Dandruff Got Your Hair Down?
While it is common for people, especially men, with thinning hair to also experience dandruff –the two concerns (thinning hair and dandruff) aren’t related. Female and male hair loss is about the hair follicles on your head. Dandruff on the other hand, is about the skin on your scalp. That being said, it is important to note that some of the hair loss treatment methods can make dandruff worse. For example Minoxidil, a medication commonly used to treat thinning hair, has alcohol in it. The alcohol can dry out your scalp causing those little white flakes to appear.
What is Dandruff?
Dandruff happens when your scalp sheds more dead epidermal cells than normal. On your scalp it looks like white or gray scales. While dandruff isn’t contagious and won’t lead to other health problems, in severe cases it is recommended you seek treatment. Untreated, dandruff can cause your scalp to become so itchy and inflamed you may experience temporary hair loss as a result of the scratching and pulling on the hair follicles. Some people experience dandruff from a type of eczema or fungal infection. Hormonal and seasonal changes are also known exacerbate dandruff.
Can Too Much Hair WashingCause Hair Loss?
Everyone sheds hair on a daily basis. It may be more obvious how much hair we lose after washing our hair, and watching the many strands head towards the drain. Sometimes men and women who are experiencing hair loss or thinning hair, mistakenly assume that washing their hair is causing more hair to fall out. As a result, they avoid washing their hair. This is a mistake, especially if you have dandruff. According to Jeffrey Benabio, MD, a dermatologist for Kaiser Permanente in San Diego, washing your hair every day or every other day does not contribute to hair loss. Likewise, infrequent washing (every 4 or 5 days) will not slow down hair loss. It can however, make your scalp feel itchier.
Treating Dandruff With Shampoo
Normal shampoos remove dandruff temporarily, but it will return within a few days. Using a dandruff shampoo specifically formulated to treat dandruff, may help. There are a wide variety of dandruff shampoos available, so you may have to try a few before you find one that works for you. Lather your hair twice with the dandruff shampoo, and let the medicated shampoo sit on your head for 5 minutes after the second lather. This will give the shampoo time to work. Be sure to rinse well to get rid of all of the dead cells. Dandruff shampoos usually contain harsh chemicals which may dry out hair. If this happens try alternating between your regular shampoo and the dandruff shampoo. If you are not seeing relief from the dandruff shampoo, it may be time to see a dermatologist or medical professional.
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