Hair Detox: Signs You Need One & Recipes You Can Try At Home

Hair Detox: Signs You Need One & Recipes You Can Try At Home

Photographer: Erick Larregui | Source: Unsplash

Haven’t had a good hair day in a while, even with all the products and treatments you’ve been applying to your hair? That’s your hair’s way of saying it needs a restart, and a hair detox does just that!

What is a Hair Detox and Why Should You Do It

Hair detox is one of the most underrated yet essential treatments our hair needs to get a fresh start. Basically, hair detox helps remove all the dirt, grime, and product buildup that most of your hair care products left behind. If this layer of dirt is not removed, your hair will not benefit your hair care routine. Because the opening of your hair follicles is blocked, your hair can get brittle, new strands could stop sprouting, and worse, your hair can develop dandruff. A hair detox works to cleanse your scalp and remove this layer of gunk residing on your hair. If this layer of gunk is removed, your hair care products and treatments will work even better and let your locks grow healthy and strong. You can think of this hair detox as a deep-cleanse for your scalp and hair.

Regularly washing your hair won’t prevent the dirt, grime, and other chemicals from building up in your scalp, consequently damaging your hair. Even the shampoos, conditioners, and other hair care products you use add to the residue that builds up on your scalp. That is why, more than regular washing, your hair needs detox for deep cleansing and restoration.

Signs That Your Hair Needs a Detox

When was the last time you had your scalp detoxed? Or is this your first encounter with such a term? Your scalp, like your body, absorbs everything applied to it. Over time, these products, chemicals, and dirt buildup and destroy your scalp’s delicateness. Therefore, your hair needs a detox to remove all the unwanted and harmful toxins left behind your hair and restore its balance.

Still, wondering whether your hair needs it? Here are some signs your hair is due for a deep cleansing hair detox treatment:

You don’t wash your hair regularly.

With the adverse effects of regular washing of hair and in the face of dry shampoo and co-washing trends, most of us have seemed to neglect the idea of washing our hair daily. This practice of not washing your hair every day has short-term benefits for your hair health.

However, it is noteworthy that most shampoos contain a unique pH formula to cleanse your scalp of excess residues and buildup. Hence, if you continually skip washing your hair, your hair follicles may be clogged and may result in hair loss, thinning, and weakening your hair strands.

I’m also not saying that you should go back to regularly washing your hair because that also has adverse effects. I’m just saying that with this hair care setup, maybe it’s high time for you to incorporate a hair detox treatment into your hair care routine.

You’re starting to notice hair loss and thinning.

Hair loss and thinning is one sign that you have alopecia areata. However, suppose you are not suffering from alopecia areata. In that case, your hair loss and thinning can most likely be caused by oxidative stress. Yes, there can be many reasons for hair shedding. Frequently, however, it is mainly caused by the excess free radicals and a low number of antioxidants present in your body. This unnatural state causes imbalance leading to oxidative stress, which destroys human cells like hair follicles.

If you want to treat oxidative stress, you may want to reduce your exposure to free radicals. While you cannot wholly avoid free radicals present in the environment, you can take some measures to prevent oxidative stress like getting a hair detox, for instance. Detoxifying your hair removes the harmful chemicals and toxins in your scalp and refreshes your hair with antioxidants to restore balance and protection to your hair.

There’s a change in season.

Seasonal changes may trigger flakes to appear on your hair. If those flakes are not adequately exfoliated, they can build up on your scalp and clog your pores. Getting a hair detox will not only clear away the flakes but will also moisturize your scalp and restore it to its healthy state.

You live in an area where there are high levels of environmental toxins.

Living in a place with too much pollution can increase the risk of damaging your hair. No matter how frequent and hard you wash your hair, some toxic fumes and harmful substances just don’t go away by shampoo. Most of these chemicals also get into your scalp causing damage to your hair follicles and skin cells. Adding hair detox to your hair care routine can help eliminate the toxins that your shampoo cannot remove.

You frequently use hard-to-remove styling products.

If your hair feels dirty and waxy even after a shampooing, your styling products may be the culprit. These styling products help make your hair fancy and fresh for events, but they also leave out harmful residues that remain on your scalp. If these residues are not removed, it can cause dehydration and irritation to your scalp. And as we said, your shampoo and conditioner cannot altogether remove these residues. In fact, these products may even aggravate your hair problem if they are not entirely washed away.

If you hate the feeling of wax on your hair despite a wash, you may want to get a hair detox to get rid of that dirty feeling. Getting a scalp detox doesn’t just remove the toxin buildup on your hair that causes dullness and imbalance but provides antioxidants that help prevent oxidative stress to enhance your scalp function. Getting hair detox can also calm your scalp irritation, purifies your scalp of odor-causing bacteria, and promotes overall healthy hair growth.

Homemade Detox Recipes

After knowing the benefits of getting a hair detox, you may want to know how to properly clean your scalp slate after months of chemicals and treatments. Getting a hair detox may seem like a complex activity. However, most detoxing recipes are actually cost-effective and only use simple ingredients that you probably already have at home. Here are some detox recipes you may want to try out:

1. Make a Detox Mask

Like any other products you apply on your skin, always conduct a patch test before use and stop if it causes your skin unusual and severe irritation.


