Is it possible for dandruff/dry scalp to cause balding/thinning hair for a 21 year old? (photo)

Ever since I was around 13, I've had bad dandruff and a dry scalp, and thus, have created bad habits of scratching my scalp a lot. Recently, I've stopped, as I don't want to lose any more hair, I use Head and Shoulders, and a tar based shampoo, I also put coconut oil on my scalp now. I would like to know if dandruff, dry scalp, and itching can cause balding, and if so, is it temporary, the hair restorable? 21 is way too young for me to have to deal with this.

Doctor Answers 4

Dandruff, dry scalp and balding

Dandruff and dry scalp will not cause balding unless you pick at the dandruff. Balding is genetic. Your biggest enemy is the progressive thinning leading to a balding pattern that is not evident at this point in time. The degree of thinning that you are experiencing would suggest that you should see a doctor who most likely will get Bulk Measurements of your hair to determine the degree of the thinning that you are presently having. If the diagnosis is early genetic hair loss (the most common cause of hair loss in young men), then the best treatment would be the drug finasteride which is highly effective in men of your age and may not only stop the hair loss but possibly reverse it. If you are developing a more advanced balding pattern the best test to get will determine the Bulk Measurements of your hair and this will show, over a one-year time frame, how effective the treatment will be. Once you know this information, then you and your doctor need to develop a MASTER PLAN which will define what you need to do over the years to come.

Los Angeles Hair Restoration Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 25 reviews

Dry scalp and dandruff

These are not typically causes of hair loss. It's a good idea to see a specialist as rarely certain issues that cause flaking can lead to hair loss. But dandruff is not one of them.The most likely causes, by far, in a 21 year old male, is male pattern balding.

Dandruff and hair loss

You may have the beginning of male pattern balding if you are noticing thinning hair. It would behoove you to see a hair restoration specialist sooner rather than later to start you on finasteride.  Finasteride will help slow down the hair loss if it is male pattern balding as well as possibly regrow new hair.  Dandruff is not a cause of hair loss, however seborrheic dermatitis which is common cause of dandruff can accelerate hair loss in someone who is genetically prone to patterned baldness.

Parsa Mohebi, MD
Beverly Hills Hair Restoration Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Dandruff is a scalp condition and it does not cause genetic hair loss. If you are concerned it is best to see a doctor.

Dandruff is a scalp condition and it does not cause genetic hair loss. If you are concerned it is best to see a doctor.

Jae Pak, MD
Los Angeles Hair Restoration Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 82 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.