I recently shaved (“buzzed”) my head and noticed two things: first, I’m suffering from hair loss; second, I’m suffering from dandruff. I never noticed the hair loss (or dandruff) before closely shaving my head, and I’m wondering if the dandruff is causing the thinning? Can dandruff cause hair loss? If so, how can I treat it?
It may be difficult to attribute the hair loss solely to your dandruff issues. On one hand, dihydrotestosterone (DHT) – the hormone responsible for genetic male pattern hair loss – often causes excessive scalp sebum (oil) production. This can sometimes look like oily, flaky dandruff. However, large oily flaking may be indicative of something like seborrheic dermatitis, which can cause some hair loss as well. In theory, this should reverse if it is treated.
However, if it is DHT causing the “dandruff” then you may only be able to reverse the hair loss by treating the hormone excess (which is what drugs like finasteride (Propecia) do). Also, remember that the dandruff and the hair loss may not even be related. You could be someone with androgenic alopecia and excessive dandruff. Because of this, I think having an experienced hair loss physician evaluate your scalp is imperative. The doctor should be able to identify the cause, recommend treatment, and determine whether or not the dandruff is causing your hair loss.
Blake Bloxham – formerly “Future_HT_Doc”
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