In this article, you will discover the causes, signs, treatments, and home remedies for clogged hair follicles.

Hair arises from small pores with sac-like structures known as hair follicles. They are present on the skin and the scalp, and their function is to make the hair grow outwards in a healthy way.

However, the hair follicles can fill up with unwanted substances such as sweat, sebum, chemicals, dirt, and dead cells. This condition is called hair follicle-clogging. It can cause infection, irritation, pain, bleeding, pus filling, hair-thinning, and even hair loss.

What Causes Hair Follicles To Clog?

What Causes Hair Follicles To Clog

They are sac-like structures present in the skin from which the hair arises. When cells aggregate in this pore, they attach to a sebaceous gland, directing the direction of hair growth away from the skin. A sebaceous gland is the one that produces natural oils to hydrate the hair structure.

The clogging of hair follicles can happen due to dirt, bacteria, or oil accumulation in them. These substances attach to sebum and form a hard layer or plaque that blocks the hair pores and remains stuck in the epidermis. If the clogging worsens, it can cause chronic acne and hair loss.

Some of the causes that trigger the clogging of hair follicles are:

1.Folliculitis

This is the inflammation of the hair follicles. Folliculitis may cause clogging of the follicles and vice versa. It tends to occur due to the damage caused by friction and shaving. It is common in the beard area, arms, back, breasts, legs, buttocks.

2. Scalp Folliculitis

The clogging of the scalp follicles can also be caused by folliculitis in this area. This occurs due to germs, dirt, and oil accumulation in the scalp. This leads to swelling of the hair follicles, bacterial inflammation, and hair loss. Other symptoms are itching and soreness. If it lasts for a long time, it may cause permanent damage and bald spots.

3.Excessive Sebum

The body produces sebum naturally for its own hydration. When sebum combines with dust, dirt, dead skin cells, or any other residues and enters the follicle, it becomes clogged.

4.Chemical Residuals

Excessive usage of cosmetics with a high amount of chemicals can lead to clogging of hair follicles.

5.Microbes

Microbes like viruses and fungi: Sometimes pathogens lead to inflammation of the hair follicles, causing their clogging.

6.Yeast Agents

like the Herpes simplex.

7.Excessively Hot Water

Contact with excessively hot water steam, like in a hot bath or spa. This condition manifests after 72 hours and is known as hot tub folliculitis. It disappears by itself within 10 days.

SYMPTOMS –What happens when the follicles clog?

SYMPTOMS –What happens when the follicles clog

When a few hair follicles become clogged, it might not be noticeable. However, when the condition expands, it can lead hair loss. This may come as a surprise and you may not even realize that it is happening due to follicle clogging.

The hair follicles can become clogged rather easily. A period of poor hygiene can be enough to trigger the clogging.If left untreated, follicle clogging can lead to constant irritation, chronic acne, hair loss, and ultimately bald patches.

The signs of folliculitis are as follows:

  • Red pimples with a hair at the center.
  • Pimples filled with pus.
  • Itching and burning sensation.
  • On bursting the pimples, drainage of pus or blood.
  • Mild fever and upset stomach in case of hot tub folliculitis.
  • Hair thinning and hair fall.
  • Hair loss and appearance of bald spots or patches.

Unclog The Scalp’s Hair Follicles Using Home Remedies

Unclog The Scalp's Hair Follicles Using Home Remedies
Unclog The Scalp’s Hair Follicles Using Home Remedies

Follicle clogging is a condition that can be treated with the help of natural ingredients. The usage of natural products and methods to treat the hair and scalp ensures the absence of side effects, the removal and prevention of sebum plaque and dandruff, and improvement of the strength, thickness, and overall health of the hair. And all this in a natural way!

Even if you do not have clogged hair follicles, you can use these remedies to improve the health and appearance of your hair and skin.

1. NATURAL SHAMPOOS:

Regular shampoos have harsh chemicals that can make the hair and the scalp dry and devoid of life. The shampoos that we usually use, such as those belonging to a famous brand, forming a thick foam, or giving out an exotic smell, can leave our scalp damaged and regret the choice.

An alternative to them is a completely natural shampoo that has ingredients of your choice and knowledge. This will not cause irritation or dryness and will make the hair shine healthily and naturally.

To make your shampoo use the following ingredients:

  • Apple cider vinegar (2 tablespoons)
  • Baking soda (1 teaspoon)
  • Tea tree oil and peppermint oil (2 drops each)

Using the oils is optional, though they have antimicrobial properties that can get rid of dandruff and increase the blood flow in the scalp.

