Being a professional hairstylist, I have seen a lot of flaky scalps. I have also heard a lot of stories on how the scalp got that way. One question that I was asked was if dandruff could possibly be contagious. Well, first I would like to point out that all flakes are not created equal. You could have your classic case of dandruff which is moderate flaking, or you could have a more serious scalp condition like psoriasis or eczema in the scalp.
|dandruff picture courtesy of wikipedia|
I have had clients say that they never had dandruff until they went to a hairstylist who they think gave them dandruff from using a comb on a client that had dandruff on them as well without cleaning it first. While it is said that dandruff is not contagious I have also seen this happen. Dandruff can however, become contagious when it results from ringworm. At this point it is said to become contagious. Although it is said that dandruff is not contagious, I still would never use a comb, personally or professionally, that someone else has used, especially if that person has dandruff. Eczema and psoriasis are also said to not be contagious, but again, I like to err on the side of caution. When I am using a comb or brush on someone I make sure to wash it in between clients. So, to answer the question of is dandruff contagious, the technical answer is no. My answer from actually being there first hand to witness it is, it can be possible if you are not sanitary. Just to be extra careful, keep your comb and brush to yourself and keep them clean!