How to Treat Waxy Buildup on the Scalp

A bad hair day is one thing, but waxy buildup on your scalp is another. There could be a couple of issues that need attention. Infrequent washing and seborrheic dermatitis—a type of eczema that often flares up in cold weather—are two common causes. There are many home remedies that can help. If these don't work, see a doctor or dermatologist to find out if prescription drugs may be in order.

Lemon Juice

Wash your hair with lemon shampoo or add a spoonful of lemon juice to two spoonfuls of clarifying shampoo. Scrub your scalp with your fingertips and leave the shampoo on for several minutes before rinsing. Repeat daily until the waxy buildup is gone.

Vinegar Rinse

Mix 1/2 cup white or apple cider vinegar with 2 cups warm water. After shampooing, pour the mixture on your hair and work it through. Leave on for several minutes, then rinse out. Repeat daily as needed.

Dandruff Shampoo

If the waxy buildup brings dandruff, too, use zinc-based anti-dandruff shampoo. Start with an over-the-counter formula and upgrade to a prescription if needed.


Using a cotton pad, apply astringent, such as salicylic acid or witch hazel, to your scalp between washes.