What's so bad about build-up?

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  • 3 Post By kathymack
  • 1 Post By hiplengthcurls
  • 1 Post By SaMmIe10

I feel like build-up is such a big deal when people talk about hair products and everyone avoids silicones like the plague because the cause "build-up" and every time there are product reviews people must declare that it either does or does not cause build up.
I don't even really know what "build-up" means. I know it has to do with product not washing out of your hair but why is that so bad? I want the product in my hair, isn't that why I out it there in the first place??
I guess for people who have very thin, fine hair, I'd understand why they wouldn't want to weight it down. But for people like me who have thick, excessively-voluminous hair, I feel like build-up sounds like a great thing...
I can't justify getting rid of the products I have with silicones simply because "they cause build-up" (especially my Herbal essence's conditioner! I love that stuff <3).
I just don't really get why it's such an evil phenomenon, to be avoided at all costs... Someone educate me please!
For those with fine hair build up can weigh the hair down. For those with curl it can actually relax the curl somewhat (so for me, a wurly who wants more curl that's not a good thing). I don't think that cones are evil, I use them occasionally, but everyones opinion differs. There are plenty of people on this site who still use cones, but they can't be totally CG if they do. I'm modified. HTH....

Cosmetology Educator with sensitivities, eczema and Seborrheic Dermatitis.
Ingredients Maven
Products: Free and Clear sulfate free poo and condish, Theraneem Sulfate Free Shampoo/Condish, Unscented SSCEJ, Coconut oil, Camellia oil, Argan oil
Lady Karaan, High Priestess of Hayr Tretements in the Order of Curly Crusaders
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For me, it causes frizz when wet and more frizz when dry.

Build up might be described as ingredients that stay in your hair when you don't want that to happen. The result of build up (like silicone) prevents moisture from getting into your hair. Ingredients/products that you want in/on your hair, because they yield positive results, is not referred to as build up.
3a (Corkicelli), highlighted, fine, low porosity
modified CG, since April '07
CG since 3/11/08

SE PA

HGs: Anything Sevi; Curly Kinks Satin Roots, Curlycue ReNew and Coil Jam; homemade FSG and okra gel; soap bars; UFD Curly Magic; Botanical Spirits Jellies, CJ Repair Me, Marie Dean Leave Ins and Curl Creams
Aren't silicones popular because they coat the hair so are supposed to be smoothing agents? Personally, I feel that whenever I don't use my silicone-products, my hair ends up being very frizzy. I guess maybe it's a hair type thing, I have high porosity 3B hair.
I actually also would like to loosen my curls, so for someone with very thick volumized, tight curly hair, is there any reason to avoid products that are said to "build up on hair", whether or not they have silicones (ie. I heard that oils build up on hair too)?
Girl if it works, do you. No one's telling you to change it because it works for them. I totally feel you because despite all my "natural" favorites one of my favorite leave-ins of all time is a silicone-paraben happy Garnier one. I don't think silicones and mineral oils or that stuff are the plague, and they have good reasons to be used in products. Otherwise, why would they be in nearly every cosmetic that you can find in stores? I know, at least for me, I avoid them because:

Even though they do have their positives, they essentially do nothing towards the overall health of your hair. One thing about me (and probably a lot of women, but I try not to generalize) is that I really want long hair, but my hair's slow to show length. So I want to use products (as far as conditioners go) that have ingredients that improve and benefits your hair's health. You know, that gud gud. Lol. Silicones offer shine and prevent frizz. They can improve detangling. But at the end of the day they have no benefit to the nourishment of your hair. Same with mineral oil. It locks in moisture great, but it clogs pores, your scalp, and can stifle the growing process by trapping moisture out (if you put it in your wet hair without a leave-in or something).

OH. Anddd, I'm bougie. If I'm at Target and 4 extra dollars is gonna get me a bottle of organic moisturizing sulfate-free shampoo over a bottle of pantene, I'm always looking for the better things. I like to indulge and I feel like using a natural product with a great ingredient list is pampering myself in a little way. I like the simple changes one can take to rid themselves of unnecessary stuff. BUT, once again, that's just me.

Everyone's different. If your hair is fine with whatever you currently do to it, you're doing good regardless.

