What do newly bald people, balding people, and people with a full head of hair have in common? They all have the same question: do bald people use shampoo? Yes, bald people use shampoo, and its purpose is not to clean hair, but control oil levels on the scalp.
Without hair on the head, it may be tempting to use soap or lotion, just like any other part of the body. There is a key difference with the scalp that makes soap and lotion a dangerous applicant. Shampooing and caring for a bald head is important, but it’s also crucial to know why shampoo is important and what role it plays. If you are searching for a shampoo for bald people, it’s likely a lot of questions pop up during the research. This article is meant to guide shoppers through the process of finding a bald head shampoo, keeping in mind these key questions:
- Do bald people use shampoo?
- What does shampoo do for the scalp?
- What's a good shampoo for a bald head?
- How often should shampoo be used on a bald head?
It’s important to keep a bald head healthy, seeing as it is totally exposed to the elements as well as other people’s eyes. For that reason, a bald head needs shampoo. But why is that so?
Do Bald People Use Shampoo?
A bald head needs care and conditioning to keep the scalp healthy. When many think of shampoo, they think of it as a soap for hair. In reality, most shampoos are meant to actually treat the scalp, not the hair itself. With that in mind, it makes sense that a bald head would need shampoo as the scalp is the first line of defense on a bald head.
The scalp is covered sebaceous glands which secrete sebum. Sebum is an oil designed to keep skin all around the body moisturized. Sebum is created in the body naturally through hormones and a slight influence of the environment. To further explain, it helps to think of a particular scenario in which sebum gets created that many experience.
Consider a hot, sunny day. Even with an SPF on, the body is going to feel the sun’s rays an immediately start to dry out. UV rays and the heat draw moisture from the body, and as moisture leaves, sebum creation starts ramping up. Sebum is the body’s way of attempting to keep everything hydrated.
Hormone levels vary the amount of sebum that each individual can create. That’s why some have oily scalps, and some have dry scalps: it is nearly all hormonal. The environments in which an individual live can also play a role. If a dry, humid climate is the home for someone with an already active sebaceous gland system, the combination can be quite tough to manage.
Why Not Lotion or Soap?
Before getting to the role that shampoo plays for scalp treatment, one last note to consider is that the number of sebaceous glands on the scalp far exceeds other parts of the body. For this reason, the drying nature of soap and lotion are damaging to a bald head.
Soap specifically has a very particular pH balance. Commonly used from the neck down, the configuration of soap is designed to provide a harsher clean than a gentle cleanser or shampoo. While it might be tempting to move the bar of soap up the body to a bald head during a shower, it will convince the scalp that it is much drier than it is, making sebum levels increase. Extra sebum means an oily, greasy scalp, and that makes for a bald head nightmare.
Likewise, lotion is meant to dry the skin at the surface. Truly moisturizing the skin takes much more than lotion can offer, and while the head may feel smooth after applying lotion, the glands and hair follicles are receiving none of the benefits. That means as sebum levels continue to increase due to drying, the lotion sitting at the surface will leave the scalp as oil is produced, making an even more oily mess than normal.
In the end, the scalp on a bald head needs the healing and oil controlling elements of shampoo. To understand the details about shampoos effect on the scalp, it is important to understand sebum, as well as the job shampoo is meant to do when used.
What Does Shampoo Do for the Scalp?
Shampoo comes in handy by allowing the scalp a way to rid itself of the oils it creates that may be lingering on the head. Excess sebum on a bald head is especially visible seeing as no hair is there to protect and cover it. Shampoos that many drugstores and other general merchandise retailers often contain two elements: surfactants and sulfites. Surfactants are a way of removing debris from the scalp that may be building up, such as dry and dead skin, and oil that is leaving a residue. Sulfites are a chemical that is meant to rid the scalp of oils, but its harsh nature can sometimes do more harm than good.
