Have you struggled to grow your hair past a certain length? No matter what you try your hair seems dull and lack lustre? Build-up may be causing these pesky little issues for you. Don't get us wrong some build-up is necessary to protect and control the hair fibre. Let us break down what is build-up and how to ensure that it positively impacts your hair.
What is build-up? Product build-up is the progressive coating of the scalp and hair shaft created by products, minerals, and sebum.
Three Types of Build-Up
Natural build-up is easily accepted by the hair and scalp. It moisturizes and protects the scalp and hair structure. When you are producing healthy sebum the coating is flexible and can be utilized it to help with the hairs manageability and strength.
This type of build-up is not as readily absorbed by the hair therefore it can create a protective barrier when used sparingly can prevent breakage but can greatly increase moisture loss. Various ingredients like silicone, bees wax, or synthetic wax can sit on top of the hair and create a non-pliable coating. This coating overtime can create breakage just from shear the weight of the build-up on finer hair types. When too much moisture is lost the hair can become brittle and break. We typically notice the impact of this type of build-up when clients struggle with matting or cannot grow the hair past their shoulders.
Unless your washing your hair with distilled water we will all have mineral build-up on the hair. When your hair is wet, the minerals from hard water can penetrate your strands and crystallize as your hair dries. This can lead to drier, duller hair more prone to tangles and breakage. Hair that is highly porous is more susceptible to minerals penetrating deeper into the hair structure, making it more susceptible to hard water. Over time you may notice that your hair and scalp is dry, flaky, or even greasier than usual.
How to use and remove build-up to achieve your hair goals:
Water Filter- This will help eliminate excess salts and hard water in your tap water preventing mineral build-up
Monthly Clarifying Treatments- This eliminates all three forms of build-up
Brushing Your Hair- Brushing your hair and scalp will help remove product and natural build-up. Allowing your ends to receive the moisture and protection it needs from the sebum.
Avoid silicone's & waxes - Limiting unnecessary products and products with these ingredients will prevent excess of build-up. Avoiding these and swapping for a natural oil will allow the hair to fully receive the hydration it needs.