What is The Products Build-up Problem?

For those with naturally curly hair who are not paying attention to scalp and hair hygiene or skipping clarifying steps in their routine, this will leave a layer of products build-up on the scalp and hair strands, which is a mix of hair oils and some ingredients of hair products.

Those product build-ups will deprive your hair of absorbing moisture and water, so your hair changes into greasy scalp and dry, or dull curls which might alert you to do hair clarifying and remove them to recover your shiny spiral curls.

That won’t be a difficult task if you know what is a product’s build-up and why you really need to get rid of it. So we write this article especially to deal with this situation perfectly. 

What is the product’s build-up?

Products build-up is an accumulation of hair products that you usually use, mixed with hair oils produced from sebaceous glands located on the scalp together with scalp dead cells. Those leftovers settle down on the scalp and hair strands and cause a lot of problems.

The product layer on the scalp clogs hair follicles and may increase hair falling, and leave the scalp greasy. while it will coat the hair strands and repel any moisture from entering your hair shaft, so your curls start to look dull without shining. 

How to tell if you have product build-up in your curly hair?

When you have a product build-up problem, your hair will try to give you several signals that may confirm this.

First, your scalp will be visibly greasy, then frequent washing your scalp will not help you to get rid of this feeling.

Secondly, you will notice that your favorite products will diminish their effect on your hair over time, and then you may make several attempts to change your favorite products or search for an alternative hair care routine for your hair (stop doing that).

Finally, your curly tresses will lose their shine and turn duller, and while they are not a hallmark of identifying whether you have a product build-up problem, it should be mentioned anyway.

Despite the clear symptoms of product build-up, some people mistake between products build-up and dandruff, that’s because they look similar.

You can determine the situation after clarifying, if it’s product build-up you’ll get rid of it but if it’s dandruff it won’t work because you need special treatment.

What causes products build-up in curly hair?

Some habits and ingredients in hair products that are insoluble can build a layer on the hair strand, these build-up not always bad it depends on the situation. For example, if you want to use heat on your curls it’s better to use those substances to protect your curly hair.

On other hand, the product build-up will turn into a burden on your hair, and it will act as a barrier to the entry of any nutrients or moisturizers into the hair.

So you have to know what those ingredients, and habits that cause build-up in your curly hair to deal with them:

Heavy ingredients

Some of them have many good benefits on hair, like protein which is the main component of the hair, but overusing it will lead to products accumulating especially for low hair porosity

However, oils and butter will be a good sealer to maintain the moisture into high hair porosity, but using them over time will end up with product build-up. This is a list of heavy ingredient:

  • Silicon
  • Waxes
  • Oils and butter
  • Protein

Using gentle cleansing products (co-wash, and sulfate-free products)

Co-wash conditioners and sulfate-free shampoo contain gentle cleansing agents, those ingredients do their job perfectly, but by the time may they won’t be enough because of accumulating products and natural hair oil, and here comes the role of clarifying.

Note: co-wash conditioners and sulfate-free shampoo are good cleansing products especially for curly hair, because they keep it away from dryness, despite the products with sulfate which has damaging effects on your curls. 

Using many products

Using too many products or using too much of each product doesn’t necessarily mean you will get great curls. On the contrary, layering products on top of each other will make your curls loosen because of product build-up.

How to remove product build-up from your curly hair?

To get rid of build-up you need to learn how to clarify your hair. You can use clarifying shampoos or try some home remedies because ordinary free-sulfate shampoos won’t remove product build-up from curly hair perfectly.

Clarifying shampoo: it usually contains sulfate which causes dryness, so if you follow CGM or if you want to avoid the bad effects of that ingredient especially for curly hair which is more prone to drying, you can look for free-sulfate clarifying shampoos.

Apple cider vinegar: it has some effects that make it a good scalp scrub, which means it can rid you of any product build-up. Here is a recipe to use it:

  • Mix 1 tablespoons of ACV with a glass of water.
  • apply the mix on your hair, then massage your scalp by your fingertips for 2 minutes.

Lemon: like ACV you can count on lemon juice to remove build-up, but avoid walking under the sun after using it because that may cause hair damage. Here is a recipe to use it:

  • Mix 1 tablespoons of lemon juice with 1 tablespoon of your conditioner.
  • apply the mix on your hair, and massage your scalp by your fingertips for 2M.


Sometimes product build-up might make you confused. You start wondering what your hair really needs, but after reading this article you should know how to deal with your curly hair build-up and what to do depending on the previously mentioned symptoms, and get your spiral curls back, away from those bewildering questions about your hair situation.

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