11 best remedies & tips for robust scalp buildup removal

scalp build removal

I am sure that you would not disagree with me when I say that “We care more about facial skin than our scalp skin.” 

But this is understandable since our face is just what defines us.

However, you need to realize that our scalp is just an extension of our face and what skincare regimen is optimal for your face should be used for the optimal maintenance of your healthy scalp too.

Yup. We are talking about your ‘scalp build-up’. 

Your skin underneath your hair goes through hell because of the application of layers of styling products, hair products, heat styling pressure, sebum buildup, environmental pollutants, and some serious scalp skin conditions. 

Hence, Just like your face, inadequate cleansing, moisturization, and treatment of your scalp can lead to unhealthy levels of scalp buildup which manifest itself in the form of dry, itchy and flaky scalp. 

But what exactly is this scalp buildup, how it is caused and what are its symptoms? Let’s try to answer some of these questions below 

What is scalp buildup?

What is a scalp buildup ?

Scalp buildup is the accumulation of a wide range of chemicals, leftover products trace, dead skin cells, and other environmental pollutants on your scalp over time that leads to deterioration of your general scalp health and potential scalp skin conditions in the near future.

What are the symptoms of scalp buildup?

Common symptoms of scalp buildup are dead-skin flakes falling on your shoulders or your hair strands but this symptom is very much similar to other scalp conditions like psoriasis, eczema but unlike scalp, they are not easily treatable and requires specialist treatment

What causes scalp buildup?

What causes scalp buildup?

There are a number of scalp build causes and identifying the right cause is crucial to find an appropriate and effective treatment.

But that being said, natural build-up and product build-up are the leading cause of scalp buildup. Let’s dig deep in both of these two.

1. Natural buildup

The following are the leading factors of natural build up accumulation.

1. Abnormal production of sebum

Our scalp naturally produces a waxy oily substance called sebum from the underlying glands your scalp skin to keep it adequately moisturized and providing skin infection protection.

However, the abnormal or excess production of it in some people contribute to as one of the natural factors for scalp buildup.

2. Sweating

Other than the excess build-up of sebum on your scalp, you can accumulate scalp build-up due to over sweating too if you are one of those people who sweat abnormally than normal people.

A sweaty scalp often causes greasy hair and may give off an unpleasant odor.

3. Dead skin cells accumulation

Your scalp skin cells go through the dying and regrowing phase with new skin cells replacing old ones. However, in some people, dead skin cells are unable to shed quickly leading to their buildup on their scalp and it generally manifests itself in the form of flaky scalp.

2. Product buildup

This is another major cause of product buildup as some residue from the variety of your hair products sticks to your hair and scalp just like a wax and need thorough rinsing of your scalp to completely remove them.

Common sources of product buildup are:

  • shampoos
  • conditioners
  • styling creams, 
  • oils, 
  • gels, 
  • foams

3. Natural build-up

Your hair products are not the only sources for scalp buildup but several other natural irritants like pollution and even your normal water containing minerals and salts during your hair wash can be the source of their deposit which overtime accumulates as scalp buildup.

How to get rid of scalp buildup fast?

How to get rid of scalp buildup fast?

Accumulating buildup on your head is not something too difficult to treat. Just follow these tips and easy-to-do remedies to effectively get rid of your scalp buildup problem and keep it permanently away.

Best Scalp buildup removal remedies & tips

The following are some of the best scalp build removal remedies to get rid of scalp buildup fast. These scalp buildup tips and remedies would clean up your scalp completely and revitalize your hair growth to set the stage for your dormant hair growth and strength.

1. Use a Clarifying Shampoo

clarifying shampoo for scalp buildup removal

This should be your first step to effectively treat a scalp buildup. 

A good clarifying shampoo is just your normal shampoo but with enhanced cleansing properties as it easily busts through any gunk, oil or dirt accumulated over your scalp and cleans it from inside out.

However, with these powerful cleansing properties of a clarifying shampoo, there are some drawbacks too i.e by nature of its ingredients, if not used in moderation, it would easily strip off your natural oil to make your scalp drier and prone to other skin health complications.

So, the optimal way for you without complicating these scalp issues arising due to harsh effects of clarifying shampoo is to limit it to minimal usage unless you have a lot of water contact like swimmers have which necessitates frequent washing and cleaning

Here is a homemade recipe for a good clarifying shampoo that can effectively rid you of scalp buildup and making it cleaner and healthier without any serious negative side effects.

