Get Rid Of Clogged and Blocked Hair Follicles

Cleaning the scalp and pores

Here are 7 simple steps to get rid of clogged and blocked hair follicles.

After reading this guide you will be able to:

  1. Get rid of the scalp sebum build-up (also known as epidermis plaque) that is clogging up your hair follicles and reducing hair growth
  2. Stop the sebum coming back – (and reduce hair loss at the same time)
  3. Reduce dandruff and hair shedding whilst improving the strength, thickness and overall healthiness of your hair.

IMPORTANT! At the bottom of this page is a 6 question quiz I’ve designed – it will calculate if your type of hair loss is reversible or not. I recommend you take the quiz after reading this article to see if cleaning your scalp and unclogging the hair follicles will actually help you regrow your hair. You’ll receive a score out of 100 after taking the quiz.

Step 1 – Choose the right shampoo to reduce clogging and blocking

Choose the right shampoo

Choose a natural shampoo that doesn’t use harsh chemicals that could dry your skin out.

Most of the ‘off-the-shelves’ can be quite damaging to your hair. As consumers we aren’t informed enough about what to look for in a shampoo, so unfortunately we usually end up choosing a shampoo with the nicest branding, or one that foams nicely, or one that smells nice.

We do this with little regard of the long term consequences of putting these harsh chemicals like selenium sulfide in our hair.

A better alternative is to make your own shampoo from 100% natural ingredients, that doesn’t contain harsh chemicals that could end up irritating your skin and later causing clogging from the damage.

Here are the basics of how to make your own hair loss shampoo:

  • Take 2 tablespoons of organic apple cider vinegar
  • Add 1 teaspoon of sodium bicarbonate (aka baking soda)
  • Add 2 drops of tea tree oil (optional)
  • Add 2 drops of peppermint essential oil (optional)
  • Mix the ingredients in half a pint glass along with warm water
  • Stir and wait to settle (the baking soda and apple cider vinegar will react)
  • Pour onto wet hair inside the shower and massage into the scalp for 3 minutes
  • Rinse out with warm (bot not hot) water.

apple-cider-vinegarThe apple cider vinegar (ACV) and baking soda are natural cleansing agents that gently clean your scalp and hair without stripping away essential oils that actually protect the skin and hair.

The tea tree oil is anti-bacterial and anti-fungal so it gently cleans any bacteria that can cause itching and dandruff.

The peppermint oil removes plaque, increase blood flow and soothes the scalp.

You’ll never want to use a commercial shampoo again after trying this – it’s absolutely perfect if you suffer from any kind of hair loss.

Just read the ingredients on the back of your regular shampoo bottle. All those chemicals are designed to smell great, have a luxurious texture, and a wonderful foamy feeling, but at the end of the day they are very damaging to the hair and scalp.

No thanks! I’ll make my own for a fraction of the price – 100% natural ingredients and designed perfectly for unclog and unblock the hair follicles.

Its especially important to use this apple cider vinegar shampoo if you live in a hard water area.

Step 2 – Do a salicylic acid scalp peel to remove the layer of plaque

Hand on receding hairline

First off clean your scalp with a mild salicylic acid peel

The second step to unclog the hair follicles is to do what’s called a ‘salicylic acid peel.’ Dermatologists use salicylic acid to gently peel away the layer of dead skin cells revealing more youthful, radiant skin underneath, which is why it’s often used in shampoos.

Although this method is usually used just on the face, it’s actually the perfect way to remove the layer of dead skin, grease, oil, DHT, dirt and fluff the clogs and blocks the hair follicles on the scalp.

Unfortunately this layer of plaque can be responsible for hair loss, or limited hair growth. It can lead to hair follicle miniaturization, hair thinning and a receding hair line, so it’s well worth getting rid of.

Here’s how to do a salicylic acid peel:


  • Salicylic Acid
  • Coconut Oil


Wash your hair with the shampoo outlined above, and then rinse thoroughly and towel dry.

Apply the coconut oil to your scalp, ensuring that it’s spread thoroughly. This will protect your scalp from over drying caused by the salicylic acid.

