woman looking at hair and wondering if it is clean

How Dirty Is Your Hair Really?

Have you ever wondered just what makes hair dirty?

If you’ve ever run your hands through your hair and they came out feeling oily or sticky, you have some idea of what dirty hair feels like.

But what actually causes dirty hair? And just how dirty is it, really? 

Of course there are differences between the kind of dirty we experienced as kids running around and playing on the ground (you know, like actual dirt) and what we experience now as adults.

Still, it can feel like even living our normal lives, like getting ready for the day and going to work, leaves our hair feeling dirty.

To help understand just how dirty our hair really is and how it gets that way, we dove into the research. 

For the latest insights on what leads hair to getting so much buildup, how we can tell when our hair needs a good wash, and how to effectively clean it, read on!

The Different Types Of Hair Buildup

Hair buildup, or scalp buildup, comes from a few different sources: natural buildup, environmental buildup, and product buildup.

Examples of Natural Buildup in Hair

Natural hair buildup is all about your hair, scalp, and body’s natural processes. This includes dead skin, debris, sweat, and sebum that build up on your scalp over time. 

This type of natural buildup is especially noticeable if you wait a while between washes. It can also be connected with some scalp conditions like dandruff or seborrheic dermatitis.

Examples of Environmental Buildup in Hair

Environmental buildup is not necessarily as natural, but that doesn’t mean it’s avoidable. 

If you live in a big city, the buildup on your scalp can result from the air particles and pollution that tend to float around these environments. For swimmers, regularly working out in a heavily chlorinated pool can lead to buildup.

Signs of buildup in hair that may be directly related to the environment include dryness, a change in your hair’s texture, skin irritation, dandruff, and even hair loss.

Examples of Product Buildup in Hair

Finally, there is product buildup. This refers to conditioners, styling gels, shampoos, oils, and ointments. The first kind of product buildup comes from hair styling products, which accumulate over time and with normal use. 

The second kind of product buildup is a bit sneakier. Though we tend to think shampoos and conditioners are meant to be 100% about cleaning, certain products still build up on your scalp over time. Many hair care products include ingredients such as silicone and the preservative kathon that contribute to that buildup.

Unfortunately, if it’s your hair care products that are leaving you with buildup, removing them will require changing your approach.

Symptoms Of Hair Buildup

There are a few ways to tell if you have hair buildup.

Common symptoms of hair buildup include:

  • Dull hair
  • Heavy hair
  • Rough hair
  • Hair that still feels unclean, even if you’ve just washed it
  • Uncharacteristic dandruff or a dry scalp
  • Dry hair and an oily scalp

In more serious cases, hair or scalp buildup can also lead to:

  • Flaking
  • Itchiness
  • Crusty skin
  • Skin redness

The Solution For Cleaning Your Hair 

Have one or several of these symptoms? Looking for a way to treat this hair buildup at home? We’ve got just the trick(s).

The first is to evaluate your current shampoo and conditioner for what you’re putting into your hair. At Moxy, we make our products without sulfates, kathon, paraben, silicone, betaine, and ethoxylates. Making sure you are reducing the quantity of these ingredients you use on a regular basis is a good place to start.

Now, to give your hair the detox it deserves, the next step is a clarifying shampoo.

Even regular shampoos that don’t rely on those previously mentioned ingredients are only mildly effective at removing dirt and oil from your scalp.

A clarifying shampoo goes the extra mile to give you the deep clean you need to actually feel clean. They are designed to completely remove the scalp buildup by eliminating all that extra residue. 

What sets them apart is the use of surfactants, soap-like ingredients that are much stronger than traditional cleansers. Surfactants bond with the buildup and residue in your hair and then wash out, leaving your hair lighter, fresher, and yes, cleaner.

Try My Moxy Clarifying Shampoo

At Moxy, we are proud of the Moxy Clarifying Shampoo we’ve developed because it features the best of a blend of all-natural ingredients with effective, safe scientific ingredients.

To learn more about Moxy’s superfruit-forward recipe - as well as its irritation-free, 100% bio-based cleansers - click here.

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