What is build-up, how do you recognize it and how do you remove it from your hair?
Do you suffer from dry and hard dots, do you feel like there is a layer on your hair and do moisturizing products seem to not affect anymore or even make the situation worse? Then it may well be that you are suffering from build-up. But don’t worry, you can remove it quite easily.
What exactly build-up is and does to your hair, what ingredients cause it and how to remove it, you can read below!
What is build-up and how does it happen?
Build up is a layer on top of your hair that consists of stacked remnants of hair products. The leftovers are left on your hair after use of the hair product. These leftovers consist of the ingredients in your hair product (s) that are difficult to wash from your hair.
Because the leftovers are not (completely) washed away with shampoo, then layer on your hair gets thicker and thicker after using hair products.
Which ingredients cause build-up in your hair?
- Oils/lipids and resins, including water-soluble silicones* and a fatty alcohol such as cetyl alcohol.
- Protein, such as collagen and silk
- Minerals, such as lime in water
Hair products that often contain lots of build-ups causing ingredients are:
- (Leave-in) conditioners & hair masks
- Serums/Compound hair oils
- Hairspray and mousse
Did you know that?: Not all silicones cause build-up. It’s mainly the non-water-soluble silicones. Some silicones easily disappear from your hair, e.g. with water or because they evaporate in the air.
Why are ingredients that cause build-up used in hair products?
It sounds logical to avoid hair products with ingredients that remain on your hair, but (almost) every product contains something that can contribute to the development of build-up. Hair products are made in such a way that substances are left behind on your hair. This provides protection, moisture retention in your hair, shine, softness, fewer tangles and/or holds and other good things.
How can you recognize build-up in your hair?
These are some of the symptoms you may experience from build-up:*
- The famous crunchy ends: hard, plastic-feeling hair tips
- Dry hair in the lengths, which usually gets worse after application of products
- A waxy feeling on your hair / sticky hair/feeling as if there is a coating on your hair
- Hair products seem to be ineffective, or only make it worse
- Dull hair
- Weak, lifeless and windy hair
- Split ends and hairline fractures (white dots)
- Scalp problems
You don’t always have to suffer from all the symptoms of build-up. The first 4 are almost always present.
How do you get rid of build-up in your hair?
Build-up can easily be removed from your hair using a special clarifying or chelating shampoo. These shampoos are designed to make your hair completely free of residual products and ingredients. So they go a step further than ‘regular’ shampoos.
However, this means that these shampoos are often a little harder to clean and can therefore also be very dehydrating. It is, therefore, better not to use clarifying and chelating shampoos more often than once or twice a month.
The chelating shampoo is especially meant for when you suffer from lime and/or chlorine in your hair. It usually contains Vitamin C, which binds with minerals and chlorine so you can rinse it out.