The Best Shampoo For Removing Buildup From Hair and Scalp


The Best Shampoo For Removing Buildup From Hair and Scalp

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Does your hair always feel greasy and slimy underneath straight after washing?

Mine did, and I hated it.

Until I found the Joico K Pak Clarifying Shampoo.

Literally the best shampoo for removing buildup and detoxing every inch of your hair and scalp.

Here’s the thing …

I’ve always had that feeling that “some nasty things” were lurking in between my follicles no matter how often I washed my hair.

My scalp would feel:

  • Grimy
  • Greasy
  • Full of dust
  • Itchy and uncomfortable

only a few hours after washing.

I am not exactly the Mother Theresa of hair care.
  • I use dry shampoos to freshen my hair between workouts
  • I use all sorts of hairstyling sprays
  • I use hair serums when I am on the go
  • And I color my hair every 3 months

And to make things worse, I live in London where the water is notoriously hard and full of calcium, magnesium, copper, and chlorine.

Needless to say, my hair was clinging on to all sorts of crap over time.

Therefore, a case of severe buildup was inevitable.

It got to a point where even my favorite moisturizers wouldn’t do a damn thing.

But I can assure you that it wasn’t my moisturizers that stopped working overnight. It was my hair that refused to soak up all their nutritive goodness.


Because of this:

shampoo to get rid of buildup in hair
What is buildup explained.

Too much buildup blocking anything good from seeping into my hair, therefore sitting on top causing even more buildup!

But then my hairstylist recommended me a clarifying shampoo, and it changed everything.

It’s like a regular shampoo on steroids that breaks down stubborn dirt and draws out all the impurities.

Like this:

best shampoo to get rid of build up
Here’s how this shampoo works to get rid of buildup immediately.

Not only it made my hair squeaky clean, but I was able to stretch my next shampoo for longer without my scalp feeling greasy at all.

A total hair refresh! Hell yes.

My scalp never felt so pure, and my hair was effortlessly swank with full volume.

Let me tell you how the Joico shampoo works and why it’s so good that it keeps selling out fast on Amazon.

The Best Shampoo For Removing Buildup

best shampoo to get rid of buildup

Joico K Pak Clarifying Shampoo


Best shampoo to remove buildup from products, hairsprays, hard water, and chlorine.

Joico K Pak is not the average Joe shampoo you can pick up from your local drugstore.

You’ll most likely see these shiny golden-colored bottles on the shelves of prestigious hair salons.

Because rightly so, this is where they belong.

They are professional clarifying shampoos that make a difference.

Hairstylists use them to prep the hair before a keratin or color treatment, and I can tell you it will make your hair color 10X more vibrant and your keratin treatment look top dollar.

Here’s why the Joico clarifying shampoo ticks all the right boxes:

  • It deep cleanses from root to tip
  • It removes buildup and residues that block keratin treatments
  • It gently exfoliates and lifts dead skin cells (no white flakes)
  • It neutralizes and removes hard water minerals
  • It’s antibacterial
  • It immediately rebalances the hair to its natural pH
  • And it does not strip your hair dry

What more can you ask for?

Unlike traditional cleansers that fade hair color and strip natural oils, the K-PAK formula focuses on the giving moisture back. It removes impurities and dirt while leaving behind beautiful, smooth, and shiny layers that just flow naturally.

It’s also protein-rich but inexplicably light.

Dry, dull, and brittle hair? Not any more.

The moisture-rich formula takes care of that, and it juices things up nicely during your shower time.

Let’s have a look at the star ingredients that make this shampoo worth a splurge …

Aloe Vera Extract

best shampoo to remove mineral build up

Aloe Vera contains proteolytic enzymes which help remove dead skin cells and gently exfoliate the scalp. It also breaks down stale sebum that can clog your pores to cause inflammation.

Aloe Vera also has Salicylic acid, an excellent antibacterial ingredient that prevents dandruff.

Chelating Agents

best clarifying shampoo for product build up

Chelating ingredients are super effective for neutralizing and rinsing off hard water minerals and chlorine that stick to your hair like super glue.

If you live in a hard water area, you’ll know – The struggle with hard water is real.

It makes your hair coarse, dry, brittle, and a pain in the arse to style.

Hard water minerals also clog the pores on your scalp to make them feel tight, therefore, suffocating your follicles and causing minor hair loss.

To fight the hard water, you need a good demineralizing shampoo.

Bio-Advanced Peptide Complex

best cleansing shampoo to remove build up

Keratin proteins are essential to your hair as they are the main building blocks of each hair fiber.

