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23rd January 2015

CLARIFYING NATURAL HAIR

Hey guysssss!!

I hope you (and your hair) are doing well! I wanted to come at you guys with a pretty important topic today: clarifying natural hair (by clarify, I mean a proper deep clean of your hair). It is SO important to clarify your hair. No one wants to have gross, dirty hair with lots of build up. Also, having tons of build up and dirt on your scalp can literally hinder growth because the dirt etc can clog your pores and stop the hair from growing. You also don’t want to have an itchy scalp, which may lead to dandruff and other scalp conditions. As you know, many naturals, including myself, only clarify once a month or so in order to avoid having dried out hair (obviously the frequency with which people clarify changes from person to person). So I’m gonna tell you when you need to clarify your hair and how you can do so!

When to clarify your hair
There is no particular time scale for when you should clarify your hair but I can tell you what to look out for that will tell you when you need to (if that makes sense lol!):

  • Before you put in a long-term protective style – you should clarify at this time because protective styles can cause build up due to the fact you are often adding lots of products to moisturise the hair. You want to make sure your hair is clean before in order to gain maximum health and growth.
  • If your hair stops responding to products – sometimes, the reason your hair stops responding to your favourite products is simply because your hair is dirty and overloaded with product. Give your hair a deep clean and try those products again!
  • When you can actually feel the build up or your scalp gets itchy – sometimes, when I haven’t clarified in a while, my scalp feels greasy and itchy and my hair feels weighed down and limp. CLARIFY!! You don’t want to be walking around with greasy, dirty hair and an itchy scalp!
  • When you use products with mineral oil – in the natural hair community, mineral oil is seen as pretty much a big NO NO!! To be honest, it does have its benefits (I can do a post on it later) but, generally speaking, it’s not great. However, mineral oil is designed to seal in moisture and block out excess moisture, therefore it forms a barrier on the hair. If your leave in/moisturiser has mineral oil, you will need to clarify more often to ensure that your hair doesn’t get dried out.
  • If you’ve been swimming a lot – we all know that the chlorine in pools is NOT good for your hair! This is why it’s so important to wash your hair properly after swimming to ensure the pool chemicals get washed out properly (speaking of swimming, I will do a post on how to care for natural hair in the summer – so when you’re swimming, in the sun etc)
  • If you work out a lot – now this one is 50-50 for a lot of naturals. Some people find that the more they work out, the more they need to clarify whilst others don’t have an issue. The problem usually arises because, when you work out, you sweat. Sweat has salt in it. Salt dries out your scalp. And also, who likes sweat just lingering about on their hair?? I certainly don’t! TIP: if you don’t want to clarify properly, a good alternative is to mix a few drops of peppermint essential oil with a light oil (e.g. jojoba oil, almond oil) and massage into your scalp. The peppermint oil will help to clean your scalp.
How you can clarify
There are obviously many ways to clarify but, obviously, I can only recommend what I have tried:
  • Sulphate-free shampoo – as you guys know, you should try to find a sulphate-free shampoo. For the vast majority of people, sulphates dry their hair out! You want to clean your hair – not strip it of all moisture! AND REMEMBER, when using shampoo, apply it to the SCALP and massage gently. When you rinse it, it will clean the rest of the hair. Pleaseeee don’t put shampoo on your ends!! I’m begging you lol!
  • Apple Cider Vinegar – this happens to be my favourite way to clarify! ACV helps to clean the hair whilst restoring shine and bounce to your strands. It also alleviates an itchy scalp. I usually mix equal quantities of water and ACV in a spray bottle and spray allll over wet hair, focusing on the scalp. I then give myself a quick massage and then leave on my hair for about 20-30 minutes. I rinse, deep condition and carry on! TIP: the ACV and water mix can also be used as a facial toner – it helps to fade acne scars!
  • I know there are people who try using baking powder, clay etc to clarify – I’ve personally never tried these so I can’t recommend them but I may decide to switch it up and try one day! If any of you have, let me know!
So there we have it! I hope that was helpful. Just remember to try to keep your hair clean. The frequency with which you clarify is up to you – it’s your hair!
Please email me or comment below with any questions! Share this post on social media! Follow on Instagram and Twitter!
Tara xXx

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