Clogged Hair Follicles on Scalp, Face, Legs: Causes & Remedies

HomeHairClogged FolliclesClogged Hair Follicles on Scalp, Face, Legs: Causes & Remedies

Clogged hair follicles, also called blocked hair follicles usually precede an infection. This can happen on the scalp or head, breast, bikinis or pubic area etc. When the condition is severe, hair follicles that are blocked can result in hair loss. Here are the causes and treatments to get rid and unclog the blocked follicles.

Pores and hair follicles on the scalp “can become blocked or irritated by sweat, machine oils, or makeup. When the follicles are injured, they are more likely to become infected.” [WebMD]

Causes of blocked hair follicles

What blocks hair follicles under the skin or scalp? Hair follicles are the sacs that are in the skin from which the hair grows. Cells group together in the pore, they normally attach to a sebaceous gland (which is a gland that usually produces oils to lubricate the hair shaft), which help the hair grow away from the skin.

Clogged hair follicle from ingrown hair
A blocked follicle from ingrown hair.

Follicles may thus become clogged with dirt, bacteria as well as the oils from the sebaceous glands. If not cleaned much regularly, people who have clogged pores may develop chronic acne and possibly hair loss.

  • Folliculitis is an inflammation of the hair follicles. “Folliculitis usually occurs at sites where hair follicles are damaged by friction or shaving, or where there is blockage of the follicle.” ( Each of the hair on the body grows out of a tiny pouch known as a follicle. You may have clogged hair follicles on any part of the body that has hair. But it is most common in the beard area, arms, back, breasts, buttocks, and also legs.
  • Scalp folliculitis hair loss is brought about by an infection of the scalp, but do you know how to recognize it and also treat it so as to prevent unhealthy scalp and the hair loss?
  • When the hair pores on the head are clogged it implies that dirt, germs, or even oil have collected on the scalp and seeped into the pores. The pile-up of the grease and dirt that has accumulated in the scalp’s pores act like any other blockage that you would find in a backed-up sink, shower drain or even garbage disposal: it, therefore, prevents the scalp from doing its job. As a result, therefore:
    • Clogged hair follicles come about as the hair is unable to break through the oily mess so as to rise to the surface.
    • Bacteria is therefore attracted to the hot-spot of oil and also the dirt, which may cause inflammation in the hair follicle.
    • Whether the hair follicles just become suppressed from the clogged pores or even infection happens also, you can even suffer from hair loss. Getting the pores unclogged quick should be top agenda.
  • Scalp folliculitis hair loss is normally brought about by an infection of the scalp, which is usually accompanied by itching or even soreness. Folliculitis is normally temporary but very severe cases can be difficult to treat and can lead to damage to hair and also the scalp that thus leaves bald patches.
  • Non-infectious clogged hair follicles are brought about by excess oils and the sebum on the scalp. It is also very possible to have the folliculitis brought about by viral, fungal, or even yeast agents, like the Herpes simplex.

Symptoms of clogged hair follicles

Folliculitis usually appears like red pimples that have a hair at the center of each one. The pimples can have pus, and they can itch or even burn. When the pimples break much open, they can drain pus, blood, or even both.

Scalp folliculitis may result from infected hair follicles
Scalp folliculitis may result from infected hair follicles.

Hot tub folliculitis most appears about 72 hours after you’ve been in a hot tub or a spa. Most of the small pimples appear on the stomach and sometimes on the arms or legs. You may have a mild fever and experience an upset stomach. Most of the time, this kind of folliculitis disappears on its own in 10 days.

Clogged hair follicle on the scalp

Illustration of a blocked hair follicle due to excessive oil
Illustration of a blocked hair follicle due to excessive oil.

Human skin usually secretes an oil known as ‘sebum’ through the sebaceous gland. Fresh sebum protects the skin and then moisturizes the hair.

But sebum might combine with other oils, cosmetic products and also the dead skin cells. If a combination of the sebum and other materials is left to build up it may lead to clogged hair follicles.

When this happens the sebum based oil forms a hard layer of the plaque. This plaque then clogs the scalps pores and embeds itself into the scalps top layer of the dead skin (the epidermis).

Do clogged follicles cause hair loss

There are several risk factors that are said to have a role in leading to hair loss, both the internal and external ones. There are, therefore, a variety of the products that are made to do away with the risk factor causing hair loss so as to minimize the effect.

One of the most-frequently blamed culprits for hair loss is the clogged pores on the scalp. There are stories of how the blocked scalp pores threaten hair health.

Hair loss may result from folliculitis and blocked pores
Hair loss may result from folliculitis and blocked pores.

Similar to the face and other body parts, the scalp also has numerous skin pores. Under these skin pores on the scalp, there are also sebaceous glands that produce oil so as to keep the skin moist and much hydrated, known as sebum.

Due to some causes that trigger the imbalanced production of the sebum, these glands can overproduce or under-produce the sebum. When the sebum is overproduced, the scalp pores may be easily clogged with the oil around the hair follicles.