Allow the coconut oil to sit for 30 minutes, and then use a dropper to apply small amounts of the salicylic acid to trouble areas of your scalp.

Leave in for 10 minutes, and then rinse and peel the remaining saliyclic acid.

A Natural Scalp Peel Alternative

For some individuals, the salicylic acid peel can be a bit harsh. This is especially true if you have an underlying scalp condition, such as dandruff or seborrheic dermatitis.

In this case, I recommend the all-natural alternative peel below.

What You’ll Need:

  • Himalayan or Celtic sea salt
  • Powdered activated charcoal
  • Ginger
  • Cucumber
  • Lemon juice
  • A juicing machine (or a blender and muslin cloth)


Using either a juicing machine or a blender and muslin cloth, create a ginger and cucumber juice blend. Begin by juicing the a handful of ginger chunks, and then juicing the cucumber. If using a blender, blend both ingredients and then pour through the muslin cloth to remove pulp and fibre.

Next, combine 100 mL of the ginger and cucumber juice with 1/2 tablespoon of salt and 1 teaspoon of powdered activated charcoal in the bottle of your choosing. Then, add in the juice of 1 whole lemon.

Shake the combination vigorously. Pour the mixture into your palm, and apply directly to the areas of your scalp with the most trouble. Gentle massage the mixture in, using your fingertips and working them in small, circular motions.

Leave the mixture to sit on your scalp for 5-10 minutes, as the lemon and ginger need some time to break down scalp buildup. Rinse with lukewarm (or even better, cold) water.

It’s very likely you’ll need to perform this peel a number of times before the plaque is fully removed. However, this will depend on severity of buildup and other factors.

For further results, I recommend removing the excess peel with the help of a hair brush. This will stimulate blood circulation while further helping to unclog the hair follicles.

Scalp and Hair Benefits: 

Each of the ingredients included in this recipe is known to cleanse, exfoliate, and purify the scalp and hair follicles.

The salt and lemon combine to create an antimicrobial scrub that lifts and removes dirt, sebum, dead skin, and hair product buildup from the scalp. In addition, they both work to balance the scalp’s pH.

For additional cleansing powder, I’ve added powdered activated charcoal. This underrated ingredient absorbs toxins and chemicals, removing them from your hair follicles so your hair growth can continue uninterrupted.

Last, the ginger and cucumber juice combination boosts scalp circulation, breaks down plaque, and soothes any irritation or inflammation.

Step 3 – Reduce scalp damage by having colder showers

Cold showers for maximum circulation

Hot water showers can damage the skin leaving it dry and inflamed.

Excessivly hot showers dry and damage the scalp.  Our body has not evolved to deal with the hot temperatures most of us shower at, its unnatural. We evolved washing ourselves in moderately temperature rivers and lakes, so don’t use really hot showers on your scalp.

As a result having hot showers can damage the skin and hair follicles. Although you may think that the hot water would be good at unclogging and unblocking the pores, it actually causes more damage than it solves.

The skin will dry out, causing inflammation and dandruff. The hair follicles will become dry and brittle, and the body will try to secrete oils to remoisturise the scalp, making the problem worse.

I wrote an article about hot showers causing hair loss here.

Discover The 4 Scalp Secrets You Need To Grow Back Your Hair...

(Instant Access)

You can still have warm showers, just when you wet your hair, use mildly warm water instead of scorching hot.

Cold showers also boost circulation in the scalp helping to increase oxygen flow to blood vessels and making the hair follicles stronger.

Step 4 – Improve your diet to reduce sebum build up in the first place.

Healthy foods on table

Eating healthy, natural foods that are full of fibre will help keep your colon clean and detoxify your body, instead of toxins leaving through your skin which causes plaque build-up

The majority of the plaque that clogs the hair follicles is caused by a poor diet. Improving your diet will help to naturally reduce the amount of plaque that builds up over time. It will also help improve the strength and growth speed of your hair.

