You've finally decided to take the plunge and cut some trendy, face-framing bangs. It's a great look, but will your new fringe make your forehead an acne war zone?
Unfortunately, the bangs-breakout connection is not just a myth. Acne occurs when oil and dead skin cells plug the hair follicles, allowing bacteria to grow. When bangs cover your forehead, they deposit natural hair oils and dead skin cells from the scalp onto your skin. This can clog pores and lead to breakouts, especially if your hair tends to get greasy.
In most cases, though, it's the products you apply to your hair -- including sprays, mousses, gels, pomades and serums -- that are the real culprit. While these tress tamers may help you achieve the perfect style, they can also leave a sticky, pore-blocking film on your skin.
Luckily, not everyone with bangs suffers breakouts. So if your forehead is in the clear, simply continue with your regular skin regimen -- but be wary if you happen to try a new styling product, shampoo or conditioner. Even if you are experiencing pimples, whiteheads or blackheads under your bangs, there's no need to grow them out just yet. First, try these tips for clearing up your spots and preventing new flare-ups:
- Wash your hair regularly. Some experts believe that sodium lauryl sulfate, a common shampoo ingredient, can cause acne, so experiment with a sulfate-free variety [source: Sesame]. And if you have dandruff, choose a shampoo that treats it [source: Haupt] so the flakes don't fall on your forehead and clog pores.
- Don't scrub your face too hard. Though it might seem like scouring away oil will prevent pimples, vigorous and frequent cleaning can actually aggravate acne. Wash just twice a day with a gentle cleanser [source: Rodriguez].
- Keep hair products off your face. Rather than spritzing your entire head with your potion of choice, evenly distribute it through your hair with a comb or your hands while covering your face. If you can get away with it, keep your bangs gunk-free [Allure].
- Freshen up your forehead throughout the day with blotting papers or face wipes. That way, any buildup from your hair won't sit on your skin for too long [source: Bowser].
- Treat forehead pimples with an over-the-counter product containing benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid. If this doesn't work for you, your dermatologist may prescribe you a different medication [source: WebMD].
For more skin care information, check out the links on the next page.