Scalp calcification reduces blood flow to hair follicles which causes miniaturization and eventually follicle death.

Scalp Calcification – Why It Causes Hair Loss and How To Reverse It

In this article you’re going to learn about scalp calcification and the negative effects which calcium build up can have on the scalp. I’ll explain the causes of scalp calcification, as well as introduce you to a variety of ways to combat this hair-loss causing phenomena.

This article is important to read if you suffer from male pattern baldness as calcification plays a subtle but very interesting role. Read the article right to the end and leave a comment if you have any questions.

What is Scalp Calcification?

As you may already know, there are various substances which build up on the scalp. These include dead skin, oil, hair product, and even DHT. In addition to the previously mentioned, however, calcium can also build up on the scalp. This is known as scalp calcification.

The build up of any substance on your scalp isn’t good, no matter how beneficial it may be in small doses. This is because the follicles can become blocked, and this can negatively impact healthy hair growth.

What Causes Scalp Calcification?

The two main culprits of scalp calcification are hard water and calcium deposits.

Hard Water

In general terms, hard water is any water which is obtained from an underground source. And, while the majority of home’s receive their water in such a way, this doesn’t necessary mean you are being exposed to hard water in your own home.

Hard water can lead to scalp calcification

The truth is, there are various processes of water collection and distribution that different regions use. This may mean that your area has particularly hard water, or you may have soft (or at least softer) water.

Hard water areas in the US.

And in the UK…

A map of the hard water areas in the UK

Now, onto calcification.

When you shower using hard water, a reaction occurs between the water and your shampoo. This reaction creates a substance known as soap scum, and it clings to your skin, hair, and scalp. This will build up over time, leading to an increase in calcium levels found on your scalp.

Calcium Deposits

Perhaps you’re asking yourself, “isn’t calcium supposed to be in our bodies?” And yes, you’re absolutely right.

Calcium is a hardening mineral. It is found primarily in our bones and teeth, and is necessary for the health of both structures. Calcium can also be found in the bloodstream and in muscles, but too much of it (known as hypercalcemia) can lead to calcium deposits and buildup in places (like the scalp) where it can cause harm.

This was seen in a study performed on hypercalcemic rats. The rats were subjected to mild injuries of the skin. After only three hours, increased levels of calcium were found within follicles of injured skin.

Excess calcium in the bloodstream is worsened when inflammation is involved.

Inflammation is a natural body response to injury or irritation. However, chronic inflammation can lead to the collection of calcium deposits in said inflamed tissues.

This leads to the hardening of the inflamed tissues, which leads to further inflammation. This cycle continues until healthy blood flow to the scalp is completely constricted, resulting in hair loss and eventual death of the hair follicles.

What You Can Do About Scalp Calcification

After you’ve determined the cause of your scalp calcification, you can better address the issue.

Scalp Calcification Caused by Hard Water

There are three ways of combating calcification due to hard water.

First, you can target hard water at the source and soften your home’s water with a water softening filtration system. This can be costly, and installation is not always easy. There are, however, shower-only filters which can be fitted to the fixture and will filter water as you shower.

The acidity of lemon can break down the leftover minerals left behind by hard water.

Second, you can counter soap scum buildup and calcification by utilizing calcium-fighting remedies. This includes the use of a white vinegar and water mixture in order to soften hair and rinse away calcium build up following shampooing. Additionally, you can rinse your hair with lemon-infused water.

Third, you can create your own shampoo using apple cider vinegar as a base ingredient.

Scalp Calcification Caused by Calcium Deposits

While the last two methods mentioned above can help you to combat calcium deposits on the scalp, there’s a better way to target the issue at its source.

Magnesium is a natural combatant of calcium. It helps to slow calcium production and build up, and has even been shown to completely stop the production of calcium build up on blood vessel walls. Additionally, magnesium supplementation can lead to the reversal of vessel wall calcification.

