I had meant to write on the Dr. Groot line when we launched the product. I won’t lie and say it was laziness. I happen to be a busy mom of three, one disabled, and a university student. There are days where I have written enough that I don’t want to write anymore and other days I don’t get the chance. Not to forget the other days, I am too pooped for much of anything. Still, I wanted to post about this. I have talked about hair before and how society places a lot of emphasis on appearance and hair care. There are a lot of hair products. It is easy to be unsure of what you’re doing. You go with what the ads say because that’s what they are made for. It’s more to understand a product and your hair care. What works for one will not always for another. It’s the fun of being human. We can share similarities but are still different enough to not need to use the same thing as the next person. When we have found something that works, it’s only natural to want to talk about it. Word of mouth is one of the best ways to advertise. Or at least direct. It does not replace any medical advice or advice from a professional hairstylist who puts in long hours of training to become certified.
With that, I would like to talk about my experience with Avon’s Dr. Groot Exfoliating Shampoo and the homemade scalp scrub treatment I made for my buildup that was causing itching.
About My Scalp Issue
When I was about fifteen, I recall scratching my head during choir, and under my nails was gunk from my scalp. It wasn’t white either. Nor was it yellow, which would indicate a different condition going on. It was a color that I can’t seem to find information on, so I will chalk it up to not just build up but the dirt that clung to the build-up. Either way, I mentioned it to my mom. She took me to a hair salon in the lovely town of Bellingham, Washington, where we used to live (I miss the greenery). I was there for a bit getting my scalp cleaned and then cut and styled. Once finished, my scalp felt cleansed. When I touched it, my fingers felt cool to the touch. I could feel the air move through my hair at the roots, something I never noticed before. No one explained much about why I had had this build-up.
The Homemade Scalp Scrub
Fast forward a few years later, 2020, and Avon releases Dr. Groot. A hair care line meant for people with fine, thin hair. I felt excited. I have tried a lot of hair care lines, and not many live up to their claims. While I haven’t tried everything in this particular line, I first bought the exfoliating shampoo. It doesn’t have beads in it to exfoliate the scalp. Instead, it has ginger and ginseng to help with soothing redness and itching while helping to remove the buildup we can get from using products. It certainly did that. I hate feeling like I have an itchy scalp. Especially after washing my hair. It also has caffeine and biotin to help thicken hair. I could smell the menthol in the shampoo as well. I tried it a few times and could feel my scalp for the first time a while and the itching was gone for the most part.
For a few days after washing my hair, my hair was cleaner for a day or so longer than normal. I also liked that. The shampoo also has caffeine to thicken the hair. I can’t say I noticed any thickening either by touch or my appearance. I wasn’t using it for that anyway. I wanted to help with the build-up and the itchiness that can accompany buildup. After a while, the build-up did return. I would say a few months later. Still not a lot of itching. I still had some itching due to dryness. So, I used Avon’s Advanced Techniques Daily Shine 2-in-1 Shampoo and Conditioner. It did help with the dryness. I began to use Dr. Groot once every two weeks to rebalance the microbiome of my scalp.
There was a time I used it with every wash. It helped my itchy scalp, but I still had some issues with buildup. My hairstylist explained that overusing clarifying shampoo can create the problem that it is made to combat and cause dryness of the scalp. I decided to take it a step further and use Dr. Groot’s fortifying shampoo in a homemade scalp scrub. Using salt, honey, vinegar (even though Dr. Groots has some vinegar in it), a tad bit of olive oil, and some of Avon’s lavender essential oil. The essential oil is safe to use on the skin and in the purifier. I got the recipe from Stephanie Pollard at Hello Glow. I am linking that here as it is not my recipe. I only want to reference it because it worked amazingly well when I used it, with a few routine steps I added in for myself. When I followed the scalp scrub with regular shampoo and then the apple cider vinegar rinse, I got to feel that feeling back when I was fifteen in Bellingham. I could feel my fingers when I touched my scalp and could feel my hairbrush on my scalp. I don’t have a reference for the vinegar to water ratio. However, I made enough to cover my whole head. There is a factor to keep in mind when it comes to apple cider vinegar. If your scalp feels like it has a burning sensation, rinse it out immediately. The vinegar may be cleaning your scalp but is also acidic. It’s not good if you feel a burning sensation. I made sure to dilute my vinegar rinse with a lot of water. Yes, it has a smell that my son commented on. No, it doesn’t make your hair smell like vinegar.
