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Black Hair Medical News Online, Issue #003 -- Do Dirty Clippers Cause Hair Bumps?
October 20, 2008

Do Dirty Clippers Cause Hair Bumps?

One of the frequent problems that black men and occasionally black women might experience is the development of bumps at the back of the hair line that can be painful, itchy, bleed, or at times become filled with pus and drain.

Many times individuals affected with this condition believe that it has been caused by "dirty clippers", but usually this is not true.

The medical name for this condition is Acne Keloidalis Nuchae. It is characterized by the development of infected bumps and keloid tissue at the back of the hair line.

This condition has become much more common over the years as a result of the increased popularity of closer hair styles such as a faded look, or bald hair cuts. Sharper clippers or razors are used to get this look and it is really the localized trauma due to the closer cuts or edge ups with a razor that usually leads to the development of the bumps, infection, and scarring.

However, there are some individuals, especially females who have never had the hair cut, edged up, or bald but still develop this condition.

Wearing hard hats, helmets, or anything that occludes the scalp can be a contributing factor as well as starched shirt collars that rub along the back of the neck along the hair line.

So, while there are multiple possible causes of acne keloidalis nuchae, "dirty clippers" is not usually the cause.

For more details on medical information about black hair conditions go to

Acne Keloidalis Nuchae Web Page

Seymour M. Weaver, III, M.D.
Board Certified Dermatologist

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