Alopecia Areata Rarely Causes Symptoms
The only sign of alopecia areata is often sudden hair loss. The patches of hair loss can grow larger. Sometimes, the patches grow larger and become one large bald spot.
Other signs that you may have alopecia areata include:
Gray and white hairs often remain where you have hair loss
Hair starts to regrow on its own where it fell out
Hair begins growing in a bald spot and starts falling out in another area
Hair loss occurs during a colder month of the year
Cold may be a trigger for alopecia areata. In one study, researchers noticed that people diagnosed with alopecia areata most often had hair loss in November, followed by October and January. Patients had the fewest flare-ups during May and August.
If you have alopecia areata, it generally doesnt cause pain or other symptoms. However, some people say that right before they lose their hair, they feel tingling, itching, or burning on the skin where the hair will fall out.
If you have alopecia universalis, which causes complete loss of hair everywhere on your body, your nails can become extremely brittle and crack. This can be painful.
While anyone can develop alopecia areata, some people have a higher risk. You can find out if you do at: Alopecia areata: Causes.
Images1-5,7,8: Images used with permission of Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology: J Am Acad Dermatol. 2018 78:1-12.
6: Image used with permission of the American Academy of Dermatology National Library of Dermatologic Teaching Slides.
Can A Dry Scalp Cause Hair Loss
Yes, hair loss can occur due to a dry scalp. One big reason why this happens is that itchiness can make you scratch your head rather intensely at times. And since the feeling of scratching an itch can be quite satisfactory, many people keep at it.
However, the itching motion can end up weakening the hair follicles. And if you dont get any treatment, it can also cause permanent harm to the hair roots, which can result in permanent hair loss.
What You Can Do About Scalp Itchiness At Home
If your doctor has ruled out underlying health conditions, there are several things you can do at home to address itchy scalp.
- Switch to high quality hair care products that dont contain known allergens.
- If dandruff is your issue, try over-the-counter anti-dandruff shampoos.
- Incorporate more hair-healthy nutrients into your diet like biotin, selenium, omega-3 fatty acids, Vitamin D, and amino acids.16
- Mix peppermint essential oil with a carrier oil and massage it into your head. Scientific evidence is limited, but it may help with healthy hair growth. And always do a patch test first.17
- Practice gentle hair care use gentle shampoos, and avoid vigorous scratching, even if your head is really, really itchy.
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Hair Loss In Black Women: Tips From An Expert
Almost half of black women experience some form of hair loss. However, few doctors are familiar with black hairstyling practices, leaving many women to sort through unhelpful or even harmful advice on their own.
Dermatologist Crystal Aguh, one of just a small group of dermatologists across the country specializing in hair loss, offers these tips to help women protect their hair and recognize common warning signs of hair loss.
Stress Symptom: Awful Period Cramps
The most stressed-out women are more than twice as likely to experience painful menstrual cramps as those who are less tense, a Harvard study found. Researchers blame a stress-induced imbalance of hormones. Hitting the gym can soothe cramps and stress, research shows, by decreasing sympathetic nervous system activity.
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Hair Loss Can Develop Elsewhere Aside From Your Scalp
While hair loss usually affects the scalp, some conditions can cause hair loss on other areas of the body. Alopecia areata is a disease that can cause hair loss anywhere on the body where hair grows. People who have alopecia areata often have hair loss on their scalp, but they can also lose part of their:
A few people who have alopecia areata lose all the hair on their body. When this happens, the disease is called alopecia universalis.
Frontal fibrosing alopecia is another disease that causes hair loss on the scalp and elsewhere. Some people lose their eyebrows, eyelashes, or hair on other areas of the body.
Its also possible to keep the hair on your head and lose it elsewhere. The friction from wearing tight clothing, shoes, or socks can cause hair loss where you have continual rubbing.
Itchy Dry Scalp And Hair Loss Remedies
Itchy dry scalp and hair loss are not something new. This is an experience many people go through in life. Naturally, human hair grows with or without any form of treatment. All the care and treatment we give to the hair is to better manage the growth without issues. When the hair has problems like dry scalp and hair loss, it is often nothing to worry about. There are several preventive and curative measures available to help restore beauty and glow to the hair.
Experts have linked itchy scalp or scalp pruritus to many causes. Some of these cases take a long time, while some others occur almost immediately. For instance, reactions to certain hair products can cause itching on the scalp and further hair loss. Sometimes, it could be a fungal infection or allergy that can trigger hair loss. Other times, it can be hereditary. Now let us dig further into the main causes of itchy dry scalp and hair loss.
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What Is The Link
Although these conditions can occur independently, there may be an occasional link between hair loss and scalp itching.
Fungal infections, allergic reactions to hair products, and inflamed hair follicles can itch the scalp and cause hair loss.
Scar tissue on the scalp can damage the nerve fibres in the skin, causing severe itching in some cases. Scar tissue that has formed due to a person’s hair loss may cause itching.