I don't know how it took me so long to get to the point. My bad. Lol

Big Chop: 11/25/09
Cottony/fluffy, medium/coarse, high density & porosity
SL - APL - BSB - BSL - MBL - WL - HL
Aren't silicones popular because they coat the hair so are supposed to be smoothing agents? Personally, I feel that whenever I don't use my silicone-products, my hair ends up being very frizzy. I guess maybe it's a hair type thing, I have high porosity 3B hair.
I actually also would like to loosen my curls, so for someone with very thick volumized, tight curly hair, is there any reason to avoid products that are said to "build up on hair", whether or not they have silicones (ie. I heard that oils build up on hair too)?
Originally Posted by monkiram
Dryness is my problem with buildup. If you put layer after layer of coating on the hair then when you go to moisturize your hair the moisture can't penetrate the strand because of the barrier. I ran into a lot of trouble as a newbie cowashing every day or every other day with silcones. After the second wash my hair wouldn't get moisturized no matter what I put in it . i had to clarify and give my hair a clean slate. I actually get all product out once a week. My hair is fine and very prone to buildup. And yes oils can cause buildup but not as quick as cones for me. Even some all natural products like the SM smoothie is too much and the SM milk I have to use very sparingly or my hair is dry and greasy. HTH.
"A life without fame can be a good life, but fame without a life is no life at all." - Clive Davis
I don't think silicones coating hair is bad. It won't nourish hair, but what does that even mean? Hair doesn't have a digestive system. It doesn't need to be "nourished". A product that gives slip and coats hair won't make the hair healthier, but might protect it from friction and damage.

When we use natural oils to seal in water, isn't that also "coating"? I don't see the difference.

That said, my hair is much nicer after a good wash. Shampoo seems to help me. I don't know why that is.

I think build-up can also attract dirt. At least oils do. Dunno...
Eh. I have a very liberal interpretation of my modified CG status at times. I've been doing some serious stash killing lately and my personal observation is that I can use silicones in my styling products without any issues (almost all of my low-poos and cleansing conditioners contain coco betaine so buildup isn't an issue). But my hair absolutely hates silicones in my shampoo or conditioner. That's when my hair will start to feel drier and more tangled. I find that as long as my hair is properly moisturized it has enough weight to it to not poof out (and I have a TON of hair). I'm actually finding that I have very few silicone products that I consider worth re-purchasing when I really do a side-by-side comparison with silicone-free products. There are maybe 2 or 3 (and that includes the one that only has cyclo-cones, which evaporate from the hair during the drying process). Getting enough moisture into my hair has really eliminated my need to use silicones regularly.

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3a/f/iii
Modified CG since 11/5/11
CLEANSE: VO5 Vanilla Mint Tea Clarifying, DevaCare No-Poo, CHS Treatment Shampoo
RO: DevaCare One Condition, SS Caitlin's Conditioner, Mop Top Daily Conditioner
LI: SS Repairing Protein Treatment, CHS Silk Leave-In
STYLE: Re:Coil, Curl Keeper, Deva Ultra Defining Gel, Curls Rock Amplifier and Strong Hold Mousse, Sweet Curls Elixirs Okra Gel and Hard Hold Gel, SS Curl Enhancing Jelly and Firm Hold Gel
I don't think silicones coating hair is bad. It won't nourish hair, but what does that even mean? Hair doesn't have a digestive system. It doesn't need to be "nourished". A product that gives slip and coats hair won't make the hair healthier, but might protect it from friction and damage.

When we use natural oils to seal in water, isn't that also "coating"? I don't see the difference.

That said, my hair is much nicer after a good wash. Shampoo seems to help me. I don't know why that is.

I think build-up can also attract dirt. At least oils do. Dunno...
Originally Posted by Dedachan
I don't think silicones are bad either. My hair just doesn't do well with them or with products with a lot of oils ie SM smoothie. I use butters only on the ends. And believe me I have tried many times to love silicones. I also don't think "coated" and "buildup" are one in the same. To me buildup means excessive coating and what may be okay for one person's hair may be too much for another. While hair doesn't have a digestive system but we curlies know if we can't get moisture in our hair then we have problems. And usually oils are easier to get out than cones. A cowash is usually enough but i must say I only use EVOO right before a shampoo to make very sure it is all out.
"A life without fame can be a good life, but fame without a life is no life at all." - Clive Davis
Build up is not only bad, it is worse for your hair than the opposite extreme of over washing.

The way one person describes it is exactly how it works. When you constantly put product on your hair without removing the previous application sufficiently, you put a film on your hair. The more you do that the more likely that products will no longer work. Your hair becomes dry from being overly moisturized. Trust me I have been there, my hair suffered breakage as a result ofbuild upp. Regardless of how voluminous your hair is, build up is bad for ALL hair. If you like conditioner you need to wash it out.

Avoiding build up is not only about washing out what goes in. It is aboutusing products that wash away easily and using cleansers with few ingredients. It is about keeping product application to a minimum and finding other ways to make your 2nd, 3rd day hair presentable without adding more goop. No one's hair is designed to take a lot of producy and product companies know this. There should be no need to clarify one's hair with anything harsh if the persom is not abusing hair products.






