If your tresses are looking thin, dull or dry, the culprit may be product buildup on your hair and scalp. Styling gel, mousse, hair spray and even some shampoos and conditioners can leave residue on your hair that builds up over time. This residue can weigh your hair down and dry it out, making your strands more susceptible to breakage and leading to an overall appearance of thinning. Besides diminishing your natural shine, buildup can also damage your hair by clogging follicles—which may impede hair growth.
Try these helpful hints to combat buildup and keep your hair looking healthy:
1. Use a clarifying shampoo
Regular shampoos are formulated to remove dirt and excess oil from your hair, but clarifying or anti-residue shampoos are specifically formulated to remove buildup. Use these products once a month or, if you really love your styling products, once a week to eliminate residue.
2. Try micellar water
Ask a French woman her beauty secret and she will probably say micellar water. This beloved beauty product has been a long-time favorite of the French and it’s used as a way to deep clean, tone and nourish skin. Now, micellar water can also be found in hair products. This multi-use product cleanses and hydrates, while removing dirt and oil through the use of micellar technology. Micellars are tiny clusters of molecules that attach to and dissolve impurities, similar to the way your dish detergent cuts through grease on your pots and pans. Hair products containing micellar water are free of harsh ingredients and contain nourishing oils, making them gentler than clarifying shampoos. To make sure you don’t over cleanse your hair, use only as needed or weekly at most.
3. Apple cider vinegar hair rinse
This household staple is a natural way to remove residue left on your hair from styling products. Combine one part apple cider vinegar with one part water and use it as a rinse after shampooing. Apply the mixture with a spray bottle or pour it directly onto your hair. Allow it to sit for a minute or two and then rinse thoroughly. Apple cider vinegar also helps detangle hair and close the hair’s cuticle (the outer most layer of the hair shaft), leaving it smooth and shiny. Use apple cider vinegar as a regular part of your natural hair care routine.
4. Baking soda is good for more than just baking
Baking soda is another multi-purpose, everyday item that’s a natural way to remove product buildup from your hair. Mix a tablespoon of baking soda into a regular amount of shampoo, then wash and rinse your hair normally. Alternatively, try rubbing baking soda directly onto your wet hair and scalp. Rinse thoroughly and then shampoo and condition as usual.