7 Steps to Get Rid of Clogged and Blocked Hair Follicles

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

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.

The 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 away any bacteria that can cause itching and dandruff.

The peppermint oil removes plaque, increases 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

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:

Ingredients: 

  • Salicylic Acid
  • Coconut Oil

Directions: 

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)

Directions:

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

Excessively 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.


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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.

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 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.

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.

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.

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.

42 thoughts on “7 Steps to Get Rid of Clogged and Blocked Hair Follicles

  1. 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

    • 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 🙂

  2. 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.

  3. 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?

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

  4. Great article Will..got a question i recently shaved my scalp bald and after a week when the hair grew a little i noticed that i have many pores all around my upper scalp which even have very short hairs they are so short that i have to rub my fingers to notice them but they are there..now the thing is that they are not growing anymore while the rest of the hairs are growing as usual,, these pores are in huge numbers and look kind of like 5’0 clock, just that the hairs are much shorter. What should i do to make them grow like rest of the scalp follicles ? please help

    • 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.

  5. 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?

    Thanks

    • 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.
      Will

  6. 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.

    • 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.
      Regards
      Will

  7. 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?

    • 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.

  8. Hi Will

    I am making my own hair growth formula and I am wondering how many drops of peppermint oil and rosemary oil do I put in 2 fl oz/ 60 ml bottle?

    Thanks

    Adam

  9. Hi Will,

    Stumbled upon your website as I was looking for side effects of Minoxidil. I started using a doctor prescribed formula, applying it with a syringe (2ml total). A few days ago I started getting hives down my sides and on my neck but not on my scalp, so not sure it’s related. However, reading all the side effects kinda freaked me out. My hair has been falling out a lot, apparently this is a common side effect for the first few weeks. I am 27 years old, have noticed my hair falling out but didn’t think it was that serious until the doctor told me I have 30% of the hair I’m supposed to have.
    Would you recommend using your scalp elixir product along with Minoxidil ?
    Should I be using your shampoo mix ? I’m fairly depressed about my hair situation and would like some natural options. Thanks!

    • Hi Sandra, sorry to hear about these potential side-effects. I wonder if you have ever had a case of these hives before? If not, that does sound like it could be related to the minoxidil. I’ve written an extensive article about the possible side effects here. This is basically why I recommend avoiding it.
      Generally we say that our scalp elixir is an alternative to minoxidil. Using both is possible, but I don’t recommend it. You should certainly consider our shampoo. There are been some studies on Oleuropein showing it more effective for hair regrowth than minoxidil. Oleuropein is a natural compound and is one of the ingredients in our shampoo. I also want to point out that you shouldn’t put too much emphasis on topical treatments. Optimising your diet and reducing scalp tension through massages and exercises is the primary route to stopping and reversing hair loss.
      Regards
      Will

    • Hi Misty, I know it’s a genuine concern with any website, but especially in this industry. I started this blog because I wanted to help others and learn more about the subject myself. Our main purpose now is to educate people that pharmaceuticals (finasteride and minoxidil) are not the only option you have when it comes to hair loss. I believe that natural treatments can work better, and have less side-effects. As you can see, we don’t really promote any products very much, spending money is completely your choice and everything we sell comes with a refund guarantee. The money we do make goes into researching new articles, and website maintenance.
      Thanks for your question, I’m sure there are many people out there who are having similar thoughts.
      Will

    • Hi Lina, I’m not sure to be honest. We haven’t tested it on coloured hair yet so I couldn’t say for sure unfortunately.

    • I have highlighted hair with a few lowlights, and have been using apple cider vinegar and clay masks on my hair for a month. My hair is shiny again, with a clean, pure color that is better than before I began using the vinegar and clay. My hair has become bouncy and will take a curl again; something it hasn’t done for a couple of years.

