8 Ways to Stop Scalp Zits

Written by andy

Treat pimples like a pro!

Pimples can be an incredibly annoying, incredibly difficult problem to deal with. They may break out at the worst times (just before a wedding!). Thanks to the fact that it’s a mixture of hormones, genetics, and bacterial infections, they can be tough to get rid of and prevent. Scalp pimples may not be as common or as visible, but they can be just as annoying as the pimples that show up on your face. Thankfully, we’ve found a few ways to stop scalp zits:

  • Avoid irritants – There are a surprising number of gels, waxes, and pomades that will irritate your scalp. That irritation will make it easier for the bacteria to infect your skin, leading to more zits. Try to avoid anything that would irritate your skin! If that means you need to change up your hairstyle to one that doesn’t require hair styling products, so be it.
  • Wash regularly – The P. acne bacteria need two things in order to thrive: dirt and skin oil. They already have plenty of dead skin cells to feed on! If you keep your scalp clean—via regular washing—you’ll deprive them of their two primary food sources. You may need to start washing your hair (with shampoo) on a more regular basis, at least once every two or three days. Do this for a few weeks until you’ve eliminated most of the scalp bacteria.
  • Avoid thick oils – If you are using gels or products that contain very thick oils, you may increase your risk of infection. Thick oils form clumps of skin cells that suffocate your pores, leading to infection. Try to use thinner oils—almond oil, coconut oil, and jojoba oil. Avoid any oils or oily products that are too thick.
  • Watch your application – Most of your hair care and styling products are meant to deal with the hairs, not the follicles. If you apply the gel, wax, pomade, or mousse too close to the roots, you could increase the risk of scalp infections. Apply your styling products to the main strands of hair, but keep them away from the hairline!

READ MORE: Foods That Fight Acne

  • Limit hats – While hats may complement your appearance, they won’t help to prevent scalp zits. They not only keep sweat trapped on your hair (feeding the bacteria), but they reduce air flow, increase heat, and may even cause friction that can lead to a form of acne known as “acne mechanica”. The same goes for beanies, head scarves, and helmets. Limit head wear unless absolutely necessary.
  • Cut your hair – If your hair is very long, it may require a lot of skin oil (sebum) to protect it from damage. High skin oil production can lead to more zits, as the P. acne bacteria feeds off the oil. Cutting your hair can help to reduce skin oil production, and may even deprive the bacteria of its primary food source.
  • Brush daily – This stimulates the production of skin oil, but it pulls the skin oil AWAY from the scalp. Brushing will also help to eliminate dead skin cells, and it can break apart strands of too-oily hair that are stuck together. Brushing can also improve circulation and reduce the risk of infection.
  • Use antibacterial shampoo – On a monthly or bi-weekly basis, apply an antibacterial shampoo. It won’t affect your hair, but it will do wonders for dealing with the bacteria that has accumulated on your scalp.

These simple ways to stop scalp zits are highly effective if you use them correctly!

About the author


Some people get lucky and are born with fit, toned bodies. Andy Peloquin is not one of those people... Fitness has come hard for him, and he's had to work for it. His trials have led him to becoming a martial artist, an NFPT-certified fitness trainer, and a man passionate about exercise, diet and healthy living. He loves to exercise--he does so six days a week--and loves to share his passion for fitness and health with others.

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