on a weekly basis.
  • Don’t scratch. Try not to irritate your scalp by scratching it. This can worsen dandruff and increase the risk of temporary hair loss.
  • Avoid hair products you may be sensitive to. If you experience irritation after using a particular shampoo, gel, or pomade, it’s best to shelve it and stop using it. These hair products may irritate the skin and worsen dandruff. 

Bottom Line

If you experience dandruff, just know you’re not the only one. Dandruff affects around 55% of young people and adults worldwide. 

Whether you’re losing your hair from dandruff, male pattern baldness, or other causes, you have many options at your disposal. The number one priority should be to prevent and treat the source of the problem. However, if you’re already destined to lose your hair from male pattern baldness, you also have the option of scalp micropigmentation to conceal any signs of hair loss

At Scalp Micro USA, you can join the hundreds of guys who’ve undergone scalp micropigmentation to recreate their hairline and the appearance of thicker hair. If you’ve received a hair transplant, scalp micropigmentation can also help cover any scars left over from the procedure. Of course, dandruff should be dealt with prior to getting scalp micropigmentation.

Schedule a consultation to see how scalp micropigmentation may be an option for you. 

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