The reason I followed with regular shampoo is based upon my observation of use. I had dried my hair and noticed it seemed oily but wasn’t upset because the build-up was gone. I used regular shampoo to get out some of the oiliness from the scrub. Figuring it’s the olive oil since I didn’t have the other oil Hello Glow initially mentions in her recipe. But I did read that it should be just fine as a substitute.
After having a great experience with this scrub and the shampoo Avon sells, I decided to try it on my daughter. She has both oily hair and an oily scalp and has had scalp issues since birth. My daughter was born with psoriasis. I don’t think I have seen a baby born with that condition until her. She has experienced this bizarre condition of wet buildup/dandruff. I had never seen it before until I had her. Let me tell you, it is a pain if you let it go for too long. Once, I had to sit and carefully clean out her scalp. Something to keep in mind is that product and sebum buildup can cause hair loss. It’s not pretty. In her case, her body overproduces sebum that builds up. The buildup attracts dirt and everything else. Hers is a long-term ordeal. I was having trouble as of late and decided to try the Dr. Groots fortifying shampoo. It wasn’t working for her. But the scalp scrub with the shampoo helped SO much. It took several sessions before I could go on with the regular shampoo. Since it’s hard for me to show my condition, I decided to take pictures of hers.
To sum that up: I applied the scalp scrub, let it sit for five minutes, rinsed it out with warm apple cider vinegar rinse and warm water from the showerhead, used a quarter-sized amount of regular (nothing fancy like volumizing or straightening) shampoo and rinsed again. My hair came out cleaner, not oily, as well as softer to touch and shinier (a bonus in my book). The same goes for my daughter.
Scalp Care Nitty Gritty
Before I get into the product information, let’s talk about scalp buildup. Some can confuse those flakes on their shirt for dandruff. I certainly have. It can be caused for several reasons, skipping washes (sebum buildup), dead skin cells, and product use. I mentioned my daughter’s body overproducing sebum. Left untreated, it can result in hair loss, inflammation, and infection.
Depending on your needs, you will benefit from how often you wash your hair. Normal to oily can do it every 1-2 days (I am an every other day type of gal). Dry hair needs it 3-4 times a week. I have seen few people be able to go a week.
Hair type plays into the type of product you use. Be sure to look into what will help and if you need to, as your hairdresser. If you go with the wrong kind of shampoo and conditioner for your hair type, it can add to the buildup. As much as I love the idea of volumizing shampoo and the ones meant to thicken fine hair, they only make my hair look worse a day later and contribute to buildup. You have regular shampoo and clarifying. Clarifying dries the hair more and shouldn’t be used as a replacement. Everyday shampoos don’t mean you use them every day. Thank you, Brad Mondo for explaining that.
Next is serums. They are wonderful at times and I can recall when I first used that hot oil stuff from my aunt’s bathroom. They are great for preventing frizz, tangles, and help to condition course hair. Oil hair is better suited for serums with vinegar. The dry scalp needs moisture but something that also removes buildup. Serums with Tea tree oil are better for that.
Conditioner. I admit I try not to use it. It leaves my hair heavy and I don’t want heavy. Fine hair doesn’t do well with heavy. It’s like I’m a dog dipped in oil. I only use it on my ends. Yes, I mentioned I have a regular 2-in-1 product. Activated charcoal is great for helping clarify the hair in a conditioner. Lactic acid can be added to that list, too.
Now to talk about Dr. Groot
This line is geared to those noticing hair loss. As we get older our hair thins. Men and women are equally susceptible to it. A few are lucky and don’t get it much. I am almost 40 and started noticing mine at my widow’s peeks last year. Fine-haired folk are people also likely to use the product. It has natural ingredients plus a few others I imagine are naturally based but hard to pronounce. Brad Mondo, I would love your input on this brand. Avon’s product information states that it is: “Infused with para-probiotics and prebiotics, these formulas help restore your scalp’s invisible microbiome shield of healthy flora for healthier scalp and hair.
Get to the root. Made with rosemary extract, this fortifying shampoo gently exfoliates, helping to remove dirt and impurities from the scalp to leave it feeling rejuvenated. Contains natural ginger and ginseng to help soothe redness and itching, and biotin and caffeine to help thicken hair.”
It is thin when poured out without much color. I would say a faint green, perhaps. It does smell of menthol. A little bit of tea tree oil as well.
