When it comes to hair and scalp health, hair follicles are often overlooked. Keeping them clean is absolutely crucial. If bacteria and sebum gets clogged, it can actually stop the hair follicle from even reaching the surface. And you know what that means — thinning hair, and a hair growth cycle that’s out of whack. There are a few ways that follicles become plugged and stop your hair from growing. Once you’re familiar with the causes, you can take a few easy steps to prepare the scalp to start growing hair. Read on to find out how to unclog your hair follicles for hair growth!

Why Your Hair Follicles Get Clogged

Your body naturally produces a waxy substance called sebum. Sebum helps waterproof and lubricate your skin and hair. Normally it’s a manageable amount that we can regulate through normal washing, but some people produce a lot more sebum than others.

Sebum becomes an issue when it mixes with the dirt, chemicals, and dead skin cells that can get left around your hair follicle. It sounds a bit gross, but everyone has dirt and dead skin on their scalp. And if you use a lot of hair product, there’s a good chance there’s some chemical residue involved.

Having a few clogged hair follicles won’t cause too many problems. But when more and more become clogged, they can really affect your hair growth. Clogged hair follicles might grow slowly, and sometimes, not grow at all. But there are ways to fight it.

How to Unclog Your Hair Follicles and Keep your Hair Follicles Clean

Keeping your hair follicles clean does not have to be difficult. You just need to be aware. Here are our three favorite ways to get rid of any residue that could be affecting hair growth.

1- Try Essential Oils

One of the best all natural ways to create a better hair growth environment is to use essential oils. When massaged into your scalp, they help clean the area and improve blood circulation. Many oils like rosemary oil and horsetail plant oil have natural antiseptic, antibacterial, and antifungal properties.

Even if you produce a lot of sebum and see that it gets mixed with your dead skin cells, essential oils can clean it right up. Improving circulation will make sure your hair follicles are getting all the nutrients that they need from your blood.

Some essential oils even have a soothing scent. We love using lavender oil to clean the scalp and leave a gentle, relaxing scent that lasts all day. Plus, these products are all-natural so anyone with a sensitive scalp is good to go.

2- Use Natural Hair Products

As we mentioned earlier, chemical residue is one of the main factors of a clogged hair follicle. One of the easiest and most effective ways to unclog your hair follicles and prevent this buildup is by only using natural hair products.

The first ingredient in natural hair products is water. When it’s made primarily with water, it won’t mix with sebum since sebum is waterproof. This will help you avoid any majorly clogged hair follicles.

Definitely make sure your shampoo and conditioner are all-natural and have certain nutrients and vitamins that promote hair growth like biotin, vitamin C, and zinc. Please take care to do your research — just because something claims to be all-natural doesn’t always mean that it is!

3- Improve Your Diet

Hair growth and a clean scalp starts with your diet. Filling your body with greasy food and unhealthy fats will definitely show when you start looking at your scalp health. With a bad diet, your scalp will be much more oily and attractive to nasty bacteria.

Make a conscious effort to replace greasy fast food with healthier fats like seeds, fish, and nuts. Not only will you see improved scalp health and a cleaner growth environment, you’ll start to have more energy throughout the day.

Another key aspect of your diet for healthy growing hair is fiber. Most people simply don’t get enough of it, and a big reason is because of how much processed food people eat. When you don’t get enough fiber, your body has a tough time getting wastes out of your body. Instead of getting flushed out naturally, the toxins reveal themselves in the form of more sebum. More oily sebum means more opportunities for dirt and residue to clog your hair follicles.

Stay hydrated and get your daily recommended doses of vitamins and nutrients. When you’re eating well, you can worry a lot less about whether or not your hair is in a good situation for growth. In addition to fiber, make sure you’re getting plenty of protein and leafy greens.


At the end of the day, you need to pay attention to your scalp health. If it starts to feel greasier than normal or you notice that your hair isn’t growing like normal, take some of these steps to clean the area and unclog your hair follicles. Good luck!

Susan Ehlers

Susan Ehlers

Susan was born and raised in Seattle, where she studied Biology. Now she works as a health and nutrition coach. In her free time she enjoys canoeing and hiking together with her husband.
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