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Treating clogged hair follicles: Expert tricks and tips


Clogged hair follicles, also known as folliculitis, occur when the hair follicles become blocked with oil, dead skin cells, and other debris. They can be a frustrating and unsightly problem for many people. 

Are you dealing with closed hair follicles and wondering how to address this issue? In this article, we’ll explore various methods on how to open closed hair follicles, both medically and naturally.

Symptoms of clogged hair follicles on the scalp:

  • Pimple-like bumps or redness on the scalp
  • Itching or burning sensation 
  • Flaking or dandruff-like build-up 
  • Pain or tenderness when touching the affected area
  • Inflammation or swelling of the hair follicles
  • Drainage of pus or other fluids from the bumps
  • Hair loss in the affected area

What causes blocked hair follicles?

There are several causes of blocked hair follicles, including

  • Oily skin
  • Dead skin cells
  • Bacterial infection
  • Hormonal changes
  • Cosmetics
  • Shaving or waxing
  • Certain medical conditions such as eczema and psoriasis
  • Genetic predisposition

What do blocked hair follicles look like?

Blocked hair follicles can appear as small, red, pus-filled bumps on the skin. They can be tender to the touch and may be itchy. Some blocked hair follicles may also feel warm or be accompanied by a burning sensation.

In severe cases, the bumps may become larger and form into abscesses (pus-filled lumps) that are painful and may need to be drained by a healthcare provider. 

What are the potential complications?

Blocked hair follicles can lead to several potential complications if not treated properly. Some potential complications are scarring, permanent hair loss, the spread of infection to other parts of the body, and recurrent infections.

Constant itching, redness, and other symptoms of blocked hair follicles can be distressing and can also affect one’s self-esteem and psychological well-being.

How are blocked hair follicles treated

Blocked hair follicles can be treated in several ways, depending on the cause and severity of the condition. The treatment options include

Topical creams or ointments: Antibiotic or antifungal creams can be used to treat bacterial or fungal infections of the hair follicles.

Oral antibiotics: Oral antibiotics may be prescribed to treat bacterial infections that are severe or widespread.

Laser hair removal: Laser hair removal can help reduce the number of hair follicles and the risk of infection.

Hot compress: A hot compress can be applied to the affected area to help unclog the hair follicles.

Exfoliation: Exfoliating the skin can help remove dead skin cells and unclog the hair follicles.

What can be done to prevent clogged hair follicles?

To prevent clogged hair follicles, it is important to maintain a regular hair-washing routine, using a gentle shampoo and conditioner. Avoid using styling products that contain heavy oils or waxes. Also learn how to open hair pores on the head with simple and natural methods such as exfoliating the scalp, using warm compresses, and incorporating herbal remedies. It’s also important to maintain a healthy diet and lifestyle, as poor nutrition and stress can contribute to hair and scalp issues. Additionally, using a comb or brush with wide-set teeth can help to prevent tangling and breakage, which can also contribute to clogged hair follicles.

Tips to boost hair health

Here are some tips to boost hair health and prevent clogged hair follicles:

  • Eat a well-balanced diet rich in vitamins, minerals, and protein to support healthy hair growth.
  • Stay hydrated
  • Use a gentle sulphate-free shampoo
  • Avoid heat styling
  • Brush your hair gently
  • Massage the scalp: Massaging the scalp can improve blood flow, promote healthy hair growth, and prevent clogged hair follicles.
  • Avoid tight hairstyles
  • Be mindful of the hair products you are using


In conclusion, folliculitis can be caused by a variety of factors, including poor hygiene, excessive oil production, and certain skin conditions. Several natural methods can be used to reopen closed hair follicles. However, it’s important to consult a healthcare professional if you suspect that an underlying medical condition may be causing the blocked hair follicles. Ayu Health can provide quality healthcare at affordable prices. Contact 636-610-0800 to book an appointment now.


Q1: How do reopen closed hair follicles naturally?

Several natural methods can be used to open closed hair follicles:

  1. Scalp exfoliation: Gently exfoliate the scalp with a mixture of sugar, olive oil, and honey.
  2. Hot oil treatment: Applying warm oil to the scalp, such as coconut or castor oil, can help to soften and loosen any buildup in the follicles, making it easier to remove.
  3. Herbal remedies: Using herbal remedies such as tea tree oil, peppermint oil, and rosemary oil can help to unclog the follicles 

Q2.  Are clogged hair follicles contagious?

No, they are not contagious. However, certain types of folliculitis, such as bacterial or fungal, can be contagious and can spread through close contact or sharing of personal items.

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About the Author

Dr goel
Dr. S. Goel
MBBS PGDCM FID MBAHHM at Ayu Health | Website | + posts

Dr. S. Goel  is a renowned Internal Medicine Specialist currently practicing at Ayu Health, Bangalore.  He is a Specialist in Internal Medicine, Diabetes HTN, Paediatric Care, and Family Medicine.

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