Hair loss and dandruff are two tress-troubles no Mane Addict wants to deal with. But is there some connection between the two?
When it comes to hair loss, dandruff doesn’t exactly top the list of causes. But this dry, itchy scalp affliction can certainly play a role in exacerbating strand shedding. Not great news, we know. But luckily, dandruff-related hair loss can be managed. To find out how to identify and rectify this stressful strand struggle, we asked Certified Trichologist and inventive colorist Bridgette Hill (@TheScalpTherapist) all of our questions.
Read on for her expert advice!
Scalp health impacts hair health
“All follicular activity, (hair creation – known as keratinization) and hair growth requires the involvement of the scalp and its structures” Bridgette explains. Clean and well maintained hair follicles are the secret to a healthy head of hair. This means making sure your scalp is clear of sebum, products, and dead skin. “When the hair follicle experiences interruptions in the nutrients it receives the hair follicle is compromised which leads to miniaturization, […] when thinner weakened hair fibers begin to grow from the hair follicle” Bridgette says. Miniaturization can also impact the number of hair fibers that grow from each hair follicle. According to Bridgette, when miniaturization is present, a follicle that once produced 3 hair fibers is only producing one. So the overall thickness and density of hair will be impacted and noticeably visible.
Dandruff is not a root cause of hair loss…but it can cause long term damage
“Dandruff is a scalp condition that is not a root cause to hair loss or hair shedding” Bridgette explains. But sometimes hair loss and shedding may be related to severe dandruff. According to Bridgette, disruptions to the scalp’s microbiome, over manipulation of the scalp due to itchiness, flakiness and build up, as well as some of the ways we look to treat and manage dandruff may negatively impact the hair fiber long term. “Should the type of dandruff one is experiencing results in severe itching, or build up, chances are the impact the dandruff is having to the health and function of the scalp is leading to hair shedding” Bridgette warns.
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If you think you’re experiencing severe dandruff or hair loss, consult a professional
“First and foremost, make sure that the condition is in fact dandruff. Seek out a certified trichologist, or dermatologist who specializes in scalp and hair for a proper analysis and diagnosis” Bridgette recommends. Once you get proper confirmation, seek out products and create a regimen to help you manage the condition. “[A]ll abnormal hair and scalp conditions can be one or a combination of these factors: genetics, lifestyle, diet, hair styling habits, environmental, health, stress, hormones, medications” Bridgette says. “Because scalp health is affected by a combination of factors, it is often challenging to isolate one particular cause, each factor may or may not serve as a trigger to create the onset of the abnormal scalp condition,” she explains. So it may take some time and testing to figure out exactly what is causing your discomfort.
Take care of your scalp
Whether or not you are experiencing dandruff, always remember to take case of your scalp. Scalp exfoliants, massagers, and clarifying shampoos are a must when it comes to removing build up.
If you are experiencing dandruff, Bridgette recommends zinc and coal tar-based products, scalp masks, and scalp tonics.