British Master Barbers - Scalp Conditions

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Scalp Conditions

Infections, Infestations and Disorders

With infectious complaints or infestations you should explain that you can’t continue with their haircut or treatment and recommend they visit their GP or local pharmacy. 

Remember you are not a Doctor or Trichologist so do not go naming conditions you are unsure about.

Infectious conditions will need to be referred to the clients General Practitioner (GP) as they may require further treatments such as anti-biotics or anti-fungal creams for

such conditions as Tinea Capitis (ringworm).

Suggesting that they go to the GP, Local Pharmacy or Trichologist to get is checked out is always good practise. 

Allergic reactions caused by hair colouring.

It is required that before all colouring treatments that the stylist performs a skin test.

This will allow the stylist to see if any reactions appear.

Folliculitis

Infectious?

Yes ✓

Cause: A bacterial infection caused by staphylococcal bacteria.

Symptoms: You will see redness around the follicle and there may be small, yellow pustules in the centre of the follicle around the hair

Advice: Possible contraindication, you may carry out the service if the area can be avoided.

Advice: Advise them to seek medical attention.

Impetigo

Infectious?

Yes ✓

Cause: A bacterial infection caused by staphylococcal or streptococcal bacteria infecting the upper layers of skin

Symptoms: Small, red spots, which break to produce a thick yellow crust. When they have broken, the spots join together to produce a thick yellow crusted, infectious area

Advice: Do not carry out the service. Recommend they seek medical advice

Herpes Simplex

Infectious?

Yes ✓

Cause: A viral infection. Sometimes follows exposure to extreme heat or cold

Symptoms: The skin may tingle, itch or burn before one or more fluid filled blisters appear

Advice: Possible contraindication, you may carry out the service if the area can be avoided. Advise them to seek medical attention

Warts

Infectious?

Yes ✓

Cause: A viral infection. Warts are caused by the human papilloma virus (HPV)

Symptoms: a small, rough growth resembling a cauliflower or a solid blister

Advice: Possible contraindication, you may carry out the service if the area can be avoided. Advice them to seek medical attention

Tinea Capitis (Ringworm)

Infectious?

Yes ✓

Cause: A fungal parasite which infects the scalp or hair

Symptoms: Circular to oval areas covered with scaly skin which may be red and inflamed and pustules can sometimes be seen. You may also see tiny black dots where hair has fallen out.

Advice: Do not carry out the service. Recommend they seek medical advice

Pediculosis Capitis (Head Lice)

Infectious?

Yes ✓

Cause: An infestation of the head.

Symptoms: You may see moving head lice or non-moving nits/eggs on the scalp.

Advice: Do not carry out the service. Recommend your client treat the infestation with an over the counter treatment.

Scabies

Infectious?

Yes ✓

Cause: an infestation with a parasite - the scabies mite.

Symptoms: Intense itching and a rash. The rash consists of tiny red spots which may scab if scratched. The itchiness will often get worse at night when the skin is warmer.

Advice: Do not carry out the service. Recommend your client seek medical advice.

Pityriasis Capitis (Dandruff)

Infectious?

No ✗

Cause: Over production of skin cells causing flaking on the scalp

Symptoms: The scalp will be itchy and flaky; you may also see patches of red, scaly skin.

Advice: Continue with the service. Recommend they use an over the counter dandruff shampoo or seek medical advice if there is no response to self-care measures

Acne

Infectious?

No ✗

Cause: When hair follicles become blocked.

Symptoms: Greasy skin and whiteheads or blackheads on the face, back and chest. Occasionally if spots become inflamed they may become tender and painful to touch.

Advice: Possible contraindication, you may carry out the service if the area can be avoided.

Seborrhoea/ Oily Scalp

Infectious?

No ✗

Cause: Excessive secretion of sebum by the sebaceous glands.

Symptoms: The affected area can feel unpleasant, and. seem to get dirty quickly. The face and scalp may appear shiny and greasy.

Advice: You can recommend specialist shampoos or milder, more quality products

Psoriasis

Infectious?

No ✗

Cause: Skin cells are reproduced at a faster rate than normal.

Symptoms: Red patches of skin covered by thick silvery-white scales. In extreme cases it can cause temporary hair loss.

Advice: There are shampoos you can buy designed to slow the production of skin cells and give some relief to the discomfort. Natural sunlight and sea water can be good for this condition.

Advice: You should recommend extreme cases to visit their GP.

Sebaceous Cyst

Infectious?

No ✗

Cause: When sebaceous glands become blocked with sebum.

Symptoms: Small lumps and bumps under the skin that are soft to touch.

Advice: They will usually disappear on their own, you can advice your client to seek medical attention as in extreme situations they can be removed.

Fragilitas Crinium (Split Ends)

Infectious?

No ✗

Cause: Harsh physical or chemical treatments, overheating - including hairdryers and straighteners, weather and chlorine.

Symptoms: Dry, splitting hair ends. The hair may be very coarse and rough.

Advice: Recommend a good cut and conditioning treatments.

Erythema

Infectious?

No ✗

Cause: It has many causes including infection, massage, electrical treatment, acne medication, allergies, sunburn etc. It is also a common side effect of radiotherapy treatment.

Symptoms: Erythema is a redness of the skin or rash  that usually erupts after 24 hours, starting on the hands and feet, and spreading to the limbs, upper body and face. It may cause a mild burning or itching feeling.

Advice: Refer to GP or Trichologist.

Androgenic Alopecia (Male Pattern Baldness)

Infectious?

No ✗

Cause: Thought to be caused by hormones and genetics.

Symptoms: Hair loss beginning at the temples or crown of the head.

Advice: None. You can recommend hair products (Regaine, Rogaine), or in extreme circumstances, hair transplants.

Other Alopecia Types

Infectious?

No ✗

Alopecia Areata – Typically causes patches of baldness but can cause complete baldness. Refer to trichologist.

Traction Alopecia – Caused by excessive pulling at the roots. This can be caused by brushing, straightening, plaiting or braiding.

Alopecia Totalis – Complete hair loss which can occasionally be initially caused by Alopecia Areata. Refer to trichologist.

Clatrical Alopecia – Balding due to scaring of the skin caused by physical or chemical injury.

Alopecia Universarlis – An auto-immune disorder that stops the production of hair all over the body.

Trichotillomania

Infectious?

No ✗

Cause: An impulse-control disorder where a person feels compelled to pull their hair out anywhere on their body. There is no known cause but Dr’s believe it is a form of addition to help relieve stress.

Symptoms: Bald patches which are an unusual shape and may affect one side more than the other.

Advice: Refer to GP or Trichologist.

Diffuse Hair Loss – Telogen Effuvium

Infectious?

No ✗

Cause: A loss of hair or general hair thinning that effects the whole scalp of both males and females. It is due to a premature loss of Anagen (growing) hairs and an increase in Telogen (falling) hairs.

Symptoms: A fairly even amount of hair shedding all over the scalp, making the hair appear thinner due to this excessive hair loss. 

Advice: Refer to GP or Trichologist

Seborrhoeic Dermatitis

Infectious?

No ✗

This is “if you like” super dandruff, it is a very common condition, The scalp can often look red and sore, with the client complaining of itching.

Advice: Refer to their GP or Trichologist