What is Dandruff and Do Dandruff Cause Hair Loss?
Dandruff ( seborrhea) is a sign that the skin of the scalp is peeling off (exfoliating). It is perfectly normal for the skin to exfoliate. The problem arises when the amount of dandruff becomes an eyesore. There are basically two reasons for this. Too much production or not effective removal. In the too much production category are inflammatory diseases of the scalp. In the ineffective removal category is inadequate scalp hygienic efforts.
Although it is harmless, dandruff can be embarrassing for those who have it. Dandruff usually starts between the ages of 10 and 20 and affects up to 40% of people over the age of 30.
Causes of Dandruff and Will Dandruff Cause Hair Loss at Last?
Dandruff can be caused by a number of things, including dry skin; sensitivity to hair products; and skin conditions such as seborrheic dermatitis or eczema.
The overgrowth of a yeast-like fungus can also cause dandruff. This overgrowth can be caused by stress, hormones, too much oil on the scalp, or problems with the immune system.
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How does Dandruff Cause Hair Loss?
There is an indirect relation to hair fall with dandruff and dandruff affect the health of the hair. There is one survey done during a study which quotes that “In two days survey, 100-300 hairs were shed among Dandruff Sufferers, instead of just 50-100 hairs in normal subjects (Indian Journal of Dermatology, Mr. S. Ranganathan & Mr. T Mukhopadhyay). The study also quoted that the presence of dandruff may precede telogen effluvium (hair loss in women) and may also exacerbate androgenetic alopecia (male pattern hair loss).”
- Increased Scratching: Itching is also one primary manifestation of dandruff. Yes, when you scratch, it does give you temporary relief, but you could be inadvertently doing actual physical damage to the scalp and hair. It could damage hair follicles, break roots and further irritate your scalp, leading to hair loss or breakage. This is what some experts call as ‘mechanical hair loss’ from the continued trauma to the hair and follicles, from itching, and is one of the primary causes. Itching due to Dandruff can cause Hair loss for sure!
- Weaker Hair Roots: Irritation and Inflammation are one of the primary outcomes of having dandruff (or in severe cases called Seborrheic Dermatitis). When this occurs, hair clearly gets weakened from the roots, resulting in hair loss.
- Unhealthy Scalp: Most experts agree that for you to have healthy hair, it’s very important to have a healthy scalp. If you are having Dandruff, then clearly it is a sign of an unhealthy scalp. This scalp could lead to unhealthy hair that is more prone to fall and breakage. Moreover, unhealthy Scalp can cause dryness and dryness is the major cause of Dandruff which can cause hair loss!
So, yes, though Dandruff will cause hair loss indirectly, there seems to be a very strong connection!
Treating dandruff will clearly help in limiting your hair loss. Itching is probably the first thing that you should address right away. Avoid scratching your hair.
To help keep dandruff under control, shampoo frequently, reduce your stress levels, try reducing or stopping your use of hair products (e.g., gels and sprays), and eat a healthy diet.