Folliculitis is a term skin care professionals are familiar with. It is a skin condition that occurs in areas where hair grows such as bikini, legs, underarm, chest, back, and the face. Folliculitis is caused by improper hair removal, clogged follicles, and friction against the skin. Hairs are trapped underneath the skin causing inflammation known as folliculitis. The inflamed hair follicles can be characterized as superficial folliculitis, namely bacterial folliculitis, pseudofolliculitis barbae, pseudomonas folliculitis, or pityrosporum folliculitis. Some cases of folliculitis are more severe than others. Deep folliculitis is linked to sycosis barbae (hair loss) or furunculosis (boils). Although deep folliculitis is more severe, superficial folliculitis can form into deep folliculitis, resulting in reoccurring lesions and scarring. Folliculitis, for both men and women, is a constant problem because of its painful and unsightly appearance on the skin. Although folliculitis is common, knowing the different forms and its severity can help professionals determine the best cure, treatment, and prevention for their clients.
The most common folliculitis is pseduofolliculitis, affecting both men and women in areas where hair is grown. Using techniques and tools to remove hair increases the possibility of folliculitis. Although pseduofolliculitis is more common in the genital area and the bearded
area for men, it also occurs on the back, legs, arms, underarms, and buttocks due to the constant friction from clothing worn daily. For women, the worst cases of pseduofolliculitis appears in the bikini area. Cases of pseduofolliculitis have been seen in the genital for men, with the new wave of men partaking in the manscaping trend. However, men are more commonly faced with pseudofolliculitis barbae in the bearded area because of their daily grooming. Grooming regularly increases the risks of folliculitis because the hairs on the face grow rapidly and are difficult to maintain between shaving. When the hair is cut, the tip of the shaft hooks back into the skin. Men tend to shave daily or use a multiple-blade razor to obtain a close, smooth shave; however, this increases the possibility of folliculitis because the hair is cut too short. The hair is cut close to the surface of the skin causing it to not fully exit, and, instead, it reenters, causing the ingrown hair to become causing inflamed.
During the growing phase, the follicle becomes irritated and develops redness around
the area as a defense signal to the body. As the hair remains trapped underneath the skin, it becomes infected, forming painful, pus-like bumps around the follicle. As the hair struggles to exit, more hairs continue through the growth cycle causing the area to itch and even burn. The old hair gets embedded deeper as the new hairs continue through the cycle. Until the hair grows out or is removed from the skin completely, the symptoms worsen, causing inflammation to the follicle and the skin.
Pseudofolliculitis contributes to razor bumps. Although razor bumps are similar to ingrown hairs, there are usually no hairs trapped in the follicle or skin with razor bumps, which are usually caused by infection or inflammation surrounding the follicle. Due to the tedious nature of removing hair singularly with tweezers or lancets, special attention and patience is required to effectively remove ingrown hairs from the skin. Be careful not to break the hairs when removing ingrown hairs, as constantly picking and pulling can cause trauma resulting in permanent damage to the skin. Preparing the skin prior to shaving and implementing treatments post-shave can prevent pseudofolliculitis barbae and long-term damage to the hair follicle and the skin. Pseudofolliculitis barbae can be painful and unflattering for men, especially men of color, because their hair tends to be coarse, thick, and curly, making it harder to maintain unblemished skin or prevent folliculitis. Although shaving is often part of a man’s daily regimen, it is wise to suggest cutting back on how often men shave to avoid ingrown hairs and razor bumps. It may be difficult to remove ingrown hairs effectively without causing trauma if professionals are not highly skilled in the removal of ingrown hairs. Due to the oiliness of men’s skin, the overproduction of sebum can contribute to infected follicles. The skin produces sebum, which provides lubrication for the hair follicle; however, if inflammation occurs, the oils can build up, pushing the hair deeper into the skin as it continues to grow and form pus-like bumps around the follicle while the hair is trapped underneath the skin. Environmental debris can enter the follicle through the surface of the skin as the dirt and debris attaches itself to the hairs, penetrating the dermal layer of the skin and causing the follicle to inflame. Once the follicle is inflamed, recurrent follicle infection can cause furunculosis or cause the infection to spread to other areas of the body such as the stomach, back, legs, and buttocks.
Folliculitis is troublesome, causing whiteheads, pustules, pimples, bumps, sores, burning, swelling, and itching. Bacteria or fungus can enter the hair follicle, causing trauma to the area known aspityrosporum folliculitis.
