How to prevent product build up in your scalp and hair

All Things Product Build Up on 4C Natural Hair

Hair and scalp product build up is one of the common hair issues some of naturals experience and it can be frustrating when you’re a newbie. The good news is you can easily figure out the causes, learn how to prevent and stop it.

Feel like your hair has been the same length forever, I’ve an Ebook that will help you grow your hair healthier, longer and thicker. Grab your copy here… Also, check out all the Ebooks,guides and journals that will go a long way in your hair care journey here.

With natural hair, you will need a couple of products for wash day and in between washes hair routine Products range from shampoo, conditioners, moisturizers, styling products and moisture sealants. How often you use the products and the amount used may end up building up on your hair. On this post we cover all things product build up on hair and scalp.

What is hair product build up and how to stop it

“Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links. This means that, at zero cost to you, I will earn an affiliate commission if you click through the link and finalize a purchase.”

How to stop and keep away product build up from your hair for good

Everything You Need to Know about Product build up on Hair and Scalp

Major causes of product build up on hair.

  1. Too much styling products: I know you want well laid edges, high puffs and sleek down styles but constant use of styling gels and creams may cause product build up. I’m not saying don’t use styling products, they serve a purpose in your hair routine. Use styling products but don’t over do it and if you do, make a point of cleansing your hair as soon as you start to notice the product build up.

2. Using heavy products: this is especially for y’all with low porosity hair. This porosity type takes time to absorb products and heavy products either moisturizing products or sealants sit on your hair and scalp for long before penetrating causing build up. Heavy products are perfect for high porosity hair. Be cautious of the products you use and pay attention to how easily your hair absorbs them.

3. Don’t rinse conditioners and shampoos properly: This has happened to me a couple of times. I thought my scalp was just getting itchy and over-producing sebum until someone mentioned that most of us don’t rinse out deep conditioners well from our hair and especially the scalp which causes itchy scalp. Started to throughly rinse off the deep conditioner and voila, the itch was gone. Take time to rinse off shampoos and conditioners from your hair and scalp.

4. Scalp oiling: I know most of us oil our scalp out of habit and we never took time to discover how much sebum our scalp produces or if we have oily scalp. Oiling scalp that doesn’t need the oil may cause build up on your scalp and itchy scalp too. Trynna learn your scalp and what works best for your scalp.

5. Exclusively Co-washing: Co-washing means using a conditioner or cleansing conditioner in place of shampoo. Conditioners, unlike shampoos aren’t formulated to cleanse meaning they probably won’t break down all the dirt and product from your hair and scalp. This will leave products on your hair and scalp causing some serious build up.

Related post: everything you should know about Co-washing

How to know you’re experiencing product build up.

  • Your hair and scalp feel oily / greasy.
  • Hair looks dull/ lacks it’s natural shine, no matter how well you moisturize and use oils.
  • Your hair no longer absorbs products especially in between washes moisturizing products.
  • You may experience scalp irritation/ itchy scalp and,or flaking
  • The build up also may weigh your hair down.
  • Hair no longer holds curls.

Side note: don’t wait until you notice the above signs, cleanse your hair once you start to notice the build up. How do you test for build up? Scratch a small section of your scalp(be gentle with it), take note of product left under your nails. If it’s quite a lot, consider cleansing your hair and scalp.

How to prevent product build- up from happening.

  • If you’ve to co-wash, alternate between co-washing and shampooing.
  • Wash your hair properly and regularly, don’t over do it though
  • Find and use the right products for your hair type
  • Thoroughly rinse your hair after shampooing and deep conditioning
  • Use as little products as possible in between washes
  • When cleansing, massage your scalp to break down the build up.

How to get rid of product build up from hair and scalp.

The easiest and most effective way to get rid of build up is by clarifying your hair. I know we preach on the benefits of using sulphate free shampoos but when it comes to build up, use a sulphate shampoo or rather a clarifying shampoo to get rid of all the build up. You may also use a scalp massager to break down the dirt and products. Don’t have a scalp massager, the tips of your fingers will work just fine (don’t use nails just the pads of your fingers.)

I hope you found this post helpful. Thank you for reading, share this post with your friends and family.

Valerie Kinoti

Valerie Kinoti has loved all things hair since she was 8 and always dreamt of having long hair. Decades later she is living the long hair dream and sharing all tips, tricks she has learned over the years.