Product buildup most commonly occurs from prolonged use of shampoos, conditioners and other hair products that contain bad ingredients. It can make the hair feel heavy, dry, thin or limp. Silicone is the most common form of product buildup and it is commonly used in both drugstore and high end shampoos and conditioners. It is a common ingredient for its ability to coat the hair and leave it looking soft and feeling manageable.
The problem with silicone is that it is not natural. It is basically a polymer made from silica, which closely resembles plastic but lasts longer and it is non-water soluble. When used in hair products, it continues to coat the hair and skin with each use, preventing nutrients to enter the strand and also continues to weigh the hair down.
Sadly, silicone has many names, so you have to learn how to read the ingredients, not just the marketing on the label. Some of the most common forms of silicone used in hair products are Cyclomethicone Dimethicone Copolyol, and Amodimethicone. Alcohols are also bad ingredients that exist in even natural products, so learn how to read your labels and find a brand you can trust like The Cure. Alcohols can build up and do damage over time. Alcohols are commonly used for the temporary effects of soft, shiny, manageable locks. Sure your hair or skin may look fabulous the first time you use a product containing alcohols, but they do damage on a cellular level to the strand and scalp over time.
HOW DO I GET RID OF IT?
Apart from having a professional remove the buildup or using a quality organic clarifying shampoo - which is a great product to have in your arsenal - here are some cost-effective at home methods you can use to get rid of the bad buildup and start new!
Baking Soda Treatment
Make a paste using 1/2 cup baking soda and 1/2 cup water and the juice of 1/2 lemon. Rub this all over your scalp and gently spread it down the strands of your hair in downward strokes as to not cause too much friction to the hair strands. Leave on for 2 minutes and rinse off using warm water. Shampoo and Condition as usual.
Baking Soda Wash
Dilute 1/4 cup baking soda with 2 cups water. Use this solution over your hair in the shower, prior to shampooing and conditioning.
Apple Cider Vinegar Rinse
A fantastic part of anyone's shower regime, this should be done at least twice a month to restore your hair and scalp's pH balance, clarify the hair and to add volume, shine and strength into the strands. Simply dilute 1/2 cup of apple cider vinegar with 2.5 -3 cups water. The smell should evaporate as your hair dries, but if you want to boost your apple cider vinegar rinse, try adding some fresh or dried thyme and rosemary to a bottle and let it sit for a day prior to using. You can also add a few drops of lavender or rosemary essential oil to add benefits and leave behind a more pleasant scent on your strands. While any vinegar will theoretically help, not all vinegars are created equal. Look for an organic apple cider vinegar with the mother. This way you avoid adding excess sugars into your hair which can be found in cheaper vinegars. This rinse should be the last step in your shower routine, after shampooing and conditioning.
Squeeze the juice of one lemon into 2 cups of water. Pro tip: Distilled or micelar water is the best as they can boost the detoxification and clarification benefits, but plain water will work fine. This solution is best applied after shampooing and before conditioning. Be sure to massage the juice into your hair well before rinsing and applying conditioner. Now that you know how to fix the problem, be sure to prevent further buildup by finding a quality natural or organic shampoo and conditioner. While drugstore hair products may be affordable, they come at a cost and have been known to cause hormone imbalances, cancers, toxicity issues, dermatitis conditions, hair and skin damage and hair loss. While there are many forms of product buildup, the damage is not always obvious to the naked eye. Toxins in products can cause health issues as prolonged use can also cause a form of toxic buildup in your system. Every time you apply a product to your skin or scalp, it is absorbed through your skin and enters your bloodstream within a matter of seconds, so do yourself a favor and invest in a brand that won't cause damage or buildup. Your hair and health will thank you for it. p.s. CHECK THESE VIDEOS TO SEE WHAT DRUG STORE PRODUCT BUILDUP LOOKS LIKE:
Do not try to repeat this test at home!