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Can Dandruff Cause Hair Loss?

Dandruff is a common chronic scalp condition. Just because you’ve got it, it doesn’t mean you’re going to suddenly start losing your hair.

But, dandruff can cause you to start rubbing your head vigorously. That’s when questions about whether dandruff can cause hair loss to start to arise…

What is Dandruff?

Dandruff is a bit of a weird name for what are simply excess flakes of superficial skin. They are regularly found on the scalp of sufferers between the hairs and, in worse cases, on the shoulders after being dislodged from the head.

While annoying and occasionally upsetting, dandruff is in no way contagious and rarely means anything worse for you than that you need to change a few things in your life or the way you care for your scalp.

What Is Dandruff Caused By?

Dandruff can be caused by a number of different things which cause drying of the scalp. These can include:

  • Hormonal changes
  • Fungal infections
  • Any broader illness

More rarely, it can also be a symptom of an underlying condition such as scalp psoriasis.
It is not generally a serious condition if steps are taken to remedy it. But it can lead to excess itching which can be a problem for your hair as well as your comfort levels.

How Do I Get Rid of Dandruff?

Usually, all you need to do to get rid of dandruff is make some small changes to your diet, lifestyle and undertake some proper scalp care.
Should you be experiencing dandruff, it’s worth checking to see if the following steps will alleviate your symptoms:

  1. Start with Shop-Bought Medicated Shampoo
  2. This easy solution should always be your first step when dealing with a flaky scalp. A medicated anti-dandruff shampoo should contain at least one of the following active ingredients:

    1. Zinc pyrithione
    2. Salicylic acid
    3. Selenium sulphide
    4. Ketoconazole
    5. Tar (though this can cause discolouration in lighter hair so do be careful)

    Simply use your shampoo daily until symptoms desist. Then start using it a couple of times a week.

  3. Consider Changing Your Diet and Lifestyle
  4. Possibly in combination with the above, try to take any action you can to reduce stress in your life. Stress prevention and management techniques are good to have in your corner anyway. But stress has been known to worsen dandruff you already suffer from and even trigger it in some cases. If you don’t effectively manage yours, it’s time to start doing so.

    As far as your diet, ensure that you are eating a good amount of:

    • B-vitamins
    • Zinc
    • Omega-3 fatty acids
  5. Move up to Prescription Strength Shampoo or Steroid
  6. This slightly more hardcore solution is where you should head next if over-the-counter remedies don’t work.

    If the symptoms still persist, this is the sort of time it’s worth consulting your doctor.

So, Can Dandruff Cause Hair Loss?

No, not directly. But that vigorous scratching which it can be known to prompt can. All the research undertaken on the subject seems to show that that’s the dandruff hair loss link.

Scratching can weaken your roots. That causes your hair to fall out. And it’s all too easy to do with something as literally irritating as dandruff.

So when those white flecks start appearing, it’s time to take action.

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