The Joico shampoo infuses a blend of micro proteins to reinforce your hair. Essentially it doubles up as a cleansing and fortifying shampoo.

Hyaluronic Acid

top shampoo to remove build up

Hyaluronic Acid (HA) is a common ingredient found in many expensive skincare products. That’s because it can attract up to 1000 times its weight in water.

The benefit?

It helps your hair hold moisture for longer.

This gel-like water molecule is the moisture-binding ingredient that gives the shampoo its creamy and rich texture.

The Joico K-Pak clarifying shampoo is also pH-balanced.

ph balanced buildup removal shampoo

Don’t know what this means?

Check out why I recommend you use a low pH shampoo to keep your hair and scalp healthy.

What is Buildup And How Does It Get Into Your Hair?

what is buildup in hair and scalp

Buildup is anything that sticks and stays in your hair and scalp, no matter how much you try to wash them off with ordinary shampoos.

For example:

  • Hard water minerals
  • Silicones from hair products
  • Excess sebum
  • Dead skin cells
  • Dust and pollution

They are stubborn layers of impurities that accumulate over time.

The problem with buildup is, they create a barrier and suffocate your hair and roots, which can lead to all sorts of issues.

For example:

  • It clogs the pores. Your scalp struggles to oxygenate
  • It wraps around your hair. Your hair fibers become sticky
  • It obstructs moisture from penetrating the hair
  • It invites bacteria to feast on

Buildup becomes food for fungus bacteria to feast on which causes conditions like Dandruff and Psoriasis.

But how do they get into your hair and why they don’t wash out with regular shampoos?

Let’s take hard water, for example.

Hard Water Buildup

If you have hard water in your home, you may notice the white scaly residues around your bathtub and kitchen faucets. I am pretty sure you use heavy detergents to clean them up every week. But surprisingly, they never go away!

Does this look familiar to you?

minerals buildup shampoo

The reason they don’t wash away is that regular cleaning detergents cannot break down hard water minerals.

Hard water minerals are not soluble.

Now imagine what hard water leaves behind in your hair and on your scalp!

To make them soluble, so that they can rinse off, you need special shampoos with chelators.

Like these ones:

So if you live in a hard water area, and you’re not using a hard water chelating shampoo, these insoluble minerals are just sticking to your hair every day.

Another type of buildup is Silicone from hair products.

Silicone is a plastic-like polymer that gives your hair that glossy and shiny feel. It wraps around the hair to seal split ends or make your hair appear smooth.

Silicone works as an adhesive and sealant to protect your hair from humidity and frizz.

But as good as this may sound, these plastic-like substances are waterproof. Not easily washable.

Over time, some of them remain in your hair.

And if you use heat styling tools, you can imagine how these silicones are melting and sticking, which makes them even harder to wash out.

Types Of Buildup In Hair

Depending on your lifestyle and products you use, you may experience different kinds of buildup in your hair.

Based on some research I did, here are some of the examples, and my recommended quick solutions on how to tackle them.

Product Buildup

Most commercial shampoos and hair conditioners contain synthetic ingredients like waxes, silicones, and petroleum derivatives.

Yes, they are the things that coat your hair to make it look shiny and smooth, and gives your hair good slip for detangling.

But on the downside, these synthetic substances are not water-soluble.

Read: Why is Silicone insoluble in water »

To be honest, even natural ingredients like butter, and coconut oil create layers that not washable over your hair.

Think of it this way …

Oils, gels, and butter don’t mix with water. They don’t dissolve.

When you wash your hair, only part of it goes away, some of them still remain in the hair.

Over time, they accumulate and create layers of filth.

How can you tell if you have product buildup in your hair?

  • Check for white flakes in your hair. Do you see more than usual?
  • Check your hairbrush – How often od you need to clean it?
  • Is your scalp itchy?
  • Does your scalp get greasy straight after washing?
  • Does your hair feel heavy and clumpy?
  • Does it take longer to style your hair?

To cut through the buildup and allow them to dissolve and wash out, you need shampoos with specific ingredients that can bind them and make them soluble, therefore easy to flush out.

One of these star ingredients is chelating.

Just like Micellar water, chelating uses its Hydrophobic effect to suspend dirt and oils in water to make them ineffective so that water has all the power over them.

Want to see some shampoos that can do that?

Best Shampoo to Remove Product Buildup

best clarifying shampoo for product build up

Joico K Pak


The best shampoo to get rid of product build up from my personal experience.

Best Pick

Chlorine Buildup

Chlorine is a chemical used in swimming pools to keep away bacteria.

While it does an excellent job at disinfecting your pools, chlorine can leave your hair with a green tint or brassiness.

