Scalp Build Up: Cause and Effect

Scalp Build Up: Cause and Effect

Have you ever wondered why your hair isn’t growing like it used to, or why you are experiencing hair loss? We just have one more question to ask. Have you checked the health of your scalp lately? The scalp is where the hair grows from and is the foundation for anything and everything related to hair. How you treat your scalp matters, and the health of the scalp determines the health of the hair. That is why we are going to explain different types of scalp conditions, in order to help people understand their causes, effects, and how to treat them. Follow along, as today we will be explaining scalp buildup and its causes and effects.

What is Scalp Buildup?

First thing's first, let's talk about what scalp buildup actually is. Scalp buildup is a scalp condition that can show up as flakes on the scalp.

Most people can mistake scalp buildup for dandruff (seborrheic dermatitis), but the reality is that they are completely different and are treated differently. A simple and common mistake to make, as they often show up in similar ways, yet they have different causes. Hence, if you are not aware of which is which and opt for the wrong treatment then your efforts may be ineffective.

What Causes Scalp Buildup?

Scalp buildup can be caused by a couple of different things, including product buildup, excess sweat, excess oils, or even dead skin cells that have not been properly washed away or taken care of. Scalp buildup is caused by elements that are not entirely removed from the scalp and therefore build up over time. The buildup will eventually appear as flakes, as the buildup will flake off and begin to become visible on the scalp, hair, and even clothes.

The elements that tend to leave residue and accumulate on the scalp include hair products such as shampoo and conditioners, gels, mousses, styling creams, and even substances we make on our own such as natural oils on the scalp, sweat, and dead skin cells. 

What Are the Effects of Scalp Buildup?

If scalp buildup is not treated properly over time, the effects may include hair loss, irritation, and even infections. Scalp buildup can create a toxic environment where bacteria reproduce and grow which can lead to more serious complications. Hair loss can occur when scalp buildup clogs hair follicles preventing new hair growth from forming while promoting hair fall. Infections such as folliculitis can also occur when the build of debris and bacteria on the scalp begin to cause irritation and inflammation. If an infection such as folliculitis is not treated properly, it can lead to hair loss as well as painful sores, plaque, and scabs that form on the scalp and can hinder hair growth over time.

How Can I Treat Scalp Buildup?

There are several ways to treat product buildup, including finding the right clarifying shampoo, trying a scalp treatment, using lemongrass oil, or trying an apple cider vinegar rinse.

The way that a specified clarifying shampoo works to treat this condition, is that they are formulated to remove scalp buildup by getting rid of all the residue on the scalp. For example, Active Care has a Purifying Shampoo that is designed to effectively remove dirt and environmental impurities. It purifies and refreshes the scalp, leaving the hair looking clean and nourished. This Purifying Shampoo is made with natural ingredients such as Myrrh, Pine, and Cypress that are meant to calm and smooth the scalp while eliminating dead skin cells. Clarifying shampoos tend to be highly effective and due to their active ingredients, it is recommended to use them once or twice a week at most.

Trying a scalp treatment that is specific to your scalp condition is highly important, as we discussed earlier that using the wrong scalp treatment will have little to no results or benefits. That is why Active Care has made four different lines of scalp treatments in order to help treat specified scalp conditions. At first, the scalp treatment works to prevent the condition from worsening and ultimately get rid of the scalp condition over time. Once you have eliminated the problem, you can use the treatments to maintain the health of your scalp. The Deep-Cleansing Scalp Treatment by Active Care is suggested for those that experience scalp buildup, as it includes the necessary products to treat and prevent. The Deep-Cleansing line includes a Purifying Booster, a Serum, a Shampoo, and a Lotion to eliminate itching and flakes caused by scalp buildup. This line of products was developed with antioxidants and botanical extracts that regulate the scalp’s ecosystem and helps restore the scalp back to normal. 

Another helpful treatment, is lemongrass oil mixed with water. This mixture has been linked as a simple way to help treat scalp buildup. Lemongrass oil mixed with water is known to help rebalance the pH levels of the scalp, which is ideal when you have a condition such as buildup. 

One last suggestion we have is to try an apple cider vinegar rinse to wash your scalp and hair. Apple cider vinegar is praised in the natural hair community as it helps eliminate bacteria that accumulates on the scalp. This rinse is especially popular amongst those that practice the “no-poo” method, where they eliminate the use of shampoo completely from their hair care routine. Although an apple cider vinegar rinse may not completely treat scalp build-up, it can help to get rid of the bacteria that cause it, as well as prevent infection.

Although there are several more ways, such as using a scalp scrub to exfoliate, and other DIY methods, the methods and treatments we disclosed are the more gentle and effective ways to treat scalp buildup.

*Disclaimer: it is vital to note that if you or a client is experiencing similar or more severe symptoms of scalp buildup to visit a doctor for an accurate diagnosis. 

For more information about the products mentioned in this blog or more scalp related tips and tricks visit: or email: 



Written by: Arisleidi Hernandez

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published