Scratching an itchy scalp repeatedly or intensely can cause skin and hair follicle damage. Scratching can result in temporary hair loss, bleeding, and scabbing. When a person stops scratching, his or her hair usually grows back.
In other cases, such as hereditary hair loss or male and female pattern hair loss, hair loss occurs without scalp itching. In these cases, scratching the scalp may cause damage, but the underlying cause of the hair loss is unrelated to the itchiness. Scratching does not affect whether a person’s hair falls out due to hereditary hair loss.
Scalp Itch With Alopecic Patches
When assessing patients with alopecic patches who present with scalp itch, distinguishing between non-scarring and scarring alopecias is an important aspect of clinical evaluation. Non-scarring alopecias associated with scalp itch include alopecia areata and androgenetic alopecia. Patients with active alopecia areata often complain of mild itching or burning, which often precedes development of new patches. It may be caused by mast cell release of histamine and tryptase as well as lymphocytic infiltration with release of IL-31 . Patients with androgenetic alopecia often complain of scalp itch and frequently have concomitant seborrheic dermatitis.
In active telogen effluvium, patients complain of trichodynia rather than scalp itch. In a study of 109 patients, 24 patients with androgenetic alopecia, 47 with telogen effluvium, 20 with both conditions, and 18 with telogen effluvium in remission it was concluded that trichodynia is almost exclusive of active telogen effluvium. Trichodynia was significantly more prevalent in the patients with telogen effluvium and those with both telogen effluvium and androgenetic alopecia , compared to those who had only androgenetic alopecia without telogen effluvium or telogen effluvium in remission .
Table 1 summarizes epidemiology, symptoms, clinical manifestations, dermoscopic findings, and histological features of the most common scarring alopecias associated with itch .
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Is There A Vitamin Deficiency That Causes Hair Loss
There may be a connection between low vitamin and mineral levels and hair loss.
A found that low vitamin D levels may increase the risk of hair loss. However, the authors note that more research is necessary to determine the link between hair loss and low levels of iron, zinc, vitamin A, and biotin.
Tips For Dandruff Treatment
To decrease the buildup of dandruffâs dead skin cells, try using an antidandruff shampoo daily. Leave shampoo on for 5 minutes, then rinse well. You may need to try several dandruff shampoos to find one that works best for you. If one stops working, try another. If that doesnât help, call your doctor.
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Itchy Scalp Hair Loss: Causes And Treatments
- Medically reviewed by: Dr. Anil Simhadri
An itchy scalp can be a real pain, especially because it is not easy to find out the exact cause. But if left untreated, the constant scratching and inflammation may trigger an even more noticeable problem: hair loss.
In most cases, an itchy scalp is just a symptom of another underlying medical condition that interferes with the normal working condition of the scalp.
As such, the best response to itchy scalp hair loss can only be accomplished after prior understanding of the medical conditions that directly affect the scalp.
What Are The Best Products For Thin Hair
When looking for hair lightening products, look for shampoos and conditioners that add volume on the label and contain ingredients such as wheat or rice protein to thicken the strands. Pureology PureVolume Shampoo and Sally Hershberger Supreme Head Shampoo are recommended products for thinning hair.
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Don’t Use Too Many Products
“For some people, using hair care products can irritate the scalp and lead to itchiness or flaking, so I would always recommend that people streamline their routines and don’t use too many products. Once the itching and flaking have stopped, additional products can slowly be re-introduced to test how the scalp reacts.”
Causes Of An Itchy Scalp And Hair Loss
Everyone has an itchy scalp from time to time, and its normal to lose 50 to 100 hairs a day, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. However, it may be concerning when scalp itchiness is excessive or constant, you notice crusty areas on your scalp, or you experience more-than-normal hair loss. Here are some common causes of itchy scalp and hair loss.
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What To Do If Youre Starting To Lose Hair
If youre starting to develop a receding hairline, bald patch at your crown or diffuse hair thinning, theres a good chance youre affected by male pattern baldness.
Male pattern baldness is treatable, but its important to take action as quickly as possible to stop your hair loss from becoming more severe.
Currently, the most effective treatments for male pattern hair loss are the medications finasteride and minoxidil.
Finasteride is a prescription medication that works by blocking the conversion of testosterone to DHT. Used daily, finasteride can reduce DHT levels by 70 percent and either slow down, stop or reverse the effects of male pattern baldness.
Minoxidil is a topical medication thats applied directly to your scalp. Although it doesnt reduce DHT levels, minoxidil helps to improve hair growth by moving your hair follicles into the growth phase of the hair growth cycle and stimulating local blood flow.
Research shows that finasteride and minoxidil are particularly effective when used together. In one study published in the journal Dermatologic Therapy, more than 94 percent of balding men showed improvements after using finasteride and minoxidil for 12 months.
