Hmmmmm? Does Dandruff Cause Hair Loss? {Let’s See…}

Those with dandruff have noticed some extra shedding of hair and many people are concerned that having dandruff can actually lead to temporary or permanent hair loss. Though they can be related, dandruff itself doesn’t actually cause hair loss, and the following will explain why:

What is Dandruff?

The medical experts at C-Health call dandruff a chronic skin condition that affects the scalp. It occurs when it becomes dry or oily. Flaky white skin is then produced, which can fall from your hair and deposit on your shoulders and clothing. Though it can be embarrassing, it is harmless. There are a few causes for dandruff. Dry skin is the most common. If you have sensitive skin, hair products can also cause flaking. There are some skin conditions that can also lead to dandruff, such as psoriasis, eczema, or seborrheic dermatitis. Even stress can lead to dandruff.

Itchy DandruffThose dealing with dry or irritated skin usually have the flakes of dead skin that are visible in your hair or clothing and may also experience itching, redness, and possibly a scaly scalp. For those with Psoriasis, the flaking will be more silver than white and look like scales rather than flakes. This condition affects other areas of the body as well, including the ears, the soles of your feet, the chest, the back, the arms, and the legs.

Seborrheic dermatitis begins with either a dry or greasy scalp and includes itching as well. When the skin cells on the scalp die, they become more yellow in color instead of white like normal dandruff. Like psoriasis, it can also appear on other areas of your body.

How are Dandruff and Hair Loss Related?

Dandruff does not cause hair loss by itself. It is the way you deal with your dandruff that can actually make it seem as though it is causing the extra strands you are finding in your shower or filling your brush or comb, according to the creators of a popular dandruff shampoo.

The reason dandruff and hair loss are related is due to the symptoms of dandruff. This includes irritating itchiness. When you are itchy, you rub and scratch the affected area. This can damage the hair follicles and weaken your hair, which can lead to hair loss.

This loss can continue and become permanent if not dealt with as soon as possible. That’s why it is important to deal with the symptoms of dandruff by using the proper shampoo to keep the hair loss temporary and eventually to halt it altogether.

      What NOT to do When Dealing With Dandruff and Hair Loss

      Hair LossBecause the sight of extra hair in the shower drain can cause panic for those suffering from dandruff, they make the mistake of assuming that washing their hair is contributing to the problem and stop doing it. This is the wrong reaction, says Dr. Michele Green.

      The reason halting your daily shampooing is wrong is because clearing up dandruff requires consistent washing to wash away the oily buildup and flaky dead cells that are accumulating. Dr. Jeffrey Benabio, another dermatologist, agrees stating that discontinuing your regular shampooing does not stop the hair from falling out. Instead, you will see a great deal of hair in the drain when you do wash your hair again, rather than a little bit every day.

      That’s why you need to keep washing your hair every day or two using a shampoo that is designed to clear up the dandruff and its symptoms and reduce your hair loss to the normal levels everyone experiences each day. It is also a good idea to reduce the use of hair products because these can actually cause more oily buildup, making your dandruff worse.

      For more information on what to do when flaking occurs and hair loss becomes apparent, check out this video by Dr. Swetha Sunny Paul.

      A Few Tips for Clearing up Dandruff and Reducing Hair Loss

      Shampoo for DandruffThere are a few things you can do to help to clear up your dandruff and in doing so, reduce any excessive hair loss you are experiencing, according to medical professionals at the Mayo Clinic and a few other medical centers. The first step for dealing with dandruff is to find the right shampoo. There are many brands available over-the-counter. These contain ingredients such as tar, ketoconazole, zinc pyrithione, selenium sulfide, or salicylic acid.

      These medicated shampoos should be used every day until the dandruff is no longer visible and your symptoms have improved. Then you can reduce the use to every few days, alternating with your regular shampoo, to ensure the dandruff and its symptoms do not return. If the OTC shampoos are not helping to clear up the dandruff and excessive hair loss has become noticeable, speak to your doctor about a prescription-strength shampoo to combat the problem.

      Using a few drops of tea tree oil in your regular shampoo can also help to cure your dandruff thanks to the antibiotic, antiseptic, and antifungal properties it contains. This is especially helpful if your dandruff is caused by a fungal infection. Even a simple scalp massage while you are in the shower can help to loosen up the flaky skin so it can be washed away with your shampoo. You need to be gentle, so you don’t damage the hair follicles and promote further hair loss.

      Eating healthy and reducing your stress levels are also necessary to help reduce your dandruff and hair loss. Omega-3 fatty acids, B-vitamins, and zinc are all necessary for a healthy scalp while high stress can actually make your dandruff troubles and hair loss even worse.


      While not everyone suffers from chronic dandruff, many people will suffer from it at some point depending on certain conditions. By following these simple tips, you should not only rid yourself of the embarrassment of a flaky scalp, but you will keep the thick, luxurious hair you love on your head, rather than in your drain.

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