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 6

Dandruff, dry scalp and balding

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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 28 reviews

Dry scalp and dandruff

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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.

Jeff Donovan, MD, PhD
Vancouver Dermatologist

Two unrelated things

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Hey Brain,

I think the fact that you have two conditions i.e. dry scalp / dandruff and now hair loss / baldness might have caused you to assume that they are either related in someway or one is causing the other.

This most certainly may not be the case. Hair loss happens due to variety of other factors. See picking dandruff and dry scalp can cause hair fall to some extent but not to the point of baldness.

Of course these are all just well educated guesses we are making because of limitations of information in your question.

You should take time off and consult with a good trichologist in your city. A one on one consultation will help the doctor analyse the specific conditions that maybe causing baldness in your case and suggest solutions.

Hope that helps.

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

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Thank you for your question.

Loss of hair is a natural process when it is between the limits that the body can restore them. When the capacity of the body to restore the hair loss is beaten by the excessive hair loss then we can name this situation something that should be treated. To obtain alive hair follicles implanted in higher rates, the latest technique being used is not the only manner, it is also affected by compliance of implantation area that we found a better way to improve as a result of our researches, The Organic Hair Transplantation. By this new and unique Organic Hair Transplantation Technique, before the extraction and implantation processes; we regenerate the implantation area with injection of stem cell enriched fat tissue. Regeneration of cells in target area before FUE transplantation with the support of stromal stem cells results in higher rate of alive thicker hair follicles.

Dandruff and hair loss

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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 33 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.

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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
5.0 out of 5 stars 102 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.