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Hair sprays, waxes, gels and dry shampoos – they’re big business and almost everybody has used at least one of them. But use the wrong one and you could aggravate your scalp. See how and what to do to keep your hair and scalp healthy.

Styling products do exactly what they say – they help you get a better end look, whether it's slicking it back with gel or reducing the greasy look with a dry shampoo.

What ingredients?
There are a wide variety of ingredients out there – “hold” polymers, conditioning agents, oils, fragrances, preservatives…too many compounds to name.

No two products are alike, either. You might find that some products cause scalp irritation as your skin reacts to certain ingredients.

Unfortunately, everyone’s skin is different, and while one person might be sensitive to an ingredient, the next person may be fine with it. So it’s a case of trial and error to rule out the products your scalp doesn’t like.

Styling product buildup or dandruff?
When you use styling products every day, they start to build up – and washing your hair doesn’t always get rid of it.

In some cases, this buildup can be visible on the scalp and hair and is often confused with dandruff.

It can also damage your hair and scalp in more extreme cases. Like anything on your scalp, styling products will break down over time, and some of these byproducts could damage your scalp or cause irritation.

The best way to prevent it is to use a cleansing shampoo – these give a really deep clean and will help to remove any product and prevent buildup.

Dry shampoo – no substitute for proper shampoo
One popular styling product is dry shampoo. Often seen as a quick fix for when you can’t wash your hair, it’s designed to reduce the greasy, oily look of unwashed hair.

But it’s no substitute for washing your hair. When you use shampoo, you’re getting rid of dirt, dust and particles on the scalp to really clean the hair and scalp and prevent them from breaking down into potentially harmful substances.

Dry shampoo doesn’t do that – instead, it absorbs the oils on the hair and scalp so it doesn’t look dirty but really, the dirt and dust is still there, slowly breaking down.

Wash your hair regularly
To tackle product buildup and to make sure you keep your hair healthy, try to wash your hair at least 3 times a week and use a deep cleaning shampoo at least once a week.

This will help to get rid of any product buildup on the scalp and keep it clean­ – so whatever style you go for, your hair and scalp will be in great condition.

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Breakage from styling & grooming