Ingredients you need

  • About 1 tbsp of baking soda
  • About 1-2 cups of lukewarm water
  • About 1-2 tbsps of apple cider vinegar( Not mandatory)

How to make this clarifying shampoo?

  1. Taking the baking soda in a cup and add the warm water in it help it fully dissolve. Keep stirring to allow a uniform mixing and homogeneous dissolution. You can add apple cider vinegar to get a desirable foamy wash and your clarifying shampoo is read to be used
  2. Now, first, wash and get your hair damped and pour your handmade clarifying shampoo over it and use your finger to effectively touch the whole scalp and leave it for about 15-20 minutes to effectively treat your hair. 

After that just rinse this off as you would normally do with another shampoo and use this remedy for at least twice a week to get a solid anti-scalp buildup treatment.

But just using a simple clarifying shampoo is not enough rather there is something deep in making the best possible choice for your hair type and shampoo since everyone’s hair type is different which implies different shampoo treatment.

Beautywised tip!
How to choose the right shampoo for your hair type?

According to Healthline, not all types of shampoo ingredients suits all hair types. Therefore, it is crucial to look at the different formulations of shampoo and your matching hair type. 

Otherwise, you would keep washing your hair with a clarifying shampoo but it would not be producing the desired results rather it would further aggravate the scalp buildup problem.

Just look at the list of all possible hair types and their effective counter shampoo ingredients.

  • For oily hair – look for shampoos containing lauryl sulfates or sulfosuccinates to effectively remove sebum buildup from your hair.
  • For slightly drier hair –  prefer shampoos containing primarily Laureth sulfates to effectively remove sebum from your hair.
  • For purely dry/damaged hairprefer shampoos which primarily contains ammonia esters, alkanolamides, ivy agave, silicone, and sodium lauriminodipropionate to effectively remove sebum buildup from your hair
  • For sensitive skin scalpNever use a shampoo which lists formalin and parabens as its ingredients.

Best Home remedies to get rid of scalp build-up

Home remedies to get rid of scalp buildup

While using a clarifying shampoo is an effective remedy to spot treat your scalp buildup but there are other easy-to-do home remedies too that are equally effective and provide you a solid alternative in case you are unable to get your hands on a clarifying shampoo.

The following are some of the best natural remedies to get rid of scalp overnight fast

1. Apple cider vinegar for scalp buildup

Apple cider vinegar for scalp buildup

Apple cider vinegar is an effective remedy against the scalp buildup and pH disruption as it is excellent at doing both restoring the natural pH level of your hair and cleansing of product buildup.

However, you need to exercise one caution and that is to never use it straight from your bottle on your scalp rather mix it with water in 4:1 ratio ( 4 drops of water, 1 drop of apple cider vinegar).

How to make this scalp cleanser?

  1. Using the ratio mentioned above, mix both apple cider vinegar and water in a spray bottle to help it sprinkle over your head.
  2. Now using this sprinkle bottle thoroughly spreads this mix over your scalp and use your fingers while standing in front of a mirror to ensure your scalp is fully covered.
  3. Let it rest for about 10-15 minutes on your head before you rinse it off with a clarifying shampoo employed after this to ensure you have removed all of your scalp buildups.

 

Research Evidence

While there are other health benefits of Apple cider vinegar but there is nothing as such specific research that establishes that apple cider vinegar reduces scalp buildup.

However, that does not mean that it is entirely useless, rather it does have bacterial killing benefits which can indirectly benefit your scalp build up cleansing efforts.

There’s no scientific evidence that apple cider vinegar can reduce scalp buildup. However, there’s that shows it can kill bacteria.

The dilution ratio of 4:1 is not set in stone, rather it could vary according to hair type you are dealing with i.e while dry hair need lesser proportions of Apple cider vinegar but oily hair tend to like more of it.

2. Lemon juice for scalp build-up

Lemon juice for scalp buildup

Lemon juice or a lemon clarifying shampoo is another potential anti-scalp easy to do home remedy that has very good scalp cleansing properties thanks to its acidic nature.

Just like apple cider vinegar, its acidic properties which are proven to be helpful against dandruff can be useful against buildup too due to its pH balancing properties.

How to make this anti-scalp build up remedy?

  1. Take lemon juice and water in a 1:2 ratio ( 2 water, 1 lemon juice) and mix them well and collect it in a spray bottle.
  2. Now, using this spray bottle, start spreading all over your scalp with the help of your fingers and let it sit for about 15 minutes before you rinse this off with a clarifying shampoo to clean up any leftover buildup.

Why does Lemon juice work against scalp build up?

