Sometimes co-washing is not enough. Shampooing with a clarifying shampoo, using an ACV rinse or a detoxifying clay (like Bentonite Clay) monthly will rid your hair and scalp of build-up helping you achieve your goal of ‘long hair don’t care’.
In the natural world, we talk a lot about using gentle methods and gentle products because in general, hair that is curly or kinky curly responds well to these two processes. Many people avoid clarifying products at all costs and this is actually a good thing as these type of products are designed to fully strip off any oil on hair.
This doesn’t mean that clarifying products do not have their uses, they actually are quite useful in getting rid of build up and creating a clean surface on hair.
Here are 5 instances when a clarifying shampoo may come into play:
1. You intend to switch to using milder products (sulfate free/silicone free)
If you have made a decision to start using milder products such as sulfate free shampoo or silicone free conditioner, you may get a better result with these milder products if your hair is completely clean to start with. This is especially true if you have been a regular user of silicone based styling products (serums, gels).
Using a clarifying shampoo to get rid of any deposits on your hair from your previous styling products and any dirt attached to the oil allows your hair to be able to work more effectively with the mild products. Immediately starting to use a mild shampoo may not be a good idea as it may not be able to effectively clean the hair to allow the mild conditioner to work well.
2. Build up: You see residue (whitish) on your scalp after washing
A very clear sign of build up is a whitish residue on the scalp (usually clear at the temple/forehead area) immediately after rinsing off shampoo and conditioner. This residue is a sign that the wash has not been effective and therefore a clarifying shampoo would help to ensure that the scalp and hair get properly clean.
3. Build up: Your hair is getting progressively drier and no longer responds to conditioning or moisturizing products
Another sign of build is that hair no longer responds to conditioning/moisturizing products AND it is getting drier. The reason for the AND in capitals is that some people can experience a switch where their hair stops wanting moisturizing products as it can stay moist on its own. This is often due to adopting products and a washing routine that suits the hair.
However, the case for build up is made when you are following your normal routine (for example 1 weekly shampoo and conditioner and a mid-week co-wash) and that work for months but suddenly you find yourself needing to co-wash every other day for the same result. It is possible that a clarifying wash will help to get rid of any build up that may hinder your products from getting their full effect as happened several months back.
4. You have been strictly co-washing
If you have been strictly co-washing for a while and you use styling products such as oils, moisturizers, and gels, you are at risk of getting build up as conditioner is not really an effective long-term cleanser. Performing a clarifying wash every so often helps to prevent build-up formation.
5. You are a heavy oil user
If you are using a lot of oil (oiling hair daily, regularly using heavy butters and oils e.g shea butter, castor oil, doing regular oil rinses/hot oil treatments etc.) or have naturally oily hair, you may find that mild shampoos simply are not able to clean your hair sufficiently.
Some people are able to skip out on using conditioner as a result and therefore avoid build up. However, if your hair needs conditioner, you may find that without the occasional clarifying shampoo, you may develop build up issues.
How to do it
The only thing you have to do is to buy a clarifying shampoo and use it every 2 weeks, monthly or as needed. If you’re not a fan of clarifying shampoos, using an apple cider vinegar rinse every 2 weeks or monthly can help you clarify your hair. You can also use bentonite clay to fully detox your hair and scalp, every 2 to 4 weeks.
The AVC and Bentonite Clay are more natural alternatives that the shampoo and you may need to try them 3 to see what works better for you.
But remember not to use this too often or you could suffer serious dryness issues.
Here’s a List of Clarifying Shampoos for Natural Hair:
– Ouidad Superfruit Renewal Clarifying Cream Shampoo
– SheaMoisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Shampoo
– Kinky Curly Come Clean Natural Moisturizing Shampoo Sulfate Free
– Eden BodyWorks Jojoba Monoi Moisturizing Shampoo
– Eden BodyWorks Peppermint Tea Tree Clear Shampoo
Ladies, how often do you do clarifying shampoos? How do you know when your hair needs to be clarified?
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