Clogged pores on the scalp are a very frustrating issue. They can become itchy and inflamed and, in more severe cases, lead to flaking skin and even hair loss. Thankfully, there are plenty of easy and simple ways to treat clogged scalp pores at home.
What Causes Clogged Scalp Pores?
In certain cases, pores on the scalp can become clogged due to very infrequent hair washing. However, in the majority of cases, clogged scalp pores are caused by product buildup. Regardless of how well the hair is rinsed, a small amount of residue from shampoo and conditioner remains.
Over time, this buildup slowly settles into, and clogs, pores. As a result, the natural sebum (skin oil) the body produces can’t exit via the hair follicle. When this stage is reached, swelling and infection can result.
Correcting Clogged Pores – Products
As you wait for your clogged pores to open up, which can take some time, there are some product-related precautions to take. These precautions will help ensure that, as you heal your clogged pores, you’re not doing more damage in the meantime.
Products labeled as non-comedogenic have been specially designed not to clog pores. This description is most commonly seen on skin products such as cosmetics and sunscreen, but there are quality non-comedogenic shampooing and conditioning products available as well. If you can’t find any shampoos with this label, select a high-quality, clear shampoo.
Non-comedogenic styling products can be very difficult to find. Your best option is to avoid styling products as much as possible until the pores on your scalp have opened up. If this is impossible, avoid getting styling products onto your scalp. Concentrate their usage on the middle and end portions of your hair. For the most part, this is where they have been designed to be used. With the exception of dry shampoos and some volumizing treatments, very few styling products are meant to come into contact with the scalp.
Correcting Clogged Pores – Healthy Hair-Washing Habits
When in the shower, take longer than usual in washing your hair. Using your fingertips (or nails, if they are long), take the time to thoroughly massage your scalp as you shampoo. Massaging the scalp will help to physically loosen any dead skin, dried sebum and product residue stuck in pores and hair follicles. Shampoo your hair twice, rinsing until the water runs clear.
When using conditioner, apply it to the center portion and ends only. Not only can many conditioners contribute to clogged pores and follicles, but they tend to weight hair down when applied to the top and front sections.
Wash and rinse your hair under hot or warm water; this also helps to loosen the material clogging your pores. Give your hair a final rinse with cooler water to help boost shine.
Infection and Inflammation
If a pore or hair follicle becomes infected and inflamed, it will feel and look much like a blemish on the face. It may be red and swollen; you may even see a small ‘head’ of yellowish or white pus.
If you can see the head of the blemish, you may try to squeeze it out to speed healing. Cover the area with a hot washcloth for five minutes. With your fingers covered by tissues, apply gentle pressure – don’t squeeze too hard! If the clogged pore does not ‘pop’ immediately, leave it alone.
As you go through the process of unclogging scalp pores and follicles, you may have to put up with several inflamed areas. This will go away as soon as your scalp is once again clear and healthy.