Question: I’m using hair loss treatment and have got dandruff, I don’t know if it’s the minoxidil foam but it’s definitely been worse since I started around two months ago. What can I do to treat my dandruff without it interfering with my treatment? I don’t want to stop treatment so I just need a way to sort out the flaking.
There are, however, a number of steps you can take and one does involve potentially switching the type of hair loss solution you are currently using. We understand you are not a Belgravia patient so you may wish to discuss our advice with your current treatment provider in this regard.
The first step we recommend is to wash your hair every day, alternating between using a good quality gentle shampoo – anything that is not full of harsh chemicals and drying to the scalp – and a specifically-targeted dandruff shampoo.
Ideally you should use a good quality medicated shampoo which contains ingredients known to combat dandruff inc ketoconazole, pyrithione, climbazole, coal tar or birch tar. Belgravia offers clinical therapy sessions to patients to help ease these types of issues, but these are only available to our clients. Our exclusive B4 shampoo, which was specifically formulated for the purpose of treating a range of scalp issues, is, however, also available to non-clients by visiting or calling our London hair loss clinics.
You mention using minoxidil foam to treat your hairloss; it may be worth considering switching to a different formulation, such as liquid minoxidil.
Liquid formulations of high strength minoxidil are often easier to apply, given drops can be applied straight to the scalp whereas with a foam, it is often the case that people accidentally apply more to the hair their actual head. This can not only be a messy, ineffective application method but the optimal amount of the hair loss product may not be absorbed by the scalp.
It is also important to ensure you are applying minoxidil properly – following the instructions to the letter. It should be applied to a dry scalp (the hair should also be dry) to avoid any dilution of the medication, and should be given sufficient time to absorb – a minimum of half an hour but ideally at least one hour – before coming into contact with water, for example taking a shower or going swimming.
Furthermore, ensure that, if you blow dry your hair, you do so before applying your solution, otherwise it is likely to evaporate.
Sometimes people do experience mild scalp irritation from minoxidil so we would recommend both trying the above shampooing routine and speaking to your treatment provider in order to determine the best course of action.
Then, if after a couple of weeks you don’t notice any improvement, you would do well to consult a dermatologist regarding your scalp condition, or a hair loss specialist if you wish to both review your treatment regimen and have your scalp issues professionally diagnosed.
There are certain scalp-drying situations which may make the flaking worse, so by being aware of these, you may be able to take steps to help you avoid them. These include being in an environment where there is constant central heating or air-conditioning, or taking flights – especially long haul.
Do also try to avoid scratching your scalp as this can aggravate the skin, may lead to an infection and, should it be a repeated behaviour on an on-going basis, could lead to permanent hair loss if the area becomes scarred.
If your dandruff is self-diagnosed it may be worthwhile getting a professional opinion as a flaky scalp can indicate a number of issues, not just dandruff. These include seborrhoeic dermatitis and eczema, both of which have a number of treatments available, including prescription medication, but which – in mild cases – should also be cleared up using the medicated shampoo routine previously outlined.
The Belgravia Centre is an organisation specialising in hair growth and hair loss prevention with two clinics and in-house pharmacies in Central London, UK. If you are worried about hair loss you can arrange a free consultation with a hair loss expert or complete our Online Consultation Form from anywhere in the world. View our Hair Loss Success Stories, which includes the world’s largest gallery of hair growth comparison photos and demonstrates the levels of success that so many of Belgravia’s patients achieve. You can also phone 020 7730 6666 any time to arrange a free consultation.