I don’t think I’ve done a post on clarifying yet and I do it regularly now so I thought I should drop a line or two about it.
Firstly what is clarifying? It’s purpose is to remove chemical build up on your hair and scalp from hair products. Basically it’s a method of really cleaning your hair, regardless of your hair type (relaxed, straight or kinky). Trust me you will notice the difference when you touch your hair afterwards.
Generally fro care routines require the use of a lot of product (constant moisturizing and sealing, daily sprays, styling gels etc) so our hair becomes quite product loaded after a while, and heavy products leave residue which normal shampoos may not be able to get rid of effectively. In addition, most shampoos contain harsh, drying sulfates that are extremely damaging for kinky hair (ammonium laureth sulfate, ammonium lauryl sulfate, sodium laureth sulfate, sodium lauryl sulfate, etc.). They are often foaming agents that make curly hair frizzy and uncooperative.
Clarifying is also good for those who live in environments where there is a lot of dirt, dust and chemicals that can stick to your hair and for regular swimmers to get rid of the chlorine in the hair. Product residue or residue from other chemicals can encourage tangling, stiffness and breakage.
There are clarifying shampoos available however I have never bothered to look for any. They are usually more expensive than normal shampoos though. It is recommended that you clarify no more than twice a month because it can dry out the hair and make it brittle but for those of us who always deep condition I think you can clarify when needed. I’ve found some hair bloggers that prefer to cut out shampooing altogether in favor of co-washing and clarifying instead. If you clarify, you don’t need to shampoo however some (like me) prefer to do both at the same time (add a clarifying agent to a little shampoo). I think it’s to do with the suds, it just feels better when you see lather, it feels like you’re washing your hair 🙂
I tend to favour natural clarifying methods simply because they’re cheaper than buying clarifying shampoos. There are 3 natural ways of clarifying: baking soda (also called Bicarbonate of soda) , apple cider vinegar or lemon juice.
- Wet your hair first by rinsing it with warm water
- Mix 1 tablespoon of the soda/2 tablespoons vinegar with a cup of water and if you chose a little shampoo.Apply to your hair and work through as thoroughly as possible, then rinse. A stream spray bottle can be used to apply the liquid to the hair. As for the lemon juice method you add the juice of one lemon to an equal amount of conditioner, work it through your hair (comb through if needed) then rinse.
- Make sure you condition after clarifying. Even better if you can deep condition (leave the conditioner on for 30 mins or more).
I tend to use the baking soda method as a small sachet only costs 3 bucks or something like that. I use it whenever I feel my hair needs it which is usually twice a month or so. I also use it when I haven’t washed my hair in a while because I missed my wash day for whatever reason. My hair always feels squeaky clean afterwards and it’s definitely something that is a regular feature of my hair routine.