can dandruff cause hair loss
By Tamim Hamid Posted on 01/19/2022

Link Between Dandruff and Hair Loss: Causes & Treatments

Dandruff isn’t just pesky white flakes that you notice on your hair. It’s often associated with concerns about hair loss. In this blog, we will explore the question, "Can dandruff cause hair loss?" and provide insights into the relationship between these two conditions. Also, we'll look at the effective ways to manage and prevent these issues.

Dandruff, characterized by the shedding of dead skin cells from the scalp, isn’t solely a hygiene-related problem; it indicates an imbalanced scalp. The correlation between dandruff and hair loss is significant, necessitating a comprehensive approach to tackle both issues for a healthier scalp and better hair.

Understanding the Link Between Dandruff and Hair Loss

Dandruff isn’t a one-size-fits-all condition. It can stem from various causes, including fungal overgrowth, oily skin, sensitivity to hair products, or underlying skin conditions. Understanding the underlying cause is crucial for effective treatment. It can manifest as dry flakes or as a more severe form characterized by red, scaly, and itchy scalp patches.

So, the main question here is, does dandruff cause hair loss?

The relationship between dandruff and hair loss is complex. Dandruff doesn't directly cause hair loss, but it can indirectly contribute to hair fall. When dandruff is severe and left untreated, it can lead to scalp inflammation and itching. Persistent dandruff weakens hair follicles, leading to increased hair fall. Additionally, continuous scratching of the scalp to relieve itching caused by dandruff can damage hair strands, leading to hair loss. The primary issue with dandruff lies in its underlying causes and how they affect scalp health. Here’s how dandruff impacts hair loss:

Inflammation and Irritation 

Dandruff, those white flakes you see on your scalp, can cause inflammation and irritation. When dandruff builds up, it can make your scalp itchy and red. The scalp inflammation can damage and weaken the hair follicles and lead to hair loss slowly.

How scalp inflammation cause hair loss. Find out.

Scratching and Traction

Persistent itching and scratching of the scalp due to dandruff can damage hair follicles and cause hair breakage. Also, aggressive scratching may lead to traction alopecia which is a type of hair loss cause due to excessive tension on the hair.

Underlying Conditions

Dandruff, sometimes is a symptom of an underlying skin condition like seborrheic dermatitis or psoriasis, which can contribute to hair loss. It indirectly affects the scalp's health and hair follicles.

Microbial Factors

Dandruff is often linked with overgrowth of a yeast like fungus called Malassezia. While it’s a normal part of the scalp’s microbiome, an overgrowth might trigger scalp issues, indirectly causing hair problems like thinning and hair loss.

What Causes Dandruff in Your Hair?

Understanding the causes of dandruff can help you to treat dandruff-related hair loss. There are several factors that can contribute to the development of dandruff. Here are some factors responsible:

what causes dandruff in your hair

Seborrheic Dermatitis: This is a common skin condition characterized by irritated, oily skin. It’s one of the leading causes of dandruff. Seborrheic dermatitis occurs where there are a lot of oil glands, such as the scalp. If left untreated, seborrheic dermatitis can contribute to temporary hair loss or thinning.

Malassezia: Malassezia is a type of fungus that naturally lives on the scalp. However, an overgrowth of this fungus can lead to excess oil production and skin cell buildup, resulting in dandruff. The dandruff flakes can clog hair follicles, making it difficult for new hair to grow and hence cause hair fall.

Dry Skin: A dry scalp can become flaky and lead to dandruff, which can also cause hair loss. It is especially common in cold or dry weather when our skin tends to lose moisture. Dryness can weaken the hair follicles, making them more prone to breakage and hair loss.

Not Shampooing Enough: Since infrequent shampooing of your hair can lead to a buildup of oil and dead skin cells on the scalp, it can also lead to dandruff. The buildup makes the perfect environment for dandruff-causing fungi and bacteria to thrive. The excess buildup can clog hair follicles, causing hair fall.

Sensitivity to Hair Products: Some hair products, ingredients in certain shampoos, conditioners, or styling products can irritate the scalp, leading to dandruff in some individuals. It might also trigger an allergic reaction or irritation.

Stress and Diet: Stress and certain dietary factors can also influence the development of dandruff. A diet lacking in certain nutrients or high in unhealthy fats might exacerbate the condition.

Can Dry Scalp Cause Balding?

Typically, a dry scalp doesn’t cause balding. However, it can contribute to hair issues if left unaddressed. A persistently dry scalp can lead to irritation, flaking, and itchy scalp, which may cause discomfort and sometimes excessive scratching. The constant scratching and irritation can damage hair follicles and potentially lead to hair breakage or hair loss. However, this is not typically a direct cause of balding. 

