Detoxing your body, mind, and spirit is an increasingly popular aspect of mindfulness and health routine changes. You can find store bought detox options for all aspects of your body including your skin, body, and spirit. What you may not know is that you can detox your hair. Keep on reading to learn about the reasons you should detox your hair, methods for DIY hair detox, and tips to make the process simple and effective. Since people have all kinds of hair types we have included a number of options.

Getting Started

Strip Your Hair

This is an especially important step if you use a lot of styling products, dry shampoo and hair products that contain a silicone such as dimethicone.  All of these products can cause build up on your hair and scalp.

The first step to detoxing your hair is to strip it which can be as simple as doing an apple cider vinegar rinse or baking soda rinse on your hair and massaging it. Epsom salts and lemon juice are also a useful combination.  Another way to strip your hair and add condition is to do a henna coloring on it. This will strip it, condition it, and help remove chemicals all in one step. Just make sure that anything you use is organic and labeled non-GMO.

A Gentle Option

Some people’s hair just doesn’t respond well to most clarification processes especially if they have dry or fragile hair.  If you use only natural products on your hair you may find the need to clarify your hair is greatly minimized. My hair is not only fragile but it likes to fall out too, I find a light vinegar solution with several drops of essential oil to be a kinder gentler method; I particularly like to use Ylang Ylang and lavender in my hair rinse.


Use a No Poo Method

The no poo method is simply to avoid shampoo and conditioners. You ideally want to use nothing on your hair that is shampoo related. After you complete your hair detox you can start using a castile soap bar or other shampoo bar for cleansing, but overall you want to stay away from commercial shampoos. These items strip your hair of their vitality, oils, and natural radiance. They also breakdown the hair follicles causing damage to the hair as well as the scalp. You can use just a baking soda rinse for your shampoo, massaging the mix from the scalp to the tips of the hair, and rinsing completely. You can then use a spray in of apple cider vinegar for your conditioner. Let it sit during your shower, and then rinse out, your final rinse should be with cool water. The smell will die out as your hair dries.

Use a Low Poo Method

This is a great alternative for those with hair that just doesn’t like your generic no poo method. Instead of avoiding shampoo completely choose organic products that will not harm you or the environment.  When you wash your hair apply the product on your scalp and massage until it foams, let the water rinse the shampoo down the length of your hair. Again, make sure you rinse with cold or cool water to seal cuticle and improve manageability of your hair.  Often you will not require conditioner when using this process as you don’t wash ALL the natural oils out of your hair and that is what typically causes tangles.

The Co Washing Option

Originally this concept of conditioner only washing was made popular in the curly girl natural hair community, but the reality is co washing can work for many hair types.  Even superfine thin hair, yup it works even then. 

The key to successful co-washing is following a few basic rules:

  1. Do not use conditioners or co-wash products that have silicones in them they will cause build up.
  2. Rinse hair thoroughly before you start
  3. Apply product from root to tip on thoroughly wet hair
  4. Massage scalp to loosen and remove dirt and oil, DO NOT BE LAZY, you will need to do this for at least a couple of minutes if you want to have a clean scalp
  5. Rinse completely with warm water and then with cold (cool) water to seal the hair shaft.

WARNING: the majority of people that co wash find that occasionally washing with a sulfate free shampoo helps avoid build up caused by long term co-washing.  Knowing how often to use a gentle shampoo is an issue of trial and error. Some people only do this monthly, while others need to do it more frequently.

Keep in mind that detox for your hair will take time and it is a process. You may go through several stages including dry hair or hair that feels a bit oily. This may last several days to two weeks, but after your detox is finished you will have stronger hair and more manageable hair along with increased hair growth.


Look for recipes and special treatments in Hair Detox Part II - A Little Extra TLC for Your Hair.

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