How To Detox Your Hair

Heather Dessinger

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Got Gunk?

If you’re new to using homemade shampoo, there a few things you need to know before getting started. First, store bought shampoos usually have a pH level of around 5-6, which closely matches your hair’s natural pH. While this is a good thing, it is most often achieved using toxic surfactants such as sodium lauryl sulfate.

Most homemade shampoos, on the other hand, are soap rather than surfactant-based. Soap has a much higher pH, which can leave hair dull and gummy. Fortunately it’s very simple to restore your hair’s natural pH (and therefore shine and smoothness) after washing– simply follow with the shine boosting rinse listed below!

Another consideration when transitioning to natural shampoo is the use of silicone in many commercial brands. Silicone coats the hair much like plastic to give it slip and shine. Unfortunately this can make the transition from commercial to homemade formulas can be a bit difficult.

Your hair will need to detox – a process that can take up to a few weeks depending on the types of product previously used. During this process hair can feel very dry and tangle easily. As the follicles shed the coating they will begin to be able to drink in moisture, but this can take time. There are a few ways to speed up the process, though . . .


Detox Hair Mask

  • 1/2 cup bentonite clay powder (where to buy bentonite clay)
  • 1/2 cup aloe vera gel
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 additional cup apple cider or regular vinegar

Instructions: Mix bentonite clay, aloe vera and 1⁄4 cup apple cider vinegar together and work into hair. Put on a shower cap and allow to sit for 20-30 minutes. Don’t let the mixture dry! Rinse thoroughly. Rinse with 1 cup vinegar and allow to sit for 1-3 minutes, then shampoo. Follow with shine boost rinse or detox hair soak.

Detox Hair Soak

Fill up the bath tub and add:

  • 1 cup sea salt
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 cups of naturally extracted baking soda

Lie down and let your hair soak for 10 minutes, massaging scalp occasionally. Follow with shine boost rinse.

Shine Boost Rinse

  • ¼ – ½ cup apple cider vinegar or distilled white vinegar and enough filtered water to bring vinegar mixture to 3/4 cup.*
  •  8 drops essential oil (optional) – rosemary and peppermint work well for most hair types.

To Use: Mix ingredients in a mason jar or wide-mouth cup. Pour enough over hair to saturate and allow to sit for 2-3 minutes, then rinse. Cool water is best because it helps the hair cuticle close, but warm is okay.

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Heather is a holistic health educator, herbalist, DIYer, Lyme and mold warrior. Since founding in 2009, Heather has been taking complicated health research and making it easy to understand. She shares tested natural recipes and herbal remedies with millions of naturally minded mamas around the world.