Buildup 101: Causes + Cures

If you’re an avid product junkie, a dry shampoo devotee, or have ever styled your hair for a big event, you’ve likely encountered the following scenario: you go to wash your hair like normal and find that just one shampoo doesn’t cut it. Maybe your roots don’t quite feel as clean as you’d like or worse - you can actually see product residue on your scalp. This is commonly referred to as buildup and it can throw a wrench in your wash day if you’re not careful.

So what is buildup and what causes it?

Buildup refers to the accumulation of product on the scalp and hair at the roots. This accumulation can happen for a variety of reasons and generally differs from flaking, which can be caused by a dry or dehydrated scalp or possibly dandruff. A few key causes of product buildup:

Infrequent washing - the key cause of product buildup is applying layers of product without washing. While that can certainly mean coating your hair with multiple products in one sitting, what that generally looks like is stretching the time between wash days. We often continue to apply product to the hair to refresh it between washes and those repeated applications can build up (pun intended).

Dry Shampoo - a major culprit of buildup! Because dry shampoo is literally designed to prolong the time between wash days and to be applied directly at the roots, potentially several days in a row, it's no wonder those particles can build up on the scalp.

Volumizing products (mousse, gel, texture spray, etc)  - the products are designed to give grit and tack to the hair to provide body and texture, which can cause buildup, especially when using multiple volumizers at a time (think mousse on wet hair and texture spray on dry hair).

Silicones - these ingredients are a big driver of buildup as they form a film on the hair shaft, which is why Briogeo doesn’t ever use them in our formulas.

Ok, so I have buildup - how do I get rid of it?

Woman with brown hair shampooing her scalp


Wash more often - one easy way to help reduce buildup is by washing your hair more often, which can eliminate the layers that pile up by reapplying products between wash days. However, if you’re trying to get the most out of your style or if your hair is on the dryer side, this may not be the best option.

Use less product - another simple way to reduce buildup is by using fewer products. By limiting the layers you apply to the hair, the products don’t have as much opportunity to build up. That said if you’ve found a combination of products that help you achieve your favorite style, eliminating one or more of them from your routine can be easier said than done.

Double cleanse - the tried and true method of eliminating buildup. Shampooing twice on wash days has thus far been the easiest way to remove buildup. Think of the first cleanse as removing the bulk of the product and the second cleanse actually cleaning your hair and scalp (like removing your makeup before washing your face). While this can be time-consuming and cause you to go through your shampoo much quicker, it is effective.

There’s got to be a better way, right?

Briogeo’s got you covered: meet our new Scalp Revival Charcoal + Tea Tree Buildup Detox Spray, our first exfoliating pre-wash scalp treatment that effectively eliminates product buildup before you even get in the shower! The triple-acid blend of AHAs, BHAs, and PHAs act like a chemical exfoliating toner for the scalp, breaking down buildup so you don’t have to double cleanse. Simply spray on the roots, wait 15 minutes, then shampoo as normal. 

Now you can extend your wash days, pile on the products, and layer your dry shampoo to your heart's content, knowing that our Detox Spray will make wash days easier and buildup a thing of the past!

Scalp Revival Detox Spray next to green plant and charcoal

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Scalp Revival Charcoal + Tea Tree Buildup Detox Spray
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