If you have ever been walking around with a head full of hair and felt like there was something stuck to your scalp, then you know what it is like to deal with the annoyance of having build up.

There is no need for you or anyone else to go through this experience, though!

In this article we will talk about scalp buildup and how they work so that we can figure out why they get dirty. We will also give you some tips on how to clean them as well as prevent future buildup from occurring in the first place!

So kiss your dead skin goodbye, say a blessing for your hair follicles, and get ready to learn how to keep your hair healthy EVEN IF you wear a baseball cap all day.

What is Scalp Buildup?

Scalp buildup is when there is too much oil and dirt on your scalp.

Scalp buildup occurs when an oily secretion called sebum accumulates alongside sweat, hair products, and dead skin cells on the scalp. It can have symptoms similar to those of seborrheic dermatitis, scalp psoriasis, and eczema.

Scalp buildup is usually the result of natural causes.

Left untreated, each of these conditions can cause flakes to appear in the hair and scalp.

Can buildup on the scalp lead to hair loss?

Clean your scalp, keep your hair!
Clean your scalp, keep your hair!

Yes, that grimy layer of nastiness can definitely lead to hair loss if the build up is not properly treated. Scalp buildup usually occurs due to a lack of washing and oils from our scalp get mixed with natural sebum that we produce on our scalps.

Once this happens, it causes a clump called an oleoresin which then blocks pores in your scalp which can cause hair loss!

If the scalp buildup is blocking where the hair grows, then it can lead to numerous scalp conditions.

How can scalp buildup be prevented?

Scalp buildup prevention is part of any solid treatment plan. The most important is to keep your scalp clean by shampooing regularly (but not with regular shampoos).

You should also avoid using products that contain oil or silicone as these will only make the problem worse. If you do find yourself with a build up, try using a stronger shampoo to get your hair clean.

Be especially wary of hair products with waxy substances. Product buildup is a major cause in scalp infections.

How does scalp buildup appear?

Treat your hair follicles better than you treat your boyfriend
Treat your hair follicles better than you treat your boyfriend

The scalp is naturally acidic, so it’s important to keep the pH of your hair and scalp balanced. When you use products with silicones or oils in them on a regular basis, they can alter the natural state of your skin and lead to buildup.

Over time this build up becomes noticeable and eventually leads to clogged pores which then cause hair loss.

You’ll never look at dead skin cells the same way again!

Sebum’s relationship with your hair follicles

Rinse that sebum from your head if it's feeling greasy
Rinse that sebum from your head if it’s feeling greasy

What is sebum, you ask?

Sebum is a natural oil produced by your body which plays an important role in keeping your scalp from drying out. Everyone’s body produces sebum, but some people produce more than others.

If you are someone who naturally has a lot of oil on your scalp then it will be harder to prevent buildup from occurring in the future!

The combination of sebum and residual products is the leading cause of scalp buildup.

Does brushing your hair help keep your scalp clean?

Brushing your hair regularly can help to remove some of the dirt and oils that may be on your scalp. However, it is not a substitute for shampooing!

If you are trying to remove buildup on the scalp, it is important to use a good quality shampoo that will clean your scalp properly.

Do serums cause scalp build up?

Use a silicone-free hair serum to avoid build up and keep your hair healthy
Use a silicone-free hair serum to avoid build up and keep your hair healthy

Yes, they can.

If you are using products with silicones in them on a regular basis it is important to try and limit their use as much as possible.

Serums tend to be more concentrated than other hair products so if you’re someone who uses these frequently then the build up will occur faster!

Something to note here is that many serums use silicone, which is one of the major causes of scalp buildup. Product build up in general is the culprit and is especially heinous as it affects all hair types.

What is the best way to clean your scalp?

The best way to get rid of scalp buildup is by shampooing regularly with a good quality shampoo. You should also avoid using products that contain oil or silicone as these will only make the problem worse.

If you do find yourself with a build up, try using a clarifying shampoo to get that yucky stuff off your head.

If you fancy something natural, try lemon juice mixed with cold water. However in order to remove the scalp buildup with this strategy, you’re going to probably want to exfoliate as well.

Use Clarifying Shampoo to get rid of those gunky dead skin cells

When it comes to clarifying shampoo, deep clean = best clean
When it comes to clarifying shampoo, deep clean = best clean

If you’ve been struggling to reduce scalp buildup, don’t worry! We have a few solutions for you. The first is to start using a clarifying shampoo. Clarifying shampoos are designed to clear away all the oils and dirt that may be clogging your pores.

If you don’t have one already, we recommend trying one of the ones we have listed below that will rinse all the dead skin cells off of your head in one go. You should notice less scalp flaking after this!

A deep conditioner can also give you a nice clean head of hair

Another option is to deep condition your hair once or twice a week. This can help to remove any dead skin cells that may be on your scalp and will leave your hair feeling soft and silky!

Your hair follicles will thank you.

How often should I wash my hair if I have scalp build up?

If your hair is oily, wash it every day!!!
If your hair is oily, wash it every day!!!

If you are struggling with oily hair, we recommend shampooing your hair every other day. This will help to remove all the dirt and oils that may be clogging your pores.

However, if your scalp is really oily, you may need to shampoo more frequently to the healthy hair you’re dreaming of. That goes double for those of you that have lots of product buildup in your hair. It all depends on your hair type.

Stick to a hair care routine and you’ll be good as new!

Developing a regular hair care routine is key in preventing scalp buildup from occurring in the first place.