Greasy hair, as well as acne on the scalp, are not the only effects the clogged pores on the scalp can cause. In fact, there is another common effect of the clogged pores on the scalp which is hair loss. Acne and oily scalp and also the hair are the mild reactions given by the body for clogged pores on the scalp. Yet, when it is left untreated, you may have hair loss, as well. This will not be very good since hair loss is really difficult to treat and therefore, restoring the falling hair is not an easy thing to do.

Clogged hair follicles may cause folliculitis when it is untreated. This is a similar problem that also occurs in the body skin. Folliculitis itself is the infection of the scalp which is brought about by risk factors including clogged pores. When the hair follicles are much clogged and then infected by bacteria, they then swell. This inflammation may cause skin eruption in the form of acne or even pimples that can be seen on the scalp. Eventually, the infection damages the hair follicles, leading to the hair thinning, which can be more visible as hair loss.

Despite the opinions that clogged hair follicles leads to baldness, there are performed research which denies these kinds of opinions. It is normally said that clogged hair pores trap the hair under them and therefore, this hair cannot free itself to grow through the surface of the skin, which appears as baldness.

In fact, together with the clogged hair follicles are not infected, it rarely leads to baldness. Hair loss, which is brought about by clogged scalp pores, thus, is possible when the clogged pores are infected by bacteria or even fungi and develop into folliculitis that damage the follicles and eventually preventing the hair to grow.

How to unclog hair follicles

There are quite a few things you can do to get rid of the blockage in the hair follicles. These can go a long way in preventing infections as well as making your hair grow out healthier, longer and thicker. Here are a few recommended home remedies to unclog hair follicles fast.

1. Head Massage:

This is one of a good way to detox the clogged hair follicles. Head massage is both much relaxing and therapeutic and assists to improve the circulation and then drain away any toxins that can have accumulated on the scalp. It also gets rid of the dead skin cells and then unclogs the hair follicles so that new hair may grow out effortlessly.

Use gentle, rhythmic movements by use of the pads of the fingers. You do not require to use any oils during the massage. Incorporation of the oil is very beneficial if you have a very dry scalp and also the hair, it assists to lubricate the scalp and also make the hair to appear shiny and vibrant.

As the oils are absorbed through the pores of the scalp, it’s better to apply pure, cold pressed oils such as coconut, almond, olive, and sesame.

2. Comb It Out

Similar to the head massage, this is a way to do away with any gunk that is clogging the pores of the scalp. Also, constant washing and overuse of the heat and other styling products can lead to the sebaceous glands to go haywire, affecting the health of the scalp.

Massaging or even combing several times stimulates sebaceous glands that ensure enough oil secretion, which is vital for the optimal functioning of the scalp. Also, sebum acts as a natural conditioner and assists to keep the hair soft, detangled and much protected from environmental and physical assaults.

Use a wide-tooth comb, preferably a wooden one and comb several times – about 50 – depending on what you feel comfortable and necessary.

3. Detox Clay Mask:

Nutrient-rich clays like the rhassoul or bentonite have this amazing ability to attract and also absorb impurities from the scalp and hair. They also assist to repair and renew scalp skin by nourishing it using pro-vitamins and the trace minerals such as silica, iron, sodium, and potassium.

To prepare the mask you will require:

  • 1/2 cup rhassoul clay (these amounts are for mid-length hair)
  • 140 to 150 ml plain or a herb infused water
  • 2 drops lavender essential oil

Procedure for unclogging hair follicles

  1. Mix all the ingredients as indicated so as to make a semi-thick paste.
  2. Cover the scalp and hair completely using the mixture.
  3. Allow it to sit for about 45 minutes.
  4. Rinse using warm water

Use bentonite clay for the oily hair and rhassoul for normal to dry the hair. Make your own infusion by pouring about 1 cup of boiling water over herbs of your choice – you can choose from rosemary, marigold, burdock, shikakai. Allow it to steep for about 15 minutes and strain.

4. Lemon/Lime Clarifying Rinse:

Drinking lemon juice with the warm water is able to open up clogged hair follicles. Likewise, lemon rinse is also a great detox for the scalp and also the hair. Rich in alpha hydroxyl acid, lemon aids in purification and even rejuvenation of the scalp skin. This refreshing aromatic rinse also assists to close the cuticles along the hair shaft, thus leaving hair with a lot of shiny bounce.

To make lemon rinse you will require:

  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 cup of water
  • 5 drops of lavender essential oil

Stir all the ingredients together and then use.
Pour the rinse over the hair. Gently massage it into the scalp and work it through the hair, and let it sit for about 5 minutes. Then wash off using plain water.

5. Cleanse With Shikakai:

This particular herb not only assists to detox, but it will also restore the hair’s pH and also make it shiny. My hair loves shikakai. If you haven’t tried this wonderful hair tonic, then I really encourage you to give it a try.

You can use as a hair wash, depending on the hair. If you have an oily hair then you can use as a final rinse, for normal to dry hair, then use as a hair wash. For very dry or even damaged hair try adding few drops of olive.

You can also try Indian Shikakai Herbal Hair & Skin Care Powder (Check price on Amazon)

6. Baking Soda:

This is another great way to get rid of the product build up and cleanse the scalp. Although the baking soda doesn’t work for some people as it makes the hair greasy and rough. And there is no harm in trying the cheap, yet very effective remedy.