  10. Hey Will,

    So at this time i use Nizoral 2 times a week and nioxin on other days. I do want to stop all these commercial shampoos and cut washing my hair more often because of the over production of sebum. Now I find that when i use shampoo and massag my scalp I feel these tiny balls which I’m thinking are sebum plugs. My hair is also thinning. So I’m thinking of using your natural home remedy shampoo and maybe a salicylic acid scalp peel? I know I’m dealing with androgenic alopecia. Can you give me the best advice.

    • Hi Rich, I would definitely cut out commercial shampoos. They don’t help at all in my experience and even make things worse. Treat scalp problems properly (through optimised diet.) A salicylic acid peel might be a good idea for you. If you are having scalp problems though just make sure you get your diet in order first.
      Will

  11. I am suffering from a scalp disease called dissecting cellulitis of the scalp and am looking for any help as I am going on 7 years with it. What would you recommend to start with? All doctors say is it’s not curable and prescribe antibiotics.

    • Hi Colby,

      Unfortunately, we do not know much on this particular condition. However, basic research does seem to indicate it’s irreversible, as it kills the follicles and then covers the scalp with scar tissue.

      – Steph

  12. Hi, Will.

    I was examined by a hair stylist and was told that my root of hairs were clogged with oil and in a terrible state. I was not ready for the scalp treatment.

    Thinking whether is there a natural remedy. If I follow your step 1 listed above, will it help?

    Appreciate for your advice,

    Thanks,
    Alex

  13. Hi Will, I’ve started applying a jojoba oil/peppermint/rosemary mix to my scalp and hair every evening because of some studies I read.

    However it does make the hair very oily and maybe it should be washed everyday?

    I’m wondering if there’s anything like a shampoo I can safely use every single day to wash out the oils without damaging the hair or anything?

    • Hi Matt,

      There’s no way to wash your hair daily without ill effects. You can certainly rinse the oils with water each morning, though.

      How much are you applying at once? If the water isn’t removing the majority of the oils in the morning, you may be applying too much to the scalp.

      – Steph

  14. William, the roots of my hair seem to have some sort of sandy granule like substance attached to it. And if i pluck it out, the hair comes off along with it. I have gone to a doctor and she says that it is a mite. I did some therapy but it worked, but she wont tell me what she uses. Got any idea on how to get rid of these sandy granules?

    • First let me ask you if a shampoo is really necessary? If you eat a clean diet then your body will produce much less of the oils and grease that cause the hair to need to be shampoo’d in the first place. For example, remove fried and processed foods completely from you diet. These types of foods contain lots of vegetable oils which are incredibly bad for us. Keep your diet clean, with natural only foods.

      If you still need to shampoo occasionally then I would recommend our own Grogenix Shampoo. It is completely natural and contains ingredients proven to support healthy hair, in studies beating minoxidil for regrowth. It also helps gently remove dirt, grease and DHT without stripping away protective oils.

  15. Quick question, would the natural shampoo recommended above (baking soda, ACV, etc) be enough to remove the plaque from your hair or do i still have to do the calycylic acid scalp peel?

    • Hi Rayquon,

      The natural shampoo can remove the basic day-to-day buildup, but it’s recommended to do the peel to remove the years of plaque build up that’s settled on the scalp.

      – Steph

  16. Hello, Will, is this article recommended for women as well? I am not exactly sure how to do the peel as a girl. I have short hair (maybe 3-4 inches), and I don’t want to accidentally removed any of them as they are already falling out enough by themselves, by attempting to remove the peel. Any help would be greatly welcomed. Thank you,
    Kayla.

    • Hi Kayla,

      Yes, women can benefit from scalps peels, too.

      The key is to remove the peel gently, which you can do by simply using your fingertips to massage in the area of the peel. The peel should begin to ‘pill’ up, and it can then be rinsed away with water.

      – Steph

  17. One thing is for sure, and you’re wrong about, there is no such thing as non-reversible hair growth. Any baldness can recover, some just take more time then others depending how bad the balding is, and how long they went un-treated. Black-seed oil organic and cold pressed helps with hair growth, along with DHT blockers, and the right type of organic shampoo. Its never to late, it all depends on if the person wants to fix the situation, or is to lazy to do the research.

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