For those who have light-colored hair like blondes, chlorine buildup can make your hair color look trashy.

To prevent chlorine buildup, I recommend you saturate your hair thoroughly with plain water or use a leave-in conditioner before you take a dip in the pool.

Alternatively, you can carry a chlorine neutralizing shampoo to wash your hair immediately after.

Best Shampoo To Remove Chlorine Build Up

The Malibu C swimmers crystal gel is also an excellent option.

Check it out.

Hairspray Buildup

Hairsprays are lifesavers for busy women on-the-go.

I cannot imagine a day without my dry shampoo.

It plumps your roots, it can eek out your hair wash for a few more days, and it’s a brilliant option for pre-workout, and post-workout freshen ups.

But too much of it can be a problem.

Dry shampoos and hairsprays also contain a host of ingredients that stick to the hair over time.

According to Dr. Dominic Burg, chief scientist and hair biologist for évolis Professional, the fine starch powders used in dry shampoo can clog the follicular pores of the scalp thus resulting in reduced ability for the scalp to breathe.

Moreover, these leftovers mix up with the sebum to become blobs of dirt which allow bacteria to feed on.

So there you have it.

Use your dry shampoos moderately or make sure you’re doing enough to get rid of their leftovers from your scalp.

Best Shampoo For Removing Hairspray Buildup

Silicone Buildup

Most hair products contain silicones or its derivatives.

Because they are the shiny, glassy, and glossy polymers of the haircare world.

But here’s the thing you need to know …

Despite their swishability factor, synthetic silicones are made from plastic and gel-like substances.

They coat the hair with thin Hydrophobic (waterproof) layers.

By nature, many silicones are very hydrophobic, meaning they do not wash out easily, leaving hair feeling heavy and greasy at the end of the day. Bridget Brager
Celebrity & Editorial Hairstylist - Coveteur

Moreover, because of their plasticky and gel-like nature, they work like a magnet for dirt to attract buildup.

Use the Joico K Pak shampoo to remove Silicone build up.

Color Buildup

Multiple applications of hair color over a short period can result in color layering up on your hair.

While this is not a problem, if you keep applying color at the same rate, your hair shafts get overloaded.

It’s unable to take in the new color, therefore, making your new hair color looking darker than it should.

To get the exact tone you’re looking for, a hair color buildup remover is essential to prime your hair and clean the old layers that have stacked up.

Priming and clarifying your hair before a new color treatment is the best way to guarantee you get the exact color you want.

Here are some color prep shampoo you can use …

The Best Shampoo To Remove Colour Buildup

Scalp Buildup

Scalp buildup happens when there is excess sebum that becomes stale and attracts dirt and dust. When they mix up, they become a layer of extra greasiness and slime that eventually dries off into flakes.

In most cases, they also contribute to inflammation by blocking the pores to cause dandruff.

The best way to remove scalp build up is to use shampoos that gently exfoliate, and a Boar Bristle brush to regulate sebum.

The Best Shampoo For Removing Scalp Buildup

And here’s a link to my favorite hairbrush that prevents sebum from accumulating at the roots.

Also Check: Green tea for scalp detoxing »

What To Look for In A Buildup Removing Shampoo

Cleansing and Moisturizing

Cleansing doesn’t have to be stripping.

Most deep cleansing shampoos have a tendency to leave your scalp feeling dry by scrubbing out the acid mantle layer.

I used Joico for a few weeks, and I can confess, this did not happen at all.

In fact:

It was soothing, refreshing, and gentle on my scalp.

Joico maintains a perfect balance of cleansing and moisturizing.

With moisture-loving ingredients like Hyaluronic acid and Aloe Vera gel, this is the ultimate shampoo that deep detoxes while helping your hair retain moisture all day long.

pH Balancing

Clarifying shampoos are intense and will make your hair feel dry.

It’s essential to pick a shampoo that is low pH or pH balanced to restore your hair’s natural state.

The Joico K Pak range of shampoos are balanced at a pH range of 5 – 7, which makes them ideal for deep cleaning while keeping your cuticles sealed and smooth.

Are You Doing Enough to Deep Cleanse Your Hair?

Don’t let dirt and impurities cling onto your hair and clog your scalp.

Give your hair the ultimate refresh and the purifying treatment it deserves with the Joico deep cleansing buildup removing shampoo.

This is the genius product you need to make the most of your shower time and hop out with your hair and scalp feeling purified and detoxed from root to tip.

It ticks all the right boxes and hands down the best shampoo for removing buildup.

Tina Moretti
Tina Moretti
Creative Writer and Researcher