Pseudomanas is another form of folliculitis that is caused by infectious bacteria found in hot tubs. The infection seeps into the hair follicles causing the follicle to be inflamed. Although pityrosporum and pseudomonas folliculitis are not caused by ingrown hairs, they affect the areas where hair grows. Therefore, non-hair removal related folliculitis should be handled by a physician to properly diagnose its symptoms for the protection of the aesthetician and the safety of the client. Understanding the skin’s reaction to protect the body from uncommon or foreign particles is the first step to prevention.
Folliculitis appears to be a more frequent battle for people of color or those with coarse, curly hair than for those with straighter and fine hair. Although the hairs on the face, legs, back, and genital areas may be different, folliculitis affects the areas the same way. However, some cases are more problematic due to the area in which folliculitis appears. Depending on the symptoms, signs, and severity of folliculitis, most conditions are treatable. Skin care professionals are constantly dealing both superficial and deep with cases of folliculitis. Prevention for folliculitis may require pre- and post-treatment regularly – it is curable. Yet, acute folliculitis may result in hair loss due to damage of the hair follicle and, therefore, skin care professionals should advise clients to consult a medical physician for long-term treatment. Signs of folliculitis are visible on the skin or underneath the skin, appearing raised or inflamed. Most cases of folliculitis aestheticians deal with are linked to ingrown hairs, shaving, or waxing. Prepping the skin prior to hair removal, such as exfoliating to remove dead skin and unclog pores, can reduce folliculitis. Incorporating treatments between waxing or shaving will help further prevent folliculitis. Furthermore, unblocking the pores and follicles will help prevent the hairs from re-entering the skin and will keep the skin free of infection and bacteria. Unlike shaving, waxing removes the tip of the hair shaft closest to the skin. Although waxing may reduce the chances of getting folliculitis, it does not always prevent folliculitis. With shaving, the hairs have a greater chance of coiling back into the skin, especially if the hairs appear to be curly and coarse. Once the dead skin cells are removed, use a warm towel to open the follicle or soften the hair shaft to facilitate the process of removing the hair quicker and easier. Between waxing or shaving, it is best to exfoliate the skin every two to three days to prevent the hair from entering the skin as it goes through its growth cycle. Using exfoliating products along with a loofah sponge can help lift the hairs from the skin and remove all dead skin, so the hairs will not get trapped between the dead skin and the surface of the epidermis. To further prevent issues post-hair removal, avoid direct contact to the shaved or waxed area immediately after. Constant friction and pressure on the newly shaved or waxed area can irritate the skin and cause redness. Direct contact with clothing or material that can irritate the skin will block the follicle, cause the body to heat up, and make it more susceptible to infection and folliculitis. Post-hair removal treatment is just as important as pre-hair removal treatment during the stages when the hair is subject to folliculitis. The biggest problem aestheticians face is how to solve folliculitis during the hair growth phase when the hair is not present in the regression stage.
Innovative techniques, tools, and products are constantly being tested to solve the problem of folliculitis. Both medical professionals and licensed aestheticians are incorporating light therapy, laser, or electrolysis as alternative solutions for clients.
When waxing, the warmth helps open the hair follicle to make it easier for the hair to be removed. Waxing removes the hair from the root of the follicle, but sometimes the hair can be too short to remove; therefore, clients still may develop folliculitis. The softer the hair texture, the easier for the wax to remove the hair. Those with a thicker texture may require waxing in the area more than once, although this is not suggested because it may cause skin irritation.
Professionals should always protect the client, as well as themselves before performing any service. If the problem is out of the scope of their degree of training, the aesthetician should refer clients to a medical professional to seek treatment for more severe conditions. Licensed professionals should understand there is a vast difference when performing hair removal services and treating folliculitis on darker skin, such as African American, Indian, Greek, and Middle Eastern clients. Treating ethnic skin and preventing folliculitis may require a better understanding when approaching each client’s needs to reduce long-term damage to the follicle and scarring to the skin.
Cole Patterson is a celebrity makeup artist and male groomer. She has been honing her expertise behind the scenes, gracing the faces of some of Hollywood’s most famous stars on the big screen in the film and television industry.
