We have all heard of detoxing your body; many do it for dieting and health reasons. These detoxes are in the form of teas, smoothies or eating regimes. But did you know that you should detox your hair as well?
Why Should I Detox?
A healthy life should also include healthy hair. For natural hair, one cannot have full, bouncy, healthy strands if they do not have a reputable hair care regimen that consists of cleansing hair, moisturizing and styling.
Hair is an extension of the body and can trap unwanted chemicals inside the hair follicle or scalp, allowing toxins to enter. Detoxing your hair will help repair and revive damaged, filmy hair. A hair detox means to cleanse, treat and cut your hair.
Natural Hair Detoxing
Hair follicles, like pores on your face, can become clogged with dirt, product, and oil. For purification of your hair and scalp try using shampoos with crucial ingredients such as:
Acetic Acid: These components help strip build-up from the hair shaft and cleanse the hair of harmful chemicals. Acetic Acid is found in vinegar and can be useful in ridding your hair of build up.
Citric Acid: Do not worry about these ingredients being rough on your hair if it is extremely thin or damaged; they found in fruits and vegetables, facial cleansers and even some soaps. However, use in moderation and be mindful of your hair needs.
Invest in a good clarifying shampoo and hydrating conditioner. These two products working together will destroy build up and maximize the moisture your hair is receiving.
Techniques for Cleaning Hair
Detangle your hair thoroughly. Having tangle free hair will allow your hair to get the best clean possible and make maneuvering through your hair more manageable.
Rinse your hair. This step will open your scalp and hair cuticle preparing it for a more in-depth clean. Focus on your scalp. Begin washing hair starting at the root working your way down to the ends. Use vertical motions to increase blood flow to your scalp, and remove dirt from your hair.
I love the scrunching my extensions more than anybody, it seems to help the curl, but scrunching is not healthy for you. Avoid scrunching hair up, and circular movements as this may cause tangling.
Scratching or rubbing your scalp can feel amazing and help remove oil and dirt, however, scratching, squeezing and vigorously rubbing the endings of your hair can cause breakage so be mindful of your hand motions!
Finish hair off with a cold rinse! Cold water will close the cuticle and trap moisture and nutrients provided by your conditioner.
If Extensions Are Installed
If installed, brush your extensions to free them from any knots or tangles.
Wet your scalp and extensions. Starting at the root, apply shampoo or conditioner and wash in a downwards motion. Be sure to work the product throughout your hair using long even strokes.
Rinse hair with warm water and use a towel to blot dry the excess hair from your extensions. Be careful not to rub, or scrunch hair.
Before Installation or In Between Installations
You may detox your hair (co-wash) before installation to rid hair of any impurities or that weird shipping smell. Luckily, I have not had that issue when ordering with Private Label Extensions, I recently ordered a closure, and it was soft and clean when it arrived. It is recommended to detox hair in between installations to revive bundles.
To keep my bundles fresh and soft in between installations, I usually keep them in a silk bag, like the ones featured on Private Label Extensions. It acts as a scarf and storage for your extra bundles while not in use; keeping the hair from trapping odors, being misplaced or tangles.
Lay bundles flat out, brushing to ensure that it is tangle free and to rid hair of any shedding. Fill your sink with cold/warm water, then dip one bundle at a time into the water.
Apply a small amount of shampoo/conditioner to your bundles, washing in a downward motion. When rinsing dip hair back into the water and squeeze down the length of the bundle to get rid of excess water and product.
What Not to Do
Do not overwhelm extensions with excessive products. Do not blow dry your extensions on high or attempt to dry with flat irons. Try your best to allow your hair to air dry.
Using a moderate temperature keeps the extensions from becoming brittle or over processed. Instead, if you do not have time for an air dryer, use a hooded dryer on low to dry scalp and extensions or blow dry on cold/low.
If you love your shampoo and can’t imagine switching over, no problem you can just add some items to your regular shampoo! A little do-it-yourself tip is to create a hair mask or shampoo that will cleanse your hair.
Add-In Shampoo- Gather the things you will need to give your shampoo an added boost!
Your Shampoo: This can be any shampoo you like though I recommend that it is sulfate free, and has one of the ingredients such as citric or acetic acid as mentioned earlier.
A cup of water-This will help dilute the solution. Add as much or as little as you would like depending on how healthy your hair is.
Baking Soda: The baking soda will act as a cleanser. Do not add in too much of this as baking soda tends to lighten hair, or can strip hair color.
Apple Cider Vinegar: Acts as a cleanser. Professional braiders often use apple cider vinegar to cleanse braiding hair before installation; this helps reduce itch and dirt from hair. Apple cider vinegar can have the same effect on hair extensions.
Using a separate bottle, fill your bottle half-way with shampoo, mix 1 cup of apple cider vinegar, a half cup of baking soda, and as much water as you like. I have sensitive and thin hair, so it is vital that I do not put too much strain on my hair. I recommend this one because it helps detox your hair, but it is not as strong on your hair follicles.
1/2 cup bentonite clay powder- Bentonite draws out impurities and removes toxins and chemicals from hair.
1/2 cup aloe vera gel – Aloe Vera repairs dead skin cells on your scalp, prevents itching and reduces dandruff.
1/4 apple cider vinegar- Removes residue build up and adds shine to hair. One additional cup of apple cider vinegar
Mix bentonite clay, aloe vera, and 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar and work into hair.
Put on a shower cap and allow to sit for 20-30 minutes.
Don’t let the mixture dry!
Rinse with 1 cup of vinegar and allow to sit for 1-3 minutes, then shampoo.
Things to Remember
You may add lemon into any of these mixtures to enhance cleaning properties. Lemons are an excellent source of Vitamin C makes hair long and healthy. It strengthens hair follicles thereby reducing hair shedding. It contains a compound called Limonene which adds life to dull, frizzy hair.
Lemon has antifungal properties that fight dandruff and other scalp fungal infections. Lemon is acidic which is useful in cleansing the scalp of dead cells and other deposits.
However, be mindful of the amount of lemon used like baking soda, it can lighten hair and if overused can cause brittle, dry hair. I do not add lemon, and I use less baking soda because I have soft, thin and light brown hair so this treatment is too harsh and would dry out my hair and cause breakage.
After washing, get hair trimmed or cut. The best way to ensure that hair stays healthy is to get rid of dead weight or split ends. Do this for your extensions as well; while it is not for the health of your extensions, it will help the overall look of your style to cut off stray hairs or the ends to give a cleaner look.
Detoxing your hair promotes scalp health and hair growth; it also keeps extensions soft and manageable. A detox can be do-it-yourself or consists of a hair regimen of cleansing, conditioning and trimming your hair.
Have you detoxed your hair before? Let us know some ways you detox your hair by leaving a comment below.