How to Detox Your Hair
Written by Nicola Moulton
19 Feb 2023
So why should you detox your hair? Well, if you use styling products on a regular basis, work out, go swimming, live/work/commute to and from a city or any combination of the above - it may be that the sebum atop your scalp is clinging on to some dirt, grim, sweat, pollution or styling product build-up longer than you’d like.
When this build-up occurs, excess sebum can cling on to your scalp for longer, causing hair to look dull and lifeless. So detoxing your hair is really a two-pronged approach: first, deep-clean and wash away excess oils and impurities from your scalp, and second, refreshing and renewing your hair to bring its ‘bounce’ back.
Using a dedicated detox shampoo once or twice a week is a great idea to keep hair and scalp clean and happy. It will help to smooth your hair’s cuticles (for shine), help draw out the oils and toxins (for volume) and strengthen and condition your hair (for body and bounce).
Hair Detox Ingredients to Look For
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple Cider Vinegar helps to smooth the hair's surface, prevents damage from frequent washing, reduces friction cuticle damage and boosts shine.
Activated Charcoal has detoxifying benefits and helps to gently draw out oil, dirt, toxins and impurities from the scalp and hair.
Morina Seed Peptides
Morina Seed Peptides protects hair against environmental pollution stress and gives a conditioning and strengthening effect on normal and damaged hair.
Use only a small handful of detox shampoo and massage in well
How to do a Detox Wash
Take a small handful of your detox shampoo and massage into wet hair and scalp. The key is to be vigorous but not too vigorous. You want your scalp to feel like it’s had a really good massage, but don’t be so over-enthusiastic that you over-stimulate your scalp and cause irritation.
Use the soft pads of your fingers (not fingernails) and use small, circular movements, all over your scalp. Keep doing this for 2-3 minutes until your entire scalp and head of hair has a rich lather.
Rinse thoroughly, making sure the water is not too hot (cooler is fine, if that’s your preference).
After rinsing, follow with a hair conditioner or intensive nourishing treatment. This step is all about putting the moisture back.
Start at the mid-lengths and work through to the ends, leaving on for a good few minutes to allow the warmth to help activate the ingredients and help them really penetrate the hair shafts.
It’s fine to use your usual styling products afterwards, but if you can go without for this wash, then the results of your detox will last that bit longer - so night-time is often a good time to do your detox wash.
What Happens Next?
You can go back to using your usual shampoo and conditioner from the next time you wash - and of course, drying and styling your hair as normal. Your hair will probably feel so beautifully soft, light and refreshed that you’ll be tempted to make your detox shampoo your regular one - but avoid the temptation. Over-stripping will leave your hair just as lifeless as hair with build-up.
Don't make your detox shampoo your regular shampoo to avoid over-stripping your hair
Stick to once or twice a week, and consider introducing a few other damage-limitation things, too - like turning down the heat on your hairdryer, or only blow-drying to 80% dry, or not wearing your ponytail too tight (it can pull on the hair follicles) or having the water too hot in the shower.
A silk pillowcase could also be good, to help regulate your scalp’s temperature as you sleep. As the old saying goes - you should treat your hair like you do your silk shirts (delicate washing, careful drying, kid-glove treatment wherever possible), so why not sleep on silk, too?
The Dr Markey Edit
3 Feb 2023