What is hydration? Hydration is the process that replaces body ﬂuids through the absorption of water. To sustain hydration, it is imperative to drink enough water to replenish all body ﬂuids to avoid dehydration. Water is beneﬁcial to the health of skin and total body wellness. It helps the body’s organs, cells, and tissues function properly. According to scientists, the human body is made up of an average of 60% water. Water serves many purposes to the body and is used to aid digestion, regulate the body’s temperature, process nutrients, and eliminate waste. Although drinking water is the quickest way to rehydrate, there are water-rich foods to substantiate the ﬂuid intake the body requires. At least 20% of our water intakes comes from nutrient-rich water source foods like watermelon, strawberries, cantaloupe, oranges, cucumbers, tomatoes, celery, romaine lettuce, and beets. Consuming hydrating fruits and vegetables and drinking water helps retain optimum levels of ﬂuids that deliver valuable results to the body and skin. Water is a requisite.
A NATURAL PURIFIER
Water is considered a natural puriﬁer. Every part of the body depends on water because it helps get rid of toxins. The more water we drink, the purer our blood, which is made up of 92% water. Water keeps the blood ﬂowing eﬀectively throughout the body. Clean blood is crucial to our survival, as it is the body’s oil that keeps all the systems running eﬃciently. Water is absorbed into the bloodstream where it travels to the body’s cells, tissues, and organs to provide hydration for the body to perform its daily tasks. Once the body has utilized its water intake, it releases the access water through urination. The body loses water immediately through elimination, perspiration, and breathing; therefore, consuming liquids before thirst occurs is ideal to help the body maintain its regularity. Believe it or not, water contributes to breathing by moistening oxygen and helping to thin the mucus-lined airways and lungs. Without water, the mucus lining thickens, causing mucus to build up, blocking the airways and causing inﬂammation in the lungs, which can lead to chronic respiratory illness.
Although the body cannot use water as a source of energy, water keeps the body hydrated; therefore, it is considered a macronutrient, due to the large quantity of water needed to replenish body ﬂuids. Water aids in cleansing the body’s organs and nourishing the skin.
Unlike food, the body cannot store water; therefore, it is required in an amount that exceeds the body’s ability to produce it. Although water has no ﬂavor, in different areas, there may be minerals, such as calcium, magnesium, sodium, potassium, and phosphorus, that taste salty. Some water may have other minerals, and some may not have any, which will make the water vary in taste.
Some people would rather drink other liquids containing water, such as coﬀee, tea, or soft drinks, because water has no ﬂavor. As it relates to diet and nutrient, hydration can be obtained through other sources. Even though some form of hydration can be accomplish by consuming other beverages, it is not recommended to replace water with alternative liquids because it may contribute to premature aging and sluggish digestion. Water is the purest and most natural component we can give the body. Moreover, water helps the body digest foods, carry nutrients to the cells, and regulate body temperature. Consuming large quantities of unnatural liquids may have an adverse eﬀect, causing damage or destroying healthy cells. Occasionally consuming other beverages will not do instant harm, but drinking a few glasses of water after will assist the body to eliminate it quicker.
WATER AND THE SKIN
The appearance of the skin relies heavily on its internal health. The results are visually seen when the body is healthy and functioning properly. Skin, the body’s largest organ, is the external organ that protects the internal organs. The skin’s physiology consists of three layers that medical professionals name the hypodermis, dermis, and epidermis. As the dermis is the water conservatory and the epidermis releases the water, the skin’s hydration level is maintained. Not consuming enough water can cause dehydrated skin. Dehydrated skin show signs of aging anatomically in all areas of the skin. As it relates to diet and nutrient, it is safe to say that the exterior represents the interior. If there are any irregularities in the function of the body due to dehydration, signs will appear on the outer body and face. Such signs are described as dryness, ﬂakiness, tightness, redness, irritation, and inﬂammation. Under normal conditions, the skin appears plump, radiant, and smooth. The process of hydration can be accomplished by drinking water and incorporating topical solutions that penetrate the skin to encourage hydration. Both drinking water and using hydrating products will help the skin maintain moisture and its elasticity. However, irregularities that occur inside the body can aﬀect the skin’s health and overall appearance.
WATER AND THE BODY
Without water, the body can suﬀer a great deal. The lack of water slows down the body’s function and delays the healing process. According to research, drinking an ounce of water per pound equates to the amount of water needed to maintain a safe hydration level. Others suggest drinking eight to 10 glasses of water a day will keep the body suitably hydrated or using the eight-by-eight rule for hydration. A well hydrated body easily ﬂushes out toxins and keeps the body’s ﬂuids balanced. The body constantly loses water throughout the day by sweating and urinating; therefore, replenishing ﬂuids regularly will prevent dehydration. Hypohydration is the loss of body water. If hypohydration is not reversed, the body functions may be severely threatened due to its inability to regulate its temperature.