Apple cider vinegar. This ingredient is suitable for your hair because of its high vitamins C and B content. ACV is also anti-inflammatory, which can help buff away that dandruff.

Aloe vera gel. The proteolytic enzymes present in this gel can help rehabilitate the dead skin cells on your scalp. This aloe vera gel also functions as an excellent conditioner and helps prevent itching.

Bentonite clay powder. Bentonite clay powder is rich in minerals (e.g., silica, calcium, magnesium, sodium, iron, and potassium). This powder also takes in and purges clogged pores, heavy chemicals, impurities, and metals.

  1. Mix 1/2 cup each of apple cider vinegar, aloe vera gel, and bentonite clay powder.
  2. Spread the mixture throughout the hair and the scalp as well.
  3. Put on a shower cap or cover your hair with a towel for about 20-30 minutes, but don’t let the mixture dry out.
  4. Rinse with one cup of white vinegar for at least 1 to 3 minutes, and then use a clarifying shampoo.

2. Try an oil-based scalp massage

If you have a sensitive scalp or have tried on several hair treatments, an oil-based scalp massage may be the best detox method.

  1. Choose the oil based on what your hair needs.
  2. Dilute the oil if necessary.
  3. Massage the mixture deeply on your scalp for 15 minutes.
  4. Cover or wrap your hair and let it soak.
  5. Expose your hair to the sun to open up your hair’s pores.

Here are some of the oils and its benefits you can choose from based on your hair needs:

Coconut oil: Provides moisture to damaged hair

Argan oil: improves your scalp health and protects your hair against damage and loss.

Essential oils: serve as boosters to target acne, itching, or hair growth

Jojoba oil: Provides moisture to damaged hair and relieves itchy scalp

Mineral oil: adds shine and friction to your hair

Olive oil: provides moisture to thick, damaged, and processed hair

3. Create your own detox recipe

If you don’t like using clay or oils in your hair, don’t fret! There are many other natural ingredients you can use for your hair detox. Here are some natural recipes you can try out:

Baking Soda

1/2 cup baking soda
3 cups hot water

  1. Rinse your hair until thoroughly wet.
  2. Mix the baking soda in hot water.
  3. Pour the mixture through your hair.
  4. Lather and massage your scalp for a couple of minutes.
  5. Rinse and condition to seal the detox (Note: You can also use raw honey to condition your hair).

The warm water will help lift the cuticles present in your hair to allow for a deep cleanse. The baking soda functions to remove the oil buildup, battle dandruff, and remove the residues from your hair and scalp.

You can use this Baking Soda Detox method once a week or once every two weeks. Apply this method depending on how dry or oily your hair is.

Apple Cider Vinegar

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
2 cups of water

  1. Mix two cups of water with ACV.
  2. Shampoo and condition your hair.
  3. Pour the diluted ACV through your hair and do not rinse it further.


ACV functions to clean your hair without stripping away its natural oils. This method is one of the easiest ways to detoxify your hair. This method works best when you use the rinse after using all-natural and sulfate-free shampoos.

You can repeat its use once a week or once in two weeks.

Honey Shampoo

1 tablespoon raw honey
3 tablespoons of filtered water
Essential oils of your choice (optional)

  1. Mix honey with the water until it is well-combined.
  2. Wet your hair and apply the mixture.
  3. Apply first and concentrate on your scalp. Work your way down to the tips.
  4. Rinse off with lukewarm water.

Honey works to soften and moisturize your hair. You will find that after your initial transition period from chemical to honey shampoo, your hair will be in a healthier state and condition because of all the removed chemicals.

Unlike the other methods, you can always use honey shampoo every time you wash your hair.

Coconut Milk Shampoo

1/3 cup castile soap
1/4 cup coconut milk
2 capsules of vitamin E oil
15-20 drops of fragrant essential oil (optional)

  1. Mix the ingredients and store it in a shampoo or a pump bottle.
  2. Wet your hair and apply the mixture like your regular shampoo.
  3. Concentrate and apply first on the scalp. Work your way down to the tips.


This hair detox method contains a mixture that is rich in antioxidants and protein. The castile soap works as an effective cleanser to eliminate your scalp’s product buildup. You will see an apparent transformation of your hair after the initial transitioning process to chemicals to coconut milk shampoo.

Like your honey shampoo, you can use this shampoo as often as you use your regular shampoo.

Cucumber and Lemon

1 large lemon
1 medium-sized cucumber
Essential oils (optional)

  1. Peel and chop both cucumber and lemon into small pieces.
  2. Mix the ingredients with essential oil of your choice.
  3. Use this mix as you would your regular shampoo.

The citric acid present in your lemon helps clean your scalp while the cucumber soothes it. If you have an oily scalp, this is the perfect detox for you. This hair detox method eliminates buildup, dandruff, grease, and promotes healthy hair growth.

Use this shampoo as often as you use your regular shampoo.

What are you waiting for? Give your hair a detox treatment to cleanse and restore it to its natural and healthier state with these easy hair detox recipes. Embark on a healthier hair journey your scalp and locks will thank you for!