Missing That Squeaky Clean Feeling? Here’s The Best Expert Advice To Beat Scalp Buildup

Missing that fresh and clean feeling in your scalp even after your hair wash day? You’ve got the terrible AQI, humid weather, and some innocent everyday habits that might be the culprits. This triple threat leads to a condition called scalp buildup that can turn your good hair days into sad ones. Dermatologist Dr Chytra Anand has some hyper-efficient tips up her alley to help you combat it and feel the breeze on your scalp once again. Read on for her tips on how to give your scalp the love it deserves. 
 
Why does it happen? 
"Scalp build-up occurs because of the natural secretion of oil and environmental pollutants that clog the scalp's surface. Excessive use of hair styling products, like dry shampoos, can also contribute to it," says Dr Anand. Unassuming factors, like infrequent hair washes and lack of proper scalp exfoliation, can exaggerate the concern. Buildup can clog hair follicles, hinder hair growth, and result in dandruff, itching, and sometimes even hair loss.

How can you identify it? 
Are you chasing that squeaky-clean feeling on your scalp, but it still feels sticky and dirty? Scalp buildup is probably the culprit. An increase in greasiness, crusty skin flakes, and constant bad hair days are clear signs of this. It’s good to remember that a congested scalp is different from dandruff, which causes large, oily flakes on the scalp, or flaking, which leads to small, dry flakes. 
 
How to fix it? 
 
1. Pick The Right Shampoo 
Stubborn buildup won’t wash away with your normal shampoo, especially if you are using one without sulphates. Clarifying shampoos with nature-derived ingredients like apple cider vinegar and tea tree oil are gentle options to help clear buildup. However, if your scalp feels extra clogged even after trying these, a targeted shampoo might be your best bet. Dr Anand recommends "a medicated shampoo with ingredients like zinc pyrithione, coal tar, or ketoconazole when dealing with a serious case of buildup."

2. Schedule Hair Wash Days  
According to Dr Anand, "Washing your hair more frequently coupled with physical scalp exfoliation is an easy way to get rid of buildup over time. Apply your shampoo to your scalp, massage it in for a minute or two, and then wash it off. The scrubbing action works as an efficient physical exfoliator and removes all the dirt, grime, and oil."

3. Make Friends With Acids 
"Include chemical exfoliants like alpha-hydroxy acids and beta-hydroxy acids in your hair care routine," says Dr Anand. You can do this through shampoos, scrubs, or serums that are rich in these actives. Dr Anand recommends you stick to using these once a week to achieve the best results on your journey to a squeaky-clean scalp.

By Trisha Chawla