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Dr. Alan Bauman: Is an Itchy Scalp a Sign of Hair Loss? (Video)

Hair expert Dr. Bauman explains if there is a connection between hair loss and an itchy scalp.

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Dr. Alan Bauman: Is an Itchy Scalp a Sign of Hair Loss? (Video)

(Video Transcript)

Hello, everyone. It's Doctor Alan Bauman from Bauman Medical Hair Transplant and Hair Loss Treatment Center coming to you today on behalf of Strut. You know, one of the most common symptoms that we see in the clinic when we're talking to someone about hair loss is itchy, flaky, dry, irritated scalp. I mean, so many people come through the clinic with scalp health issues – It's unbelievable. 

But, what's the relationship between an itchy scalp and hair loss? Stay tuned. I'll tell you what I think we know about it.

So, what I've learned over treating over thirty-three thousand patients who have hair loss is that almost fifty percent of our patients that come through the door have some scalp health issues. Some of them don't even know how irritated and inflamed their scalp is. Sometimes it's an incidental finding on microscopy, we notice flakes or build-up on the scalp. But what we do know is that there's a lot of inflammation that's happening there at the level of the scalp. And that could be detrimentally impacting hair growth and also hair quality. And there's quite a bit of research in the clinical literature that shows that simply people with dandruff have poor scalp health, and they also have decreased hair quality over time.

Signs and symptoms of these at the level of the scalp such as redness or inflammation or itching are all signs of inflammation and overactivity of the body attacking potentially the hair follicle in certain alopecia conditions, but also just this generalized inflammation is not great for the production of quality hair fibers. And so here in the clinic, we do a number of different things to help diagnose and evaluate the situation with someone who has a poor scalp health situation. And there are things that we can apply here in the clinic and a lot of things that you can do at home to rectify the situation.

So in the clinic, if we've identified inflammation or itching at the level of the scalp, if there is a buildup of whether it be sebum or hair product. We've gotta do a few different things to figure out what's going on. 

We have to look at what is the frequency that you're shampooing? What is your scalp hygiene regimen? What are you using to shampoo the scalp? And then what kind of condition are you using on the hair? What kind of styling products are you using? And what kind of medications or topicals are you applying to the scalp that could disrupt the scalp microbiome, for example, which are the healthy microorganisms that live at the level of the scalp.

If that microorganism balance becomes disrupted, that's when we see an increase in dandruff and flaking and irritation and inflammation and poor-quality hair growth.

Sometimes it can be as easy as just changing the frequency that your shampoo, either increasing the frequency or decreasing the frequency or changing your hairstyle regimen or hair products, but sometimes it needs a more detailed intervention. We have scalp makeovers or exfoliation treatments we do in the office. Sometimes we apply a moisturizer to the scalp in order to help it. Sometimes we are exfoliating the scalp, removing the dead skin cells.

And changing the regimen, changing your habits over time is something that, can really, really help with scalp health. And the interesting thing is that there are many different things that impact inflammation at the level of the scalp from your diet and nutrition to sleep-wake cycles, to whether using probiotics or not, and again all the other things that we talked about in terms of what you apply to the scalp and your lifestyle and your habits, are you spending a lot of time outside, exercising, sweating, and how often are you shampooing and with what? So once we've evaluated all of that, we can make a detailed diagnosis and create a treatment plan. In fact, In my own clinic, we have a certified trichologist that helps us figure out what we need to do, to get your scalp health on point so that it's optimal for hair regrowth. If you have a scalp health problem, then you definitely wanna speak to a physician about what's going on. You don't wanna let that fester and continue to get worse over time.

Keep in mind that there are other things that can affect our scalp health and the dryness and inflammation or oiliness that we find at the level the scalp just as, traveling, changing our water intake, our environment in terms of humidity.

And of course, even as we advance in age, our skin can become more dry or more oily depending on our genetics.

If you'd like more information about hair loss and hair duration, please check out my other videos and blog posts below.

And here's to your scalp health!

Watch more Dr. Bauman videos:

Dr. Alan Bauman: Can Testosterone Cause Hair Loss? (Video)

Dr. Alan Bauman: Can Ozempic (Semaglutide) Cause Hair Loss? (Video)

Dr. Alan Bauman: Review of Strut Hair Booster with Latanoprost (Video)

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