The other two ingredients are mild and natural cleansers. Mix and stir all the ingredients in a container and wait for the baking soda and apple cider vinegar to stop reacting. The shampoo is now made.

Massage the mixture on wet hair for around 3 minutes and rinse it with cold or warm water. This method is an excellent remedy for hair loss.

2. COLD SHOWERS:

The warmth of the water on the scalp and skin during a hot shower can make us feel calm. But excessively hot water dries out the skin and the scalp and triggers inflammation.

The optimal water temperature to clean the body is a moderate one, not too cold nor too hot.

Water at this temperature helps in resolving clogged pores better than hot water due to its ability to improve blood circulation and prevent dryness, brittleness, dandruff, and excessive oil production by the body for repair purposes.

To enhance blood and oxygen flow fresh water is the best option. It helps in making the follicles stronger and more resistant and prevents weakness and shedding of the hair strands.

3. ADD A SHOWER FILTER:

More than a remedy, this is a prevention tip. A shower filter can reduce the number of heavy minerals from the water you use to wash your skin and scalp. This prevents clogging of follicles by the chemicals present in water.

4. HEALTHY FOOD:

As for every health condition, a healthy and balanced diet will help in the treatment of this one too. To prevent and treat the build-up of residues and sebum on the hair follicles, make sure your menus are rich in fiber and antioxidants.

These are the primary nutrients necessary for the detoxification of the body and the skin. Vitamins and minerals will also enhance the detoxification, strengthen the hair and speed up its growth in a natural way.

Do not forget to add proteins and healthy fats, and of course, lots of water.

On the other hand, avoid frying oils, greasy food, and processed foods. These add toxins and metabolic waste into the body and cause follicle clogging among other conditions. Replace them with vegetable and fruit juices and salads, nuts, seeds, and fish.

5. ESSENTIAL OILS:

Natural oils from plant sources help in keeping the scalp healthy and promoting hair growth and shine. Their regular use can prevent and treat hair shedding and hair loss.

Some of the best essential oils for hair are castor oil, coconut oil, rose oil, olive oil, argan oil, almond oil, tea tree oil, and mustard oil.

6. CLAY HAIR WASH:

This is a quick method to remove dirt and grease from the scalp. Make a mixture of nettle infusion and a teaspoon of bentonite clay.

Stinging nettle has anti-inflammatory properties and can intensively wash the scalp and its follicles. Bentonite clay can attach and remove toxins both internally and externally.

The combination of these ingredients makes an effective cleansing and nourishing mixture for the skin and the scalp.

You can add drops of lavender essential oil for an enhanced benefit.  Massage wet hair and skin with the mixture for three minutes to remove residues and unclog pores. Rinse thoroughly.

7. LEMON DETOX:

Drinking a glass of water mixed with freshly squeezed lemon can do wonders to your body. Doing this just after waking up has been shown to remove impurities from the digestive tract and in turn prevent them from entering the bloodstream.

This will result in a healthier appearance of the skin and the scalp in a completely natural way. Also, lemon is an excellent source of vitamin C.

Lemon can also be used as an external cleanser by rinsing the scalp with a mixture of lemon juice and water. Let it act for five minutes and wash it off with plain water. It will give your hair an aromatic scent and shiny look.

8. GREEN TEA RINSE:

This herbal tea makes a great rinse at the end of a bath or shower. Green tea has nutritional, antiseptic, and antibacterial properties that can help in unclogging the follicles of the scalp and the skin and treating dandruff.

9. APPLE CIDER VINEGAR:

Its antimicrobial properties help in removing clogs, preventing dandruff, and stimulating the hair follicles. A rinse with apple cider vinegar leaves the scalp clean and improves the health and shine of the hair.

10. NEEM LEAVES:

This medicinal plant has antifungal, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antiseptic properties that make it a very efficient healer of rashes and infections. To use it, boil fresh neem leaves in water. Rinse the skin and the hair with it after it cools down.

11. ALOE VERA:

Aloe Vera gel is an excellent anti-inflammatory agent that reduces inflammation and swelling and soothes burning sensations. Applying Aloe Vera gel to the scalp and the skin will help in unclogging the pores by acting on the causal microbes.

12. TURMERIC:

The curcumin present in turmeric is an excellent healer of skin disorders. It can make the scalp, and the skin regains its normal health. Add a teaspoon of turmeric into the bathing water or consume it dissolved in milk or drinking water.

13. WITCH HAZEL:

The astringent effects of witch hazel make it a suitable remedy for many skin disorders. It can be applied on the areas of the body affected by folliculitis with the help of a cotton ball. Opt for with hazel that is devoid of alcohol or perfume.

