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What You NEED to Know About Scalp Buildup: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

What You NEED to Know About Scalp Buildup: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

A healthy scalp is essential to YOUR BEST hair health. The scalp, specifically the hair follicles, is the manufacturing plant for your hair. But did you know that follicles can become clogged?  It’s true. Simply put, hair follic

les can become clogged as a result of scalp buildup  Scalp buildup can happen to anyone.  Read on below to find out what causes scalp buildup, what it looks/feels like, and how to get rid of it so you always have a healthy scalp and optimal conditions for healthy hair!

What Causes Scalp Buildup?

Most of us don’t want to imagine that we have scalp buildup and trust that our usual hair care routine (shampoo/conditioning, etc) is keeping our scalp clean. Scalp buildup results from both natural substances and haircare or other hair products.  Buildup can come from the overuse of hair products such as:

  • Conditioners
  • Styling creams
  • Gels
  • Mousse

and natural substances that build up when it accumulates on the scalp:

  • Sweat
  • Sebum
  • Dead skin cells

All of the above in tandem can cause scalp buildup in the short and long term.  Untreated it

can quickly become unmanageable and frustrating!

What are the Symptoms of Scalp Buildup?

While it's different for everyone, some of the symptoms of scalp buildup include:

  • Itching
  • Flakes
  • Inflammation
  • Tenderness
  • Pain
  • Breakouts
  • Hair loss
  • Slow growth

Scalp buildup can look like dandruff, but the two are not the same thing. However, scalp buildup can exacerbate a case of dandruff in that it can cause you to scratch (an absolute no-no) and irritate and inflame your scalp even more!  The good news is that you can treat scalp buildup and create the right environment for healthy hair.

What are the Treatment Options for Scalp Buildup?

There are several treatment options for scalp buildup.  The goal of treatment for scalp buildup is to create a healthy environment that not only keeps your scalp clean but allows your hair to grow and be healthy and strong!

Some ways to treat scalp buildup:

Use a Moisturizing Shampoo and Conditioner. Since scalp buildup causes an irritated scalp, a moisturizing shampoo, and conditioner that is gentle, yet hydrates is vital to ensure that all buildup is gently but effectively removed while hydrating the scalp.

Cut Back on Your Product List. Use only what you need to achieve your style and no more.  Heavy, multiple product use is a major reason for scalp buildup and that only serves to clog your follicles and create an itchy scalp

Maintain a Healthy Hair Routine. Creating a healthy hair routine is important to the care of your scalp and reducing buildup.  A healthy hair care routine includes washing, brushing/combing, product use, day and night routines, and more.

Use Zinc and Peppermint to Reduce Buildup. Zinc and Peppermint are two of nature’s ingredients that help to reduce scalp buildup, prevent bacteria on the scalp and stimulate scalp and hair follicles.  Zinc has the added bonus of helping to reverse hair loss and peppermint helps to stimulate the hair follicles by increasing blood circulation and oxygen to your scalp.


Scalp buildup can lead to scalp inflammation, irritation, tenderness, and hair loss. Heavy use of hair care products and natural substances all contribute to scalp buildup.  With proper identification of scalp buildup,  you can treat it and create optimal conditions for healthy, strong hair.