Let me just clarify!!!
So, you are all about the naturally fly life and you love to co-wash?! Me too! These tresses love them some moisture retention! But are you ensuring that you keep your scalp and hair free from the build-up of all those natural goodies…as well as all the ones that may not be so good?
Did you know that product and dirt build-up on your scalp can stunt your hair growth? Kiss those waist length goals goodbye if you are frequently leaving your hair follicles clogged up with grime.
Build-up generally appears as a whitish residue on the scalp and even when washing your hair it may not easily be removed without an adequate clarifying shampoo.
I will be sharing a few of my favourite ways to cleanse my hair and scalp, and I would love to hear from you as to what you have found/find works best. I cleanse my hair at least once a month, to every 6 weeks outside of my normal weekly co-wash routine.
Rhassoul Clay: currently still in my top 2 choices of hair cleansers. Clay is beneficial for the hair as it removes toxins and leaves you with shiny voluminous curls. Mix 3 heaped teaspoons with 2 tablespoons aloe vera juice and a little water to form a paste. Apply to the hair like a hair mask. Leave to sit for 10-30 minutes and then rinse well. Rhassoul acts as a natural cleanser and conditioner all in one, so you’re winning!
Castile Soap: I love to mix this with coconut milk and Apple Cider Vinegar (to reduce the pH of the castile soap). Adding ACV lessens the chance of your hair being left with a stripped feeling after the wash. Squeeze your normal shampoo amount into a travel sized bottle, add 3 tablespoons of coconut milk and a teaspoon ACV. Shake vigorously then apply to hair. Rinse well and apply conditioner as normal. If you’ve got any left save it for your next wash.
Sulphate free shampoo: so you may have heard that sulphates strip the hair of its moisture leading to dryness and in turn breakage. So what’s a girl to do? Check out the ingredients on the back of your shampoos and avoid those that list Sodium Lauryl Sulphate and Sodium Laureate Sulphate. NB: There are other formats, but this is the most common. Sulphate free shampoos are great to have on hand when you just wanna be in and out of that shower in under 15…no mixing!
ACV: this star helps rebalance the scalp and the hair’s pH. It soothes dry scalp and prevents dandruff. If you use ACV as your final rinse, you will notice that it smoothes the hair cuticle, leading to less tangles and shinier hair. In a travel bottle mix 1 part ACV with 4 parts water and use either as a final rinse after shampooing, or before washing your hair spray onto scalp and massage to loosen dirt.
Ayurvedic powders such as henna or amla. I’m more of a fan of amla than henna, but both are great. Amla is an indian fruit called a gooseberry and you may have heard of this oil due to its benefits for strengthening the hair. I use the powder form, because commercially this oil is generally mixed with a concoction of oils that may not be in their purest form. Amla has anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties, treats dandruff and other scalp conditions, as well as helping to prevent grey hair. You can use henna or amla similarly to rhassoul clay, by mixing about 2 tablespoons of amla or henna with a tablespoon of a nourishing oil like avocado or olive oil and a little water to form a paste. Apply as a hair mask to hair and rinse well. I love amla because it doesn’t have a harsh smell and it helps to promote hair growth.
African Black soap: you know those bars of soap your mum loves? Well kinky hair textures tend to respond well to it too. I love this mixed with some honey and coconut oil for added moisture. You can slice the bar of soap into about 10 pieces with a cheese slicer or sharp knife (safety first please!) and then crumble it into a bowl, add 4 tablespoons of coconut milk and 1 teaspoon of honey, then apply to your scalp in sections, massaging it in as you go. You will be left with squeaky clean hair. Apply conditioner or leave in conditioner as normal. Though black soap can be a little drying, the honey in this mixture acts as a humectant and locks in moisture; soothes dry scalp and helps prevent dandruff. Honey also has antibacterial properties, and helps to leave hair soft and shiny. Ooh yeah!
Clarifying shampoo: as these are made for removing dirt, grease and product build up, they can be stripping on the hair. Get your hair ready by doing a pre-poo (pre-wash treatment). Chose coconut oil or olive oil and apply thickly to your hair when dry. Leave on hair for 30 minutes to an hour and then shampoo your hair as normal. Rinse well and then apply a moisturising conditioner and leave in once you are styling your hair.
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