Is your hair worn out and frazzled from the demands of modern life? Too much hairspray and daily straightener action? It’s time for a hair detox.
Why do we need a hair detox and scalp cleanse?
Treating your hair to a detox and your scalp to a good old cleanse is one of the best things you can do.
Basically, a scalp detox is the equivalent of a deep cleanse. Impurities and any hair product build-up, dead skin cells and dirt is removed. Meanwhile, your hair follicles are unclogged, which may help balance your natural oils and scalp pH levels.
Hair detoxes and scalp cleanses are great for giving hair a new lease of life, renewing hair follicles and encouraging healthy hair growth.1
How do I deep clean my scalp?
Are you guilty of rubbing some shampoo, followed by conditioner, on to your hair, rinsing it off, and away you go? This routine’s great for giving your hair a general clean, but it won’t give it a deep-down clean. Plus, your scalp often gets overlooked in the process too.
There are a fair few ways to clean your scalp.2 You can:
1. Massage your scalp
Rather than just plop your products on, really massage them (gently) into your scalp. This can help to improve blood flow, aid the natural process of hair growth and improve the overall condition of your hair.
2. Comb your scalp
Grab a brush and gently comb your scalp gently. In doing so, you’ll help remove the build-up of excess skin and dislodge any debris or dandruff.
3. Use an oil treatment
Massage it onto your scalp, leave it on for the required time, and then wash off to reveal a clean scalp and hair. (Note – steer clear of oil treatments if your hair is blonde and oily, as hair oils are more prone to building up).
How do you get rid of scalp build-up?
By using hair products that are suitable for your hair type (i.e. dry or oily), giving your hair a thorough wash on a regular basis, brushing your hair every day to prevent it from getting tangled, exfoliating and massaging your scalp.3
How can I naturally clarify my scalp?
Apply your own DIY baking soda shampoo to your hair
Mix 1 part baking soda and 3 parts lukewarm water to create a paste you then pop on wet hair for around 1 to 3 minutes.4
Give your hair an apple cider vinegar rinse
Drop a couple of tablespoons of apple cider vinegar with water. Shampoo and condition your hair, then pour the mixture over and work it into your scalp. Leave for a couple of minutes before rinsing out.5
8 natural scalp cleansers
Aside from baking soda and apple cider vinegar, other natural scalp cleansers include6:
- Wooden comb
- Tea tree oil
- Rice water
- Lemon juice
15 tips for looking after your hair
1. Ditch your straighteners
These magic wands may make your locks look lovely, but extreme heat is a hair care no-no. Straighteners and curlers can cause untold damage to the hair shaft, weakening it and causing breakage. Tresses begin to look puffy and dull, which triggers the urge to straighten further. It’s a vicious circle.
Try using avocados instead; the oil moisturises the scalp and promotes hair growth. Mash the flesh of one or two whole fruits and massage into your scalp through to the ends. Wrap your hair in a towel, then wash off after an hour.
2. Trim and detox
Dull, lifeless hair is often caused by product build-up. So once you’ve had a good cut, use a hair cleansing shampoo designed to remove residue, only the smallest blob of conditioner, then leave hair au naturel. Treat this as day zero for your mane.
3. Clean up your diet
A lack of protein can cause your hair to stop growing, as your body shifts follicles into the ‘resting’ stage to conserve this nutrient. Why not tuck into protein-rich nuts, seeds and pulses, such as lentils and chickpeas?
Eggs should also be on your menu at least twice a week for biotin, a B-group vitamin vital for the maintenance of normal hair. Eat spinach to support your levels of iron and zinc, both vital minerals for similar hair benefits.
4. Beyond the plate
When the sun’s shining, try and spend half an hour outside each day to get your dose of Vitamin D, which is thought to promote healthy hair growth. Cold and gloomy out? No problem – a Vitamin D supplement is a great booster on darker days.7
5. Massage your scalp
Firmly massage your entire head with your fingertips using small, circular movements for five minutes each day to boost hair thickness. Not only does this feel delicious (especially if you can persuade someone else to do it for you!), it boosts blood flow to the hair follicles, bringing a good supply of nutrients right where they’re needed and delivering, over time, a truly lustrous shine.
Other ways to give your hair some TLC
6.Wash your hair regularly
7. Use natural hair products
8. Leave your hair to dry naturally
9. Use a wide-toothed comb
10. Style your hair naturally
11. Get it trimmed regularly
12. Use pre-shampoo treatments
13. Apply hair masks
14. Use fabric hairbands instead of plastic ones
15. Protect your hair from the sun8
When it comes to looking after your hair, don’t forget about your scalp. Think about the products you’re using and giving your hair and scalp the regular TLC it deserves. Even something as simple as a gentle scalp massage or a quick apple cider vinegar rinse can go a long way. Look after your hair and you’ll really see the difference.
Now read: ‘Hair masks you can make at home.’
Last updated: 9 February 2021
Doaa Al Mosawi, Regulatory Affairs
After completing her BSc in Biomedical Science, Doaa worked in Research and laboratory for 3 years. Doaa was also a member of a product development team in a manufacturing company specialising in sun care and personal care products, researching and providing regulatory advice regarding international regulations.
Doaa is now an International Senior Regulatory Affairs Associate at Holland & Barrett.