Do your curls need a scalp detox? Chances are, they probably do.
Hair products, chemical treatments, hard water, dead skin cells, pollution, and other environmental factors can quickly clog the hair follicles in your scalp. If left unmanaged, this could quickly lead to an increase in hair shedding and a decrease in hair growth.
Although regular cleansing can help rid your scalp of most oils, dirt, and product buildup, tighter curl patterns such as type 3 curls and type 4 curls can greatly benefit from an occasional scalp detox. Especially since tighter curls often require thicker and heavier products to maintain.
Your curls might need a detox if:
- You wash your hair twice a week or less
- You’ve noticed an increase in hair shedding or thinning
- You can feel product buildup on your scalp (even after cleansing it)
- You regularly wash with hard water
- You use products with silicones or other hard to remove ingredients
What Is A Scalp Detox?
Known by many names – a scalp cleanse, hair detox, or scalp detox – it’s imperative that you take the time to detox your scalp every four to six weeks. This means giving your scalp a deep cleanse through exfoliation to eliminate product buildup, dead skin cells, and an overabundance of oils. Both of which can lead to inflammation, a buildup of yeast on your scalp, and an increase in hair shedding.
While it’s important not to overdo it, adding an occasional scalp detox to your hair care routine helps to reduce pore clogging elements and rebalance the pH of your skin to give you happier, healthier hair. Detoxing your scalp also helps to remove odor causing bacteria and reduce your risk of scalp irritation.
How To Detox Your Scalp Naturally
A scalp detox can easily be done at home either using store bought scalp cleansers or by making your own homemade natural scalp detox. Scalp cleansers work by using either physical or chemical exfoliants to gently buff, cleanse, and rejuvenate your scalp.
Some examples of physical exfoliators include:
- Activated Charcoal
- Bentonite Clay
- French Green Clay
- Rhassoul Clay
- Nut Granules
A few of the most common chemical exfoliants (which are also often found in a number of skincare products) include:
- Acetic Acid (such as Apple Cider Vinegar)
- Bamboo Extract
- Citric Acid (AHA)
- Lactic Acid (AHA)
- Glycolic Acid (AHA)
- Neem Oil
- Rosemary Essential Oil
- Salicylic Acid (BHA)
- Tea Tree Oil
- Willow Bark Extract
The best way to detox your scalp is to use a variety of ingredients in combination with one another because they often have very specific purposes. For example, activated charcoal and clay work by absorbing the excess oils on your scalp while salt and sugar are used to scrub old skin cells away. Similarly, AHA’s (alpha-hydroxy acids) and BHA’s (beta-hydroxy acids) excel at unclogging pores and removing dead skin cells.
Top Scalp Cleansers
When looking for a good scalp cleanser, you want to focus on products which both cleanses and soothes your scalp. To start you off, we’ve gathered a few of our favorites from brands you know and love.
Without harsh silicones, sulfates, parabens, or phthalates, Briogeo Scalp Revival works by gently removing dead skin cells, excess oils, and product buildup from your scalp. You can use it either in place of your normal shampoo or before your regular cleansing routine. Briogeo also boasts a full range of products and treatments specifically geared toward reviving your scalp.
Designed to be used before your normal shampoo and conditioning routine, dpHUE’s ACV Scalp Scrub combines physical and chemical exfoliants to naturally detox your scalp while also soothing your skin and balancing your pH level. This scrub also includes other beneficial ingredients such as aloe vera and avocado oil. Plus, it’s color safe.
This clarifying scrub shampoo is great for all hair types and uses both physical and chemical exfoliants such as perlite and apple cider vinegar to gently detox your scalp. Curlsmith recommends using their scrub detox in place of your normal shampoo so that you don’t overstrip the beneficial oils on your scalp.
DIY Scalp Detoxes
At NaturallyCurly, some of our favorite DIY scalp detoxes include bentonite clay, french green clay, or rhassoul clay – most of which can be made using other common household ingredients such as milk, honey, and apple cider vinegar.
If you’re interested in making your own DIY scalp detox at home, you might want to check out our articles on detoxing natural hair with bentonite clay and charcoal and 10 of the best all-natural scalp cleansing ingredients.
Do you have a favorite scalp detoxer at home or a tried and true DIY recipe? Let us know in the comments!