14. HEAD MASSAGES:

Massaging the head in a gentle way and with the appropriate pressure has a calming and therapeutic effect that enhances blood circulation and detox processes.

It unclogs the hair follicles and removes dead skin cells.

Use your fingertips with or without essential oils such as sesame, olive, coconut, or almond oil. Their addition moisturizes and nourishes the hair and the scalp.

15. SHIKHAKAI:

The powdered extracts of this herb have been traditionally used in India for cleansing the hair naturally. It has detoxifying and nourishing properties that provide the hair with an attractive glow and volume.

The ingredient can be found in numerous shampoos and hair wash products. It is also sold in its powder form. Adding a few drops of olive oil will prevent dryness and enhance hydration.

Hair follicle-clogging is a common condition that often goes unnoticed, and hence untreated. Early treatment can prevent several symptoms associated with an unhealthy hair and skin, and provide a better appearance overall.

How To Prevent The Hair Follicles From Getting Clogged?

It is recommended that you rectify the clogged hair follicles as soon as you notice them to prevent the worsening of the condition.

The blockage of the follicles can be treated and prevented by taking proper care of the hair and maintaining a good hygiene.

Here are some methods that will not only unclog the follicles but also prevent them from further clogging:

i. Brushing & Scrubbing:

Brushing the hair regularly is very important to keep a healthy scalp. The action of brushing stimulates the blood capillaries and increases the blood flow. This enhances the supply of nutrients and oxygen to the skin and its pores and keeps them open.

Make sure you do not brush too hard as this could hurt the scalp, and do not do it for a very long time. Excessive brushing can lead to irritation and increased production of sebum. The brushing should be gentle and for a moderate time.

For the clogged follicles in other parts of the body, scrubbing will have a similar effect as brushing does for the scalp.

Scrub the skin gently while bathing with the help of scrubbers and bathing sponges designed for the purpose.

Avoid scrubbing too hard and too many times. For some skin types, scrubbing every alternate day can be enough in order to avoid dryness and irritation.

ii. Showering:

This is another hygiene habit that should not be forgotten. Cleaning the skin with soap and water in the morning can prevent the production of sebum for several hours.

The skin should be washed every day while the scalp should be washed three to four times a week.

In case of excessive sebum production on the scalp, wash it every alternate day until it gets back to normal. Excessive washing can irritate the skin and the scalp.

iii. Using specialized products:

Consult your health-care provider about products specialized in treating the build-up of sebum. Unlike the ordinary shampoos, these products will have special components that can easily soften and release the substances that clog the follicles.

Ask for purifying, deep cleaning, and clarifying shampoos to cleanse, treat, and regulate the sebum in the scalp follicles.

iv. Clarifying shampoos:

The hair should be optimally shampooed twice or thrice a week. This prevents the drying out and dulling of the hair by the detergents and chemicals that the regular hair products and cosmetics contain.

These substances can easily lead to follicle clogging and cause odor development. To prevent follicle blockage and maintain the necessary natural oils of the hair and scalp, use a clarifying shampoo.

v. Noncomedogenic products:

The regular commercial shampoos sold under the name of moisturizers and enhancers of hair volume have plenty of chemicals.

These can easily trigger the clogging of the hair follicles.

To treat and prevent further clogging of hair follicles, opt for non-comedogenic products. They are formulated specially to maintain the hair follicles in their normal condition and prevent breakouts and hair loss.

The regular oil based and perfumed skin moisturizers can also enhance follicle clogging. They should be replaced by neutral ones.

vi. Salicylic acid peel:

Dermatologists use this method to peel away the layer of residues and dead skin cells from the skin. It results in a refreshing and glowing appearance. The method can also be used to remove grease and dirt from the scalp hair follicles when they are clogged. This will prevent hair thinning and hair loss.

vii. Retinoids& Antibiotics:

In severe clogging cases, the prescription of retinoids can help in the treatment. This medication is derived from vitamin A and has an effect on cell growth that prevents the blockage of the hair follicles and acne symptoms. Examples are adapalene, tazarotene, and tretinoin.

When follicle clogging takes place associated with acne, oral antibiotics can be prescribed to kill the causal microbes and reduce the inflammation.

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Dr. Sania Siddiqui is a Unani medicine expert, who has completed her Bachelors in Unani Medicine & Surgery from Jamia Hamdard, New Delhi.She is an experienced Medical Content Writer and has been writing in the online space for the past 7 years. Her areas of expertise range from skin & hair care, women’s health, diet & nutrition, pregnancy, parenting, lifestyle and fitness.