For a long time, I wondered whether dirty, unwashed hair could cause breakouts on the face. Speaking from experience, I felt that every time my hair got dirty and oily, once it came in contact with my skin, I would have to deal with acne the next day. While there's so much information on the internet about this skincare issue, I wouldn't trust any source unless it came from a dermatologist. To put my mind at ease, I got in touch with Dr Chytra Anand, Celebrity Cosmetic Dermatologist, of Kosmoderma, to find out what are her thoughts on this topic.
According to Dr Chytra Anand, hair can cause breakouts when there is excess oil in the scalp. This is more of a hygiene issue and oil production issue rather than the hair itself.
Skin types that are oily or acne-prone, the scalp tends to produce excess oil. If the hair is not kept clean or washed frequently, the greasy, oil-coated hair tips will touch the face especially on the forehead, the temple area, and the cheeks - thus leading up to a flareup of breakouts.
Note: If the skin already has breakouts on its surface, the hair touching these could irritate the acne further causing them to get infected and become larger in size over a period of time.
If you're someone who works out often, uses too many hair styling products or doesn't wash your hair for days, more than your hair, your scalp and skin could be at risk. To keep the acne at bay, Dr Chytra Anand suggests using a medicated shampoo once or twice a week made specifically for oily scalp. Frequent washes help to reduce breakouts due to dirty hair. Tying the hair back from the face will also help to reduce the impact of hair on acne especially while sleeping at night.
Even if your hair is dirty, try not to overwash it. Like Dr Chytra mentioned earlier, once or twice a week should be good enough. Overwashing your locks can dry them out and cause them to become brittle. To nurse your strands back to health, oil them often and apply hair packs with nourishing ingredients.
Remember, a clean scalp is a sign of a healthy one. In spite of keeping your locks and the scalp squeaky clean, if you still experience breakouts, you may have to pay your dermatologist a visit to get to the root of the problem.
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