As you now clarifying and chelating agents are used to remove product build up and hard water minerals that accumulate on the cuticle layer of the hair. The film that it creates around the hair prevents all moisture from getting in, thus making the hair dry and eventually leading to breakage. That is why you need to clarify your transitioning or natural hair (read Why You Should Clarify Natural Hair). However, how often you do it will vary since some people create more build up than others using the same products. Some may use a clarifying shampoo every month while others every 6 or 8 weeks. That is why you need to know when it’s time to use a clarifying Shampoo on your curly hair.
We all now that using a clarifying shampoo is drying for natural hair and should be kept to the minimum necessary. However, there are occasions when clarifying is the only thing to do to achieve the results you want with your hair. Let me list some situations when clarifying your hair can actually be the best thing you can do.
1| New Hair Regimen/Method
When starting a new hair regimen or hair care method, your hair will need time to adjust to all the new changes you’ll be implementing. It’s quite normal to feel like things ain’t working before you start to notice positive changes in your hair. Clarifying your hair before you start a new hair regimen or method will allow you to have a quicker assessment of whether it is working or not as your hard will be clear of build up and water minerals. It’s like starting with a blank canvas.
2| Chemical Treatment
Whenever you colour, bleach, relax or even use henna on your hair it is always a good idea to use a clarifying shampoo a week or so before your appointment. Many times people complain about the hairstylist’s service or the dyes used when the hair is just covered in a “protective layer”. This is even truer when you have low porosity hair as it tends to resist to this type of hair procedures and products will often just stay on the cuticle layer (read How To Improve Hair Porosity). By deeply cleaning your hair the chemical treatment will work better and the results will be as expected.
3| Ineffective Deep Conditioner
Whenever your favourite deep conditioner suddenly doesn’t give you that moisturising feeling you expect from it then it’s probably time for a clarifying session. It is possible that the emollient, moisturising and conditioning ingredients in your deep conditioner are incapable of penetrating through a layer of product/chemical residue.
4| Lack Of Volume In Fine Hair
Fine hair can be easily weighed down by the use of a moisturiser or a vegetable oil without it necessarily being build up. However, if you notice that even after washing and changing products your hair is still lacking its normal volume then check your calendar as it might be time to deeply cleanse your hair.
5| Protein Treatment
It is always good to remove build up and hard water chemicals from your hair before a protein treatment. Do it a week before your protein treatment and follow with a rich moisturising deep conditioner. What is the point of doing a protein treatment like Aphogee and not get the full benefits for your hair because it can’t penetrate properly to reach the cortex of the hair? Whatever you do please don’t clarify and do your protein treatment on the same day, I wouldn’t advise it. It might be too drying for your hair.
When do you clarify your hair?