Hair loss treatments, delivered
Is There A Link Between Scalp Itching And Male Pattern Baldness
If youve searched online for information about the early signs of hair loss, you may have seen itching listed as a signal that youre starting to shed hair.
Before we get into the specifics of itching and hair loss, lets quickly go over what male pattern baldness is and the effect that it can have on your hair follicles.
Male pattern baldness, or androgenetic alopecia, is by far the most common cause of hair loss in men. It occurs when the hormone dihydrotestosterone, or DHT, targets your hair follicles and stops them from producing new hairs.
Over time, DHT can miniaturize your hair follicles, preventing them from growing new hairs. This process usually begins around your hairline or the crown of your scalp, resulting in the receding hairline that many guys develop in their 20s, 30s or 40s.
Weve discussed the relationship between hormones and hair loss in more detail in our guide to DHT and male pattern baldness.
So, is there any link between an itchy scalp and thinning hair? Not really. Unlike scalp conditions such as psoriasis or fungal infections, male pattern baldness generally doesnt cause your scalp to itch or feel uncomfortable.
Instead, DHT-related damage happens slowly, with your hair follicles gradually miniaturizing and losing the ability to produce new hairs over the course of years and decades.
This means that an itchy or irritated scalp isnt a reliable sign that youre starting to shed hair as a result of male pattern baldness.
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Reasons Your Scalp Itches And How To Get Relief
When your scalp itches, it can be difficult to think about anything else. You may feel that the itch will never stop, but relief is possible. Getting rid of the itch begins with finding out why your scalp itches. Here are 10 reasons for an itchy scalp along with dermatologists advice on what can bring relief.
Dandruff. If your scalp is dry and itchy and you see flakes on your hair or clothing, you may have dandruff.
How to get relief: If you have dandruff, using a dandruff shampoo and scalp treatments can help. You can find out how to get the best results from these products by watching the short video, How to treat dandruff.
Dandruff often causes visible flakes on the scalp.
Hives. These are red, raised, and very itchy bumps that can form anywhere on the skin, including the scalp. Hives tend to come and go within a few hours. Sometimes, hives go away and come back. If hives come and go for longer than 6 weeks, theyre called chronic hives.How to get relief: Hives often go away on their own, but if theyre long-lasting, treatment can help. Dermatologists frequently treat hives.
When hives form on the scalp, you’ll often have a rash of itchy red bumps that look like the ones shown here.
Is Dry Scalp Correlated To Accelerated Hair Loss
Regardless of the time of year, a dry and flaky scalp can be extremely irritating and embarrassing. Apart from the constant urge to scratch it, dry scalp is correlated to accelerated hair loss as well.
What is the link between the two?
Although they can occur independently, there may sometimes be a link between hair loss and scalp itching. There can be various reasons for a dry and itchy scalp such as fungal infections, allergic reactions to hair products, inflamed hair follicles, etc. they can cause hair loss. In other cases, scarring on the scalp can cause severe itching because scar tissue can damage the nerve fibers in the skin. If a persons hair loss has led to the formation of scar tissue, this may be causing the itching.
If you scratch a dry scalp repeatedly or aggressively, it leads to extensive damage of the skin on your scalp and hair follicles, so very soon you notice lots of hair fall, along with bleeding and scabbing.
What are the reasons for a dry and flaky scalp?
Otherwise known as dandruff, and even though the condition makes the scalp look dry, it is actually due to having too much oil. Dandruff is caused by an overproduction of oil or other secretions in the skin, or an increase in normal skin yeasts. The oil on the scalp prevents dead skin cells from shedding like they normally do, so they become more apparent in the form of flakes along the hairline.
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How To Treat An Itchy Scalp And Hair Fall
If you have a dry scalp, wash with a gentle shampoo, and use a moisturizing conditioner. For mild dandruff, wash your hair every day with a gentle shampoo to reduce the amount of oil on your scalp. You may go for an anti-dandruff shampoo in case of severe dandruff.
Shampoos containing tea tree oil are an alternative remedy for dandruff . Anti-dandruff shampoos containing salicylic acid, coal tar, zinc pyrithione, ketoconazole, and selenium sulfide can also help.
Essential oils like peppermint and rosemary can soothe an itchy scalp and reduce hair fall. Remember to dilute the essential oil with a carrier oil like coconut or olive oil. Furthermore, oral or topical steroids reduce scalp inflammation. Immunotherapy may also help with autoimmune scalp conditions.
An itchy scalp and associated hair loss can have multiple causes. But most often, the condition can be prevented. Read through the following section.
If youâre worried your hair is thinning, there are simple steps you can take to keep your scalp healthy and keep your hair looking full and thick.
Hair loss is completely natural â in fact, you lose hair every day. Youâll normally find it on your hairbrush, in the shower or on your clothes. Itâs not always something to worry about as your hair regrows at a similar rate.â¯
But when your hair breaks more easily and you start to see more hair on your hairbrush, it can be a worry.