The Connection Between Dandruff and Hair Loss
07 / 09 / 19

The Connection Between Dandruff and Hair Loss

When it comes to hair loss, the topic is a sensitive one to discuss. It's normal to shed as many as a hundred strands of hair a day, but it can be concerning when you notice that you're losing more than that. There are several reasons for hair loss, such as hormonal fluctuations and stress. However, many people may not realize that dandruff could also be the culprit of hair loss.

What is Dandruff?

When you think of dandruff, those pesky white specks that show up on your shoulders when you are wearing dark clothes is what comes to mind. While it's true that dandruff does cause flaking, it's little more complicated than just dry skin. The truth is, a fungus or bacteria causes dandruff on the scalp. Dandruff could also be the result of overactive skin cell turnover.

Dandruff and The Hair Loss Connection

Dandruff can lead to hair loss. However, it's often not dandruff itself, causing the loss of hair. The relationship between hair loss and dandruff isn't a direct one. Shedding hair due to dandruff is caused by a few different factors, such as:

  • Irritation of the scalp
  • Hair follicle blockage
  • Damage to the scalp from excessive scratching

People tend to scratch their scalp even more than they realize when they have dandruff. The constant scratching causes the skin on the scalp to become inflamed and irritated. The irritation can cause hair to shed more than usual.

Excessively scratching an itchy scalp because of dandruff can also damage the hair follicle and cause temporary hair loss. Picking at the scalp can introduce bacteria to the hair follicle and cause a condition known as folliculitis. Folliculitis on the scalp can look like acne and will often cause hair in the affected area to fall out.

When there is dandruff present on the scalp, it can clog the hair follicle, making it difficult for hair to grow. As your hair naturally sheds, new hair should replace it but the blocked follicles, your hair may not be able to keep up the growth to loss ratio and hair loss may be experienced.


Thankfully, while dandruff is a nuisance, it's easily managed and can be treated a variety of different ways.

  • Shampoo. Often people that experience hair loss due to dandruff will tend to avoid shampooing consistently. However, regularly cleansing the scalp is essential to reducing the amount of dandruff build up on the scalp. Hair should be washed at least every other day to lessen the amount of dandruff on the scalp to reduce the itching and prevent clogged hair follicles
  • Medicated shampoo. A medicated shampoo contains ingredients like ketoconazole, zinc, tar, or salicylic acid which helps to reduce dandruff on the scalp by either targeting fungus or reducing the shedding of cells, both of which cause dandruff. Many medicated dandruff shampoos are available for purchase over the counter.
  • Dermatologist. Sometimes shampooing regularly, even with medicated shampoos won't do the trick. That's when it's time for a professional to step in. A dermatologist might prescribe a stronger dandruff shampoo, or a topical treatment like a topical corticoid to relieve the redness and swelling and reduce the itch.
  • Capilia Head First. You may also want to look into trichology treatments with a product like Capilia Head First, which focuses on hair loss prevention. Capilia Head First is a line of products that are biodegradable and compatible with all skin and hair types. These hair loss prevention products are mixed, especially for you after your scalp has been carefully examined with a micro-camera by a Capilia Head First specialist. After your scalp is assessed your Capilia Head First specialist will create a hair loss prevention regimen plan just for you, that may include treatment in the salon, products you use at home, and laser therapy for your scalp.

If you're experiencing hair loss due to dandruff, don't fret. There are lots of treatment options available to you. LH Hair is Capilia Head First Hair certified treatment center.

Contact us to schedule an appointment for a free hair and scalp exam. Our mission is to help our clients feel good about the way their hair looks.