Major Causes Of Thinning Hair And Hair Loss
Hereditary hair loss is the most common form of thinning hair and hair loss in men and women. Also known as female pattern or, male pattern hair loss, or androgenetic alopecia, it occurs when the hair follicles have a genetic sensitivity to androgens the male sex hormones and to dihydrotestosterone in particular. When DHT interacts with the hair follicles, this sensitivity causes hair growth to slow or stop, leading to thinning hair or hair loss. In addition, especially in female pattern hair loss, other causal factors are involved.
You can inherit this trait from either your mothers or your fathers side of the family. And while hair loss or thinning hair is often thought of as something that only affects older people, the condition can start as early as your teens, 20s or 30s.
Most people experience some hair thinning as they age, but not everyone is affected to the same degree.Men with male pattern baldness usually develop a receding hairline, hair loss at the crown, or both. Over time, men with hereditary hair loss can end up becoming completely bald.Women with female pattern baldness, on the other hand, tend to develop thinning hair as opposed to total hair loss. This usually sees their hair become thinner across the scalp, especially at the hairline. The crown may be affected, but hereditary hair loss in women rarely proceeds to total baldness.
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Another way to treat hair loss is to undergo a surgical procedure. This is a surgery that uses a small piece of scalp, which contains hair follicles. The procedure is expensive and is not covered by insurance. If the balding area is large, it may not be possible to find sufficient hair for transplant. This method requires two surgeries, so the cost can vary from person to person. The surgery can be covered by your insurance provider, but it is not cheap.
Surgical procedures to correct the underlying problem are available as well. In some cases, doctors may use birth control pills, hormone replacement therapy, or antiandrogen medications to correct the hormonal imbalances. If the cause of your hair loss is a psychiatric disorder, you will need to consult with a doctor to determine the best treatment options for you. Sometimes, you may need to undergo more than one surgery, so it is best to seek help from a dermatologist.
The first step in treating hair loss is to see a doctor. Your physician will run a blood test to determine the cause of your hair loss. This will help you choose the most effective treatment. Your doctor may prescribe a medication to stop your hair growth. Patients with psychiatric problems may also require special consultations and treatments. A therapist will be able to help you deal with your underlying psychiatric condition.
When The Itch Doesnt Go Away
If experimenting with different products and natural remedies dont solve the issue, you can try an over-the-counter medicated shampoo.
There are many good products available, with active ingredients that include selenium sulfide, zinc pyrithione and ketoconazole, Schwarzenberger says. Tar shampoos may treat seborrheic dermatitis and scalp psoriasis, but some dislike the smell. But people with white hair should avoid using tar shampoos, as it can cause hair to yellow.
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Dandruff And Dry Scalp
Everyone experiences this symptom. It is believed that dandruff is the result of overactive oil glands on the scalp. Take a little note, people start increasing hormone production during the teen years. Dandruff causes dry and itchy scalp, and you tend to scratch or pull the hair to reduce the itchiness. What happens if you put too much pressure? It may lead to hair shedding.
Some researchers speculate that yeast infection of the scalp and hair follicles also result in dandruff. Then it weakens the hair follicles and roots, leading to hair loss.
dandruff and dry scalp
Can Dandruff Cause Hair Loss
Dandruff, as well as anti-dandruff shampoos and medicated shampoos, are not probable causes of hair loss. These treatments commonly use antifungal agents to address a potential fungal infection from Malassezia. You may see zinc pyrithione , selenium sulfide, or ketoconazole as the active ingredient listed on the bottle. None of these ingredients are known to cause hair loss. Some treatments contain salicylic acid, which can help prevent flaking by removing excess dead skin cells from the scalp. While these kinds of ingredients have been known to cause irritation, shampooing with any of them shouldnt cause hair loss.
