How often have you taken the time to wash and style your hair into a bouncy blowout only for it to end up feeling limp, waxy or greasy, and totally unpleasant moments later?

That wax-like feeling on your freshly washed hair is product buildup or excess sebum.

Hair can feel waxy for a number of reasons, including heavy ingredients, infrequent washing, and improper rinsing. However, your hair can also be affected depending on your hair type and texture.

Hair that is coated with buildup is not only unpleasant to touch and look at but it also prevents water from penetrating your hair. As a result, you may find your hair becoming dry and brittle, losing its lustre over time. 

Here are the reasons why waxy hair happens and some ways to combat it.

This Is Why Colour-Treated Hair Feels Gummy

When hair is subjected to excessive chemical treatments, it can become gummy and break easily. This happens most often with bleaching, which must break down the colour molecules in the hair to produce that blonde we desire. The keratin structure in your hair can be compromised beyond what it can stand if you are lightening your hair too often or too quickly.

Taking a break or stretching your colour appointments will help let your hair heal over time. Having gloss treatments in between your colour appointments are also a great way to colour your hair without compromising your strands.

Is Silicon Is Bad For Your Hair?

Short answer, yes. Silicones are used in hair care products to lubricate strands and make them feel soft. They are what make hair feel soft and manageable after conditioning.

Silicones fill in the gaps and cracks in dry hair’s cuticles, giving the illusion to look shiny and healthier. However, they do not solve the problems that caused your hair to become damaged in the first place--they are just a way to make it look nicer temporarily. Over time, silicones build up on your hair follicles, weighing down your hair and causing it to look greasy.

Product Buildup Causes Greasy-Looking Hair

Some people find that their hair feels waxy after styling their hair, not just because of what products they used but because of how much they applied. Each head of hair is unique, and it is important to note that with the rise of online tutorials, it's easy to find that the amount of styling product one creator uses for their hair leaves yours feeling heavy and greasy.

Along that thought, it’s easy to follow someone else's recommendation online for what to use, not fully understanding what may actually be best suited for your hair. Discuss with your hairstylist what your concerns are when using products, and what your goals are. Your hairstylist is knowledgeable in hair care and is familiar with your hair type, they will provide you with the best solution.

When applying hair products, always read the labels to understand their intended use. Product instructions often have recommendations on how much product to use, as well as where on your head the product should be applied. But as we mentioned, every head of hair is unique, so do take instructions as a guiding point. Less is better to start, you can add more as needed. 

The Art Of Washing Hair Thoroughly

Even if you use quality products on your hair, it's essential to wash your hair often enough to prevent it from feeling waxy. The hair and scalp should be washed thoroughly every day or every other day, with the correct shampoo for your scalp depending on your natural oil production level and the amount of buildup-causing products you use in your routine. Fine hair tends to have more oil production due to how straight the strand is, sebum will coat the hair more quicker than curly hair. Using a clarifying shampoo or shampoo specified for volume would be beneficial. The same practice would help those with curly hair, which is a more brittle hair type, using a moisturizing conditioner helps hydrate the hair, where the sebum cannot spread to.

Surprisingly, one of the biggest reasons for waxy hair is that shampoo is not being rinsed out properly. If you do not completely rinse out the shampoo before applying the conditioner, remnants of the shampoo suds can become trapped under the conditioner. Your hair and scalp should feel squeaky clean before applying conditioner. We mean that literally, if you run your fingers through your hair and along your scalp and it doesn’t squeak keep rising.

Some find that double washing helps remove buildup, and that’s entirely fine so long as you’re rinsing the suds out completely. Shampoo brushes are a great tool that can be used to remove product buildup that remains on the scalp if you feel that regular shampooing does not sufficiently cleanse it. 

Using a clarifying shampoo once a week will rid your hair and scalp of oil build-up and residue left behind by hair products. We know, it can become overwhelming to have multiple shampoos throughout the week to cycle through but trust us, this will help solve your waxy hair woes almost immediately.

The use of conditioner is often misunderstood. We all love a good scalp massage, don’t get us wrong, but slathering a handful of conditioner onto your hair and scalp will lead to excessive oil production, and weigh your hair down. Conditioner is designed to make hair shiny, and soft and prevent tangles. So naturally, the ingredients would consist of oils or other moisturizing properties that should not be put onto the scalp. 

When applying the correct conditioner for your hair, the best way to avoid putting it on your scalp is to grab your hair into a ponytail and run the conditioner through the ends only. 

Gentle Products To Use For Waxy Hair

As we already mentioned, it’s important to know what products are best for your hair type and to be conscious of the amount you're adding to your hair care routine. Our experts share the best products to help remove and prevent waxy build-up, leaving you with your most silky, shiny hair.

TO112 Shampoo for Fine Hair

Ideal for oily roots, and scalps, and fine hair types. This perfect shampoo gently, yet thoroughly, cleanses the scalp.

Unite Weekender Clarifying Shampoo

Wash your hair once a week with WEEKENDER Shampoo to deep clean without removing its natural oils.


TO112 Bamboo Shampoo Brush

Wet hair and apply shampoo evenly throughout the scalp in small, circular motions for three to five minutes to clean your entire scalp.


Olaplex No7 Bonding Oil

Dramatically increases shine, softness, and color vibrancy, minimizes flyaways and frizz, while providing UV/heat protection.

Oribe Supershine Light Moisturizing Cream

This lightweight leave-in moisturizer calms frizz, elevates shine and restores softness.

TO112 Conditioner for Normal Hair

A conditioner carefully crafted using a combination of amino acids, while moisture-retaining tamanu oil and jojoba oil hydrate hair for weightless shine.


Waxy hair happens to the best of us, and luckily it’s something that can be managed easily. Monitoring your hair and scalp for changes and signs of buildup is important. If you notice waxy buildup, try some of the solutions provided by our experts.