People get dirty, and so does their hair. Sweat and oil coat the hair shaft, clogging pores and follicles. Dead skin can clog pores. And that’s before you’ve even done anything. Exercise, yard work, swimming, and beauty products contribute to a dirty scalp and leave residue, creating the need to cleanse and detoxify your hair.
Whether looking for a monthly cleanse or a medical hair detoxifier, there’s an option out there for you. Check out these five easy ways to detoxify your hair and scalp.
Cleansing shampoos often called clarifying shampoos, are periodic cleansers designed to remove buildup from your everyday hair care products. How often you’ll need to cleanse depends on the type and frequency of hair products that you use. “Shampoo and go” users can often get away with cleansing only once a month. Daily hair washers who use a significant amount of styling product may need a mild daily cleanser of a weekly clarifying shampoo. No matter what type of cleansing shampoo is used, it is recommended to follow-up with a conditioner.
If you’re familiar with mud masks for the face, a scalp mask does the same thing for your head. Scalp masks work to soak deeply into your skin, dissolving oils, exfoliating dirt and dead skin, and hydrating. Some of these products have additional nice scents too. Scalp masks can come in the form of essential oil-laden vegetable oils or tinctures. Some masks come wet clay applications – check out “volcanic hair mud”. All masks are supposed to help calm angry skin and exfoliate the icky stuff, some just take a little more time to apply than others.
Using a scalp mask is a great way to unclog pores, which in turn will soothe irritated skin and reduce itching. Unclogging hair follicles is even more important, as this has been shown to reduce hair loss at any age. If a follicle is clogged, growing hair can be damaged, or stunted altogether.
If the rest of your body needs to detox from junk food, chances are your hair does too. Highly processed foods introduce chemicals both inside and out that can damage your hair. Since hair is made of protein, it makes sense that you need to eat a lot of protein. Also consider healthy fats, like those found in avocado. Increase cleansing circulation through spices like ginger. Try an antioxidant-laden tea, such as Rooibos. Most importantly, drink lots of water.
Water is an important aspect of any cleansing diet, providing a method for your body to flush out the toxins. What’s more, if you’re well hydrated so is your hair and well-hydrated hair is stronger.
First of all, a scalp massage feels nice. You’ve probably had a little of this treatment when you visited a salon. Scalp massage is typically done with the fingertips, but can also be done with a brush. This massage with a brush is referred to as – wait for it – scalp brushing. All forms of scalp massage promote natural cleansing by increasing circulation to the head, and can also promote relaxation as an added benefit.
Scalp brushing provides additional benefits since it physically cleans out clogged pores and hair follicles. Unclogged follicles help promote hair growth. Brushes also distribute your natural hair oils, called sebum, more evenly. Well-oiled, but not too oily, hair follicles help create stronger hair.
Some detoxifiers are processed into strong pharmaceuticals to do the heavy lifting of hair detox. A common ingredient in these products is panthenol. Panthenol is a form of vitamin B5 that binds to the hair shaft. Carefully measured at concentrations around 0.1-1%, the panthenol coats and seals the hair shaft to create a shiny look. Some products claim panthenol-based serums and shampoos can increase hair thickness by up to 10%. In addition to all this hair improvement, pantothenic acid is also a detoxifier. The acid dissolves buildup in hair follicles too!
Whether you realized it or not, it’s time to give your hair a break from the everyday buildup of oil, skin, and dirt that takes its toll on your locks. It’s time to detoxify, and maybe go a step above. Treat your hair and scalp right and you can receive a myriad of benefits. Cleaner hair is more supple and shiny, it’s stronger, more manageable and possibly even thicker. Begin your journey to a healthy, happy head of hair with a simple detox today – your scalp, follicles and tresses will thank you later.