QUOTE=monkiram;2029181]I feel like build-up is such a big deal when people talk about hair products and everyone avoids silicones like the plague because the cause "build-up" and every time there are product reviews people must declare that it either does or does not cause build up.
I don't even really know what "build-up" means. I know it has to do with product not washing out of your hair but why is that so bad? I want the product in my hair, isn't that why I out it there in the first place??
I guess for people who have very thin, fine hair, I'd understand why they wouldn't want to weight it down. But for people like me who have thick, excessively-voluminous hair, I feel like build-up sounds like a great thing...
I can't justify getting rid of the products I have with silicones simply because "they cause build-up" (especially my Herbal essence's conditioner! I love that stuff <3).
I just don't really get why it's such an evil phenomenon, to be avoided at all costs... Someone educate me please![/QUOTE]
Morgan_Adcock likes this.
I don't know if this helps, but when my hair has build-up it just feels icky ... it is not well-defined, gets frizzy, and doesn't feel soft. I can even feel the build-up. I don't think silicones are damaging on their own, but you need sulfates to get them off your hair and that's what's damaging.

That's my interpretation, I could be wrong because I'm still new to this.
Hair Type: Combo of 2A, 2B and 2C ... with a weird straight underlayer
Fine, normal porosity, normal elasticity.

Currently using:
Low Poo: Yes To Cucumbers Color Protection Shampoo
Cowash: VO5 Moisture Milks
Styler: KCCC
Gel: Herbal Essences Totally Twisted Gel, Tigi Bed Head Creative Genius gel

Started CG 9/10/13
Oh I just realized how old this thread is, my bad! well there's my two cents anyway lol
sixelamy likes this.
Hair Type: Combo of 2A, 2B and 2C ... with a weird straight underlayer
Fine, normal porosity, normal elasticity.

Currently using:
Low Poo: Yes To Cucumbers Color Protection Shampoo
Cowash: VO5 Moisture Milks
Styler: KCCC
Gel: Herbal Essences Totally Twisted Gel, Tigi Bed Head Creative Genius gel

Started CG 9/10/13
Build-up locks moisture out of your hair, causing your hair to really dry out over time. Conditioner and other moisturizing products won't be able to do their job. It's one of the few things that'll give my resilient hair split ends. It can also leave a dull, waxy film on your hair which is definitely not fun. Even CG friendly ingredients can build up if not properly removed, such as heavy butters and waxes. Those can build up really fast on my low-porosity hair. Likewise, non CG friendly ingredients don't necessarily have to build up, as long as you remove them properly. You don't always need a sulfate shampoo to do so either, cocamidopropyl betaine can usually get the job done! I think what you're thinking of is heavy ingredients, and not true "build-up". Some ingredients can weigh peoples' hair down and feel waxy, much like build up, but true build-up is ingredients building up on your strands over time as a result of not being properly removed, and thus actually drying your hair out.
2a, medium, dense, low-porosity

APL- trying to grow out old highlights and then grow out to BSL!

shampoo: J&J baby shampoo
RO: Vo5 kiwi lime, Giovanni SaS
LI: ^
seal: jojoba oil
stylers: KCCC
DT/pre-poo: coconut oil, Jessicurl DT
supplements: gnc nourishhair
Actually I've been thinking about it lately too. I was CG for a minute because I wasn't down with what I heard about build up but I realized (after incorporating some silicones into my Reggie again) that I get just as much build up from "natural" products and CG stuff as I do non CG items! Since my hair's so dense and porous I tend to use heavier products, such as butters and oils. Shea butter is my bff but over time it'll build up just like the so called terrible synthetic oils people try to avoid. Ever since I've started using silicone containing products again (I still use my natural products and oils too) I've noticed my hair retains moisture better, feels softer, and at the end of the week it is so much easier to detangle. Also, my hair never feels weighed down (although I think that would be hard to happen to my hair anyway) and although I get build up on my scalp it's nothing my weekly wash with a sulfate (OR non sulfate, who knew?!) shampoo can't get rid of. It's mainly my scalp that gets product build up on it anyway but like I said that happens whether it use cocoa butter or garnier so...

I think as long as you wash your hair when needed build up isn't as big an issue as people make it to be.

Big Chop: 11/25/09
Cottony/fluffy, medium/coarse, high density & porosity
SL - APL - BSB - BSL - MBL - WL - HL
I've been thinking about this kind of thing lately too, since reading this:

Can glucosides remove silicone build-up?

and this:

Science-y Hair Blog: Cationic Compounds in Cosmetics

For anyone who can't be bothered to read them, the upshot seems to be that removal-resistant build-up can come about from using anionic surfactants (some of which are found in many 'low poos') and cationic surfactants (almost always found in conditioners) together, and that silicones can be removed from hair with non-anionic surfactants.

So I'm 'testing' this by only using non-anionic shampoo and a conditioner containing amodimethicone (and no other silicones) high up on the ingredients list. It's going well so far. Time will tell.

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