Dissolve about 2 tsp baking soda in a cup of lukewarm water. Pour slowly overhead and massage the scalp and work through the lengths of the hair and then rinse after a couple of minutes.

As baking soda is alkaline in nature it will leave the hair’s cuticle open – which will make the hair look rough and much dull. To counteract this, the treatment is normally best followed with an acid rinse – lemon, black tea, vinegar. This will close the hair cuticles and normalize the hair pH.

7. Shower filter

This is not a direct detox method, but it can assist you to open clogged hair follicles. If you live in the hard water areas this is very useful as it assists to keep the heavy minerals out.

Things to Avoid

If you want to keep the hair very healthy and flourishing and for a longer time to come then try to avoid the below:

  • Blow-dryer: Air drying is the best way to dry the hair. Use a thin cotton cloth to soak up maximum water. Use about two if required, this will assist the hair dry quickly.
  • Heat styling: There are many videos on how to style hair with very natural ways. A simple way to create gorgeous heat-less curls: then you should plait the hair when its damp and then leave till it dries, undo and then finger comb for good looking hair.
  • Chemical styling products: if you can’t eat it you shouldn’t put it on the body. Before you use any ingredient on the body or hair ensure that it is very safe and natural. Read the labels as well as research about it. Pure oils and herbs are the safest and best way to keep the skin and hair healthy, shiny and beautiful.

What filters would be the best?

8. Shampoo for blocked hair follicles

Hair growing shampoo has active ingredients that normally work in synergy so as to improve the scalp’s condition and to create a healthy environment to open clogged hair follicles. These are the ways how hair shampoos may improve the hair growth ability:

  1. A hair shampoo with an intended use of encouraging faster hair growth is properly formulated using special ingredients that assist to get rid of germs from the scalp and then stimulate dormant hair follicles that are still healthy to generate new hair. DHT Blockers are able to penetrate into the hair follicles during hair washing and therefore to stop DHT production and build up in the follicle then you will need a shampoo.
  • All Natural Nutrifolica Hair Regrowth Shampoo is made from all natural ingredients that are known for the hair growing properties. These botanicals don’t irritate the scalp, lacks any side effects.
  • Green Tea is very rich in nutrients that are able to nourish the hair follicles and also contains antibacterial, antiseptic, as well as anti-dandruff properties.
  • Capsicum and Ginger are the circulatory stimulants that work so as to increase blood flow to the scalp and assist to stimulate dormant follicles.
  • Alpha Hydroxyl acts as a gentle, exfoliating agent that cleanses the pores of the scalp and also allows for a fast absorption of other herbal nutrients.
  • Sage and Aloe Vera contains antimicrobial, and conditioning qualities, while Lemongrass and Horsetail assist to normalize oil production in the scalp.
  1. Shampoos are able to stimulate the growth of hair by increasing the blood flow to the surface of the scalp. Rich blood supply assists to provide the hair follicles with the oxygen and nutrients vital for healthy hair growth. Energizing hair shampoos are formulated with botanicals and essential oils, like peppermint oil and also tea tree oil, to promote the local blood circulation and assist you to keep the scalp and hair very healthy.
  2. Hair shampoos can assist you to maintain a proper pH balance of the scalp as well as the hair, which ensures healthy hair growth. A gently, PH balanced shampoo that has Aloe Vera will keep the hair and even the scalp healthy, maintain an optimal pH balance, and then decrease hair shedding.

Hair growth shampoos should be very free of sulfates and other very harsh chemicals that might irritate the scalp, upset the natural scalp pH balance, and lead to most chronic hair and the scalp conditions.

Amplixin Stimulating Hair Loss Shampoo is also claimed to be very effective for reducing hair loss, and receding hairlines. This shampoo has been shown to be safe and much effective on all hair types including color treated hair.

This shampoo formula is paraben-free and has not ever been tested on animals. It has natural ingredients including Caffeine, Sage Leaf Extract, natural oils, and peptides required for healthy hair growth.

  • Caffeine – Researchers have also found that when used topically caffeine is able to suppress hair loss and also stimulate the natural hair growth cycle.
  • Red Clover is a natural anti-inflammatory agent that is able to prevent dandruff and scalp irritations and assists to improve hair’s strength and manageability.
  • Sage Leaf Extract – Using of sage leaf extract directly on the scalp is able to improve blood circulation and also stimulate healthy hair growth.
  • Aloe Vera – Aloe Vera maintains proper balance in the scalp, relieves irritation, and also prevent hair from falling out.
  1. If you suffer from the hair loss as a result of overproduction of the sebum, there are hair shampoos that are based on tea tree oil which is formulated to regulate sebum productionand get rid of the follicle-clogging residues from the scalp, thus enabling opening of clogged hair follicles.
    If you are losing hair due to a scalp condition that leads to inflammation of the hair follicle, there are herbal ingredients in the hair shampoos that can assist get rid of the scalp of fungi and bacteria, and also stimulate healthy hair growth.


  1. Can clogged pores cause hair loss:
  2. Skin problems and treatments:

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