  • Rich in Vitamins C, it is effective against the free radical damage of your scalp skin and improving collagen production to boost hair growth.
  • Lemon has strong antifungal properties which effectively counters any infection growth on your scalp and control hair fall and dandruff
  • It helps the opening up of clogged pores to stimulate the growth of dormant hair and regulate the overproduction of sebum which is one of the main contributing factors for scalp buildup.

3. Lemongrass oil for scalp buildup

Lemon grass oil for scalp buildup

Lemongrass is another potential anti-scalp build up remedy that you should check out. 

A recent research study found that lemongrass oil is a very good remedy for dandruff, however, it’s anti-dandruff benefits can be translated to the removal of scalp build up too. 

4. Employ scalp exfoliation for scalp buildup

scalp exfoliation for scalp buildup

I am sure that you probably practice your skin exfoliation but have you ever thought of exfoliating your scalp to cleanup scalp buildup? Most probably “No”. 

In fact, while our body naturally does this exfoliating job by replacing old cells with new skin cells but sometimes this natural phenomenon needs human intervention and this is particularly true about scalp because it is often ignored compared to your face or other body parts.

So, it turns out that, a regular scalp exfoliation routine is crucial to clean, a healthy scalp that allows any natural and product buildup to settle.

Benefits of scalp cleanser exfoliation

As said earlier, your scalp is just an extension of your skin, the treatment meted out to your skin is important for your scalp too. Good scalp exfoliation is stress relieving and invigorating scalp in many ways and it is equally beneficial for all types of hair like in purging your scalp from

  • Dryness buildup 
  • Dandruff buildup
  • Oil buildup from oily hair buildup
  • Natural and product hair buildup

How to exfoliate your scalp?

A lot has been said about scalp exfoliation but it’s time to employ it in actuality.

  1. First, normal wash and shampoo your hair.
  2. Now, using a wide comb, separate out sections of your hair to create space for scalp exfoliation.
  3. Now, while your hair is fairly damp and wet, take the scrub in your hand and start applying with your fingers. Or in case of a physical exfoliating agent, only rub in a gentle nice circular motion.
  4. Do this about 4-5 minutes and when you are sure that you touched almost every part of your head and scalp

While scalp exfoliation is regularly advised and effective for healthy people but people suffering from certain scalp infections like ringworm, open pores or lice infected should refrain from it as it can complicate their present scalp issues.

DIY scalp Exfoliation: Best homemade scalp scrubs for scalp buildup

scalp exfoliation for scalp buildup removal

While the market is flooded with lots of chemical and physical exfoliating agents but you don’t need to go farther from your kitchen or home. There are very good natural hair scrubs that you can make at home.

1. DIY Brown sugar and oatmeal exfoliating scrub

DIY Brown sugar and oatmeal exfoliating scrub

What do you need? 

  • Approx 2 tbsps of brown sugar
  • About 2 tbsp of oatmeal which is finely ground
  • About 2 tbsps of your favorite hair conditioner

How to use it?

  1. First, mix all of the above-mentioned ingredients together and make an even mixture.
  2. Now,  normally wash your hair during bathing and apply shampoo over this damp and wet hair.
  3. Now, on these wet hair, apply this exfoliating mixture you have just prepared and use your fingers to gently apply all over the scalp in circular motions and rinse it thoroughly off after a few minutes.

2. DIY Aspirin exfoliating hair & scalp scrub

DIY aspirin exfoliating scalp scrub

What do you need? 

  • Take about 7-8 aspirin tablets
  • Take about 4-5 tbsps of warm water

How to make it?

  1. First, take aspirin tab and crush and grind them in a fine powder
  2. Now, put this powder in warm water and stir well to thoroughly dissolve to get a uniform mixture.
  3. Finally, on your wet and damp hair, sprinkle this solution all over your scalp and rinse it off thereafter.

3. DIY Olive oil & brown sugar scalp exfoliating scrub

DIY olive oil and brown sugar scalp exfoliating scrub

What do you need?

  • About one fourth, ¼  a cup of olive oil
  • About one fourth, ¼ cup full of brown sugar

How to make and use this scalp scrub? 

  1. First, combine both olive oil and brown sugar in a clean bowl and evenly mix them.
  2. Now, apply this mixture and massage gently over your whole scalp with your fingertips for at least 3-5 minutes before you rinse it off and condition thereafter. 

4. DIY Honey & olive & sugar exfoliation scalp scrub

DIY honey and olive oil exfoliating scalp scrub

What do you need?

