How Do I Deal with Hairline Acne?

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  • Written By: Kathleen Howard
  • Edited By: Kaci Lane Hindman
  • Last Modified Date: 14 September 2019
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Hairline acne refers to pimples and blackheads that form around the hairline. This type of acne is typically caused by the hair’s natural oils, but it may also occur as a reaction to certain haircare products. People who suffer from hairline acne have several different treatment options. In many cases, suffers can get rid of acne by controlling oil and using over-the-counter products containing benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid. Severe or persistent acne may to be treated with prescription medications obtained through a dermatologist.

If you have an oily hairline, washing your hair more frequently might help to prevent and treat hairline acne. One of the main causes of acne is an overproduction of sebum, or oil. When this oil mixes with bacteria and dead skin cells, it clogs the pores and causes zits. Some people are born with a normal or dry hairline, while others naturally produce much larger amounts of sebum. Simply washing the hair and stripping natural oils from the hairline will typically decrease breakouts.

You can also control oil by keeping bangs off your face, avoiding hats, and refraining from touching your hairline. Keeping hair and other objects off your face will help to decrease the transfer of oil. By not touching your face, you will be reducing the amount of pore-clogging dirt and bacteria around your hairline. While these steps may seem simple, they can significantly reduce the frequency of your breakouts.


In some cases, a person’s choice of personal beauty products may be the reason for hairline acne. Conditioners, hairspray and other haircare products have been known to clog pores. After washing your hair, carefully cleanse the skin to eliminate any traces of shampoo and conditioner. Also be careful when using styling products like gels and hairspray. To prevent hairline acne, gently wash the hairline after styling your hair to avoid future breakouts.

Hairline acne can also be treated with over-the-counter acne products. Two ingredients to look for when choosing a product are benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid. Both of these substances have been proven effective in cleansing the pores, reducing oil, and removing dead cells from the skin. If benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid are too irritating, other ingredients might be a less irritating alternative. Treatments containing lactic acid, sulfur and resorcinol can also be used to treat acne.

If your acne does not improve through the use of over-the-counter creams and cleansers, you should visit a dermatologist. A dermatologist will be able to evaluate your skin and prescribe a treatment to heal the hairline acne. Popular prescription treatments include antibiotics and vitamin A derivatives like tretinoin. The dermatologist may also suggest using benzoyl peroxide with a topical antibiotic.


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Post 3

@fify-- Hairline acne isn't always caused by oil. Acne can also be due to an allergic reaction. So you may be allergic to something you apply on your hair or face. I highly recommend switching to an all natural shampoo. It might resolve the problem.

Post 2

@fify-- Yes, this happened to me before. The way I dealt with it was to apply the the hair conditioner more carefully and to make sure that I washed all of the residue off of my face and neck before getting out of the shower.

What usually happens is that some of the conditioner remains on our hair and skin. It's not a huge problem for hair, but when it sits on skin, the skin absorbs the oils in the conditioner and breaks out. Are you also getting acne on the hair line on your neck? If so, then it's definitely due to conditioner residue.

You have to wash your hair, face and neck really well after using

hair conditioner. Apply the conditioner only to the ends of your hair, never to the roots. While rinsing, tilt your head down and wash your face and forehead with an oil-free face wash before getting out of the shower. Following these steps has prevented hairline acne for me.
Post 1

I recently developed hairline acne. I do have an oily skin that's prone to acne, but I don't usually get pimples on my forehead and hair line. I'm suspecting that it may have to do with my hair conditioner. But I don't know what I'm going to do about this because I can't stop using conditioner. My hair is long and dry and will tangle otherwise.

Has anyone else dealt with this problem before? What did you do to prevent it?

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