Do anti-dandruff shampoos cause hair loss?

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If you have been plagued by dandruff, then you certainly must have tried an anti-dandruff shampoo. Predominantly, these shampoos are equipped with Selenium Sulphide that acts as an anti-fungal agent to address the itching and irritation on the scalp. While dandruff can be an extremely frustrating condition, the cause is attributed to fungal organisms, or to the over-exposure of scalp irritants. The condition is also associated with some notable hair loss.

Anti-dandruff shampoos
Anti-dandruff shampoos

Seborrhoeic Dermatitis

A skin affected by seborrhoeic dermatitis is itchy, irritated and even starts scaling. Most of the time, the affected skin seems extremely oily and individuals often experience marked inflammation. Small light coloured flakes appear due to the excessive shedding of dead skin cells, which are otherwise known as dandruff. Additionally, the production of yeast, Malassezia, is augmented due to the excess oil, and actually worsens the problem.

Anti-dandruff shampoos

The main compound in most anti-dandruff shampoos is Selenium Sulphide. The element is known to be extremely effective against Malassezia where the death of the skin cells slows down. The accumulation of scaly particles, flaking, and itching is minimised as well. Usually, Selenium Sulphide is concentrated with 1% strength in over-the-counter shampoos and may be about 2.5% in strength in prescriptive medicated shampoos. Either way, this may or may not be the ideal answer to dandruff simply because the condition is really difficult to treat.

Side effects of Selenium Sulphide

Immaterial of whether the shampoo works or not, generally, at low concentration levels, Selenium Sulphide is not considered harmful. But if you think the product is causing you evident discomfort such as burning, stinging or any such side effects, then you must consult your doctor immediately. There are reports of the chemical causing excessive dryness or oiliness of the scalp and hair. In some cases, discolouration of hair has been noted as well, particularly in those who possess blond or dyed hair. You may even notice an increase in hair loss levels.

Using anti-dandruff shampoos

While some shedding of hair is normal, on a daily basis, the presence of Seborrhoeic dermatitis or dandruff, by itself leads to a lot of hair loss. Selenium Sulphide in your anti-dandruff shampoo may aggravate the situation leading you to lose an unusual amount of hair. To avoid these effects, first, read the instructions on the shampoo pack carefully. Do exactly as directed on the label. Do not let the shampoo stay on your scalp longer than the duration prescribed on the container. Last but not least, rinse thoroughly to remove all of the shampoo suspension without any trace or residue. You may want to check if your anti-dandruff shampoo contains sulphur, salicylic acid, and tar or even zinc pyrithione. These may also have some significant side-effects.