Get Glowing, Wellness

Natural Beauty: DIY Hair Buildup Cleanser

All Natural DIY Hair Buildup Cleanser - Peaceful Dumpling

My natural de-gunk wonder paste.

Every time I get my hair cut, the stylist applies a heavenly tea tree oil serum to my scalp after shampooing.  It tingles and smells wickedly good–but best of all, I leave the salon with weightless, magical hair (not the usual state of my hair!).

I’ve shared my hair buildup woes on Peaceful Dumpling before. The water in my town is very “hard,” meaning it contains a slew of minerals that prevent shampoo from fully sudsing, resulting in “gunky” hair (its texture akin to lake-water hair–dull and heavy).  It’s pretty difficult to get my hair feeling bouncy and clean–and I’m not even one for squeaky clean hair.  I’d simply like to be able to run my fingers through my hair and not feel like there’s trace amounts of peanut butter in it.

I’ve tried clarifying shampoos in the past–this one is pretty nice–but I wanted to find something more affordable and très natural.


Bring back body and shine to your hair with this simple DIY pre-‘poo treatment.

Lately, I’ve been using an easy DIY treatment to bust through the build up once and for all–or at least once a week 😉  So far, I’m pretty happy with the results–the other day my colleague told me that my hair was “uniquely shiny.” I’ll take it.


DIY Hair Buildup Cleanser – Vegan and All-Natural


(May be used once a week)

1/3 cup baking soda – Humble baking soda is a master cleanser. It shows no mercy to buildup and leaves hair feeling extra soft.

scant 1/4 cup water

10 drops tea tree oil  – Potent tea tree oil helps eliminate dandruff and is rumored to promote hair growth.


Mix all of the ingredients in a small bowl or jar.

Before you shower, prepare a hot, damp towel and set aside.

Dampen your hair.  Beginning with the gunkiest area of your hair, massage baking soda paste at roots. Work through your entire scalp.  Make sure the paste covers all areas of buildup.

Wrap your head in the hot towel, and read a magazine for 10 minutes.  Tell the imaginary hair technician that you would like a glass of chardonnay while you wait, please and thank you.

Remove towel, hop in the shower, rinse well, and shampoo as normal.  For extra shine, do your final rinse in cold water.

Do your best not to blind passersby in the street since your hair is now basically a sunbeam of shininess.

Also in Get Glowing: Using Chakra Oils for Meditation and Beauty

Bedtime Rituals for Beauty Sleep

Conditioning DIY Hair Masks


Photos: Mary Hood

Mary Hood Luttrell

Mary Hood Luttrell

Beauty Editor at Peaceful Dumpling
Peaceful Dumpling Beauty Editor and creator of Bisou du Jour, Mary Hood Luttrell lives with her husband in Corpus Christi, Texas. Mary is a freelance writer and writing and blogging consultant. A lover of whole foods, Mary delights in learning new ways to prepare vegan dishes. Mary also enjoys reading and writing poetry, art journaling, running, and practicing yoga and ballet. Follow Mary on her blog Bisou du Jour, Instagram and Pinterest.
  • Peony

    I’ve had really good luck with Lavender Hair and Scalp Mud from Priya Means Love. It has helped me cut way down on styling products and I definitely don’t have to wash my hair more than twice a week. The directions say to just rub it on your scalp but I like using it all through my hair as it feels cleaner afterwards. I was using No Poo by Deva and wanted fewer chemicals and something that made my hair feel less gunky. I use some apple cider vinegar as a rinse afterwards.

    • The scalp mud sounds fantastic–I will have to check that out. I’d love to be able to cut own on the amount I wash my hair (usually every other day). For one, it takes forever to dry! Thanks for the recommendation!

      • Peony

        You are welcome and thanks for sharing your DIY recipe, I’m going to try to add it to my routine. I am still trying to figure this all out!

        • I know what you mean. As soon as you think you’ve nailed down the right routine, the seasons change, or your body’s like: nope! never mind!

    • Juhea Kim

      Mmm that sounds really heavenly! I’ve been wanting to try ACV as a rinse for a while though my problem lately has been more dryness than buildup. But I hear it does wonders for shine!

      • Peony

        My hair is also really dry but gets so easily weighed down, this mud experiment has been pretty successful although my hair felt pretty gunky the first couple of weeks as it was getting used to it and the build-up was coming out.

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