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Is Dandruff Causing Your Hair Loss?

Scanning Electron Microscope picture of freshly prepared human dandruff sample. - Horoporo - Own work

If you're currently fighting flakes, you're not alone.

According to hair restoration surgeon Dr. Alan Bauman: "dandruff and itching of the scalp happens to 50% of the people 50% of the time."

Dr. Bauman explained, "It's a huge problem. Scalp irritation, just about everyone gets some at some point."

A Link Between Dandruff And Inflammation

National Institutes of Hair Follicle - Health - This file has been extracted from another file

You may discount dandruff (Malassezia sp.) or scalp issues as important, but if you're also experiencing hair loss, it's critical to understand how important dandruff can be.

Dr. Bauman said, "we know now that there is a direct link between scalp health and inflammation."

An important question hair loss researchers have addressed is how the inflammatory reaction pattern is generated around the individual hair follicle. Inflammation is regarded as a multi-step process that may start from a primary event.

Dr. Alan Bauman - CEO of Bauman Medical - Award-Winning Hair Restoration Physician

As Dr. Bauman noted, "The hair fiber is dead, but the follicle is alive. When inflammation occurs in and around the follicle, it doesn't perform as well. That is why scalp health is important, and dandruff needs to be addressed."

Whether you're concerned about inflammation, hair loss, or overall scalp health, from an appearance viewpoint, dandruff can be annoying and embarrassing.

A combination of fungal growth on the scalp and inflammation causes skin cells to proliferate abnormally, resulting in flaking and itching.

It often flares up with the change of seasons.

Dandruff Has A Possible Connection With Hair Loss

Ketoconazole Cream

Will some people consult with their dermatologist or hair loss consultant and receive a prescription-strength shampoo or related treatment? 

Two favorite prescriptions with patients are Loprox and 2% Nizoral cream or shampoo.

For people who don't have access to health insurance or prescription-strength dandruff medications, there are many. drugstore or OTC product options.

Pick A Dandruff Shampoo Or Medication With Anti-Fungal Ingredients

Post Shampoo - Spencer Davis - Unsplash.com

For many, the best bet for combating dandruff is to pick a shampoo or medication with anti-fungal ingredients such as pyrithione zinc and selenium sulfate to get to the root of the issue. 

There are other ingredients that can help too. Use an anti-dandruff shampoo or related product a few times per week. 

Make sure to let the shampoo sit on your scalp for at least a few minutes before rinsing to let said ingredients do their thing.

Identification of Malassezia on the skin has been aided by applying molecular or DNA-based techniques.

Dandruff Is Most Commonly Found In Sebaceous Glands

Selsun Blue 2-in-1 Anti-dandruff Shampoo & Conditioner

The American Hair Loss Association, founded by renowned hair loss advocate Spencer Kobren explains, "as the fungus requires fat to grow. It is most common in areas with many sebaceous glands. This includes on the scalp, face, and upper part of the body."

When the fungus grows too rapidly, the natural renewal of cells is disturbed, and dandruff appears with itching (a similar process may also occur with other fungi or bacteria).

Proteins That Are Suitable Target For Dandruff Mediations

A project in 2007, has sequenced the genome of dandruff-causing Malassezia globosa and found it to have 4,285 genes. M. globosa uses eight different types of lipase, along with three phospholipases, to break down the oils on the scalp.

Malassezia furfur - http://phil.cdc.gov/phil_images/20030610/22/PHIL_3938_lores.jpg - Wikipedia

Any of these 11 proteins would be a suitable target for dandruff medications, including shampoo products.

The number of specimens of M. globosa on a human head can be up to ten million. M. globosa has been predicted to have the ability to reproduce sexually, but this has not been observed.

There Are A Myriad Of Dandruff Shampoo Options

Some people will get a prescription for dandruff shampoo. Other people treat their dandruff with over-the-counter shampoo formulas.

Baby With Cradle Cap Wikipedia

Nowadays, there are many popular dandruff shampoo choices. These cover a complete range. But knowing which is the best dandruff shampoo to select in a sea of possible shampoos can be mind-boggling.

What is the best dandruff shampoo for your itchy, dry, and flaky scalp?

The Best Dandruff Shampoos

Hair Loss Cure 2020 (HLC2020), a highly trusted site, compiled a list of the best dandruff shampoos.

HLC list helps to tackle scalp itching and dry flakes. All of the shampoos they include are recommended by dermatologists and medical doctors.

Detailed view of Cradle Cap - Wikipedia

Besides dandruff, most of the shampoos on the list treat other skin conditions.   These range from scalp buildup and flaking, including eczema and psoriasis. Be sure to read the labels of any or all dandruff shampoos you may consider purchasing,

Some of the products may contain sulfates or other potentially harmful ingredients, which may cause side effects for some people.

Look for products that are sulfate and sodium chloride free. Some may not respond well to selenium sulfide.

Also, search for a dandruff shampoo with no sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) that doesn't dry out your scalp.

Even Yorkshire Terriers Benefit From Anti-dandruff Shampoo Products

Nizoral Anti-Dandruff Shampoo - Read All The Labels On Dandruff Shampoo Products

Ironically my sister's veterinarian and groomer recommended she bathe her beloved Yorkshire Terrier in a diluted Selsun Blue version to soothe her itchy skin,

Selsun Blue also has the added benefit of containing menthol to ease irritation and make it feel extra refreshing.   My sister's Yorkie loves it. 

In addition, many of the shampoos on HLC's list also work to treat other skin conditions of scalp buildup and flaking, such as eczema and psoriasis.

Usually, these products work by reducing the overproduction of skin cells when mild to moderate. Be aware that several dandruff solutions contain sulfates. Or they may include other potentially harmful ingredients that cause side effects in some people.

The shampoos listed are not necessarily recommended for babies. For babies with cradle cap, it is recommended to use less harmful shampoo than a full-strength dandruff one.

Summary - Hair Follicle Degeneration

Hot And Cold Faucets In Shower Stall

Some scientists have proposed that alopecia may result from cumulative physiological degeneration of selected hair follicles. There is a belief that there is a link between dandruff and hair loss related to inflammation triggered by

Studies show that the Malassezia species may cause scalp or skin diseases in humans, including the most common cause of dandruff and seborrhoeic dermatitis, M. globosa (though M. restricta is also involved).

Based on this localization and the microbial colonization of the follicular infundibulum with Propionibacterium sp., Staphylococcus sp. Malassezia sp., or other members of the transient flora, one could speculate that microbial toxins or antigens could be involved in generating the inflammatory response.

References

HairTransplant Mentor

Scalp Condition Impacts Hair Growth and Retention via Oxidative Stress

American Hair Loss Association

Oxidative Stress in Ageing of Hair

Bauman Medical

Note: Neither HairBoutique.com nor I have any financial, affiliate, or other business relationships with HairLossCure 2020.

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