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Hair Detox: What is and How to Do it?

30 Day Hair Detox Challenge

Did you know just as you can perform a body detox, you can execute a hair detox? Yes, you read that right. The "#30DayHairDetox," a challenge conceptualized by the licensed hairstylists Aeleise and Ayesha of Black Girl Curls, challenges naturals to go 30-days without products of raw shea butter, raw coconut oil, Eco Styler, and products that include them in the top 5 ingredients. But why? In this blog post, we'll be digesting the concept, steps, and goals behind this challenge and why you might be interested in taking it on for yourself and your family. 

 

The Haircare Industry

The haircare industry is a 12.9 billion dollar industry. There are many, and we mean a lot of hair products you can divulge, which are marketed to address a range of hair concerns. We have our two types of shampoos - moisturizing and clarifying, our conditioners, creams, styling gels, sprays, and a plethora of hair butters. The list seems endless. One search on Youtube will result in pages of videos targeted to naturals and their curls. It's no surprise that our hair may need a "detox" from it all. 

 

Too much product!

Overusing products in your hair leads to product buildup creating a nonsuitable hair condition. Product buildup creates a film over your hair, making it difficult for water and product to penetrate. We know water is necessary for providing moisture to your hair, and depriving it can result in dry, fragile, and brittle strands. So how do we combat this? Well, we can do a hair detox. 

 

The Signs: You're using too much product 

Product buildup may be the culprit if you suffer from dry, lifeless hair. Within the 19.2 billion dollars, many products geared towards natural haircare consist of mineral oils, silicone, and additional chemicals that, although temporarily address current concerns, leave behind non-soluble residue. Non-soluble ingredients won't easily wash away with standard moisturizing shampoos, as these ingredients bind to the hair resulting in brittle, dry hair and potential scalp irritation. The best way to avoid product buildup is prevention by using the right products and the correct amount of product—all to be implemented in your hair care regimen.

 

Hair Detox: What are your Goals

As with any new hair trend or challenge, you must understand whether you truly need to perform a hair detox on your or your child's hair. What are you hoping to gain? Many success stories from the #30DayHairDetox challenge cite more manageable, moisturized hair achievable through shorter wash days and fewer products. You may desire the same success if your wash days extend many hours into the day or if you want to achieve a simple wash-n-go hairstyle. 

 

Hair Detox: Where and How to Start 

With the understanding that using hair butter and oils results in product buildup, we can understand that we must avoid products with these ingredients to detox the hair. The hair detox supports the fact that we obtain moisture in our hair from water and water-soluble ingredients. So, in theory, the #30DayHairDetox should be pretty straightforward. You must cleanse, hydrate and style your hair with well-formulated products not consisting of silicones and plastic gels. Another specific callout to the detox is skipping the leave-in conditioner. To start your hair detox, you must first shampoo your hair with a clarifying shampoo. A clarifying shampoo will offer a deeper clean than moisturizing shampoo as they are specifically formulated to remove excess buildup or residue from your scalp. 

 

Hair Detox: Additional Steps

After thoroughly washing your hair with a clarifying shampoo, you can proceed with the additional steps in your hair regimen. Remember to avoid using products with silicones, minerals, and oils. Specifically, oils such as;

 

Hydrate

To aid in sealing moisture and detangling, hydrate your hair with a conditioner or deep conditioner. 

  • For ease of application and detangling, separate hair into sections. 
  • Apply your desired conditioner to wet hair.
  • To reduce frictions, detangle from the ends up.

Style

  • Wash out conditioner by soaking hair in the shower.
  • Section hair to apply water-soluble gel or stylers to hair accordingly. Apply larger quantities of product to sections that need it. 

Dry

We recommend using indirect heat, such as a hooded dryer, to seal moisture and keep curls in place. Alternative drying methods, like a diffuser, can be pursued depending on your desired hairstyle. 

 

Nighttime Protection: Satin Bonnets,Scarves and Durags

Always wear a Satin Bonnet, Durag, or Loc Cap to protect your style and curls. The purpose of the detox is to use a minimal amount of product. You will wish to preserve your hairstyle for 7-10 days throughout 30-days in between washes for as long as possible. 

 

The Black Girls Curls duo refers to the #30DayHairDetox as a mindset and lifestyle change. The challenge is an encouraging way to shift your perspective on what's needed to take care of your hair and highlights our natural response to overcomplicate the process. Oils and Butters are still effective in addressing many hair concerns, but the Hair Detox is a means to hit a hard "reset" on your hair to reconsider some of the bad hair practices we have adopted over the years.

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