It's important to differentiate between a dry scalp and other conditions like seborrheic dermatitis or psoriasis, which can cause both dryness and increased hair shedding due to the underlying inflammation. These conditions can potentially lead to temporary hair loss if they are left untreated and ignored. But they don't usually cause permanent baldness.

Learn how you can stop hair shedding with our comprehensive guide.

How Do You Regain Hair Loss Due to Dandruff?

If you want to address hair loss associated with dandruff, it involves a multifaceted approach that focuses on treating the dandruff itself and promoting healthy hair growth. Here are some steps you can take:

how do you regain hair loss due to dandruff?

Use Anti-Dandruff Shampoos: Use shampoos that contain active ingredients like ketoconazole, selenium sulfide, pyrithione zinc, coal tar, or salicylic acid.

Regular Hair Washing: Regularly wash your hair with a mild, anti-dandruff shampoo that will keep the scalp clean and reduce the buildup of oil and dead skin cells that contribute to dandruff & hair loss.

Scalp Care: Massage your scalp gently while shampooing to remove flakes and improve blood circulation. Also avoid scratching or scrubbing vigorously, as it can damage hair follicles.

Hydration and Moisturization: A conditioner or moisturizing treatment specifically formulated for the scalp and healthy hair can help keep the scalp hydrated without making it too oily.

Healthy Diet: Eating disorders can also be the cause of dandruff and hair loss. So, make sure that you are getting all essential nutrients like vitamins (especially B vitamins), minerals (such as zinc and iron), and proteins, which are crucial for healthy hair growth.

Stress Management: Stress can exacerbate dandruff, so managing stress levels through relaxation techniques, exercise, or meditation might help both dandruff and scalp health.

Use Theradome Helmet to Promote Hair Growth

The Theradome helmet is a wearable device designed to treat hair loss, including that caused by conditions like dandruff. It uses low-level laser therapy (LLLT), a non-invasive treatment that’s believed to stimulate hair follicles and promote hair growth.

Using the Theradome helmet or any LLLT device should ideally be part of a comprehensive approach to managing hair loss. Combining it with other treatments like medicated shampoos, scalp care, and a healthy lifestyle might yield better results.

Ready to reclaim your confidence and revitalize your hair? Try Theradome, the cutting-edge solution for hair loss. Experience the power of low-level laser therapy (LLLT) with the Theradome helmet—clinically proven to stimulate hair follicles, reduce shedding, and promote thicker, healthier hair. Take the first step towards fuller, more vibrant hair today! Discover the Theradome difference and start your journey to hair rejuvenation.


Does Dandruff Stop Hair Growth?

Dandruff itself doesn’t directly stop hair growth. However, severe or chronic dandruff can impact your scalp health, potentially affecting hair growth indirectly.

When dandruff is severe, it can lead to scalp inflammation, itching, and irritation. Persistent scratching can damage and weaken hair follicles, affecting the hair growth cycle.

Does hair fall due to dandruff grow back?

Yes, hair that falls out due to dandruff can grow back once the underlying cause is solved. When dandruff is treated and the scalp becomes healthy again, the hair follicles can recover, and new hair growth can occur.

How can I stop dandruff and hair loss?

To stop dandruff and hair loss, you can take several steps. First, use anti-dandruff shampoos with active ingredients. Second, maintain a regular hair-washing routine to keep your scalp clean. Lastly, practice scalp care by gently massaging your scalp and avoiding aggressive scratching, which can damage hair follicles. Additionally, you can try a Laser phototherapy device, Theradome, if the above techniques don't work for you.

What is the main cause of dandruff?

To stop dandruff and hair loss, you can take several steps. First, use anti-dandruff shampoos with active ingredients. Second, maintain a regular hair-washing routine to keep your scalp clean. Lastly, practice scalp care by gently massaging your scalp and avoiding aggressive scratching, which can damage hair follicles. Additionally, if the above techniques don't work, you can try a laser phototherapy device, Theradome, to regrow new hair.

Can dry scalp cause thinning hair?

The main cause of dandruff is an imbalanced scalp, which can result from factors like fungal overgrowth, oily skin, sensitivity to hair products, or underlying skin conditions.


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Tamim Hamid

Tamim Hamid

Inventor and CEO of Theradome

Sayyid Tamim Hamid, Ph.D, is the inventor of the world’s first FDA-cleared, wearable phototherapy device to prevent hair loss and thicken and regrow hair. Tamim, a former biomedical engineer at NASA and the inventor of Theradome, brings with him more than 38 years of expertise in product development, laser technology, and biomedical science. Tamim used his laser knowledge, fine-tuned at NASA, and combined it with his driving passion for helping others pursue a lifelong mission in hair loss and restoration. He is now one of the world’s leading experts.