Most dermatologists today will recommend avoiding shampoos with sulfites in them. In fact, the call for sulfite-free shampoo has gotten so common that it is fairly easy to find one for a good price. Because so much of scalp management is making sure oil levels stay consistent, a sulfite free shampoo that won’t harm the scalp is a must.
There are three types of shampoos that all have a different role in scalp management:
- Shampoo (traditional)
- Hair Masks
Obviously, a hair mask has little value for someone who is bald. For knowledge sake, a hair mask is intended to clean the actual hair of oil and residue. It is applied to the hair only, and often something that is meant to be left in for 15 to 20 minutes then rinsed.
A conditioner is something that some choose to use with bald heads. Conditioners work to treat the scalp, and come in rinse out and leave in formulas. Some who shampoo regularly to manage their bald head’s health will use a leave in treatment afterwards to promote a hydrated head. Conditioners vary from shampoo because they are meant to heal and treat rather than clean and clear the scalp of residue.
Shampoo, as noted above, removes dead skin cells and oil from the scalp. They are often recommended to be used in pairings with a conditioner. With this background knowledge in mind about the various types of shampoo and what they do, what is the best method or routine for a bald head?
What's a Good Shampoo for a Bald Head?
As mentioned, hair masks are unnecessary for the obvious reason that bald heads contain no hair. The question then becomes whether or not a shampoo or conditioner should be used on a bald head to manage a healthy scalp and keep oil in check. The answer is going to depend on each and every individual. Most find that a combination of using both is a great way to clean and cleanse the scalp, but there are a few things to note about this process.
First and foremost, shampoos are all designed with different things in mind. There are shampoos for thick hair, colored hair, and yes, even specific formulas for bald heads. Many of these bald head shampoos are made with scalp management in mind. Many of these shampoos seek to tackle two problems bald heads run into from time to time: hyperhidrosis and pruritus.
Hyperhidrosis is the act of over sweating to cool the body down. It can occur anywhere in body, but because a bald head is exposed much more than a head with hair on it, this process can pop up. The body cannot help if it gets overheated, but when it does, the scalp dries out and sweat can start to build up. This can leave a film of oil on the head, as well as the sebum that is being created.
Pruritus is the fancy word for an itchy scalp. Some itchiness can be occurring because of sun damage, and other times can be the product of lack of hydration. Overall, any shampoo designed with bald heads in mind should tackle this issue, as well as hyperhidrosis.
The question then becomes what is the best shampoo for the head that keeps these two issues in mind. The combination of a hydrating, cleansing, sulfite free shampoo, and a leave in conditioner for the scalp is often the best way to tackle scalp treatment.
While a rinse out conditioner is also acceptable, the leave in experience often feels good and helps to mimic the comfort of putting a soothing lotion on the body. Rather than rinsing something out that does the job, a leave in conditioner helps take a damp scalp from a shower and trap in moisture. A bald head that looks to utilize the perks of a leave in conditioner should never be completely dry. A conditioner, like any moisturizer, traps in moisture that sits on the skin. That means a damp head is best for a leave in conditioner so the product can trap in as much moisture as possible.
How Often Should Shampoo Be Used on a Bald Head?
This question, like the one above, varies from individual to individual. It’s important to note how quickly the scalp creates oil. The best way to test this is to shampoo the head and then see how many days it takes for the scalp to get oily and greasy. For some, that is a day or two. Others with slower sebum creation can go 4 or 5 days without shampooing. Is that best for the scalp? Maybe not.
Because shampoo at its core is meant to clear the scalp of debris, the best course of action, no matter your sebum levels, is to shampoo at least once every two to three days. A regular schedule of shampooing 3 days a week is most common, and ensures a healthy and happy scalp.
Yes, bald people use shampoo, and it is crucial to their scalp’s health. While some choose to use general shampoos, bald-head targeting shampoos and conditioners are the best course of action. Keeping the scalp healthy makes people with a bald head happy because nothing looks better than an oil-free, clean head.