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How to Get Rid of Buildup on Scalp: 3 Quick & Easy Methods

How to get rid of buildup on scalp.
Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / StockSnap

Knowing how to get rid of buildup on your scalp using natural ingredients will help both you and the environment. Learn how to keep your scalp healthy in just a few steps.

Scalp buildup, generally caused by residual chemicals, can occur at any point in your life. It is usually not a serious problem but getting rid of it is typically a priority for those who experience it. It is a separate condition from dandruff. Check out our tips, tricks, and remedies to get rid of dandruff, and read on to learn how to get rid of buildup on the scalp.

Scalp buildup can vary in severity, from a light film or crust to thicker, more fibrous scales that can be difficult to remove. It’s usually white or light yellow and can be oily or dry, depending on the person and what caused it. This residue can sometimes cause flakes that resemble dandruff and other conditions — like eczema or psoriasis.

1. Switch to A Natural Shampoo

Shampoo the scalp thoroughly to get rid of buildup.
Shampoo the scalp thoroughly to get rid of buildup. (Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / jackmac34)

Washing with the correct product is a simple way to eliminate buildup on your scalp. Many household and hair products contain volatile organic compounds and other molecules that cause buildup. They can also be harmful to us and the environment. Nearly 35 percent of adults in the US have reported health problems after exposure to such products.

Skin disorders are just one of many symptoms associated with fragranced products — like shampoos and conditioners — according to multiple studies conducted across the US, Australia, the UK and Sweden. So, using natural products to get rid of buildup on the scalp also prevents its recurrence. Washing your hair regularly can also prevent buildup and the development of chaps and cracks on the scalp that can become colonized or infected by microbes. Dry and irritated scalps can become tender; therefore, choosing the right product is essential.

We recommend a natural soap, like castile soap, to wash your face, body, and even your pet’s fur. It is sensitive-skin friendly. Its oily base eliminates scalp buildup by softening and removing the outer layers of the buildup and prevents recurrences if used regularly. Alternatively, make a DIY shampoo bar for sustainable and healthy hair or a no-poo natural alternative shampoo. Here’s how to get rid of buildup on scalp.


  1. Soak the hair and scalp with warm water.
  2. Massage natural shampoo into the scalp thoroughly for at least 2 minutes.
  3. Rinse.
  4. Shampoo again as per step 2.
  5. Leave the lather to soak on your head for 2-3 minutes to soften the residue.
  6. Massage thoroughly again.
  7. Rinse and dry your hair as usual.

2. How to Get Rid of Scalp Buildup: Try a Little More Elbow Grease

Coconut can help to fight buildup on the scalp.
Coconut can help to fight buildup on the scalp. (Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / moho01)

There are a few options for getting rid of buildup on scalps if a natural shampoo doesn’t do the trick. Softening the residue before shampooing helps remove more stubborn layers. You can use olive oil, almond oil, or our favorite — coconut oil.

Coconut oil contains lauric acid, a potent antibacterial, antiviral and anti-inflammatory agent. It also adds moisture thanks to its fatty base and emollient properties. Coconut oil has been shown to enhance skin barrier function and regeneration, making it an ideal way to get rid of buildup on scalps and prevent it in the future.

How to soften and remove scalp buildup:

  1. Apply your chosen oil and massage gently into the scalp.
  2. Allow to soak into the scalp buildup or dry naturally.
  3. Reapply another light layer of your chosen oil and massage it into the scalp again.
  4. Leave the oil overnight to absorb.
  5. Shampoo thoroughly with your natural shampoo 2-3 times.

There are many other coconut oil benefits you need to know about. It’s a versatile and eco-friendly substance to keep in your home. Once you do get rid of scalp residue, learn how to use coconut oil in your hair to prevent a recurrence. If you have dry skin under your facial hair, find out if it’s worth the hype for use in beards.

3. Exfoliate Away Scalp Buildup

You can also use coconut oil in a homemade exfoliation paste that will get rid of scalp buildup without shampooing or softening. We love baking soda when it comes to scrubbing power. It is one of our favorite natural DIY air freshenerscarpet cleaners and bathtub cleaners too. You can even clean your tongue with it! Baking soda’s cleaning powers make it an ideal addition to our exfoliating treatment. You’ll also need raw honey. The compounds in honey have long been used to address a variety of skin issues.

Instructions for natural exfoliation remedy:

  1. Mix 1 cup of raw honey with 1 cup of coconut oil
  2. Add 4 heaped tablespoons of baking soda
  3. Mix thoroughly and use immediately

How to get rid of buildup on scalp using natural exfoliation:

  1. Wet your hair
  2. Shampoo thoroughly to remove the coconut oil and any scales
  3. Rinse thoroughly and repeat
  4. Massage the exfoliation mixture into your scalp
  5. Leave for 3-5 minutes
  6. Massage the natural remedy into your scalp again
  7. Rinse thoroughly
  8. Shampoo one more time until the mixture and buildup are removed. The honey and oils can take several shampoos to clear completely.
  9. Rinse and apply a homemade conditioner to add moisture and prevent future buildup. For added moisture, try out our DIY leave-in conditioner.
  10. You may need to repeat these steps for a few days to get rid of scalp buildup completely.

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