  • About 1 tbsp of pure honey
  • About 2 tbsp of olive oil
  • About 2-3 tbsp of brown sugar ( or a simple white sugar in case you can’t get it)

How to make and use this hair scrub?

  1. First, combine these three ingredients in a clean bowl and evenly mix them.
  2. Now, when you have got your scalp and hair damp, gently apply all over your scalp in a nice circular motion for up to 3-5 minutes.
  3. Finally, rinse this scalp scrub off and go on to apply your normal conditioner thereafter.

Other Best skin exfoliating tips

Best skin exfoliation tips

The following are some more powerful self exfoliation tips that can further supplement your DIY exfoliation efforts. Always remeber that you have to be moderate in your skin exfoliating treatments otherwise you can end up scrubbing your skin too hard which does more harm than good.

1. Get a good exfoliating brush

physical exfoliation tips

While you don’t need to do scalp exfoliation with some chemical or home ingredients remedies, there are other solid physical exfoliating agents available too like an exfoliating brush.

Just take a good exfoliating brush and firmly massage over your bristles on the scalp, in a gentle circular motion when your hair is dry( not wet as compared to previous home remedies application).

Don’t apply too much brush pressure and be careful to not tangle your hair.

2. Buy a chemical exfoliating shampoo

chemical scalp exfoliating shampoo

Coupling a physical exfoliating brush with a market-based chemical exfoliating cleanser is a perfect remedy to effectively remove scalp buildup.

But it does not mean you should always use them together. A good chemical cleanser is equally good at exfoliating your scalp on its own, however, a combination of both is a perfect remedy for any sort of scalp buildup.

3. Exfoliate more often if you use a lot of styling products

more exfoliation for more scalp treatments

This is pretty straightforward. The more styling products like hair spray, gel, etc you use on your hair,  the higher the level of scalp buildup and higher the frequency of your scalp exfoliation.

For most people, exfoliating once a month is enough but if you don’t want to make your scalp build up tougher and deeper, then limit your styling products and if you have chosen few, always go with scalp friendly that doesn’t leave a lot of baggage back and are washed or removed away easily.

Potential Scalp exfoliation side effects or risks

scalp exfoliation side effects

1. Don’t exfoliate your scalp more than once a week

Since exfoliation essentially involves the removal of deep sebum buildup, a frequent exfoliation can lead to the removal of unnecessary oil which can trigger more oil production for your scalp in response making it oilier. 

So, don’t go for scalp exfoliation more than once a week or maximum twice a week.

2. Use protection for sensitive skin people

Some of the physical or chemical exfoliating agents can prove to be harsh for sensitive skin people causing irritation and swelling. 

In this case, either stop using that exfoliating remedy and consult your dermatologist or use a protective spray or sunscreen while you step outside in the sun to keep your sensitive skin from giving a harsh reaction.

3. Don’t exfoliate on infected scalps or other scalp injuries

If you are suffering from a skin infection like ringworm, seborrheic dermatitis, injury, lice or eczema on your scalp, just don’t do any sort of exfoliation to avoid aggravating your present scalp concern.

How to prevent scalp build permanently?

1. Always try to keep hair detangled

Always keep your hair detangled

This is one of the basic yet effective steps to avoid accumulating any sort of scalp buildup but this is only possible if you are regularly brushing your hair. Detangling your hair with a brush helps keep scalp buildup in two important ways.

  1. A good hairbrush like bristle brush helps evenly distribute the hair oil to all over the scalp, hair strands and prevent any accumulation of oil or sebum traces to any specific point to avoid gradual build-up over the scalp.
  2. Less entanglement of your hair means a lesser number of knots for product or sebum residue to cling on to avoid the gradual accumulation of scalp buildup.

Beautywised tip!
To properly use a brush for effective brushing technique, always brush by holding the top of your hair to avoid irritation of the scalp as otherwise, you would be pulling directly from the roots which can damage or break up your hair.

2. Do regular and thorough washing of your head & hair

Do regular washing of your hair and scalp

Regular and thorough washing of your head is crucial to avoid getting scalp buildup in the first place. Some anecdotally suggest that average-to-oily hair can be washed every 1 to 2 days, while dry-to-damaged hair can be washed every 3 to 4 days.

Best Hair washing & cleaning tips to avoid scalp buildup

Hair washing and cleaning tips for scalp buildup

1. Clean up your hair properly before applying shampoo – Make your hair wet and clean up properly before you go onto apply shampoo as it clings and spreads on wet hair more effectively which reduces your shampoo consumption.

