If you’ve never shaved your head you might be blissfully unaware of the problems bald people can face. You may have even wandered do bald people use shampoo at all or do bald people get dandruff? Both questions are completely understandable but the answer to both is a categorical “Yes”.
To determine why and when it’s normal to see dandruff on bald head and when it’s not, we’ll go over the basic causes of dandruff, what is it about being bald that can make it more or less likely to occur, as well as what you can do to prevent dandruff from ever being a problem for your handsome dome ever again.
Why do some men have dandruff even after they shave their head?
Dandruff is generally less likely to happen on a shaved head than it is on a head with a full set of hair, regardless of whether you’ve gone bald or you’ve just decided to shave. The reason why a shaved head with dandruff is a relatively rare thing is that it offers a less suitable environment for the development of dandruff.
Dandruff is typically caused by the combination of several different factors:
- The dandruff-causing skin fungus called Malassezia globose.
- Your natural scalp oils that get broken down by the fungus into other substances that are irritating to the skin.
- How sensitive your skin is.
What changes when you shave your hair, however, is that 1) the surface of your skin becomes a couple of degrees cooler thanks to the lack of hair, 2) it’s also less humid and dark. Both of these things are quite detrimental as the skin fungus prefers more humid, darker, and warmer areas to thrive in, hence why dandruff is less likely on a shaven head.
Yet, some bald or shaven men still have dandruff – why is that? The main reason is that even though dandruff is less likely to happen on a shaved head, it’s still possible. People with severe seborrheic dermatitis, for example, can attest to the sad fact that you can even have dandruff on your eyebrows, on your cheeks, on your upper lip, and on the sides of your nose. So, in such severe cases, dandruff can just as easily appear on a bald head as well.
Simply put, shaving your head doesn’t automatically prevent you from having dandruff. However, if your dermatitis is that severe, you might want to consider seeking professional help.
That being said, there are other reasons why you might see dandruff on a shaved or bald head. Let’s list them one by one.
5 reasons to have dandruff on a shaven/bald head
So, you’ve found yourself in the position of a bald person with dandruff – that’s unfortunate. What are all the possible reasons for this problem?
- Seborrheic dermatitis. The first and most problematic reason is the one we outlined above – your dermatitis problem is severe enough for a simple shave to be insufficient. What’s more, seborrheic dermatitis is not really curable – it’s something that you’ll carry with you throughout your life. On the bright side, however, it is a manageable condition – consult with a dermatologist and find a medical shampoo that’s well-suited for your particular situation. If the problem is in a particularly severe stage you might need to apply an additional medicinal lotion for a while but in the long-term, a good medical-grade shampoo should be enough.
- Dry skin. This is one problem that actually becomes even more significant after you’ve shaved your head. Because you no longer have hair to keep your skin warm and moist, you’ll need to take extra care for your dome to keep it from getting dry. Overly dry skin can develop dandruff-like flakes that can be just as irritating and itchy. These aren’t the exact same type of dandruff as the one caused by skin fungi but they are equally irritating.
- Unsuitable climate. Living in an overly sunny and hot climate or in a very cold and wintery one can be even more of a problem for your shaven scalp. Both of these climates can further dry up your skin and make it even itchier. They can also make the spread of skin fungi harder but, as we said, even then it’ll still be possible.
- It might not be dandruff at all. It’s easy to confuse dandruff with the general flakes of dry skin, but another thing that can look like dandruff are skin peels from getting a sunburn. That’s why every dermatologist you speak with will stress again and again how important it is to use sunscreen on your head every day even if you’re only planning a brief trip outside. The skin on our heads is much more vulnerable to the UV rays of the sun and will not only get burnt more easily but is also more susceptible to various skin problems that can be as unpleasant as actual skin cancer. So, if you see skin flakes on your head, keep in mind that they might not be dandruff at all and make sure you are taking good care of your scalp.
- An improper shaving routine. Another problem that’s unique to men with shaved head is that if you’re shaving your scalp in an improper way you may be irritating your skin to the point of it flaking and leaving dandruff-like dried pieces behind. You might be dry-shaving and harming your skin, you may be skipping on the moisturizer, or you may be shaving against the grain – either way, you can expect to see flaky skin afterward.
How to prevent dandruff altogether if your head is bald/shaven?
The solution(s) to having dandruff on a bald or shaven head is pretty simple – just avoid all the possible dandruff causes we’ve listed above!
- Shave your head carefully and intelligently;
- Use sunscreen;
- Use a moisturizer, as well as other scalp-care products;
- Keep your scalp safe from the climate elements;
- Make sure that you seek medical help as soon as you start suspecting that you might have an actual medical problem.