How To Get Rid Of Scalp Buildup

Originally Published: 
Best scalp buildup products

Let's all admit it: Between the dry shampoo, hair spray, working out, humidity and, uhh, more dry shampoo, we've all experienced an unwanted amount of scalp buildup. No matter how dedicated our efforts, our scalps are simply not always 100% clean. That said, have you ever felt like you've washed your hair well but your scalp still doesn't feel as pristine as it should? It could be that you're using the wrong shampoo. We chatted with Carolyn Aronson, hairstylist and founder of It's A 10 haircare, about buildup-busting shampoos. She broke down the three types of formulas you should consider if you're in need of a truly deep clean, along with the ingredients that will lift all traces of buildup.

Scalp Buildup Product: Clarifying Shampoo

Aronson says that the ingredients in clarifying shampoos "help lift buildup from the scalp with their deep-cleansing ability." Drugstore brand, Suave, is known for having plenty of scalp-targeting shampoos at a very affordable price.

For a more luxe experience, try Oribe's clarifying formula. It's created with the brand's signature complex of watermelon, lychee, and edelweiss flower extract to gently lift dirt and excess oil. Or, if you need a boost of keratin while cleansing your scalp but want to restore the health of your strands, this It's A 10 formula tackles all of the above.

Scalp Buildup Product: Tea Tree Oil Shampoos

"Shampoos enriched with tea tree oils are antibacterial and help deter scalp buildup," says Aronson. OGX's shampoo is known for its refreshing properties and smells amazing (thanks to its mint-infused cocktail).

And Earth's Nectar has made a name for itself with its natural hair-friendly formulas. This natural blend of mint leaf and tea tree oil will rid you of buildup while hydrating your scalp.

Great for all hair types, Paul Mitchell's shampoo is also formulated with mint and tea tree oil, but also has a hint of lavender. It leaves the hair smelling and feeling amazing.

Scalp Buildup Product: Apple Cider Vinegar Treatments

"Apple cider vinegar is naturally high in acetic acid and has a pH level that is close to that of human hair," Aronson explains. "Regularly rinsing with this vinegar can help bring your scalp and hair to its ideal acidity, especially if you have oily strands or scalp buildup." We're huge fans of dpHUE's ACV hair rinse for a purifying effect. But if you're looking for something with more of a fruity scent, Fekkai's apple cider shampoo smells just like apples and pears.

This article was originally published on