Drinking too much water can be dangerous to one’s health, as well. Hyperhydration, also known as toxemia, is excessively taking in too much water. Over hydrating can cause osmosis to compensate for taking in too much water. This condition causes the cells in the body to swell, diluting the blood. Some symptoms that hyperhydration has occurred may be light headedness and nausea. If water intake is not managed, the face and body will hold the water, causing puﬃness and even swollen areas. As professionals, we must educate clients thoroughly about proper hydration and the dangers of under hydrating, as well as over hydrating. Sustaining a reasonable amount ﬂuids for one’s body should be a priority. The body is uniquely designed to address abnormal issues by signaling the brain to do something or alarm us that something is wrong and needs to be corrected.
To fulﬁll the water contents the body requires for survival may be as eﬀortless as drinking water from a faucet. However, due to contaminants, environmental toxins, and harmful chemicals that can be found in the water supply, our natural water source must undergo ﬁltration to make it safe enough to drink. For optimum hydration, alkaline water and ozonated water are both rapidly absorbed, resulting in immediate hydration of the skin and body. Both alkaline and ozonated water deliver antiaging beneﬁts and are said to slow down the aging process. Alkaline water carries a pH value of eight or nine, which is over the normal pH for water. This has been proven beneﬁcial to the overall health of the body, such as increasing blood ﬂow, preventing disease, and curing skin dermatitis. Ozonated water can help speed up the healing process and is therapeutic. It is water that has been oxidized with ozone gas that rids skin disorders, such as acne and aging. Whether it is puriﬁed, spring, distilled, or natural tap water, it is a matter of preference and all serve the same purpose – hydration; however, alkaline and ozonated water can add a bonus with amazing healing beneﬁts. Needless to say, hydration is the key to maintaining good health and wellness. If clean, fresh, pure water is unavailable, supplementary options can be great replacements to replenish the body.
Water is the most important substance to maintain extraordinary skin. Pure water enhances the skin’s appearance. Here are a few tips to stay hydrated throughout the day:
Helmenstine, Anne Marie. “How Much of Your Body Is Water?” ThoughtCo. 2019. https://www.thoughtco.com/how-much-of-your-body-is-water-609406.
Reynolds, Gretchen. “Ask Well: Can You Drink Too Much Water?” The New York Times. 2015. https://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/06/19/ask-well-can-you-drink-too-much-water/.
Cole Patterson has been a licensed aesthetician for over 20 years. She has extensive knowledge in medical dermatology and makeup artistry specializing in men’s skin care and grooming. She has graced the faces of some of Hollywood’s most famous actors, entertainers, and professional athletes. Patterson works in the film and television industry behind the scenes as creative director and makeup artist. She is the owner of Cole Skincare for Men
When it comes to beards, shaping, cutting, and trimming facial hairs fall into the barber’s hands, but maintaining the luxuriousness of a man’s beard goes beyond the clippers. The upkeep of a man’s beard requires a knowledgeable skin care professional versed in men’s skin care and grooming. It is always a good idea to offer male clientele gender-specific services that cater to a man’s skin care needs. Becoming acclimated to maintaining both a man’s beard and skin can increase revenue services. In other words, adding a variation of beard facials to the menu can be profitable to your business.
Men are looking for specific services and treatments that help them maintain healthy skin and address their facial hair. Believe it or not, many men are proudly and unapologetically embracing their facial hair, therefore, we as professionals should do the same. Beards are not created equally, therefore, understanding male clientele is the first start to customizing beard facials. For example, being able to service all ethnic backgrounds and hair textures will help you gain credibility to service their beards between their barbering appointments.
To jump start beard facial services, professionals should start with a general description, such as deep cleansing shampoo, ingrown extractions, texture enhancements, and rejuvenation masks. Once the general categories are created, move to specifics that are included and the benefits. Keep in mind the lifestyle of male clients. For example, if you service men who spend most of their day outdoors, detoxifying or deep beard cleansing facials should be recommended. For men who usually spend most of their day indoors, suggest a beard hydrating facial that helps add moisture to the beard. Before selecting treatments for a client’s beard, try to determine the texture of his hair and growth pattern. Discussing the client’s grooming routine will allow you to listen to his concerns. Aside from skin care, understanding his daily, weekly, and monthly regimen will provide valuable information that will help further his beard care separate from his skin care services. Today, men are openly welcoming additional skin care services, such as beard facials, because beards are trending.
