I have this spot on the back of my head that gets product/mineral build-up and it drives me crazy. I have used a gazillion clarifying shampoos, changed up my shampooing technique, temperature, frequency, etc. And nothing really did the trick.
I'm sure it doesn't help that we must have the world's hardest water (and can't afford a water softener), and it especially sucks being a blonde, because it dulls my highlights within like 2 weeks. And for some reason traveling amplifies the build-up times 50. So on vacation, it becomes this heavy clumpy mess and I have to wear it in a ponytail. (I bet you had no idea my hair was this gross. Well, I'm good at hiding it. And I exaggerate. A little.)
Side story: I have this friend at work (hey, Traci!), who has turned a bit granola. She confessed one day that she stopped washing her hair. Not for a few days, but like for good. If I hadn't come across a "no-poo" pin on Pinterest a few days earlier and clicked through to see what in the heck that meant, I would have been reallllly shocked. But I was only mildly surprised. Its really popular right now! Basically its the idea that the chemicals in your shampoo and conditioner are constantly stripping and then coating your hair. Causing your hair to be oily at the scalp and dry at the ends. And that if you can minimally treat it without chemicals, it will eventually balance itself. This was like 2 months ago, and she is still sticking with it, and its totally working for her. I don't know if I'm quite to the point that I could decide to do the same, but I am warming up to the idea. I like the idea of training my scalp to produce less oil... see here.
Anyway, back to the buildup. Up until a week ago, I was FED-UP with that stupid spot. And I got desperate. A little bit of googling with an open mind, and I stumbled across a few forums that talked about adding baking soda to your shampoo to get rid of buildup.
Cue the angels singing....
It totally works.
I brought a little bowl of it into the shower with me, lathered up with my favorite Melaleuca tea tree shampoo and sprinkled a few teaspoons of baking soda on that cursed spot, and a few more teaspoons around my hairline. Let it sit a few minutes, then rinsed it out and put in conditioner. Let that sit, and then rinsed it out as well.
I was the most excited I've been to blow-dry my hair since the last time I had it highlighted (which obviously has been awhile...). And as soon as it started drying, I knew I had found a good thing. Bye-bye buildup. It felt totally normal, like the rest of my hair.
And the angels sang again.
BONUS: I had to use less of my dry shampoo this week, bc it was less oily than usual. And I went one extra day without washing. Win-win!
PS The no-poo concept suggests baking soda to wash and raw apple cider vinegar (ACV) rinse to condition it. Today I added the ACV to my conditioner, and although the smell while I was showering was pretty intense, I like the what it did to my hair. It was definitely easier to comb through it, and it feels nice and soft. And the smell was completely gone within an hour or so.
Who would have thought? Washing my hair with stuff from the pantry. And liking it.
I might be gradually converting to granola too...