Dandruff and hair loss are two different things that can affect your hair and take a toll on your self-esteem. But is there a connection between the two? Can curing one affliction take care of the other? Here is what you need to know about dandruff and hair loss and how the two are related.
Dandruff and Hair Loss – Is there a Connection?
7 Min Read
Get hair, health, and science news delivered right to your inbox.
Dandruff can be Controlled
If you see white flakes on your shoulders, and it’s not snowing, it means your scalp has problems. That dandruff falling from your head needs attention and care. There is no way to cure dandruff; it can come back from time to time, depending upon changes in weather and other factors. But the good news is that it can be controlled.
What Causes Dandruff?
Many dermatologists believe that dandruff is caused by a yeast fungus called Pityrosporum Ovale. These one-celled organisms love to breed in fatty acids, and an oily scalp offers the perfect breeding ground for them. When your scalp is oily, they breed faster and multiply quickly, contributing to the rapid skin cycle and scaling. Paradoxically, having a scalp that is too dry can also cause dandruff.
What Factors Contribute to the Formation of Dandruff?
Many factors contribute to the presence of dandruff: age, gender, diet, health issues, hair care routines, and even the weather.
Is Dandruff Related to Hair Loss?
While dandruff does not directly cause hair loss, the itchiness it causes makes people lose hair. When a person’s scalp feels itchy, they tend to scratch it. This constant rubbing of the scalp and hair causes friction, which in turn can result in hair to fall out or thin. The same problems that cause thinning hair are not those that also cause dandruff; dandruff is a problem related to your scalp.
There have been recent studies revealing that hair thinning is affected by dandruff and more specifically the type caused by the skin disease Seborrheic Dermatitis. One such study from 2002 showed that a group of 150 men who used anti-dandruff shampoo for 6 months did not only see their dandruff disappear but also their hair shedding decrease. Although more males than females suffer from dandruff, factors like depression, eating disorders, and other medical conditions can trigger the formation of dandruff.
How to Control Dandruff
Many hair loss medications can cause dandruff because of their alcohol content. The alcohol can dry out your scalp, which causes dandruff to set in. An easy way to control dandruff is to shampoo often with a dandruff shampoo, or even natural treatments like oils that moisturize your scalp.
Ancient civilizations have long used natural remedies like coconut oil, olive oil, tea tree oil and others to keep their hair thicker and healthier. This is a practice that shows results when you look at Indian women in particular.
If you’re trying to find a remedy for dandruff, there are also shampoos available in drug stores that have Zinc Pyrithione, which fights the bacteria and fungus; Ketoconazole which is an ingredient used to target fungus; and Coal Tar and Selenium Sulfide that reduce the growth of and the death of your scalp’s skin cells. Finally, Salicylic Acid is another ingredient that many dandruff shampoos contain that helps wash away dead skin cells.
Dandruff and Hair Loss
Hair loss is a problem that affects a lot of people, but even if you have dandruff and are experiencing hair thinning or hair loss from your excess skin shedding, it is possible to have your hair grow back. Give yourself time and solve the problems impacting your scalp. It may not grow back as thick as it was before, but eliminating dandruff caused by factors like depression or a medical condition will go a long way in controlling hair loss.