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If you have been reading my posts on natural hair care , you are likely trying to make a switch to a natural hair care routine. If so, that also means you are likely going through a nasty period of time with your hair, that feels endless and for some can be enough reason to quit and go back to your old hair care routine. Have you been wondering why, since you've made the switch from conventional shampoos and hair care products to natural herbal hair care, your hair has gone from fab to flab? That my dear is what we call the detox process, and for 99.9% of your making the switch to natural and no-poo hair care routines, you will most definitely experience at least a shortened version.
My hair is going to do what???
During the detox process, your hair and scalp will be shedding itself of the build-up from all of the products you have used. While you go through your detox, your hair will shed itself of all of the plastics, -cones, and toxic chemicals that have built up over time. Because everyone's hair is different and the amount and type of damage can vary, there are three basic detox responses that your hair may go through when detoxing. You may only go through one detox symptom, or all three of them, over the course of your detox, but know that it is normal and a part of the process while your scalp and hair readjusts and regulates the oil production cycle.
- Your hair feels sticky, heavy, matted, and/or tangled – This is a common detox symptom. When your hair and scalp releases all of the chemical build-up, all of the plastics from your previous hair care products stick to just about anything they can touch, including your hair.
- Your hair and scalp feel extremely oily – If your hair is extremely oily, it's because your scalp is used to being stripped of its oils constantly and overproduces oil to compensate. Once your scalp readjusts itself, this will go away. If you slip up, and use a shampoo with sulfates in it, you will basically shock your scalp and go through detox again, experiencing the oil once again.
- Your hair feels dry, rough, and brittle – All of the damage that I did to my hair with conventional hair dyes, hair straightening products, and sulfate shampoos, reared its ugly head when I first switched over. My hair was uber dry, brittle, and felt rough to the touch. When you start shedding all of the silicones from your hair, you begin to see the true nature of the damage that has been done over time. It is imperative to get into a brushing routine in the evening, at least a couple times a week. Brush from the back/base of your skull and brush your hair down from there, spreading the natural conditioner that your scalp produces. This also helps to stimulate the scalp for more hair growth as well.
You can speed up the detox process…
Depending on how much abuse your hair has gone through over time, your detox period can vary anywhere from 2 weeks to 2 months! I myself experienced an entire 2 month detox period because I had put my hair through the ringer, as far as commercial dyes and products are concerned. If you get impatient and try to shampoo your hair with your old shampoo, you might have to restart the detox process. I know just how tempting it is, because right when I was ready to give up, my hair FINALLY regulated itself. While going through such a long detox period, I worked on hair masks that i could use to speed up the process of detoxing. My Henna Hair Mask works really well to help a little bit with the detoxing, but I found a good clay mask works REALLY well to speed up the detox process by lifting heavy metals and other toxins from the hair follicles, scalp, and oil glands. If you don't have the ingredients on hand to make your own or just don't have the time, Morroco Method makes a fabulous clay detoxifying hair mask JUST for this purpose, called the Zen Detox Hair & Scalp Therapy.
Herbal Goddess Detoxifying Mud Hair Mask
It's important that you do not use anything with metal when making this recipe. Bentonite clay has a negative charge to it and metal will cancel out this, making it not as effective. The herbs chosen here are to help soften, smooth, and repair the hair. The lemonbalm and nettle are both great astringents for oily sticky hair helping to remove toxins from hair and scalp. Some people have to work up to 30 or 60 minutes when detoxifying their hair. It is usually best to start with 15-30 minutes your first round, and up the time with each subsequent round of treatment. Do this treatment once a week for three weeks in a row, upping the amount of time each time.
- 3/4 cup bentonite clay (you can substitute or rhassoul clay)
- 1 Tbsp. horsetail, finely ground
- 1 Tbsp. marshmallow root, finely ground
- 1 Tbsp. lemonbalm, finely ground
- 1 Tbsp. nettle, finely ground
- Using NON-metal utensils and bowl, combine ingredients and store in an air-tight jar (with a plastic lid).
- Using NON-metal utensils and bowl, combine 1/4-1/2 cup herbal clay mixture (depending on how much hair you have) with 2-6 Tbsp. distilled water until you reach a mixture that is spreadable but not drippy.
- Apply mixture to your hair, cover with a shower cap to keep the heat in, and leave on your hair 15-60 minutes but don't let it dry out. The longer you leave on your hair, you can spritz with distilled water or hydrosol every so often, to keep it from drying out. If you let the mask dry out, you risk making your hair brittle.
- Rinse hair completely clean and follow with an apple cider vinegar rinse. (My own apple cider vinegar rinse is 1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar, 1 Tbsp. aloe vera gel, and water to fill)
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