Thu, Mar 21, 2013 - Page 3 News List

Dermatologist urges care in choosing shampoo for men

By Hung Su-ching and Jason Pan  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

A dermatologist has warned men against using shampoos formulated for women, citing a recent case where a young man exacerbated his hair loss to an alarming rate after using his girlfriend’s shampoo.

Dermatologist Chao Chao-ming (趙昭明) said the patient, a university student, had oily hair, with quite active scalp secretions.

After his girlfriend told him that his hair had a greasy odor, the man began using his girlfriend’s “two-in-one” shampoo and hair conditioner, Chao said.

After three months of using the shampoo, the man’s oily scalp became inflamed, irritated in part by his failure to thoroughly rinse his hair after shampooing, Chao said.

Chao said the man was losing more than 1,000 strands of hair a week and developed severe dandruff. When the man sought treatment, Chao found his scalp was reddened and inflamed.

The dermatologist found the type of shampoo the man was using contained a high level of conditioning materials, and although it was fragrant, the conditioning agents were building up and blocking his hair follicles.

“It was lucky that most of his hair follicles did not atrophy. If they had, he would have become permanently bald,” Chao said.

“A man’s oily skin secretions are about twice those of a woman. For those men who are active in sports, sweating and oily scalp secretions are even more pronounced. If they are not cleaned, then fatty deposits will build up and clog hair follicles,” he added.

Oily skin can be a prime environment for the growth of pityrosporum ovale, a bacteria that can cause dermatitis and other skin diseases, Chao said. If a bacterial infection takes hold, it could lead to inflammation of the scalp and result in loss of hair, he added.

“In some serious cases, it has led to permanent baldness,” he said.

Noting that men’s hair is on average shorter than that of women and also oilier, Chao said men should choose a shampoo with a greater cleansing effect.

Chao said clinical studies have found that up to 50 percent of problems with male hair loss were due to using the wrong type of shampoo.

Lin Shang-li (林上立), a skin disease specialist, advised men not to use “two-in-one” shampoos if they have an oily scalp, signs of male pattern baldness, inflammation of hair follicles or redness and swelling of the scalp.

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