Dandruff and its connection to hair loss

Hair loss (alope­cia) and dan­druff are two of the most com­mon scalp prob­lems Dandruff is caused by a fungal infection of the scalp affect­ing men and women. Peo­ple who suf­fer from both con­di­tions simul­ta­ne­ously may won­der whether one con­di­tion can lead to the other, in par­tic­u­lar, whether severe dan­druff can be the cause of hair loss.

To under­stand this, we need to first under­stand dan­druff, its causes and its effects.

Dan­druff is a con­di­tion caused by an over-accumulation of dead cells that are dying off at a faster rate than nor­mal. This cre­ates a flaky, itchy scalp. Under nor­mal con­di­tions, skin cells die off grad­u­ally and are replaced by new cells over a period of sev­eral weeks. When the skin cells on the scalp are renewed, the old ones are pushed to the sur­face and out of the scalp. Fol­low­ing a bac­te­r­ial or fun­gal infec­tion or other fac­tors that irri­tate the scalp, this process can be sped up, result­ing in the famil­iar flak­ing skin we know as dandruff.

Alope­cia (hair loss) on the other hand, can be caused by genes, hor­monal fac­tors, emo­tional stress or con­sis­tent hair pulling over time (trac­tion alope­cia). Dan­druff in itself can­not cause hair loss, but there are sev­eral ways in which it can aggra­vate it or make it worse.

The effect of scratching

Tests have shown that even a rel­a­tively small amount of scratch­ing, if repeated on a reg­u­lar basis, can neg­a­tively affect the fol­li­cles and result in inflam­ma­tion of the scalp. Inflam­ma­tion can aggra­vate and stop healthy hair growth and thus con­tribute to hair loss and thinning.

Clogged pores and dam­aged follicles

Dan­druff is a build-up of exces­sive dead cells on the scalp, and this build up can badly affect fol­li­cles already suf­fer­ing from trac­tion alope­cia or another kind of hair loss. Fol­li­cles affected by the trac­tion alope­cia in par­tic­u­lar are trau­ma­tised and often remain in the dor­mant phase of growth, thus fail­ing to pro­duce new hairs once the old hairs have been shed. As dan­druff can be a sign of an oily scalp, it can also be an indi­ca­tion that the fol­li­cles are being clogged with exces­sive sebum, which can also have the same dam­ag­ing effect on fol­li­cles in the dor­mant phase.

A very com­mon mis­con­cep­tion about dan­druff is that it is caused by the scalp Nizoral shampoo for hair lossbeing too dry. Peo­ple who believe this, tend to either rub oils into their scalps, wash their hair less fre­quently, or stop using sham­poo alto­gether, believ­ing that wash­ing will strip the scalp of fur­ther moisture.

This is sim­ply a myth, as dan­druff dif­fers from a dry scalp in that it gets bet­ter when the hair and scalp are sham­pooed more fre­quently with the right sham­poo like Nizo­ral sham­poo which can min­i­mize any scalp inflammation.

Treat­ment options

There are many hair loss treat­ments on the mar­ket today that also tar­get dan­druff, such as Alpecin Dou­ble Effect Sham­poo and dan­druff sham­poos like Alpecin Shampoo for hair lossNizo­ral. They are also said to slow down the rate of hair loss by reduc­ing inflam­ma­tion of the scalp. Dan­druff suf­fer­ers should use one of these sham­poos sev­eral times a week.

Many herbal treat­ments, like Neem oil, which treat dan­druff by clear­ing infec­tions and remov­ing excess dead cells, also act by directly stim­u­lat­ing the hair fol­li­cles and scalp, which can actu­ally increase the rate of hair growth.

Med­ical stud­ies have shown that diets con­sist­ing of high amounts of salt, sugar or spices, and accom­pa­nied by exces­sive alco­hol, may make dan­druff worse.

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