Does Dandruff Create Hair Loss?


Hair loss is a common concern of many people whether it is temporary or permanent hair loss. Hair loss can be caused by many factors from environmental causes to illness. One cause of temporary hair loss is dandruff; however dandruff and hair loss can be side effects of other underlying scalp conditions.

Hair Growth

Hair growth consists of three stages whose duration within the hair growth cycle vary and depend largely on a person’s genetics. The Anagen stage is the stage when the hair grows and is the longest stage of the growth cycle. The Catagen stage is the resting period for the hair when hair growth stops for a short period of time. The Telogen stage is the shedding or falling out stage when the old hair strand falls out of the follicle so new hair can begin growing when the Anagen stage starts again.

Hair Loss

Permanent hair loss occurs when the Anagen stage of the hair growth cycle does not occur after the Telogen stage has ended. Since each hair follicle experiences each stage at different periods in time, it is often noticed that a person is “balding” rather than seeing all of his fall out at once. Temporary hair loss is typically the result when something hinders growth during the hair growth cycle. Dandruff can be a hindrance to hair growth causing temporary hair loss.


Very rarely dandruff is caused by a dry scalp since the flakes from dry scalp are very thin and are able to be washed with a moisturizing shampoo. The type of dandruff that can cause temporary hair is the thick crusty type that tends to be either white or yellowish in color. Dandruff typically is the result of either a very oily scalp or a fungal infection of the scalp. Regardless of the cause, if dandruff is not managed, it can accumulate on the scalp blocking the hair follicle. If the hair follicle is blocked, the hair can not grow, which results in temporary hair loss.


If the dandruff is caused by an oily scalp, daily washing of the hair with a clarifying shampoo by massaging it into the scalp should get rid of the dandruff. If the dandruff is the result of a fungal infection such as seborrheic dermatitis, then a medicated shampoo is needed. Medicated shampoos containing either coal tar, ketoconazole, selenium sulfide, zinc pyrithione or a salicylic acid and sulfur combination will help to get rid of this type of dandruff.


Medicated shampoos need to be massaged into the scalp and left on for the indicated period of time listed on the shampoo. Many of these shampoos need to be used at least twice a week to keep dandruff under control. Consult with your doctor before treating your hair loss and dandruff to rule out any underlying health conditions that may have caused these occur.

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