Here are a few simple pointers to help improve your diet for better scalp condition:

  • Reduce unhealthy fats such as frying oils, and greasy foods.
  • Eat less processed foods, and eat more natural food. Processed foods contain little to no fibre so the digestive tract tends to get clogged up. This reduces the amount of toxins and metabolic waste that your body can get rid of through the colon, hence the toxins start coming out of your skin in the form or oils that block and clog the hair follicles and pores.
  • Drink vegetable juices to help detoxify and alkalise the body
  • Eat plentiful amounts of healthy natural fats such as those from nuts, seeds, cold water fish, and avocados. This will help keep your hair strong and healthy and provide the metabolic energy needed for hair growth.

Those are just a few, you’ll find many more ideas on how to improve your diet for more healthy hair on this website.

Step 5 – Use essential oils to keep your scalp healthy

Essential oils can be used on the scalp

Essentials oils can be used on the scalp to keep the hair follicles unclogged and the scalp healthy

Essential oils can help to improve the quality of the scalp resulting in better, more stronger hair growth. If you suffer from hair loss then using essential oils can be a good way to fight it.

Here are some of the essential oils you can use on your scalp to unclog the pores and maintain a healthy scalp:

And there are many more besides.

Step 6 – Make Your Own Nettle Tea & Bentonite Clay Hair Wash

As I said in step 1, I try to avoid commercial shampoos and always make my own.

But I don’t shampoo my hair too often anyway. If I want a quick clean to remove grease, plaque and toxins from the scalp I have another method which is fast, easy and works really well too.nettle-leaf

First I’ll stew some nettle tea. You can either use normal nettle tea bags, or even better – find some nettles outside and simmer them in water for 10 minutes.

Stinging nettle has been proven to reduce inflammation and fight DHT in the scalp which can drastically help the survival rate of your hair follicles.

Secondly, I’ll let the water cool to room temperature, then I’ll stir in a teaspoon of bentonite clay.

Bentonite clay

Bentonite clay

This clay is amazing and has been used for centuries for its ability to capture and remove toxins when taken internally. However, for our purposes we’ll only need it to reduce acidity on the scalp causes by sweating, absorb oils and greases and nourish the scalp with plenty of minerals.

Take the nettle tea and bentonite clay mixture in a half pint glass, and inside the shower, pour over your wet hair and massage into the scalp for 3 minutes.

Don’t be afraid to pub the clay right into your hair and scalp where it will works its magic.

I even rub it over my face to unclog any dirty pores and remove oils, and my skin feels brighter and cleaner after.

Wash out the mixture thoroughly and then rinse the shower out as well, otherwise it will look like you’re a really dirty person.

Step 7 – Detox Your Body With Lemon Water

There’s only so much you can do to remove grease and oils from your scalp externally. If your body is producing them from the inside, then you need to fix the problem at the root cause.

One of the best ways to reduce excess grease and generally clean your body from the inside out, is to drink large amounts of lemon water.

A yellow lemon on white background

That’s high-quality water (not tap water) with a whole fresh lemon squeezed in.

The ideal time to do this is when you just wake up, and haven’t had anything to eat yet.

Make the lemon water just above body temperature and drink around a pint of it upon rising from bed.

This will immediately flush through your insides (and may make you need the bathroom – which is a good sign its working.)

The lemon water flushes through your digestive tract removing mucus and partially digested debris. These toxins could be absorbed into your bloodstream.

And if your liver is overworked then your body will eliminate toxins through the skin (and the scalp.)

Lemon literally dissolves these toxins and helps to flush them out safely and cleanly.

Lemon also contains a multitude of minerals and nutrients which help clean the blood, and over time will leave your with clean and glowing skin from the inside out.

Lemon also helps to alkalise the body (yes lemon is an acid, but once metabolised it leaves an alkaline forming ash) which is incredibly helpful for reducing hair loss.

Is Your Hair Loss Reversible?

Question 1 (of 6)

How many years have you had hair loss for?
Select the number of years below.

Leave a Comment:

Sonia says August 5, 2017

Hi Will, I have been facing severe hair loss problem from 5+ yrs. My crown region is in bad condition like one hair falls no new hair are appearing so what would help in hair re growth and improves the hair density?

