Product buildup in your hair is usually common especially if you style your hair too often, and it’s probably the main culprit why your hair isn’t looking good these past few days. If you notice your hair becomes dull, dry, frizzy, and has no volume, then your hair has definitely product buildup. And you want to resolve this as soon as possible to bring back the old life of your hair.
Overtime, hair products like sprays, serums, waxes, and creams leave residues such as silicone, mineral oils, polyquats and polymers with a sticky feeling in your scalp. It’s not just irritating. It also deteriorates your hair’s overall health.
If you suspect that you have a product buildup in your hair, read along this article to learn more about this problem and discover some ways on how to resolve it.
What is product buildup?
Product buildup means accumulation of non-soluble ingredients from the hair products you’re using. You usually get this from conditioners, shampoos, gels, and hairsprays that stick on your scalp and hair strands.
When not resolved right away, these will continue to accumulate in your scalp and obstruct proper moisture. As a result, your conditioners will just stay on top of your hair rather than absorbing it down to each hair strand.
What does a product buildup look like?
So how do you determine if you have product buildup in your hair? Simple. Product buildup appears like blobs, white film or chunky flakes that stick to your hair strands like a lump. You can unveil product buildup when you start to part your hair in sections and rub your fingers through.
For people who don’t usually style their hair, the probable cause of their product buildup might be conditioners and shampoos. Without proper washing practice, you’ll end up obtaining chunky flakes in your hair that only clarifying shampoo can help get rid of.
Products that cause hair buildup
There are tons of products that can cause flakes and slobs in your hair, and if you use more than one product whether for styling or maintenance, it might even be harder to distinguish which among them causes buildup in your hair. In worst case scenarios, all of them might be the culprit.
For those who frequently style their hair, the main cause of their product buildup might be the hairspray, cream, or serums they’re using. If they start to notice buildup in their hair, it’s either they don’t wash their hair properly after a day of styling, or they use a strong product that comes with chemicals that stick hardly on their scalp.
Figuring out these factors will help you determine where your product buildup comes from, thus, making it easier for you to discover some ways on how to get rid of them and prevent them from building up again next time.
Signs that you have product buildup in your hair
Been thinking why your hair feels dull and dry all of a sudden? Product buildup might be the main problem. But how do you know if it’s product buildup? Here are some signs you should watch out for if you’re suspecting that you’re having product buildup in your hair.
Your hair feels dry but your scalp feels greasy.
Does your scalp suddenly feel greasy when your hair is dry? It’s suspicious. How will your scalp accumulate oil in the first place if it’s not coming directly from your hair strands? If your hair produces enough moisture and it’s properly hydrated, it’s normal to have your scalp oily. But if not, it’s not something you should just let forget about.
Among the signs of product buildup, this one is the most obvious and can easily be noticed. Guess why it happens? Because your hair finds it hard to absorb the moisture level it needs and your scalp fights back by producing more sebum to unclog its pores.
As a result, your hair gets dry and your scalp gets oilier.
Your hair looks dull most of the time.
Product buildup reduces your hair’s ability to be more alive and looking good. And as you style your hair, aiming to achieve that goal, you forget about how it affects your hair drastically after a whole day of styling. When the hair products subside, how will your hair look?
When your hair is dull looking and lacks shine, it means your locks are coated with hair products and it’s deteriorating your hair’s overall quality. Product buildup makes your hair look heavy, greasy, and lacking luster.
It’s harder for you to style your hair.
Do you notice your hair getting harder to style overtime? It’s probably because it has accumulated tons of product buildup. When your hair starts to produce lumps and flakes, it feels stiff because it loses elasticity and proper bounce it needs to retain its style throughout the day.
If you don’t get rid of this, you’ll no longer achieve beautiful hairstyles because your hair will remain stubborn. The only thing you can do with it is to tie it and just let it be. Or have it laid down as it looks so frizzy.
You use shampoo more often.
Your hair can never be as clean as you wish it to be. And because of all of these attempts, you tend to use shampoo more often to get rid of the greasiness you feel in your scalp when in fact, you’ll never get over it totally because it’s part of your scalp’s anatomy.
Your scalp continues to produce more sebum to fight back against remnants from products you’re using. In this way, it can prevent products from blocking your pores. But if you wash your hair more often with a shampoo, you take this sebum away frequently. Now, what will protect your scalp against the harmful effects of hair products you’re using? You make your hair feel worse while you’re in pursuit of solving one problem.
Your hair lacks volume.
The reason why we often style our hair is because we want to achieve our ideal hair volume. It makes our hair look more alive and beautiful at the same time. Dry and luster hair will never lift itself from its roots. It will always feel flat no matter how hard you try styling it.
Volumizing sprays won’t even work. You’ll just waste your money trying to resolve your problem if you don’t act towards the product buildup in your hair. It’s harder for your hair to be volumized if it’s covered with dirt and grime.
Your scalp feels itchy and irritating.
Of course, your scalp will feel itchy and irritating once it’s covered with dirt. Dirt clogs your pores, making it impossible to produce sebum for your hair. Also, your pores can easily get clogged if the product buildup is near your hair roots. It can easily penetrate your scalp in an instant.
When your pores are totally clogged, it will get infected and inflamed. This will cause your scalp to get more irritated and it will be hard to fight against dirt and grime. As a result, it will make your scalp very itchy. Yep, like a dandruff.
You’re suffering from severe hair breakage.
When all these signs are combined, these will cause total hair breakage. This is the worst case scenario if you still don’t act on the product buildup right away as soon as you notice its early signs. Dry and unhealthy hair will go nowhere but breakage.
As your hair withers due to lack of moisture, it will also struggle to increase its length. And the older parts of your hair will start to crack and destruct unless you nurture it with proper moisture and hydration.
How to prevent product buildup
The best way to prevent product buildup is to stop it from happening in the first place. When you take care of your hair after each styling session, you avoid the accumulation of product buildup in your hair. Because sometimes, neglection is the reason why your scalp suffers.
Avoid excessive use of products. While they’re useful in keeping your hair beautiful all the time, your hair will eventually suffer from long term effects as you keep on using them. There are so many other ways on how to style your hair naturally anyway.
Of course, another key is to keep your hair healthy at all costs. No matter how small the amount of styling products you use, it’s important to totally get rid of them as you wash your hair. This falls down in a great hair maintenance routine.
Even if you don’t have product buildup, it’s still important to monitor your hair and maintain it regularly. Use a specific shampoo that’s tailored to your hair and skin type for best results. But don’t use it too often! Too much shampoo can dry out your hair.
Finally, don’t underestimate the power of sweat! You might not notice it, but it’s one of the main reasons why your hair gets flakes and lumps.
Prevention is better than cure. Don’t wait until you have to solve this hair problem if you can act on it while there are no signs at all yet.