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What Cause the Scalp Build Up and How to Prevent It

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The scalp build-up is an ailment that not many people pay attention to, as they are more focused on caring for their facial skin. However, there are a myriad of agents that harm the scalp skin, triggering the excess residue condition that leads to hair receding if not addressed immediately. This article comes to talk you through this topic, giving definitions, tips and remedies for getting rid of excess nasties on your scalp.

How to figure out that you have build up on your scalp?

Build-up comes in many forms, given the big variety of factors that trigger it. Generally, it includes chemical traces, hair product residue (mostly white), accumulations of sebum and dead skin flakes that fall on your shoulders or reside on your hair. If it's hard for you to see whether you have build up on your scalp, you can shake your head or move your hand around your hair, which will make the flakes fall.

It is important though to know that build up can be confused with some medical conditions, such as psoriasis or eczema, which have similar symptoms but are harder to treat. So you may want to reach to a doctor for a more accurate diagnosis if you notice too many flakes falling down and excess itching.

What causes build up?

Well, there are three main sources of build up which can appear on your scalp. The first category deals with hair care and styling products, such as conditioners, shampoos, waxes, styling gels, serums and so on. Applying layers of them on the scalp skin can deteriorate your scalp health rather than helping it stay in a good condition. It is a huge burden for your skin that increases as you use these products combined. As a result, you get accumulations of hair products that are hard to remove, unless you use special agents.

If you think that build up will never occur to you because you use a few hair care and styling products, it may not be necessary so. This condition is caused also by heavy accumulations of natural oils produced by your body that coat your scalp, if not washed in time, impeding it from breathing and reducing the absorption of nutrients and moisturizers in your follicles. Sweating and dead cells are also body-generated products that cause build up. 

Some people may also experience scalp residue due to the accumulation of polluting agents that reach your scalp every time you are exposed to a polluted environment.

Tips on choosing shampoo for preventing scalp residue

Instead of using the famous apple cider vinegar or lemon juice to remove build up, you are better off starting from the beginning by preventing this condition. Since shampoo white residue is the most popular source of build up, we decided to give you some tips on choosing the right shampoo that suits your type of hair, minimizing the accumulation of white flakes and excess sebum.

1. For oily hair

Go with shampoos that are rich in lauryl sulfates to reduce the concentration of oils, removing the heavy coat of sebum from the scalp and opening up the follicles allowing them to breathe and grow hair faster.

2. For drier hair

Dry hair is best addressed using hydrating shampoos, containing soy milk or herbs, to deal with excess sebum and moisturize the scalp and hair.

3. For damaged hair

If your hair has been affected by heat styling or thinning hair, you can choose shampoos containing ammonia esters and alkanolamides that will add support and fortify the hair shafts. 

4. For sensitive scalp

Avoid shampoos that abound in parabens and formalin as they will damage the skin, even more, causing the body to produce more natural oils to protect the scalp, which will lead to oil build up.

All in all, scalp build up is caused by many factors and comes in many forms, such as hair product residue, sebum, pollutant accumulation and dead skin flakes. Still, the most popular form of build up is shampoo residue, which most of the time occurs due to choosing the wrong shampoo. This calls the need to consult a scalp specialist before choosing a shampoo to ensure that you select the one that suits your type of hair.


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