A healthy scalp is essential to great looking hair. Below are mens scalp care tips on maintaining scalp health and preventing common problems. Of course, proper hair care for men is also key to maintaining healthy looking hair.
KEEP YOUR SCALP CLEAN
Know What’s In Your Shampoo
The scalp should be cleansed using a shampoo that is mild as possible. Try to find a shampoo that is acid based, rather than alkaline based. Acid based shampoos are more mild to the skin (and hair). Look for shampoos that have a pH of 4.5 to 5.5. Also, look at the ingredients in your shampoo. The key cleanser used in many shampoos is Sodium Laureth Sulfate. Jack Black All-Over Wash is a great pH balanced shampoo and body wash just for guys!
Avoid Drying Problems
Wash hair in lukewarm water (hot water promotes a dry scalp) and avoid drying the scalp with a blowdryer.
Once or twice per week, remove dead skin and dirt from the scalp with an exfoliating scrub made for use on the face or scalp (such as MenScience Androceuticals Microfine Face Scrub).
Use of a good moisturizing conditioner not only helps keep the hair looking good, but it’s also great for helping the scalp maintain moisture.
A good scalp massage promotes blood flow to the scalp, soothes nerves, relaxes muscles, keeps the scalp flexible, and promotes hair growth and luster. Oh, and it feels great, too. Once per week, massage the scalp using firm pressure on upward strokes. Fingers should be placed under the hair (to avoid pulling) and massage should be performed using the balls of the fingertips in a circular motion. Massage the entire scalp for three or four minutes.
RECOGNIZE AND PREVENT SCALP PROBLEMS
Several scalp conditions, left untreated, may become larger problems and lead to hair loss. Below are a few common scalp problems. If any of the following conditions exist, please consult your dermatologist.
Acne is a cronic inflammatory disease of the oil glands. When the hair follicle is filled with excess oil and dirt, a blackhead forms and causes a blockage at the mouth of the follicle. This causes irritation and often leads to the development of pus-filled pimples. The treatment for mild acne is to reduce the skin’s oiliness by application of cleansers morning, noon and night. Regular exfoliation can also be helpful. Several creams containing Benzoyl Peroxide or Salicylic Acid can help prevent acne. Persistent or severe acne should always be treated by a dermatologist. Clean & Clear Clear Advantage Acne Spot Treatment is a good option for treating minor pimples on the scalp.
There are two common forms of Dandruff: Dry Dandruff and Greasy Dandruff. The principle signs of Dry Dandruff are white scales on the hair and scalp accompanied by itching. Greasy or Waxy Dandruff is characterized by scaliness of the epidermis, mixed with oils which causes it to stick to the scalp in patches. Dandruff may be associated with a dry or oily condition. Common causes include poor blood circulation to the scalp, poor diet, improper hygiene, excessive use of styling products, dry indoor air, tight fitting hats, or infection. Generally, dandruff is a natural condition and normally cannot be eliminated. Dandruff can be controlled by using a dandruff shampoo and correcting the conditions above that promote dandruff. Long-term neglect of Dandruff can cause baldness. Below are two common forms of Dandruff. Be careful using Dandruff Shampoos containing Zinc Pyrithione. Shampoos containing this chemical are not intended for daily use and should be used about 2 times per week, alternated with a good Moisturizing Shampoo. We like American Crew Anti-Dandruff for dandruff control.
Dry Dandruff (Pityriasis Capitis)
Treatment for dry dandruff includes use of special medicated shampoos, daily use of antiseptic lotions (such as Sea Breeze) and scalp massage while shampooing. Persistent or severe dandruff should always be treated by a dermatologist.
Greasy Dandruff (Pityriasis Steatoides)
Greasy or Waxy Dandruff can be a serious condition and should be treated by a dermatologist.
Head lice is one of the most common communicable disorders among children (and sometimes adults). Lice are small parasites that live in the hair and feed off the scalp. Shared use of brushes, hats, and other hair items are common causes of the spread of lice. Contrary to popular opinion, lice cannot be caught from animals. Lice only live on people. Symptoms include: persistent itching and the presence of actual lice and grayish “nits.” You can check for head lice by parting the hair and looking at sections of hair and scalp. This should be done in very bright light. Since lice is communicable, be sure to check everyone in the family and alert your school or daycare, so they may control the spread of the problem. There are special shampoos available to eliminate lice, but other steps must be taken. Brushes or combs should be soaked in lice shampoo for at least an hour (or thrown away). Wash all linens and vacuum carpets. Lice are tenacious creatures that can live off the body for up to 48 hours, so it is important to disinfect clothing, bedclothes and furniture as well as treat the hair. Do not discontinue treatment until eggs and lice are completely gone. Avoid contact with others while infected and never attempt to get a haircut while infected. Many make the incorrect assumption that a quick buzzcut will eliminate the problem. It will not. Many states require barbers and stylists to stop the service immediately if lice are detected. Finally, although lice is quite often eliminated by the use of “over the counter” products (such as RID Shampoo), you should seek the advice of a dermatologist if possible.
These appear as small bumps, most often on the face scalp. Poor shaving and cleansing of the skin can cause the hair to curl over within the follicle instead of exiting the skin. Ingrown hairs are prevented by proper cleansing of the skin and proper shaving techniques. Persistent problems with ingrown hairs should be treated under the advice of a dermatologist.
This is an inflammatory skin disease which commonly appears on the knees, elbows, and scalp. The cause of Psoriasis is unknown and it is not contagious. The lesions are round, dry patches covered with coarse, silvery scales. Psoriasis can be a difficult problem and should be treated by a dermatologist. Some of our clients have found great success by using the horribly named MG217 Psoriasis Medicated Conditioning Coal Tar Formula Shampoo.
Highly common among African American men, razor bumps occur when curly hair is cut close and growns back into the skin. The best treatement for razor bumps is to let the beard grow out and shave less. Proper shaving techniques can also prevent razor bumps. For more on shaving, check out our shaving section of this website.
A hot, red irritation of the skin caused by poor shaving techniques (most often excessive shaving and poor blade lubrication).
DISCLAIMER: The advice Haircuts for Men provides is not intended to be a substitute for a personal consultation with a barber or stylist. Any information or materials posted on this service or transmitted from this service are intended for general informational purposes only. Determining a proper haircut or service depends upon a personal inspection of your head and face shape, hair type, and scalp condition. By using this service, you acknowledge that Haircuts for Men is not liable for haircuts or services performed based upon the advice given or content posted on this service. The responsibility and liability for any service performed is that of the client and barber/stylist performing the service.