    Will Hartfield says August 6, 2017

    Hi Sonia, you really have to start from the inside-out – by optimising your diet for hair growth. Otherwise you’ll be fighting a losing battle against your own body. Topical treatments will only become effective when inside your body is first optimised. So, please view my other articles on the blog about diet etc, and also join the email list for latest research.

Suman says June 16, 2017

Hi Will, I recently found your website and I think it’s useful to understand things. I am 27yrs old suffering from severe hair loss for past 5 yrs due to depression. Recently I am more concerned bcoz my bald patches are so much visible. It makes me more worried as I am a girl 🙁 I tried ur scalp peel mentioned in the DHT blocking article. But I am not able to see any flakes coming out. Is my hair loss reversible? I tried all hair supplements and minoxidil..they are of no use.

    Will Hartfield says June 16, 2017

    Hi Suman. Stress can cause hair loss, so you will need to work on eliminating the source of the stress. I would recommend spending 5 minutes per day doing deep breathing exercises to start with. You will also need to look at your diet and make sure its not making things worse. I also recommend stop using shampoo, instead wash your hair with apple cider vinegar once per week.

Rigo Duarte says April 24, 2017

Hey Will, I have balanced all my hormones and have a pretty healthy life style and I see that I no longer am losing hair abnormally.

I shampoo once a week. I do that scalp exercises so the sebum that comes out of my hair probably has very low dht concentration. I have 2 tiny bald spots by the hairline.

Considering the information that I told you above, which oil or how would be the best way to regrow those hairs that are missing in those tiny bald spots?


    Will Hartfield says April 25, 2017

    Hi Rigo, good to hear you’re having success beating your hair loss.
    I would recommend you use a mixture of magnesium oil, peppermint oil and rosemary oil on the bald spots every night.
    Once per week instead of using the spray use a 0.5mm dermaroller on those spots instead of the spray.
    This should help you to grow out those spots fairly quickly.

Andrew says April 22, 2017

Can I use clays like Montmorillonite instead of bentonite. the ones I get are from sardinia.

    Will Hartfield says April 23, 2017

    Hi Andrew, I’ve never tried Montmorillonite clay before. You’ll have to test this for yourself. Just take notice of how your scalp feels after and if you notice any difference. This is a good practice anyway, to learn to ‘listen’ to how your scalp feels after certain things. For example, my scalp always felt dry after using normal shampoos, that’s why I switched to natural shampoos instead. Get a feel for what helps and what hurts.

wendy says March 19, 2017

Does your Hair Equilibrium course work for women who have clogged hair follicles and fragile hair?

    Will Hartfield says April 17, 2017

    Hi Wendy, most women you use Hair Equilibrium have had very good results. So it is recommended for women too.

Ryan says March 17, 2017

There’s a lot of stuff on the internet about hair loss and im just looking for something that has worked on somebody else. Have you personally seen results from these tips?

Ryan says March 2, 2017

Quick question, Will. I’m in the process of purchasing the ingredients for the Scalp Solution Method, don’t think there is much difference but wanted to make sure if it would be okay to use stinging nettle leaf extract in the elixir over nettle leaf extract? Appreciate it.

    Will Hartfield says March 15, 2017

    Hi Ryan, those are both the same in my mind. Stinging nettle = nettle.

Albanny says November 3, 2016

Hi Will, thank you so much for these tips. I’ve had really bad greasy scalp forever and when I get sweaty it makes it so much worse – I felt like my hair is falling out because of it. Actually I just tried 2 steps from this article and I wanted to let you know that they worked. Firstly, I made my own shampoo with ACV, baking soda and peppermint. It worked amazing and my hair was not too dry like normal after I use a shampoo, but my scalp felt great.
Secondly, I started drinking lemon water in the morning, before breakfast. I’ve only been doing it for 1 month but it feels great and my body and skin and more clean and less grease buildup naturally. Thanks for your help, Albanny

    Will Hartfield says November 3, 2016

    Hi Albanny, well done for giving it a try and I’m glad I could help. Try the other 5 steps and see if they help even more 🙂

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