Have you ever wondered why, after regular treatments, shampoos and doing all the great things to your hair, it still isn’t reacting the way you want it to? It may just need a deep clean, which is a detox. Just like the rest of the body, when you detox it will reset your curls and restore the colour and strength.
It doesn’t matter what type of hair you have; all your strands have three layers. Unlike straight hair, curly afro hair needs to be kept moist, to keep the bonds between each curl springy enough so that the hair does not become brittle and break. The hair can only take in so much product, but sometimes it gets overloaded with different products and environmental toxins. Some of those products stick onto the hair and not even shampoo can remove it. Over time, if this product is left on the hair, the curl will not be as soft and your scalp will have a build-up of ingredients left on, even after a shampoo.
How do you know you need a detox?
You know when a detox is needed if your hair is not responding to a product, or if your curls are not bouncing back even after you have moisturised it. You may find your scalp begins to itch more than normal.
Moisturising shampoos deposit oils and add to the hair strand to keep it soft, so the detox will basically take all this away and somehow make your curls pop again.
Another thing that can happen is temporary hair loss and slight shedding. When the follicles, which are the pores in the scalp, are blocked it is basically blocking the hair from growing as freely as it wants to. This is what will lead to weaker strands.
One of the other reasons why it is particularly important to get rid of all the toxins from our hair and scalp is because when we exercise and then sweat, the toxins don’t disappear; they have to be taken away from the scalp. We wash our bodies every day, so bacteria and toxins do not build up on the skin as often as on our scalp. All the toxins from our body are expelled through the pores.
A detox will re-balance your hair and scalp; it will get rid of the build-up, which is suffocating your follicles. The more products you use, the more often you will need a detox, although it is better to do it once every six weeks or it can dry out your hair.
There are different ways to detox your hair and scalp, and they can start with gently detoxing, which you can do more often, or a very deep cleanse.
The different organic ingredients that you can use on your hair to gently remove all the necessary toxins are:
• Aloe vera
• Apple cider vinegar
All these ingredients will detoxify all the toxins away from your hair and scalp, and will leave your hair in an exceptionally soft state. You will see your curls bouncing again.
Aloe vera is the mildest detox, but it does the job of clearing the toxins.
Charcoal is remarkably effective; it can be mixed with water or aloe vera for best results.
Apple cider vinegar has many uses, but it will also pull the toxins from the scalp area. It is also great if it is used for a final rinse, if diluted with water.
If it is the first time, then you will have to leave whatever detox method in for at least 30 minutes. You may also need to gently massage the treatment in – especially if you have a dry scalp, or if you have a gentle form of psoriasis.
Keep away from non-natural cleansers, because the whole point of detoxing is to take the impurities away from your hair and scalp.
You will find a great scalp detox clay on www.afrohairgrowthchallenge. It comes with pumpkin and horsetail powder, which can be used in your conditioner or in your clay mix to strengthen your hair at the same time.
After doing all of this it is especially important that you rebalance the hair’s pH by applying a deep conditioner. If you can avoid putting conditioner on the scalp, then this will be great, as the conditioner will leave an invisible film on your scalp and all that effort you put into cleaning your hair will be pointless.
Full details of the different detox mixtures can be found in the easy-to-read book or Kindle version of 20 DIY Recipes for Curly Afro Hair on Amazon, or visit www.afrohairgrowthchallenge.com and register for the newsletter to get bonus tips.