Hair · Tips, Tricks, Tutorials

Lazy Woman’s Guide to Survival: Scalp Build-Up Removal

In a previous LWGTS post, I very briefly discussed the use of coconut oil as a pre-poo and its ability to remove scalp build-up. But for those who have dandruff or just want an alternative to medicated shampoos and hair products, I have just the thing for you! But before we get into the product, let’s talk about dandruff.


According to Mayo Clinic, there are several causes of dandruff including:

  • Dry skin. This is the most common cause of dandruff. Flakes will be smaller and less oily than dandruff from other causes and you will more than likely have signs and symptoms of dry skin on other parts of your body.
  •  Irritated, oily skin. Known as seborrheic dermatitis, it is marked by red, greasy skin covered by flaky white or yellow scales. Seborrheic dermatitis may affect other areas rich in oil glands such as your eyebrows, sides of your nose, groin area, and armpits.
  • Not shampooing enough. This can lead to oil build-up, product build-up, and skin cells which leads to dandruff.
  • A yeast-like fungus. Also known as Malassezia, this yeast-like fungus lives on the scalps of most adults causing irritation for some. This irritation can cause more skin cells to grow. The extra skin cells appear white and flaky once they die and fall off.
  • Sensitivity to hair care products. Also known as contact dermatitis, sensitivities to certain ingredients in hair care products or hair dyes, especially paraphenylenediamine, can cause a red, itchy, scaly scalp. Shampooing too often or using too many styling products also may irritate your scalp, causing dandruff.

The Simplest Solution…..EVER!

Several products promise to rid your scalp of dandruff and prevent future dandruff from occurring. Shampoos, conditioners, rinses, oils, balms, and prescription medications are often effective depending on the cause of dandruff, but can be costly and or time-consuming.

My oldest daughter suffers from seborrheic dermatitis and frequently sports a scalp full of large, flaky scales. Physicians and beauticians have suggested that I wash her hair 2-3 times a week. This would not be so much of a task had she not had a full head of bra length, thick, 4b/c hair. So, during her weekly washes, some areas of her scalp are so flaky that removal often results in bleeding and sores. We’ve tried Head & Shoulders, SheaMoisture’s African Black Soap collection, apple cider vinegar rinses, lemon juice, sulfur 8, and all types of shampoos, conditioners, oils, serums, pomades, grease, etc. Although some work, the results do no last long. Then I stumbled upon the solution!

While tweaking a recipe for hair gel, I wondered if aloe vera gel would give any hold to the gel. While researching the product, I soon realized that it doesn’t. HOWEVER, aloe vera is full of anthraquinones which allows it to breakup residue, pus and lifeless cells, and bring blood to the region. With this new and useful information, I decided to give this aloe vera gel a test on my daughter’s scalp full of large, layer flaky scales and product build up. 

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Similar to the ultimate hair treatment with coconut oil, I:

  1. Sectioned the hair, spritzing with water as needed.
  2. Applied the aloe vera gel directly to her scalp and the ends of the hair.
  3. Gently combed the aloe vera gel through.
  4. Completed these steps on remaining hair.
  5. Let sit for 10 minutes.
  6. Washed and conditioned hair as usual.

What is normally a 40+ minutes wash took about 25 minutes. The build up on her scalp was no longer flakes, but a soft, easily removable substance. I didn’t have to comb large flake through during the wash. I did not have remaining flakes and build up present during styling. Her scalp was completely clear of all flakes and build up! It has been 4 days, and still no build up!

Lily of the Desert Aloe Vera Gel

Lily of the Desert Aloe Vera Gel can be found at Whole Foods Market and and more information and uses can be found at the Lily of the Desert website. For under $10, you can purchase 36 ounces of the gel using about 4-6 ounces at a time for scalp build up removal. Refrigerate immediately after opening and use within 5-6 months after opening. With its ability, price point, amount per use, and longevity, this is too great of a steal to not share!



5 thoughts on “Lazy Woman’s Guide to Survival: Scalp Build-Up Removal

  1. Thanks for posting this. I do have build up on my scalp and I was wondering if I should try there Aloe Vera Juice. Naptural85 a YouTube vlogger uses this on her hair but I was not sure if I should give it a try. Your post sealed the deal will definitely be trying it. Thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. No problem! I use aloe vera juice as a leave in, but I’ve never applied it directly to my scalp. I’ll have to try that. The aloe vera gel is amazing. I do suggest leaving in on the scalp no longer than 10 minutes. Any longer and it may result in tenderness. Good luck 😊

      Liked by 1 person

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