Does Dandruff Cause Hair Loss?

Your favorite black shirt is always a good choice — unless, of course, you're struggling with dandruff. Then, your favorite black shirt is just going to blow up your spot. While little white flakes on your shoulders can feel a bit embarrassing, we're here to tell you that dandruff is a very common and treatable condition with no terribly dire side effects.

If you are affected by both dandruff and hair loss, however, you may be wondering if dandruff is the cause of your thinning locks. According to Healthline, in most cases, dandruff will not directly cause your hair to fall out. That being said, dandruff is still itchy, and if that itchiness leads to scratching, that scratching can lead to damaged hair follicles. This can, in fact, cause temporary hair loss.

Now, don't freak out! You're not going to go bald from scratching your itchy scalp, but if you want to avoid inflammation and its nefarious side effects, here are some easy steps you can take.

Preventing hair loss associated with dandruff

Figuring out the cause of your dandruff is the first step in learning to treat it. Make an appointment with your doctor or dermatologist and let them take a closer look. They will be able to tell you if your dandruff problem is due to dryness from washing too little or too much, fungal infections, a skin condition like dermatitis. A product you're using might be drying out your scalp without you realizing it. Dermatologist Dr. Michele Green explained to WebMD that if you're already treating your hair loss with medication like minoxidil, you could be contributing to your dandruff issue. The alcohol in the medication can become extremely drying if used for an extended period of time.

Once you figure out the cause of your dandruff, there are many safe ways to go about treating it. The American Academy of Dermatology Association notes that medicated shampoos and scalp treatments are the most effective course of action. There is a wide range of options with different active ingredients. Use the product as directed on the bottle, and if you don't see improvement, try an alternative with a different active ingredient.

Keeping your scalp healthy and your hair intact

According to the Mayo Clinic, you might want to consider making a few lifestyle changes to help ease dandruff and promote healthy hair growth. First, try to maintain a healthy diet. A diet rich in zinc, B vitamins, and healthy fats has been linked to the management of dandruff.

Next, adopt a reasonable haircare routine. Adding to your new shampooing schedule, you might also try moisturizing your scalp and stimulating hair follicles with a massage and plant-enhanced oils. Tea tree, bergamot, thyme, and lemon balm are all helpful in maintaining balance for healthy hair.

Finally, try to take it easy with the products. Adverse reactions to different products may have a drying effect. Conversely, a buildup of product on the scalp may cause oiliness that can worsen dandruff symptoms as well.

While dandruff doesn't necessarily cause hair loss, all of that scratching may contribute. Follow these steps in treating your scalp with care, and you shouldn't have to worry about a little dandruff leading to a lot more stress.