Have you ever clarified your hair? Or better yet, do you know why you should clarify your hair? I ask this because before I went natural I only ever clarified my hair a handful of times and I didn’t even know I was doing it. Maybe this happened to you too.
Why Do You Need To Clarify Your Hair?
First of all, do you know what it means to clarify to hair? To clarify your hair means to remove all the product build up from your hair that accumulates over time. Why do you need to strip your hair of it? Well, let me ask you this, do you ever feel like your staple products don’t seem to work so well lately, or that your hair has lost its shine and is now looking a bit limp and dull, or even that it feels weighed down? If you said yes to one or more of these hair scenarios then you’re most likely to have product build up on your hair and you need to clarify it!
Product build creates a barrier on your hair strand that will deprive your hair of receiving proper moisture, you will also notice that your weekly deep conditioning treatments won’t feel as effective just as your other regular products. Don’t fool yourself thinking an extra hair wash a week will do the trick. Think again!
How Does Product Build Up Happen?
Product build up happens with the use of products that have silicone, mineral oil, petrolatum, waxes, vegetable oils and even natural butters. These are present in shampoos, conditioners, deep conditioners, hair serums, anti-frizz products, hair sprays and a big array of hair products. Additionally, washing your hair with hard water and swimming in a pool will also lead to deposits on your hair from minerals and chlorine.
It is very important to clarify your hair to remove all this “gunk” from your hair if you want your hair to thrive and be healthy. These deposits on your hair don’t come off with the use of your regular shampoo or co-wash cleanser. This is normally done with the use of a clarifying shampoo. These shampoos have greater cleansing properties, and fewer emollients to soften your hair and because of this, they are more drying than a regular shampoo for naturally curly hair.
If you think that the use of products with natural hair ingredients only calls for the need to clarify your hair from mineral and chlorine deposits, you are wrong. Vegetable oils and butters can also cause build up that needs to be removed. The difference is in the fact that these types of products use natural ingredients that foster moisture retention and its slow evaporation from the hair strand. Because of this, they deny the need to use clarifying shampoos full of chemicals so frequently.
Thus, why many naturals steer away from products featuring mineral oil, petrolatum or insoluble silicones such as dimethicone or amodimethicone. Nevertheless, even these naturals may occasionally stretch their hair with heat styling tools and for this, a heat protector with silicone is needed. In conclusion, clarifying your hair will always be needed, however, how many time you need to do it will vary.
How Many Times Should You Do It?
The number of times you clarify your hair will depend on the products you use and the number of times you use them. If you’re transitioning to natural hair, or you’re already a natural, and you use a lot of conventional hair products such as gels, hairsprays, hair mousses, serums, conditioners/deep conditioners with silicone, mineral oil and petrolatum you probably need to clarify your hair two times a month. If, on the other hand, your products use natural ingredients you might only need to clarify your hair once a month or once every six weeks.
Please don’t take this indication as a general rule, each hair will be different and you need to pay attention to how your hair responds to the use of your products. Depending on this, your will either need to increase or decrease your clarifying sessions.
What Can You Use To Clarify Natural Hair
As previously mentioned, a regular shampoo won’t remove build up from your hair, you need to use a clarifying shampoo and these can be easily found. Almost every brand of hair products has these shampoos and you can find them at your local store signalled has clarifying, purifying or deep cleansing. Another option would be to use a baking soda or apple cider vinegar mixture.
Make sure to always use a good conditioner after your clarifying session and follow with a moisturising deep conditioner. Clarifying leaves your hair feeling and looking dry, so those with naturally curly hair, who are already prone to dryness and breakage, will need to be careful and replenish the hair with emollient and moisturising ingredients.
Have you clarified your hair? How often do you do it? What products do you use?