When it comes to buying hair care products, many consumers are swayed by good marketing. Those commercials and ads with gorgeous women swinging thick, shiny locks over their shoulders can convince almost anyone that a product that can transform their hair into something they can be proud to show off should work for ‘me’ as well.
Traditional shampoos and conditioners are convenient to purchase, usually fairly inexpensive and sometimes even claim to include natural ingredients. Unfortunately, a quick look at the label often shows otherwise.
Hair care products are some of the least regulated consumer products in the U.S. and some of their ingredients aren’t even disclosed. Many include parabens that are known to be hormone disrupters and environmental/potential human carcinogens or phthalates which are immune system toxicants that impact the reproductive system – in addition to a host of other chemicals.
Commercial hair care products typically leave the hair coated with plastic from silicone derivatives as well. Synthetically caring for your hair can have significant side effects, especially with the toxins building up in the body over time.
If you’ve been using anything but all-natural hair care products, your hair is probably crying out for a detox. Note: Dr. Bronner’s makes some great products in this regard – and we want to give them a particular shout out given their strong support of Initiative 522 in Washington state calling for GMO labeling.
The goal of detoxing is to get rid of all of the crud that builds up on the hair and scalp after many years of using most shampoos and conditioners. A detox will allow you to switch to a completely natural plant oil-based cleanser and conditioner in order to enjoy a truly healthy scalp, naturally beautiful and shiny hair, without poisoning yourself and the environment.
Keep in mind that modern shampoo wasn’t even introduced until the 1930s; before that, shampoos were made up entirely of natural oils. A detox requires using no commercial hair care products whatsoever for several weeks. As your hair follicles begin to unclog, natural oils will also start to flow, meaning your hair will feel oiler during this time.
It can take 3 to 4 weeks for this to calm down, so it does require at least some patience. While this stage can be difficult, wearing your hair up in a ponytail can make it a bit easier (assuming you have long enough hair of course).
Just remember that in the scheme of things, it’s not a long period of time to have to put up with less than desirable hair, especially considering the long term benefits.
To speed up the detoxification process, consider using a detox hair mask and shampoo with an all-natural homemade shampoo using the recipes that follow.
Detox hair mask
- ½ cup bentonite clay powder
- ½ cup aloe vera gel
- ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 additional cup apple cider vinegar
Blend the bentonite clay, aloe vera gel and ¼ cup of the apple cider vinegar together and work into the hair; allow it to sit for about half an hour and then rinse with one cup of apple cider vinegar, allowing to sit for 1 to 3 minutes. Next, shampoo your hair by utilizing the following recipe.
Natural homemade shampoo
- ¼ cup organic coconut milk
- ⅓ cup liquid castile soap, such as Dr. Bronners
- ½ teaspoon vitamin E oil
- 20 drops of essential oils as desired, such as peppermint, lavender, rosemary, or a combination of these
- Combine all ingredients, shaking well to mix. Shake before each use.
Your health, your hair, and our planet will thank you for detoxing!
-The Alternative Daily