Oil and dermaroller on a table

For best results, I suggest applying magnesium oil directly to the scalp. For adults, one fluid ounce massaged into the scalp for 10 minutes, 3-5 fives times per week seems to be most beneficial.

However, it is possible to accelerate results by applying the oil to your scalp on a daily basis. You can also use a dermaroller to stimulate hair growth even more.

You may also want to try a magnesium supplement to help counteract calcium deposits from the inside out. I recommend magnesium orotate.

In addition, try to eat more foods that are high in magnesium such as hazelnuts and almonds


The build up of calcium on your scalp – whether caused by external (hard water) factors or internal (hypercalcemia) factors – can lead to hair weakness, thinning, and loss. In the long run, it can even cause death of the hair follicles.

Fortunately, there are a number of methods you can use to combat the issue, and you can even reverse the effects of scalp calcification when you catch it early enough.

*This article was reviewed by Dr. Anil Simhadri

11 thoughts on “Scalp Calcification – Why It Causes Hair Loss and How To Reverse It”

  1. I’ve started using magnesium oil spray and occasionally the derma roller along my hairline before bed and have noticed a good difference in the health of the follicles over that time.

  2. Debi, regarding your link – they said 100mg/kg/day is dangerous. Notice the “/kg”. That’s 100 mg per kilogram of your body weight. I weigh 75 kg, so 7500mg of magnesium orotate would be dangerous. Most magnesium supplements are in the 100-500mg size.

  3. Hi

    How long does it take to reverse scalp calcification?

    I’m planning on taking high dose magnesium, vit d3 and vit k2 to reverse it. Along side using a roller.

    I’m told these 3 supplements can remove the calcium deposits. I’m just unsure of how long I need to do this for.

    Do I only need use these high doses until the calcification has gone? Or until my hair has regrown? I am a Norwood 5 so I’m not expecting results instantly.


  4. Hi,

    You say that ‘The build up of any substance on your scalp isn’t good, no matter how beneficial it may be in small doses.’

    Does this mean that your Scalp Elixir should also be rinsed out every morning with water, or does this not particularly matter?

    Thanks for the article!


    • Hi Charles,

      We do recommend that you rinse the Elixir out each morning. Once it’s been left in overnight, you don’t really derive much benefit from leaving it in longer. And that build up can become a problem if it’s not handled regularly, yes.



  5. Hi Charles,

    I have noticed hair thinning from the past year of hard water use. Is this concidered long term enough for it to be permanent?


  6. Hi Will,

    To reiterate Richard’s questions a few posts above – how do you know if Calcification is the cause of your hair loss? For me, it’s strange because on my left front hair line, I have significant balding to the point that virtually all hair in that quadrant is miniaturized, whereas the right front hair line, there is still a noticeable amount of hair. I do notice that my scalp on either side feels quite different – the left (the almost completely bald quadrant) feels like “waves” or “grooves” in the bone itself, as opposed to the right side (with a lot more hair) is more uniform with no waves or bumps in the bone. Don’t get me wrong, I’m losing my hair all over and the denseness is pretty sparse all over, but the left front hairline is by far the worst spot, which makes no sense to me.

    Any thoughts on why this is and what I should be doing?


    • Hi Chris,

      In the majority of cases, calcification is a result of prolonged hair follicle miniaturization. This can trigger hypercalcemia and, if left untreated, this can lead to calcification and eventually fibrosis of the scalp.

      The easiest way to determine if calcification is playing a role is by feeling the scalp. You mentioned the hardened grooves you feel on your side of the scalp which has less hair. This is a very common feeling, and it’s indicative of calcification.

      There are many reasons that one part of your scalp may be more affected than others, though scalp tension and follicle sensitivity are the two most common.

      As for what you can do, magnesium oil is great but it only helps the situation temporarily. You’ll want to also incorporate scalp massage into your daily routine, and even consider a device like the Growband to help.

      Kind regards,



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