• 8 December 2023
  • Dr. Ossman Ashraf

Last updated on December 9, 2023

Dandruff is a common scalp issue that many of us have experienced at some point in our lives. Those pesky white flakes can be both annoying and embarrassing, leading many to wonder whether dandruff can cause hair loss.

In this blog, we’ll explore the question ‘Can dandruff cause hair loss?’, and how to maintain a healthy scalp to prevent these issues. So, let’s dive in.

What is Dandruff?

Dandruff is a common scalp condition characterised by the shedding of skin cells from the scalp. These skin cells flake off and are often visible on your hair and clothing, leading to telltale white flakes that can be unsightly and itchy.

While it may not be a serious medical condition, it can be quite uncomfortable and annoying for those who experience it.

What Causes Dandruff?

Dandruff can be caused by several factors, with the most common one being the overgrowth of a yeast-like fungus called Malassezia. Other factors contributing to dandruff include:

  • Dry Skin: When your scalp and scalp hair become excessively dry, it can lead to the formation of flaky skin, resembling dandruff.
  • Seborrheic Dermatitis: This is a more severe form of dandruff, marked by red and greasy skin covered with white or yellow flakes.
  • Not Cleaning Your Scalp: Infrequent shampooing can result in a buildup of oils and dead skin cells, exacerbating dandruff.
  • Sensitivity to Hair Products: Certain hair products can irritate sensitive skin and the scalp and lead to dandruff in some individuals.
does dandruff cause hair loss

Can dandruff cause hair loss? Not directly, but it may be an underlying factor.

Does Dandruff Cause Hair Loss?

The short answer is no, dandruff does not directly cause hair loss, instead, it’s the underlying factors contributing to dandruff that can lead to hair loss.

Severe dandruff can harm the scalp and hair follicles, which can result in thinning or slow hair growth. Dandruff affects the scalp’s surface, leading to itchiness and flaking, but it doesn’t interfere with the hair follicles beneath the skin.

How Does Scalp Health Affect Hair Loss?

The health of your scalp plays a role in the overall health of your hair. If you have severe dandruff and an itchy, inflamed scalp, you might find yourself scratching your head frequently.

This vigorous scratching can damage your hair follicles, weaken your hair shafts, and result in hair breakage. While it’s not technically hair loss, the reduction in hair density can be noticeable.

In some cases, the inflammation caused by dandruff might trigger a condition called telogen effluvium. This condition leads to hair follicles prematurely entering the resting phase, resulting in increased hair shedding.

It’s important to note that this condition is reversible, and once the dandruff is treated, hair growth usually returns to normal.

does dandruff cause hair loss

Can dandruff cause hair loss? The good news is that there are steps to take to prevent it.

How Can You Prevent Dandruff and Dry Scalp?

Preventing dandruff comes down to how you treat dandruff. Here are the recommended dandruff treatments:

  • Regular Shampooing: Keeping your scalp clean by regularly shampooing can prevent the buildup of oils and dead skin cells.
  • Use Anti-Dandruff or Medicated Shampoos: These shampoos contain active ingredients that can help control the overgrowth of Malassezia and reduce dandruff.
  • Scalp Hydration: Using a good-quality conditioner and avoiding excessive use of hair products can help keep your scalp properly hydrated.
  • Balanced Diet: Eating a diet rich in vitamins and minerals is essential for overall scalp health.
  • Manage Stress: Stress can exacerbate dandruff, so managing stress levels is crucial.


In conclusion, to answer the question ‘Can having dandruff cause hair loss?’, while dandruff itself doesn’t directly cause hair loss, it can lead to hair-related issues through inflammation and excessive scratching. Treating dandruff promptly and maintaining a healthy scalp is the key to preventing these problems.

If you have concerns about dandruff, hair loss, or other scalp conditions, it’s always a good idea to consult with our Hair Doctors in Sydney, to ensure your scalp and hair are in the best possible condition.

Why Choose Hair Doctors for Your Hair Loss Treatment

Hair Doctors is your go-to destination for hair loss treatments in Sydney. Our team of experienced professionals, cutting-edge technology, several effective hair restoration options and a personalised approach are just a few reasons why you can trust us with your hair care journey.
Contact us if you have any questions or concerns about your hair and scalp health.


If you require more information on the question ‘Can dandruff cause hair loss?’ please read our most frequently asked questions:

How can I stop dandruff and hair loss?

To prevent dandruff and hair loss, use anti-dandruff shampoos, maintain good scalp hygiene, and consult a dermatologist if issues persist.

How often should I wash my hair if I have dandruff?

If you have dandruff, aim to wash your hair at least twice a week with a medicated or anti-dandruff shampoo recommended by a professional.

Is Head and Shoulders bad for thinning hair?

While Head and Shoulders can help with dandruff, some individuals with thinning hair may prefer alternative products formulated specifically for hair loss prevention.

Can dandruff cause damage to hair follicles?

Dandruff itself doesn’t typically damage hair follicles. However, excessive scratching of the scalp due to dandruff can lead to hair follicle damage and hair breakage.

Does an itchy scalp affect hair growth?

Yes, persistent itching of the scalp can lead to hair damage and loss. An itchy scalp can cause inflammation and can disrupt the hair growth cycle, leading to reduced hair growth.

Does scalp psoriasis cause dandruff?

These two conditions are not the same but they may display similar symptoms. Scalp psoriasis is usually treated with topical creams containing salicylic acid. This condition doesn’t cause hair loss unless the affected area is picked and or scratched.

This information is not intended to be used for diagnosis or treatment. It is aimed at presenting a perspective only and is not a substitute for a prescription. Anyone experiencing a medical condition should consult their doctor.

Dr. Ossman Ashraf
About The Author

Dr. Ossman Ashraf

In 2009, Dr Oz graduated from the University of Dundee, UK with a qualification in Men’s Health and Aesthetic Medicine. He then furthered his qualifications in medical education and is currently the Medical Advisor/Educator for MOSH, Australia’s leading online Men’s Health platform. He is accredited by the London Hair Restoration Academy and specialises in using the most up-to-date micro FUE extraction and DHI implantation techniques for transplant surgery.

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