Hair goes through a lot on a daily basis – aside from pollution, the elements and hair styling, hair is put through all the hoops to achieve “less frizz”, “volume”, “bright colour”, “luscious waves” or “poker straight”.
Hair products – spray, spritz, gel, and serum – cause build up over time. Commercial liquid shampoos and conditioners, which often contain synthetic silicones and silica, coat the hair with a waxy film that makes the hair feel nice but leaves a residue in the hair.
If the build up of residue that hair products leave is not taken care of, it can lead to dandruff, flakes, heavy hair, dull hair and clumpy hair.
Even if your hair is healthy and you rarely use product, your hair can still benefit from a deep cleansing treatment to remove any dirt or grime.
The most effective ways to remove product build up from the hair is to deep cleanse the hair using natural remedies. Such remedies are inexpensive and do not create additional residue that “clarifying shampoos” may do.
So before you head out to the stores in search of a hair detox product, instead head for your kitchen and raid the cabinets instead.
Here are a few remedies that will help remove product build up from the hair:
Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV)
It appears that there’s no problem that Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) can’t fix, and that goes for all manner of hair issues too.
ACV has been found to remove residue, balance pH, and smooth the texture of the hair. It also cleans the hair without stripping away its natural oils.
While ACV works well for all types of build up, it is an especially good choice for hair that has become lifeless, dull, or difficult to style. If you have colour-treated hair, ACV may cause the dye to fade so be careful or choose a different solution to product build up.
To use ACV as a deep cleansing hair treatment and to remove product build up, create a solution by combining 60ml of ACV with 500ml of warm water. Wash your hair with shampoo/conditioner. Then follow up by pouring the ACV solution all over your hair – from the roots to the tips. Massage the solution into the scalp and leave on for five minutes. Rinse with cool water.
The ACV rinse naturally breaks down build up, leaving hair shiny and healthy. It is advisable to use the ACV rinse once a week.
Baking soda naturally lifts grease and product residue from hair. It also removes the build-up of oils, reduces dandruff, and eliminates product build-up from hair shafts and scalp, leaving the hair much softer and naturally shiny.
To use baking soda to remove product build up from hair, mix a solution of 500ml of warm water and 1 tablespoon of baking soda. Pour the rinse over dry hair and work it through the hair and massaging the scalp. Rinse it out with lukewarm water. Then apply conditioner to your hair.
If you have a dry, flaky scalp, you can take this hair detox with baking soda a step further to treat the scalp. Many times those suffering with a dry, flaky scalp or dandruff have too much product build up and the residue creates flakes and a white waxy coating on the scalp. Baking soda can rid the scalp of dry, flaky scalp and build up.
You can create a baking soda clarifying paste by mixing 30ml of water with 2 tablespoons of baking soda. Apply the paste on to the scalp, and gently massage the scalp. Leave it on for 5 minutes. Rinse thoroughly. Follow up with conditioner.
Baking soda is also an effective treatment for those with oily hair, as it removes excess oil.
The baking soda rinse and paste is beneficial to use as a treatment for hair and scalp once a week.
Bentonite Clay, like ACV, has a multitude of uses. While bentonite clay, which is used in numerous face masks, draws out impurities from the skin, it has the same action with hair.
Bentonite Clay is like a magnet for product buildup in the hair, and when it is washed out from the hair it removes all impurities and build up with it.
This natural ingredient, which is sourced directly from the earth, has a negative charge (anionic), so it attracts positive charged (cationic) products that build up on the hair and scalp, working as a clarifier and detoxifier.
Its anionic property also makes bentonite clay effective at drawing out toxins, heavy metals, chemicals, and impurities.
Bentonite clay is also antimicrobial and helps with irritated or flaking scalps, in addition to psoriasis and seborrheic dermatitis. It also moisturises, conditions, softens, and reduces frizz.
To make the bentonite clay mask, mix 125g of bentonite clay powder with 250ml of water and 120ml of Apple Cider Vinegar to create a paste. Apply the paste to damp hair and scalp. Cover your hair with a shower cap to prevent the mask from drying out. Leave on for around 30mins. Rinse with lukewarm water.
While it eliminates toxins and build up from the hair, bentonite clay can dry out hair, so it is advisable that you use a good conditioner or deep conditioning treatment once you have fully washed the clay from the hair.
This treatment can be used once a week or fortnightly.
Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief @rosamedea