We are a detox nation and you can find thousands of them on the shelves for cleaning out our bodies but did you know there is such a thing as a hair detox? Just as a body detox is to remove impurities and toxins, a hair detox also removes all chemicals, products, and environmental pollutants that stick to our hair and even some find their way into our hair shaft.
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Hair detox is not new, but many in the natural hair community are just becoming aware of them and how vital they can be to a healthy natural hair journey. Hair detoxification is a powerful asset for switching up hair products, going natural or just as an addition to a body detox. Whatever one’s reason for doing a hair detox, gaining full control of what you decide to put into your hair is the best way to start off 2017 for a healthier hair journey.
How long is the hair detox?
It’s super easy to just wash your hair with a clarifying shampoo and feel you’ve properly detoxed your hair but that’s only one part of a proper hair detox. A true hair detox takes more than a fully cleansed hair and scalp and requires more effort to remove those chemicals from the hair shaft completely. A true hair detox takes weeks or months dependent upon your body chemistry, and the products you personally have been using.
If this is your first time doing a natural hair detox, opt for doing a one-week hair detox. While one week is not long enough, it is a great way to try it out and see the difference in your hair and scalp and get you ready for a longer one.
Start with a trim
All good things must come to an end, and a trim is a great way to remove all the once good, now bad raggedy and split ends that are making your hair look bad. I usually get a trim around twice a year and this necessary upkeep helps to keep knots from forming and splitting.
Do a scalp detox
A scalp detox removes all the dead skin, products and toxins from the hair follicles, roots and oil glands. This is a vital step in hair detoxing because all the chemicals and toxins being removed from the hair is also all over your scalp. Here’s are two popular and easy scalp exfoliates/detoxes
Easy Brown Sugar Scrub
¼ c. Olive Oil
¼ c. Brown Sugar
How to Use
Typically, exfoliation is done before conditioning but it depends on the ingredients you’ve used in your scrub. Just mix ingredients before applying the scrub to your scalp and massage for as long as necessary. If you have a lot of product build-up or flakiness, you may find that you’ll need to massage for a longer period of time.
Do a Detox Hair Mask (to help speed up the process)
A detox hair mask helps to speed the hair detoxing process up greatly! This DIY hair mask helps to pull those stubborn impurities out of and on the hair shaft and get your hair and scalp fully cleaned. This is optional as you can simply use a natural cleansing shampoo recipe (listed below) but if you are not in favor of this process taking a month or longer, a detox hair mask is for you.
Detox Hair Mask
1/2 cup bentonite clay powder
1/2 cup aloe vera gel
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 additional cup apple cider or regular vinegar
How To Use
Mix bentonite clay powder, aloe vera gel and 1⁄4 cup apple cider vinegar together and work into hair. Put on a shower cap and allow to sit for 20-30 minutes. Don’t let the mixture dry! Rinse thoroughly. Rinse with 1 cup vinegar and allow to sit for 1-3 minutes, then shampoo. Follow with shine boost rinse or detox hair soak.
Keep away from non-natural ingredients
During the detox period only natural ingredients should be used. From cleansing to conditioning to moisturizing and styling, only use natural ingredients to fully remove all the refinements of chemicals and pollutants from your hair. Even if you think your favorite commercial brand is fully natural, check the label for all ingredients to make sure but the ideal method is to go old school and use only natural recipes.
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Steer clear of heat/hair dyes/chemicals
A true hair detox means leaving all the bad stuff alone. While hair detoxing, leave all the commercial brands, hair dyes, heat styling tools alone. If you cannot fathom not coloring your hair during this time-frame use all natural hair coloring tricks like lemon juice, a coffee hair rinse or henna.
How to style hair during detox
The weeks ahead may be tough as you remove all your tried and true or normal products from your haircare routine. Whatever method you normally use that uses the least amount of products should be worn and enlist the help of nature to create shampoos, conditioners, moisturizers and even gels like a DIY flax seed gel recipe. You might even find you prefer them in the long run and your hair will gladly thank you for it.
Here are some recipes to use during the detox period:
All natural homemade shampoo (Thankyoubody.com)
½ cup distilled water
¼ cup liquid castile soap
2 tsp avocado oil
1/8 tsp peppermint essential oil
1/8 tsp tea tree essential oil
1 tsp vegetable glycerin
10 – 15 drops of essential oils*
How to use
Put the above ingredients in a bottle (you could even reuse an old shampoo bottle). Shake well before each use. Pour a little over your head. Lather good. Gently massage in the scalp for a minute or two. Rinse completely.
Simple 2-Part Shampoo
1 tbsp. Baking Soda
1 cup of distilled water
How to use
You can mix into double or triple batches. Mix well before placing into an old cleaned out shampoo bottle. Simple shake well before squirting directly into hair and onto scalp. Massage into scalp and hair for a couple of minutes before rinsing well. Understand this cleansing method is quite drying and should not be used as your regular shampoo.
Simple 2-Part Conditioner
1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
1 cup of water
How to use
You can mix into double or triple batches. Mix well before placing into an old cleaned out conditioner bottle. Simple shake well before squirting directly into hair and onto scalp. Massage into scalp and hair for a couple of minutes before rinsing well. This conditioner works well with the 2-part shampoo.
Water is the absolute best moisturizer but here are a couple of recipes to help that are all DIY and do not need to be rinsed out.
Coconut Curl Moisturizing Conditioner (BlackNaps.org)
1 cup purified water
½ cup Aloe Vera juice
1 tbsp melted coconut oil
3 tbsp lime juice
5 vitamin E capsules (just pop with a needle and then squeeze into your mixture)
2 tbsp vegetable glycerin
2 tbsp of your favorite essential oils
How to use
Simply mix all the ingredients together, store an a spray bottle and you’re good to go! Spritz as needed for added moisture.
Jojoba Hair Hydrator (Kinkycurlyyaki.com)
1 ½ cups Aloe Vera juice
2 cups coconut water
2 tsp. jojoba oil
How to use
Combine aloe vera juice, coconut water, and jojoba oil in a small spray bottle. Pour ingredients into a spray bottle and shake prior to each application.
The above recipes may be more than enough to keep your hair looking beautiful while you detox but here is a popular DIY hair gel many naturals use and find works amazingly well even when not detoxing.
DIY Flax Seed Gel (UrbanBushBabes.com)
2 cups of water
1/4 or 1/2 cup of flax seed (linseed) depending on how thick you want it
1 tbsp. aloe vera gel (optional)
3 drops of essential oil (optional)
You can also add other oils (optional)
How to use
Pour 2 cups of water and 1/2 cup of flax seed into a pot, on low/medium bring it to a boil stirring flax seed often with preferably a wood spoon. Turn off heat when a white frothy gel like liquid forms (it will have a raw egg white consistency). Continue stirring while it simmers. Place strainer or stocking sock on top of your bowl or container and pour mixture in. Let it cool down, add aloe gel and essential oil. Proceed to use gel while hair is cleansed and damp.
Place the rest of the gel in an air tight container. The shelf life is 12-14 in the refrigerator. Place used flax seeds in a container and place in fridge to use them again :).
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Many who try a hair detox end up removing many of their old products from their natural hair routine. The decision often comes from how healthy, shiny and clean their hair is after the detox. Whether you choose to do this a few times a year or annually, the hair detox is a great way to get your hair back on track whenever you feel clarifying is just not enough.
Have you ever tried a hair detox?
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