How to Get Rid of Hair Buildup from Shampoo and Hair Products

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Using hair products such as gels, mousses and sprays as well as moisturizing shampoos and conditioners can gradually leave a buildup in your hair. If your hair is limp, heavy and sticky, you have a few options to remove that buildup.

Buy a clarifying shampoo. Clarifying shampoos have no heavy moisturizers to add to your buildup. Instead, they're straightforward shampoo that will remove months of buildup from your hair within one or two washings. Nearly every hair-care line has a clarifying shampoo. Choose one that's right for your budget, whether it's a $2 bottle from Suave, or a more expensive salon shampoo.

Baking soda can be of use in one of two ways.

Using your regular shampoo, pour your usual amount of shampoo into your hand, and add a tablespoon of baking soda. The baking soda will remove the buildup from your hair.

You also can make a paste of baking soda and warm water. Make enough to cover all of your hair. The mix should be 4 parts water to 1 part apple cider vinegar (mix at least a gallon total, unless your hair is very short. Leftovers can be stored and saved.). Apply the baking soda paste to all of your hair, and wrap your head in plastic wrap. Wait 15 minutes, then get in the shower and shampoo your hair as usual, using your regular shampoo. Rinse with cool water, then follow up by rinsing your hair with the vinegar water mixture.

Try varying the products you use. Some experts advise that going from a favorite shampoo to a different, perhaps cheaper, brand can bring a lower alkaline content, meaning it would have stronger soap properties. The different product will strip your hair of a fair amount of the buildup. Returning to your regular shampoo can then bring back the shine.

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