• Infused with para-probiotics and prebiotics, it helps restore your scalp’s invisible microbiome shield of healthy flora for healthier scalp and hair
• With natural ginger and ginseng to help soothe redness and itching, and biotin and caffeine to help thicken hair
• No sulfates, parabens, or silicones
• Use products individually or as part of a regimen
After soaking the hair and scalp with warm water, apply an appropriate amount evenly to the hair and scalp, massage, and rinse thoroughly with water.
Again, I haven’t noticed any thickening to my hair with it. Either way, caffeine is a temporary way to give the appearance of thicker hair. It doesn’t restructure the hair and make it thick from the shaft. Similar to how it temporarily makes cellulite and stretch marks look like they have vanished around the stomach. I am not an advocate for using products that claim that they thicken your hair because they can add to the buildup. When it comes to this product, use it according to your needs. I, for example, try and use it once every two weeks in the scalp scrub. If you don’t want to use it in the scalp scrub, my tips to use are to use it along with the areas you get the most buildup and itch. I have plenty of spots for both and I get it more on the scalp and along my part. I lift my wet hair a bit and then put it on. I then massage it into my scalp making sure to use just the fingers tips of my fingers. Not my nails. It’s likely to cause scratching and if you have an infection, don’t use this product and don’t use your nails. Please see a professional for treatment before using this product. The ingredients aren’t meant for those with current infections.
Before I get to the tips, I would like to list the ingredients. Everyone is about the ingredients today. And for good reasons. Allergies and some wanting to keep ingredient amounts to a minimum. WATER, DISODIUM, LAURETH SULFOSUCCINATE, LAURYL HYDROXYSULTAINE, DISODIUM LAURYL SULFOSUCCINATE, GLYCERIN, CAPRYLYL GLYCOL, COCO-GLUCOSIDE, GLYCERYL OLEATE, TETRASODIUM EDTA, POLYGLYCERYL-4 CAPRATE, POLYQUATERNIUM-22, CLIMBAZOLE, DI-C12-13 ALKYL MALATE, MENTHOL, PANTHENOL, SALICYLIC ACID, SODIUM COCOYL ISETHIONATE, CITRIC ACID, NIACINAMIDE, CITRUS AURANTIUM BERGAMIA (BERGAMOT) FRUIT OIL, MELALEUCA ALTERNIFOLIA (TEA TREE) LEAF OIL, MENTHA ARVENSIS LEAF OIL, EUCALYPTUS GLOBULUS LEAF OIL, ROSMARINUS OFFICINALIS (ROSEMARY) LEAF OIL, METHYLPROPANEDIOL, COCONUT ACID, SODIUM ISETHIONATE, SERINE, MENTHA PIPERITA (PEPPERMINT) OIL, BUTYLENE GLYCOL, CHLOROPHYLLIN-COPPER COMPLEX, HEXYLENE GLYCOL, INULIN, MALTODEXTRIN, SODIUM CITRATE, ANTHEMIS NOBILIS FLOWER WATER, ROSMARINUS OFFICINALIS (ROSEMARY) EXTRACT, ALCOHOL, BIOTIN, CAFFEINE, PENTYLENE GLYCOL, MELISSA OFFICINALIS FLOWER/LEAF/STEM WATER, YEAST EXTRACT, VINEGAR, 1,2-HEXANEDIOL, HOUTTUYNIA CORDATA EXTRACT, PANAX GINSENG ROOT EXTRACT, SODIUM BENZOATE,
PAEONIA SUFFRUTICOSA BRANCH/FLOWER/LEAF EXTRACT, PAEONIA SUFFRUTICOSA ROOT EXTRACT, ARTEMISIA ANNUA EXTRACT, AZADIRACHTA INDICA LEAF EXTRACT, CAMELLIA SINENSIS LEAF EXTRACT, SODIUM PCA, SODIUM LACTATE, MENTHA ARVENSIS LEAF EXTRACT, CENTELLA ASIATICA LEAF EXTRACT, HYALURONIC ACID, POLYGONUM MULTIFLORUM ROOT EXTRACT, SACCHAROMYCES CEREVISIAE EXTRACT, PANAX GINSENG LEAF/STEM EXTRACT, ARGININE, BENZYL ALCOHOL, ASPARTIC ACID, DEXTRIN
GLYCINE SOJA (SOYBEAN) SEED EXTRACT, ORYZA SATIVA (RICE) BRAN EXTRACT, POLYLYSINE, SESAMUM INDICUM (SESAME) SEED EXTRACT, ZINGIBER OFFICINALE (GINGER) ROOT EXTRACT, GANODERMA LUCIDUM (MUSHROOM) EXTRACT, PCA, BETA-GLUCAN
POTASSIUM SORBATE, GLYCINE, ALANINE, ALTHAEA OFFICINALIS ROOT EXTRACT, CALENDULA OFFICINALIS FLOWER EXTRACT, CHAMAECYPARIS OBTUSA LEAF EXTRACT, ETHYLHEXYLGLYCERIN
PHELLINUS LINTEUS EXTRACT, VALINE, BIFIDA FERMENT LYSATE, LACTOBACILLUS FERMENT LYSATE, DEHYDROACETIC ACID, ISOLEUCINE, PROLINE, THREONINE, HISTIDINE, PHENYLALANINE, ALCHEMILLA VULGARIS EXTRACT, LIMONENE, and LINALOOL.