You may wonder what a beard facial is or how to perform a facial on a beard. Generally speaking, beard facials are not that much different from regular facials. Working through facial hair, beards will require finger manipulation or an electric facial brush. Professionals need to be well equipped to assist with overall appearance. These treatments should be geared toward the skin, as well as address their grooming needs. Treating the beard separately is extremely beneficial to a man’s grooming regimen and to preserving the skin while it is covered with hair. Suggest beard detoxification or growth enhancement. Many men do not take the time to deep cleanse their beards, however, applying oils and balms daily will build product residue that will clog the hair shaft or coat the hairs causing them to look dull. Aestheticians must not forget about treating the skin underneath the beard because beard products can cause skin irritation.
Cole Patterson has been a licensed aesthetician for over 20 years. She has extensive knowledge in medical dermatology and makeup artistry specializing in men’s skin care and grooming. She has graced the faces of some of Hollywood’s most famous actors, entertainers, and professional athletes. Patterson works in the film and television industry behind the scenes as creative director and makeup artist. She is the owner of Cole Skincare for Men in Los Angeles, California.
Even though men’s skin care is becoming increasingly more popular, it may still be difficult for some men to take that first step to becoming a client. Stepping into the female-dominated world of personal care is uncomfortable for many men. Many are skeptical unless treatments and services are gender-specific for their care. If they are not convinced early on that there is a better way than their own, they may convert back to soap and water.
In order to get the manly man familiar and comfortable, professionals must approach with caution so that he feels welcome. An introduction should captivate his attention within 30 seconds or less. Studying his body language can be a great way to know how to approach him. Often, men allow stereotypes and societal norms to cloud their judgement, which has the potential to get in the way of self-care. Being at ease and inviting is a great way to breach that barrier. Asking questions to gain knowledge about his lifestyle will help determine what products, treatments, and services to suggest.
Professionals should also be well-dressed and address male clients respectfully. Introductions should be warm and welcoming, not bossy or controlling. Never treat him like he is wrong for not having a skin care regimen. Remember, often, he is only doing what he was taught or shown. Being pushy or aggressive will turn many off and they may never engage in business as clients. Hypermasculine men may cross spas or treatments off their lists if they are not treated like a king. Although they may appear strong and tough, they are likely sensitive about maintaining pride and image.
Statistics show, men are spending more money on male-specific products and services. When informing the manly man about alternatives for taking better care of his skin, speak knowledgeably, but do not get caught up in using a lot of medical terminology. Instead, speak his language. A lot of talking will bore him so keep conversation to a minimum and allow him to process information and openly ask questions. Find out what he wants and suggest products, services, and treatments for his specific needs.
Unlike women, men prefer one or two step regimens that do not require a lot of time. Men do not typically want a plethora of products and multiple steps in their daily skin care regimens. So, recommendations for the macho man should be simple, easy-to-use, and effective. For instance, having an oriented plan that gets him competing for better skin may motivate him to fulfill his skin care routine.
Using treatments, techniques, and products that offer optimum results will also enhance his confidence at face value. Choose advanced treatments that rebuild and restore the skin’s elasticity and aid its ability to repair damage and prevent premature aging. For the most effective results, recommend products using key ingredients that can improve the overall appearance and aid the skin’s recovery, such as aloe vera, vitamin E, coconut oil, mandelic acid, licorice root, and calendula. Additionally, offering products that provide quick results will help to gain trust and loyalty and can encourage the manly men to participate in daily product usage and monthly treatments.
It is also important to note that hypermasculine men may require a more aggressive approach because their skin may have endured trauma. They need ingredients that compliment grooming needs, as well as their lifestyles. Due to negligence, some may appear less confident with the appearance of their skin. As skin improves and confidence is boosted, they will develop a desire to continue taking care of their skin.
Because shaving is a necessity for most men, customizing solutions to address skin, pre- and post-shave, is another way professionals can appeal favorably to men of all types.
If professionals remember to engage these male clients at their skin care proficiency level, offering treatments and services that are simple, provide quick results, and match their needs, they will encourage even the manliest of men to become returning clients.
Cole Patterson has been a licensed aesthetician for over 20 years. She has extensive knowledge in medical dermatology and makeup artistry, specializing in men’s skin care and grooming. She has graced the faces of some of Hollywood’s most famous actors, entertainers, and professional athletes. Patterson works in the film and television industry, behind the scenes, as creative director and makeup artist. She is the owner of Cole Skincare for Men in Los Angeles, California.