Have you started to notice bumps on your scalp that you swear weren’t there before? Welcome to the land of scalp acne or scalpne.

What causes scalp acne?

When your hair follicles get blocked due to hair sebum, dead skin cells, or bacteria, they get inflamed. This causes you to have pimples on your scalp, known as scalp acne.

Scalp Acne can happen due to:

  • Hormonal changes (menstruation or PCOS)
  • Oil-based hair products
  • Use of certain birth control pills
  • Having dandruff
  • Not washing hair frequently

How can you prevent sleep acne?

Stop Picking on It

Scalp acne isn’t much different from face acne. The first rule of thumb should be: keep your hands off it! Don’t pick at it. A popped pimple means a gateway for bacteria to enter your skin, which will create further infections and irritations for you. Even when it gets itchy, just gently press on it.

Frequent Hair Washing

Shower Head


If you have oily hair, you should be washing your hair frequently (preferably every day) — especially after your workout. Look for shampoos that contain ingredients like salicylic acid, tea tree oil, or cortisone. They work by reducing oil production, dandruff, inflammation, and dryness.


Exfoliating your scalp once a week is a good idea. It removes excess oil and prevents dry skin. Opt for chemical exfoliants (glycolic acid or salicylic acid) since your scalp is already sensitive, using a physical exfoliator will cause further inflammation.

 Say No to Oils

Anything thick or greasy should be a no-no for your hair: this means no hair repair treatments and no deep conditioning masks. Apply them to the ends of your hair, but your scalp doesn’t need this extra oil; it already produces sebum. Also, excess oil on your scalp will make your acne worse, and that’s the last thing you need when you’re already suffering from scalpne.

Use Acne Products

Medicines in a cup


Mild scalp acne can be treated with acne medication or products though you should avoid products that contain benzoyl peroxide since it can discolor your hair. Instead, a moisturizer containing salicylic acid can be considered as it’s gentle and doesn’t discolor your hair.

Take Your Vitamins

Vitamin A, D, and E work on making the skin healthy. Incorporate them into your diet by either opting for foods that are rich in them or taking supplements.

If you’re based in Houston and are looking for hair restoration services, head over to Hair Extensions of Houston. We provide Low Light Therapy (LLT) to make your hair healthier, longer, and stronger! We also offer premium Russian hair extensions for your hair by using our advanced HairLocs System to ensure a safe, healthy transition to your new hair! Book an appointment with us now.