Tips for Removing and Preventing Scalp Buildup
- Limit Hair Care Product Use – I get it. You want to do stuff with your hair. Tame it, curl it, dry it, style it, texturize it, avoid the shower because you got busy or whatnot so you grab the dry shampoo. Even de-tangler can add buildup. I love de-tangler. It’s helped so much. I have my hair layer, sure but then there are times I need that de-tangler. Still, all this use of hair products can add to the buildup and block pores which can over-produce oils. Your hair may be clean but your scalp may not be clean. But you end up showering because a day later your hair looks gross again. Check that you aren’t overusing products and keep your scalp clean. I’m not saying to not use products, just not so often. I heard growing up that too much hair spray breaks your hair off. I can see how that would happen but I am not sure if it’s true to the point that you just don’t wash it out.
- Limit Heat Styling and Hair Dying – I think this one can be hard for some people. We might be in a hurry or our hair takes too long to dry. We hate our color and have to redo it too soon or we overdo it with bleaching. Please don’t over bleach. I have not experienced hair loss from over bleaching but I did get very dry ends and it looks horrible when you fry your hair. It has three layers. Don’t assume that just because it has three that it can’t be damaged. That’s like saying a simple cut to the skin can’t be harmful if left untreated. It does happen. When you use heat too often it weakens the outermost layer and leaves it less able to protect the inner layer of your hair. Overheating and over-dying can cause splits ends and dryness. Your hair can’t keep the moisture in. When you dye your hair too often, a similar thing occurs. The outer layer is lifted during lightning and makes it so the inner part can receive color more easily. But doing it too much and you can start to lose hair. I knew a neighbor that was always doing something with her hair and she had a few balds spots. Don’t get me started on her then 6-year-old son’s hair. She’d dyed it green but when it grew out it was all sorts of weird colors and his hair was like an over-used brillo pad. Only shoulder length. Yet he was upset when it was cut short. Why am I talking about the hair when this is about the scalp? Well, the scalp starts to overproduce oils because it thinks it’s too dry to be maintained but then things get clogged up and oil attracts dirt. Dead skin cells have nowhere to go. Product build-up adds to it as well. All because the hair and scalp are exposed to continuous heat and hair dye. This can cause infection when the follicles are clogged. I had a cyst once. Most likely caused by clogged pores. I had to have it surgically removed. No, it was not fun. They had to numb me and then poke and cut my scalp.
- Stick to a routine – Depending on your needs, it’s always good to stick to a routine. The scalp will appreciate that it only has to work as hard as it should. If you work out a lot, shower more. Again, that sweat can bring in dirt and we don’t want that. Yes, there is such thing as too clean. Find the balance.
- Brush Regularly – Back in the olden days, women would flip their hair upside down during their infrequent hair washing to help rid the build-up on their scalp while brushing. Yeah, look up hair care through the centuries. It’s fascinating how different we are today compared to then. Sure some of the routines are questionable. Such as the infrequent bathing of the medieval period. Also, they used products we would never use today to not only clean their hair but to make it smell good and look better than it was. Still, some eras had a different way of washing that could involve egg yolk and hot water. Sun to dry the hair.
- When in doubt make a scalp scrub or go to a professional. Then follow suggestions accordingly.
I hope you have enjoyed this new post. Again, I am so sorry it took forever. Be sure to check out my store and don’t forget to sign up for emails if you haven’t already. That way you can keep up with all the discounts and specials.