If you are someone who tends to use a lot of products in your hair, try and limit their use to once or twice a week. And lastly, make sure to shampoo your hair regularly with a hair wash that cleanses deep down past all the dead skin!

If your scalp was REALLY dirty before, you might even experience some hair growth!

Limit heat styling and hair dyes

Just say "no" to styling your hair if you have build up
Just say “no” to styling your hair if you have build up

If you are someone who uses heat tools on your hair multiple times a week, it is important to limit their use. If you’re not sure how often to use them, the general rule of thumb is that if they get hot then don’t do it!

This will help prevent scalp buildup from occurring in the future and also keep your hair looking healthy and shiny!

If you are someone who likes to change their hair color often, it is important to be mindful of the products that you’re using.

Hair dyes can be very harsh on your scalp and can lead to buildup over time. Try using a dye that is ammonia free and try not to use them too often!

Homemade scrubs to clean your scalp

DIY scalp scrubs from natural ingredients are the best to clean your scalp
DIY scalp scrubs from natural ingredients are the best to clean your scalp

If you are looking for a gentle way to remove natural buildup, we have a few recipes for you! These homemade scrubs can help to get rid of all the dirt and oils that may be clogging your pores.

All you need is some baking soda, water and an essential oil of your choice!

Say goodbye to those dead skin cells once and forever.

Avoid excessive use of hair styling products

If you want to prevent scalp buildup from occurring in the future, it is important to limit your use of hair styling products.

While we know that many people love their styling and finishing products, using them too often will lead to build up over time!

It’s also a good idea not to use regular shampoo every day because this can be strip the natural oils from your hair, causing dead skin to build up around the hair follicle.

Try shampooing every other day instead!

Do an apple cider vinegar rinse

ACV is a natural toner and anti-bacterial agent - perfect for your hair!
ACV is a natural toner and anti-bacterial agent – perfect for your hair!

If you are looking for a more natural way to remove scalp buildup, apple cider vinegar may be the answer for you!

Apple cider vinegar is known to help get rid of excess oils and dirt on the scalp. All you need is equal parts apple cider vinegar and water, and pour it over your head after shampooing.

Let it sit for a minute or two and then rinse with cold water.

Try witch hazel

Another natural option for removing scalp buildup is witch hazel. Witch hazel is a natural astringent (a good alternative to harsh chemicals) that helps to remove excess oils from the scalp. Simply pour some witch hazel onto a cotton ball and massage it into your scalp after shampooing. Some witch hazel toner comes in a spray bottle, in which case you can spray it.

Witch hazel is one of our favorite hair care products, as it is a safe way to get rid of dead cells on the face and in your scalp. Most commercial astringents have one or more substances which are inappropriate for home treatments.

Let it sit for about five minutes before rinsing it out! If it gives you an overly dry scalp, rinse it off sooner next time.

Tea tree oil shampoo

This is our FAVORITE tea tree oil shampoo for oily scalp!
This is our FAVORITE tea tree oil shampoo for oily scalp!

If you are looking for a shampoo that can clean your scalp, won’t cause buildup and will also help to remove of any dandruff flakes, tea tree oil shampoo may be the answer!

Tea tree oil is known to naturally balance out an oily or dry scalp. Plus it’s cheap and easy to find in most drugstores.

If you have a hair type that gets a dry scalp easily, go easy on the tea tree oil.

Use a scalp scrub

If your scalp is really oily and you’re looking for a natural way to get rid of scalp build up, try using a scalp scrub! This can help to remove all the dirt and oils that may be clogging your pores. All you need is some baking soda and warm water and mix it into a paste before gently massaging it onto your scalp in a circular motion.

Regular scalp exfoliation is key

Exfoliating your scalp on a regular basis is key in preventing scalp buildup from occurring. This can be done with a homemade scrub or with an exfoliating shampoo.

By removing the build up of oils and dirt, you are allowing your pores to breathe and will bless you with a nice healthy scalp!

Exfoliating your scalp is one of the best ways to remove buildup – especially for dry hair!

Sea salt, olive oil, and lemon scrub

DIY scalp scrub with olive oil, salt, and lemon (yum)
DIY scalp scrub with olive oil, salt, and lemon (yum)

If you are looking for a homemade scrub that is both effective and smells great, try using sea salt and lemon!

This scrub will help to remove any unwanted oils or dirt from your scalp while also leaving it smelling fresh and citrusy.

All you need is one tablespoon of sea salt, half a lemon juiced and two tablespoons of olive oil.

Brown Sugar And Oatmeal Scrub

We know how important scalp exfoliation is – and if you want to exfoliate your scalp but are looking for something a bit more gentle, try using brown sugar and oatmeal!

This scrub is great because it’s super easy to make. All you need is one tablespoon of brown sugar, half a cup of oats and two tablespoons water.

This scrub will help remove any excess oils or dirt from your scalp while also leaving it feeling soft and moisturized. Plus, the oats will help to soothe any irritation or redness that you may be experiencing!

Bye bye oily hair!

Ayurvedic hair care products

If you are looking for a more holistic approach to scalp care, then herbal or Ayurvedic hair care products may be right for you!

These types of hair care use natural ingredients and remedies to help cleanse and detoxify the scalp. Some popular herbs that are used in these treatments include basil, rosemary, lavender and mint.

Final Thoughts

Scalp build up is one of those nasty things that most people have experienced, but nobody likes to talk about.

If you care about the health and longevity of your hair, it’s imperative that you take the health of your scalp seriously.

In this article, we’ve laid out several options for you to scrub the buildup from your scalp in a healthy natural way.

So please take it seriously!

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