Severe dandruff, however, can cause intense itching and scratching, which can result in damage to the hair follicles and subsequent hair loss, but its not a common occurrence. Hair loss associated with mild scratching is usually reversible once the itching and the irresistible urge to scratch are brought under control. However, damage to hair follicles due to intense scratching may be irreversible due to possible scarring. Seeking treatment for your dandruff as soon as you notice it may help alleviate the itching faster, diminishing the chance youd scratch enough to cause this type of irreversible damage.
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Reaction To Hair Care Products
Atopic dermatitis is a type of eczema that makes your skin red with scales on your scalp . It does not directly cause hair loss, though it can provoke one to scratch their scalp excessively, causing temporary hair loss. It is common among children but can occur at any age. It also can cause scalp burns .
Allergic reactions to shampoos, conditioners, dyes, and hair gels may also cause an itchy scalp.
Treatments And Medications For Itchy Scalp
The dermatologist is the best person to recommend medication according to your diagnosis. He or she may prescribe any one of the following:
- Mild topical steroids
- Shampoo with coal tar/anti-fungal ingredients to deal with dandruff and Seborrheic dermatitis
- Topical/oral anti-fungal medications for Tinea Capitis
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Can An Itchy Scalp Lead To Or Signify Hair Loss
Having an itchy scalp is not necessarily connected to hair loss. But, if something is going on with your scalp long-term that is causing you to scratch your follicles too much, or develop scabs on your scalp, this can cause temporary hair loss.
Rarely, if the follicles are scarred or very damaged, it is possible that the hair does not return to normal. But, usually, once the scalp condition is treated and under control, your hair will return to its normal state.
Ask your doctor about treatment options for scalp conditions that consist of irritation, plaques, dryness, oiliness, or flakes so these issues can be treated before they start affecting your hair.
In the case of alopecia areata , some people may experience a tingling or itching sensation during flare-ups which come along with round hair loss patches that may fall out in clumps. If you have alopecia areata, an itching sensation could signal that your scalp is about to have an alopecia flare-up. In most people with alopecia areata, the lost hair regrows to fill in the bald patches in time. Although, a flare-up can occur again in which hair is lost again.
Aside from these situations, most forms of hair loss are not connected to having an itchy scalp.
Histamine: Connection Between Itchy Scalp And Hair Loss
Histamine is a molecule released by mast cells in response to their activation. It is responsible for causing the flushing, airway constriction, and welting experienced in response to allergen contact. It also results in itchy skin.
Mast cells can be activated by a variety of stimuli. These include substance P , stress, bacteria, viruses, fungi, food and other allergens, endotoxins as a result of leaky gut, and more.
Histamine may contribute to hair loss.
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What Kinds Of Issues Can Cause An Itchy Scalp
Having a passing itch on your scalp doesnât necessarily mean that something is wrong. It may just be a normal itch.
However, if your scalp is also flaky, oily, has plaques, or is just generally irritated, something may be up.
An itchy scalp can occur from dandruff, ringworm on your scalp , folliculitis, lichen planopilaris, alopecia areata, or even an allergic reaction to dyes or hair products.
The Initial Causes Does Itchy Scalp Mean Hair Growth Or Hair Loss
The main cause of hair loss is stress. While most of us shed about 50 to 100 strands of hair daily, we also continue to grow new ones at the same rate. This shedding is normal, and its perfectly natural to replace lost hair with new ones. However, if youre losing hair that is excessively slow or isnt growing back, youre experiencing hair fall. There are many possible causes for this condition, but theres no one single solution.
Tinea capitis, also known as scalp ringworm, is a fungal infection that affects the scalp. Symptoms include bald spots and patches of hair loss. Infection may be caused by fungus, and scaly, red patches may develop. In severe cases, sores may develop on the scalp and oozing pus may be present. Treatment with a prescription may be necessary, but the long-term results of taking these medications are not always permanent.
In some cases, temporary hair loss may be the result of a hormonal imbalance. While some women experience hair loss due to hormonal fluctuations, others may experience permanent loss of hair. These changes can be caused by hormones in the body, such as those produced by the thyroid or by the adrenal glands. In severe cases, the loss of hair is caused by medical conditions. Inflammatory diseases can cause an excess of androgen, a male hormone. High levels of vitamin A in the blood and in the body can also result in hair thinning.
