When it comes to washing and clarifying our hair and scalp, most of us stick to the shampoo and conditioner we’re used to. And for the most part, there’s no problem with that because 9 times out of 10, it gets the job done.
But what happens when you’re having a hard time removing build-up from your hair; When you come back from the pool or the beach and your everyday shampoo isn’t hitting that chlorine and sand-like it should?
That’s when you know you need to clarify your hair. Clarification is like a regular ol shampoo, but on steroids. It deep cleanses your hair in a way that gives you a complete fresh start with no excess oil, built-up dirt or leftover product residue. In serious need of a hair detox? Here are four fool-proof ways to clarify your hair and scalp.
Apple cider vinegar rinse.
Apple cider vinegar, or ACV, is a popular go-to for clarifying both natural and relaxed hair because it has antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties that control bacteria and fungi from causing scalp irritation, dandruff, flaky skin, harmful build up—all of which can cause hair thinning and loss if not properly taken care of.
On top of that, ACV is an acidic substance that helps neutralize the pH balance of your hair and scalp.
This is important because when your hair is higher on the pH scale, it’s considered alkaline, and will be frizzy, dry, and prone to breakage.
Using an apple cider vinegar rinse is quite simple and can be done in a couple different ways.
The first method is the easiest: mix a 3 or 4 tablespoons into about 16 oz of water and evenly pour over your hair right before or right after conditioning.
The second method is the same mix of ingredients, only this time, you’ll pour the vinegar and water into a spray bottle and saturate your roots and scalp. In both cases, you’ll want to let the mix sit for a good 5 or 10 minutes before thoroughly rinsing it out.
Bentonite clay is a natural, fine powder that comes straight from aged volcanic ashes. It’s been used for both medicinal and cosmetic purposes for thousands of years and has been known to do everything from treating poison ivy to removing toxins from the body.
As far as hair is concerned, bentonite clay is like a holy grail substance because not only does it clarify by eliminating excess oil and dirt from your hair and scalp, but it effectively treats heat and color damaged hair, combats frizz and dullness, and promotes softness and moisture.
The clay is typically sold in large jars and can be found in almost any retail beauty store, beauty supply, or health shop—with the most popular option being Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay.
All you have to do is combine one cup of the clay with 1/2 cup of water, aloe vera juice, or apple cider vinegar, and mix until it forms a paste. Apply the paste to dry or damp sectioned off hair, leave on until it’s completely dry, and then thoroughly rinse.
Baking soda + vinegar.
Baking soda is often used for a wide variety of household and cooking needs, but it is also very useful for those of us who experience more-than-average build up on our scalp and hair because we have naturally oily hair or just use a ton of product on a weekly basis.
While mixing one part baking soda and 3 parts water together and massaging it through your hair and scalp absolutely will remove buildup, dirt, and excess oil, this mix is far too abrasive to be using this method more than 3 or 4 times in a year.
Baking soda and water should be used in situations where you need a quick and effective solution, after a very long term protective style, or when regular shampoo isn’t adequately removing product from your hair. You must follow up with an apple cider vinegar rinse to restore moisture and neutralize your scalp’s pH balance in order to avoid damage.
DIY hair treatments aren’t for everyone and not every store-bought beauty product is packed with harmful ingredients, so if you want to take the traditional “tried and true” route, absolutely go for it!
A good clarifying shampoo is one that cleanses your scalp and hair, removes toxins, isn’t so abrasive that it causes frizz and tangling, is free of sulfates and parabens, and doesn’t strip your hair of its natural oils.
I recommend my personal favorite, the Alikay Naturals Moist Black Soap Shampoo. This shampoo is super good at removing product buildup without stripping your hair of softness and moisture.
It’s effective for those of you who struggle with oily hair and for those of you who have a hard time getting your dandruff under control. Plus, it’s a unique, tropical-scented protective and moisturizing blend formulated with ingredients such as plantain skins and cocoa seed powder. How do you clarify your hair and scalp? Comment below.
Read why you should never remove the waxy stuff from your new born’s scalp.