2. Don’t apply shampoo directly over your scalp – Mixing shampoo with water before applying over your scalp helps it spread and reduces shampoo consumption at the same time.

3. Use water to help shampoo to remove buildup – The first time to rinse your hair, rinse it with warm water to help open up the outer layer of hair ( the cuticle ) to allow the penetration of shampoo inside it to help it remove dirt and oil effectively. This is most suited for air conditioners too.

4. Give more attention to your scalp – The real scalp buildup is on your scalp surface, not your hair strands, so shampooing and cleaning your scalp should be your primary focus while trying to eliminate it.

5. Gently clean up your hair and scalp – Don’t do harsh scrubbing of your hair or use your nails in order to remove dirt or buildup as this causes leads to potential injuries and serious hair breakage or in some cases scabs and sores.  Instead, only use your palms and fingers to wash your hair roots

6. Apply conditioner or moisturizer only on hair strands, not scalp itself – Don’t apply the usual conditioner that you use after your normal hair washing straight on your scalp because it just got rid of scalp buildup a few minutes ago rather use all your moisturizers or conditioner only on the ends of hairs strands.

7. MInimize your styling product usage – Always remember one thing when it comes to a variety of hair products like sprays, gels, etc. that less is always safe and more.

Furthermore, when you apply them, use them only on hair strands or ends while keeping at a distance from the root and scalp surface.

Another important tip that you can use it to heat up your serums and lotions so that they get easily spread throughout your strands which will allow you to use them in minimal quantities.

8. Follow a healthy hair care routine  – Just as you take care of your facial skin and practice a healthy skincare routine, you need to do this with your scalp too.

Even if you’re not feeling any sort of scalp buildup, just be proactive and do regular brushing and washing of your scalp and hair and use high-quality shampoo and conditioner.

9. Watch out for sweating after you have done exercise – This is an important scalp buildup prevention step that most people ignore but if ignored, this can considerably contribute to scalp buildup.

So it is always wise to properly wash your hair after you have done some workouts or sweating physical activity.

10. Always wash your hair after exercise. When you work out, you sweat through your scalp. This can contribute to scalp buildup if you let it sit. Prevent buildup by washing your hair after each workout.

How to get rid of scalp buildup overnight?

FAQs

Q: How do you get rid of a scalp build up?

Ans: You can easily get rid of scalp build up if you follow these tips and remedies.
1. Use a Clarifying Shampoo
2. Apple cider vinegar for scalp buildup
3. Lemon juice for scalp build-up
4. Lemongrass oil for scalp buildup
Employ scalp exfoliation for scalp buildup
1. Brown sugar and oatmeal exfoliating scrub
2. Aspirin exfoliating hair & scalp scrub
3. Olive oil & brown sugar scalp exfoliating scrub
4. Honey & olive & sugar exfoliation scalp scrub

Q: What is scalp build up?

Ans: Scalp buildup is the accumulation of a wide range of chemicals, leftover product traces, dead skin cells and other environmental pollutants on your scalp over time that leads to deterioration of your general scalp health and can cause serious scalp skin conditions in the near future.

Q: How can I exfoliate my scalp?

Ans: You can exfoliate your scalp if you follow these steps & remedies.
1. First, normal wash and shampoo your hair.
2. Now, using a wide comb, separate out sections of your hair to create space for scalp exfoliation.
3. Now, while your hair is fairly damp and wet, take the scrub in your hand and start applying with your fingers. Or in case of a physical exfoliating agent, only rub in a gentle nice circular motion.
4. Do this about 4-5 minutes and when you are sure that you touched almost every part of your head and scalp

Use these homemade exfoliating scrubs

1. Brown sugar and oatmeal exfoliating scrub
2. Aspirin exfoliating hair & scalp scrub
3. Olive oil & brown sugar scalp exfoliating scrub
4. Honey & olive & sugar exfoliation scalp scrub

More Exfoliation tips

1. Get a good exfoliating brush
2. Buy a chemical exfoliating cleanser
3. Exfoliate more often if you use a lot of styling products

Q: How can I reduce sebum production in my scalp?

Ans: You can definitely reduce sebum production on your scalp if you follow these tips and remedies.
1. Exfoliate more often
2. Avoid using harsh chemicals on your scalp as these can rip all of your sebum and trigger more production of sebum
3. Avoid getting dryness as dryness stimulates more oil and sebum production to compensate for lost dryness.
4. Use some special oil skin designed hair masks that absorb excess sebum from your head and regulate its production.
for more info visit this site.

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