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Scalp Acne: Why It Happens and How to Treat It

Updated: Jun 5

Hi there, Let’s chat about something not-so-glamorous but totally common—scalp acne. Yep, you heard me right. Those pesky pimples aren’t just for your face; they can pop up on your scalp too. But don’t worry, I’m here to help you understand why it happens and what we can do to treat it. So, grab a cup of tea, and let’s dive into the nitty-gritty of scalp acne.

Why Does Scalp Acne Happen?

Scalp acne can be caused by a mix of factors. Let’s break down the most common culprits:

Wrong Hair Products:

One of the main reasons for scalp acne is using the wrong hair products. Dry shampoo, styling gels, and heavy conditioners can build up on your scalp, clogging pores and leading to breakouts. Always make sure you’re using products that suit your hair type and are non-comedogenic (which means they won’t block your pores). Also, make sure that you are shampooing 2X's to remove dry shampoo from the scalp.

Gut Health:

Believe it or not, what’s happening in your gut can affect your scalp. Poor gut health can lead to an imbalance in your body, which might show up as scalp acne. Eating a balanced diet rich in probiotics, fiber, and nutrients can improve your overall health and help keep your scalp clear.


Some medications can cause scalp acne as a side effect. If you’ve started a new prescription and noticed more breakouts, it might be worth talking to your doctor. They can help you understand if your medication is the culprit and suggest alternatives if necessary.

Hormonal Changes:

Just like with facial acne, hormonal fluctuations can cause scalp acne. This is particularly common during periods of stress, puberty, or changes in birth control methods.

Poor Hygiene:

Not washing your hair often enough can lead to a build-up of oil, dead skin cells, and product residue, which can all contribute to scalp acne. On the flip side, over-washing can strip your scalp of its natural oils, causing it to overproduce oil and lead to breakouts. It’s all about finding that perfect balance.

How to Treat Scalp Acne

Now that we know why scalp acne happens, let’s talk about how to treat it. Here are some tips to help you get that scalp back in shape:

Choose the Right Products:

Opt for gentle, sulfate-free shampoos and conditioners that won’t clog your pores. I recommend hair loss products to balance the scalp, this can help reduce acne and keep your scalp clean. And remember, moderation is key with dry shampoo! CLICK HERE for the products I trust.

Regular Scalp Exfoliation:

Just like your face, your scalp can benefit from regular exfoliation. Use a scalp scrub or a gentle exfoliating brush to remove dead skin cells and product build-up. This helps keep your pores clear and your scalp healthy. I recommend the block-up builder by Nutrafol. Stay away from aggressive exfoliators with ingredients like crushed walnuts as these will cut the scalp and cause inflammation.

Healthy Diet:

Incorporate foods rich in vitamins A, C, D, and E, as well as omega-3 fatty acids, zinc, and probiotics into your diet. These nutrients support skin health and can help reduce acne.

Consult a Professional:

If your scalp acne is persistent, consider booking an appointment with a trichologist. They can provide specialized scalp treatments and recommend products that are best for your specific condition.

Scalp acne might be a nuisance, but with the right approach, you can get it under control and enjoy a healthy, happy scalp. Remember, choosing the right products, maintaining a balanced diet, and practicing good hygiene are key. And don’t hesitate to reach out if you need more personalized advice—I’m here to help!

Wishing you good hair days! Tabitha

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