Can Dry Scalp Cause Hair Loss?
Every human being desires for good and healthy looking hair. However, in today's time, the problems regarding hair such as hair loss, graying of hair, and thinning of hair is very common and it leads to dull appearance of the hair. Some of the reasons such as stress, poor nutrition and disease of scalp contribute to these problems. Other reasons for hair loss include deficiency of essential vitamins and minerals and different health problems. It is also said that dry scalp can cause hair loss.
Can Dry Scalp Cause Hair Loss?
The scalp and hair are kept moistened by the little oil glands located near the hair follicles. They secrete sufficient amount of oil to protect the hair and give it a natural shine. This oil is secreted consistently and is like a natural lubricant that keeps scalp and hair lively. However, when these oil glands secrete insufficient amount of oil, then gradually the scalp starts getting dry giving rise to problems of dry scalp. It makes the scalp full of white flakes (dandruff) and also makes it itchy. Hair follicles get affected and hair does not get proper nutrition. As a result hair become brittle, thin and gets damaged. They break easily and eventually there is hair loss. Thus dry scalp does cause hair loss.
What Causes Dry Scalp?
Some of the reasons for dry scalp are as follows:
- Frequent Shampooing: A number of shampoos and conditioners are available in the market. Using harsh shampoos and conditioners destroy the moisture of the hair. Shampoos containing Sodium Laureth Sulfate can cause more damage to the scalp since it can strip the natural oils from the hair. Thus frequent use of harsh chemical containing shampoos leads to hair loss due to loss of oil and leads to dry scalp and thus hair loss.
- Excessive Heat Exposure: The natural moisture and oil of the hair are lost due to the use of hot water and frequent use of blow dryer. The hair styling methods such as ironing, hair coloring and perming affects the hair tresses. These procedures affect the sebum glands and lead to dry scalp and eventually to hair loss.
- Washing Hair with Hard Water: At some places the water supplied is the hard water which contains high concentrations of minerals such as Calcium and Magnesium. When such water is used for head bath, it results in accumulation of these minerals on the scalp. When used for prolonged time, they block the oil glands and their secretion, making the scalp dry which leads to hair loss.
- Poor Nutrition Leading to Dry Scalp and Hair Loss: Eating non-nutritious foods that are devoid of the essential nutrients such as the proteins and vital minerals and vitamins results in malnutrition. Further, inadequate amount of water leads to less moisture in the body. Due to which the sebaceous glands cannot function well and causes problems of dry scalp and hair loss.
- Weather Changes can Lead to Dry Scalp: In winter, the skin and scalp lose moisture quickly. Hence, they need to be kept lubricated with oil. If it is not done, the scalp becomes dry with consequent hair loss.
- Smoking and Alcohol Consumption: These habits definitely have a damaging effect on the entire body including the scalp. The chemicals in cigarettes and alcohol affect the hair and make it lose its natural shine.
- Fungal Diseases of the Scalp Can Cause Dry Scalp: A medical condition such as seborrhoeic dermatitis causes dry scalp due to excessive accumulation of dandruff and leads to hair loss.
- Dry Scalp in Women Causing Hair Loss: Women experience a lot of hormonal changes throughout their life right from puberty, during pregnancy till menopause. This affects the body skin and scalp too. Although hair loss occurs during pregnancy, it is temporary and women can overcome it after pregnancy; while hair loss during menopause is irreversible. Some women also consume oral contraceptives which has its effects on body functions. Certain chemicals present in them, destroy the normal hair growth pattern and cause severe dry scalp problems.
- Stress: Stress related to work or personal problems cause hormonal changes and poor blood circulation. This affects the other body functions along with drying of scalp which leads to the hair loss.
Treatment for Dry Scalp and Hair Loss
- The best way to treat the dry scalp is to use the right kind of shampoo which is mild in action. This can be chosen on consultation with a dermatologist.
- If the dry scalp is caused due to fungal disease, then one should use antifungal shampoo.
- The following home based remedies can also be useful since they cause scalp hydration:
- Mixture of egg and yoghurt to be applied to the scalp once a week.
- Use of herbal treatments to moisturize the scalp at the deepest level.
- Use of castor oil can be useful in treating hair loss due to dry scalp
- Application of natural oils which contain essential oils such as the Tea tree oil. This oil soaks the root of the hair and provides nourishment so that it becomes healthy again.
- Use of exfoliators which helps to get rid of dead skin cells and thus promote hair growth.
Prevention of Dry Scalp and Associated Hair Loss
- Use of mild shampoos and conditioners. One should not frequently shampoo their hair i.e., more than 3 times a week. The shampoo and conditioner should be thoroughly washed off from the hair.
- The hair should be dried naturally without the use of hair dryer.
- The beauty treatment such as use of perming, ironing, and hair coloring should not be done frequently.
- One should use clean hair brush to comb the hair. One should preferably keep a personal comb which should not be shared with others.
- Consumption of healthy and nutritious diet is recommended. One should also drink plenty of water to keep body hydrated.
- One should quit smoking and alcohol consumption.
- One should massage the scalp regularly with natural oil containing essential oils. This helps in stimulating the production of oil from the oil glands.
Taking good care of hair and scalp is important to have healthy and lustrous looking hair. There are a number of causes for dry scalp which lead to hair loss. When detected, the dry scalp problem should be treated early either by medications or home based remedies. One should not delay since it can aggravate the problems and it may be difficult to get back the original hair. However, before trying any home-based treatments, one must identify his/her hair type and evaluate the treatment method so that the treatment can be effective without side effects.
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