If you are a regular user of hairspray, you probably can’t go a day without it! And, why would you? Hairspray is absolutely essential for some hairstyles, and it can be a lifesaver for those days when your hair just has a mind of its own.
However, there is a downside to using hairspray on a regular basis. Hairspray can cause buildup in your hair, which will weigh it down, and can eventually cause breakage. So, how can you get rid of the hairspray buildup from your hair?
Before you toss your hairspray in the dumpster, just know that there are plenty of solutions to this product buildup problem.
Key Things to Know
- Clarifying shampoos can be very effective in removing hairspray buildup. Some clarifying shampoos contain sulfates, and others contain charcoal or apple cider vinegar.
- Apple cider vinegar contains many benefits for hair, and is great at cutting through hairspray buildup.
- Always condition your hair after you clarify it, whether you use a clarifying shampoo or apple cider vinegar.
- It is best to avoid using dish soap or baking soda to remove hairspray buildup from your hair. Both of these substances cause dryness and breakage, and they may irritate the scalp.
How to Remove Hairspray Buildup from Hair
There are two things that have proven very effective in breaking down and removing hairspray buildup, and one of them is probably already in your kitchen cabinets.
Here are the two things that can be used to remove hairspray buildup from hair:
- Clarifying Shampoo
- Apple Cider Vinegar
As a hairstylist, I have actually used both clarifying shampoo and apple cider vinegar on my clients’ hair!
In this article, I will explain the benefits of each clarifying method, and provide a step-by-step guide so that you can remove that pesky hairspray buildup and keep rocking your best hair.
There are also two things that are rumored to help eliminate the build up of hairspray in hair, but should actually be avoided. These two substances will be discussed at the end of this article so that you know what not to use.
There are two highly effective methods to clarifying your hair and washing away hairspray buildup. Keep reading to find out how to use them!
Use a Clarifying Shampoo to Remove Hairspray Buildup
If you don’t mind taking a trip to the beauty supply store, using a clarifying shampoo can be a great solution for removing your hairspray buildup. Some clarifying shampoos contain sulfates that are very effective in breaking down hair product buildup.
Others contain more natural ingredients such as charcoal or apple cider vinegar.
If you choose to use a clarifying shampoo that contains sulfates, be sure not to use it more than twice a month. These types of clarifying shampoos can be very effective, but also strip the hair of its natural oils, and can also cause hair color to fade quickly.
If you choose to use a clarifying shampoo that contains apple cider vinegar or charcoal, you may be able to use it as much as once a week. These types of clarifying shampoos are still effective in breaking down hairspray buildup, but they don’t strip the hair quite as much as shampoos that contain sulfates.
No matter what clarifying shampoo you use, it is very important that you thoroughly condition your hair afterward. Rehydrate your hair using a moisturizing mask to give it an extra dose of TLC.
Step-by-Step Guide for Using a Clarifying Shampoo to Remove Hairspray Buildup
- Thoroughly soak your hair with warm/hot water.
- Apply a generous amount of clarifying shampoo to your scalp and hair.
- Scrub your scalp and the lengths of your hair thoroughly.
- Rinse out all of the shampoos with warm/hot water.
- Repeat steps 2-4. If needed, you can repeat it again. You want to be able to build up a good lather with your shampoo. This is a sign that your hair is clean.
- After thoroughly rinsing out the shampoo, apply a deep conditioner from the roots to ends of your hair. (If your roots tend to get oily, you can simply apply the conditioner on the mid-lengths and ends of your hair.)
- Let the conditioner soak into your hair for at least 5 minutes.
- Rinse out the conditioner with cool/cold water.
Use Apple Cider Vinegar to Remove Hairspray Buildup
There is no end to the benefits of apple cider vinegar, both for the body and for hair.
According to Medical News Today:
Some advocates claim that apple cider vinegar (ACV) deserves a place in everyone’s hair care routine, thanks to its powers to relieve a variety of scalp conditions, including flaking, dandruff, and psoriasis. Others have said it can boost hair growth.”medicalnewstoday.com
Another great benefit of using apple cider vinegar on your hair is its clarifying properties. Apple cider vinegar does wonders when it comes to clarifying and removing buildup from the hair.
So, if you want to remove hairspray buildup while providing countless other benefits to your hair, apple cider vinegar is a good choice for you.
Step-by-Step Guide for Using Apple Cider Vinegar to Remove Hairspray Buildup
- In a plastic applicator bottle (or even a regular plastic bottle) mix apple cider vinegar with water at a ratio of 1:3. Some say to mix only a couple of ounces of apple cider vinegar with 2 cups of water. Others say to go half and half. Personally, I like to keep it at a 1 to 3 ratio. This would mean, for example, mixing 1 ounce of apple cider vinegar to 3 ounces of water. If you feel that this is too potent, decrease the amount of apple cider vinegar or add more water. Keep in mind that you should not put apple cider vinegar straight on your hair without diluting it.
- Thoroughly soak your hair with warm/hot water.
- Shampoo your hair with a regular shampoo. Rinse and repeat. You should be able to build up a good lather with your shampoo.
- Thoroughly rinse all the shampoo from your hair.
- Apply the apple cider vinegar and water mixture to your hair from roots to ends. Gently rub it into your scalp and hair. (Be sure to avoid getting it in your eyes.)
- Leave the apple cider vinegar in your hair for 1-5 minutes.
- Rinse your hair thoroughly with warm water.
- Condition your hair with a regular conditioner or a deep conditioning mask. Leave the conditioner on your hair for at least 5 minutes.
- Rinse your hair with cool water.
Don’t Use These For Removing Hairspray Buildup
There are probably many things to avoid using when you want to clarify your hair, but the most commonly used are baking soda and dish soap.
We will briefly discuss why it’s best to avoid using these substances to remove hairspray buildup.
If you have your dish soap handy, take a look at the ingredients label. You will see many ingredients, some of which may also be present in cosmetic substances such as shampoos and body washes.
However, dish soaps rarely contain moisturizing properties. They are formulated to cut through grease on plastic, glass, and metal, not your hair.
While I can’t say that your hair will fall out if you shampoo it using dish soap, I can say that dish soap is extremely drying to your hair, and extended, frequent use will likely cause severe dryness and even breakage. It’s best just to stick with a clarifying shampoo.
In an article published on Medical News Today, MaryAnn De Pietro states,
“Because of its abrasive composition, baking soda is a good cleaner for grills, stoves, and stainless-steel sinks. However, the small crystals of baking soda may be too harsh for the hair.”
The article continues to state that some of the negative effects of using baking soda on hair can include dryness, breakage, and scalp irritation.
Baking soda is a great cleaning agent, but when it comes to your hair and scalp, you may need something a bit gentler. If you want a good, exfoliating wash for your scalp, try using an exfoliating shampoo instead.
For some of us, hairspray is simply one of the best inventions of all time. It keeps our hair in place even through the chaos of our busy lives. The downside is the buildup that it causes on our hair.
But, by following the suggestions in this article, you can remove the hairspray buildup from your hair and wear your gorgeous, healthy, lightweight hair with confidence.