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First Line Of Defense
If you dont already have a skin condition diagnosed by a dermatologist or trichologist, trying different hair products and natural remedies is a good starting point.
One of the most effective initial treatments for itchy scalp is a thorough shampoo scrub to remove loose and scaly skin says Dr. Josh Axe, D.N.M., C.N.S., D.C, founder of Ancient Nutrition. After trying that, a popular natural remedy to try is tea tree oil.
Whats great about tea tree oil is that it provides antioxidant benefits and is antimicrobial, which means it has the ability to fight bacteria, viruses and fungus, Axe says.
Here are five more natural ways to combat itchiness and dandruff.
Is My Itchy Scalp Caused A Warning Of Male Pattern Baldness
Are you worried that your itchy scalp could be caused by hair loss? Some skin conditions that cause an itchy scalp can sometimes lead to hair loss, however, an itchy scalp on its own isnt always related to permanent hair loss from male pattern baldness.
Male pattern baldness usually occurs over time without any noticeable itching, pain or other discomforts. This means if youre scalp feels itchy, you dont have to worry about losing your hair permanently. An itchy scalp could mean one of several things
- Youre suffering from a skin condition that can cause skin irritation to areas including the scalp. This could be a condition such as folliculitis, seborrheic dermatitis or ringworm.
- Youre using a shampoo that is too strong and could be irritating the skin and hair. This could result in both itching and discomfort to the scalp.
- Dust, dirt or other pollutants might have temporarily irritated your scalp, which, can result in an itchy feeling that will over time disappear.
- Youre not washing your hair frequently enough and a build-up of products such as hair spray and dry shampoo could cause the scalp to itch.
- Less commonly, you could have a recurring skin disease such as psoriasis, which will require ongoing treatment, this would need to be diagnosed by your GP.
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How To Treat An Itchy Scalp And Dandruff
Getting dandruff is annoying, but the good news is that it’s easy to get rid of an itchy scalp and dandruff. Here are a few remedies you can try at home:
01. Medicated Products
While dandruff can’t be ‘cured’ per se, we’d say that OTC products that are medicated come pretty close to treating it properly. If you’re wondering how to get rid of an itchy scalp and dandruff, look for medicated products that contain ingredients like pyrithione zinc and selenium sulfide, which are antifungal and can help treat the condition properly.
An antifungal, antibacterial ingredient that not only gets rid of the dandruff-causing bacteria on the scalp, but soothes the itchiness on the scalp too, neem tops our list when we turn to home remedies for how to get rid of an itchy scalp and dandruff. Use products with neem as an ingredient, or use a neem leaf-powder to create a hair mask.
An anti-inflammatory, cooling ingredient that will calm down an itchy scalp and hydrate it to control dandruff, dahi, or yoghurt is a great pick when you want to treat an itchy scalp and dandruff. Massage it onto your scalp as is, or mix it with papaya for a hydrating, cleansing hair mask.
04. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil clears the scalp of all itchy elements, while nourishing and moisturising the scalp to improve its health. Go for weekly coconut oil massages to get rid of dandruff already!
06. Aloe Vera
07. Apple Cider Vinegar
08. Mashed Banana
09. Tea Tree Oil
10. Healthier Lifestyle
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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Dandruff And Seborrheic Dermatitis
These arethe most common reasons for an itchy scalp.
Your bodysinflammatory response to an overgrowth of yeast causes the itching and flakingassociated with these conditions. Yeast normally lives on the scalp and otherhairy areas of the body, but the problem arises when theres too much yeastpresent, says Dr. Piliang.
The fix:For mild cases, you can use an over-the-counter shampoo containing selenium or zinc pyrithione ingredients that help control yeast. For more serious cases, you may need a prescription-strength antifungal shampoo, topical cortisone or medicated foam, solution, cream or ointment.