How to avoid product buildup?

StraightPassingStraightPassing Posts: 86Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
Obviously I know how to avoid build up, my question is more about shampoo but product build-up is obviously a concern too.

I currently have two shampoos, one is a basic pound/dollar shop one for kids but it's perfect because it contains at least two or three different gentle cleansers. The other one is just a standard sulphate shampoo but it has EDTA in it which is great because I live in a hard water area. 

Obviously because of low porosity hair and a dry scalp I want to be as gentle as possible. My question is, as I know recently Iv''e probably been erring on the side of caution too much and overusing the sulphate shampoo, how do I know when I need to use sulphates before I end up with waxy producty hair?

As a related question, do I even need to use sulphates at all or will a sulphate free shampoo remove build up? 

Can post ingredients if needed. Thanks. :)

Best Answers

  • Therese1Therese1 Posts: 2,563 Curl Virtuoso
    Accepted Answer
    How often you need to clarify depends not just on your hair but on your hair products. I have found that since I started rotating my stylers (different one every time I wash my hair), I don't get build-up as quickly. 

    If you think you're using your sulfate shampoo too frequently, I would do it slightly less frequently (try to extend the time between sulfate poos by one week?) and see how your hair behaves. If when you wash your hair with the sulfate, you see a huge difference, then you will know that you need to wash sooner to keep build-up at a manageable level.

    I think that people on the boards generally clarify with a sulfate poo anywhere from once a week to once a month. I generally clarify every two to three weeks.

    A sulfate-free shampoo will not remove all build-up.

    If you live in a hard-water area, you might need a shampoo specifically to remove hard-water build-up. EDTA is often used as a preservative in shampoos, and as such, it is not at a high-enough concentration to remove hard-water build-up. Or is EDTA high up on the ingredients list of your poo?
    Low poo: Intelligent Nutrients (IN) Harmonic; Oribe Cleansing Creme
    RO: IN Harmonic
    LI: CJ Beauticurls; Jessicurl (JC) Gelebration Spray
    DC: JC Deep Conditioning Treatment; Weleda Rosemary Conditioning Oil
    Stylers: JC Confident Coils; IN Volumizing Spray; IN Perfect Hold Hairspray; John Masters Sea Mist; Bumble Bb. Gel; Kenra Firm-Hold Gel; Sevi Blue Yarrow Sea Salt Spray
    Low-porosity 2a/b baby-fine hair
  • WavyKfromNJWavyKfromNJ Posts: 853 Curl Virtuoso
    Accepted Answer
    2b, 2c,
    High Porosity - Very Fine Hair

    Low Poo: Living Proof Restore Shampoo
    Rinse Out: Living Proof Restore Conditioner
    Leave In: Living Proof Curl Leave-In or Garnier 1 Minute Mask - Papaya
    Treatments: Restore Repair Leave-In, 
    Styling: Living Proof In-Shower Styler with Ouidad Advanced Climate Control Gel Stronger Hold


  • StraightPassingStraightPassing Posts: 86Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    I think it's relatively high up, but otherwise thanks that's really helpful. :)
  • bomegabomega Posts: 1,355Registered Users Curl Virtuoso
    Hi @StraightPassing,

    Take a close look at your sulfate shampoo and make sure it really is designed for removing hard water. EDTA is in many many products for formulation reasons other than removing hard water buildup. Now, personally, for a while I was using a sulfate shampoo that had EDTA that was not a hardwater shampoo...and yes, I think I did get some benefit from it. I also noticed that when I did a chelating treatment (citric acid rinse in my case) I got additional benefit. So in my case, I think the non chelating sulfate did help, it helps more to use a chelating shampoo. But I live in an area with hard water, but not too bad. If hard water is a serious issue where you live, I would look into getting a chelating shampoo. There are sulfate-free chelating shampoos in the US - Ion Hard Water shampoo comes to mind. This one includes EDTA higher up, and also has C14-16 olefin sulfonate, which removes many types of buildup, including ones that suflate will not. Take a look at the first two articles that WavyK linked (the Hard Water one and the Product Buildup one). Those will really help you in determining what you need.
    Low-poo: Alaffia Coffee & Shea Revitalizing Shampoo for Fine/Thin Hair (summer), Alaffia Coconut & Shea Hydrating Shampoo
    Clarify: Kinky Curly Come Clean
    Rinse-out: Alaffia Coffee & Shea Revitalizing Conditioner for Fine/Thin Hair (summer), Alaffia Everyday Coconut Ultra Hydrating Conditioner
    DT: Camille Rose Naturals Algae Renew Deep Conditioner
    Leave-in: As I Am Leave-in
    Styler: Lily of the Desert 99% Aloe Vera Gelly
    Treatment: Daily tea spray; Coconut oil overnight treatment; Citric acid rinse for hard water; 2-step Henndigo w/ amla to cover gray

    2C, fine, low porosity, low/medium density, protein sensitive

    Looking for styling products and tools

    iHerb Code KQS149 for 5% off your order
  • StraightPassingStraightPassing Posts: 86Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    Thanks, very helpful too. :)

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