Symptoms of scalp fungus include patches of scaly skin around or above the scalp, brittle or fragile hair, tender or painful scalp, and gray or reddened scaly areas, according to Mayo Clinic. Patches may have small black dots where hair has broken off.
Scalp fungus is also known as tinea capitis or ringworm on the scalp, and it is similar to fungal infections found in beards, jock itch and athlete's foot. MedlinePlus reports that scalp fungus germs grow on dead hair and skin. Scalp fungus grows easily in the presence of scalp injuries, unwashed hair and skin that is wet or sweaty for prolonged periods.