#AskTheExpert: How To Tell If You Have A Hair Fungus (And How To Get Rid Of It)

scalp issues

Is your scalp super itchy and dry? Is it tender? Or does it low key stink? If so, you might be suffering from a hair fungus. Sounds gross, I know, but it’s a pretty common hair issue that many of us face when our bodies get out of balance or our hair care regimens aren’t up to par. It’s also very treatable.

[SEE ALSO: 11 Reasons To Add Apple Cider Vinegar To Your Hair Regimen]

We caught up with natural hair care expert and “hair whisperer” Tendai Morris to find out how to know if you have it and how to get rid of it. Outside of seeing a dermatologist, she gave us two main indicators: smell and flakes.


“If you have a fungus, you will actually smell it,” said Tendai. “And, you can’t get rid of the smell. You’ll wash your hair and still have the problem.”

But, she said, the main way to tell is if you have a flaky scalp — especially if you have big, dino-sized flakes.

“People think this is dandruff, but a lot of times it’s a fungus. You know you have a fungus when you go in and you try to comb your hair and these big giant flakes come up out [of your] scalp. It can also be moist under the flakes. Dandruff tends to be dry and like dust on your scalp. But, if it’s like a layer you can lift off your scalp, that’s more than likely a fungus.”

It’s also important to treat a potential hair fungus early as it can be a contributing factor to thinning hair and alopecia. “Fungus irritates the hair follicle,” said Tendai. “[This] causes alopecia where the hair just retards into the scalp and it doesn’t grow back out because of the fungus.”

Keep reading for four tips she gave for get ridding of this foul hair issue.

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About The Author

Stephenetta (isis) Harmon

isis is a music, hair and communications junkie. founder of Sadiaa and editor for HypeHair.com.