Gorgeous hair is our crowning glory. We leave no stone unturned to make our hair look silky, shiny, and voluminous. There are a number of choices like heat styling, chemical treatments, expensive hair care products, etc., which help us achieve our dream tresses. But do you know that they can do more harm than good to your hair? In fact, if you have natural ‘untouched’ hair, you can still find it sad and lifeless. Suffering from the same? Well, it is all because of the clogged and unhealthy scalp. So, if you want to give your limp and dull hair a significant boost of health and shine, you have to clarify your scalp as well as your hair. There are many synthetic clarifying shampoos available in the market and some of them are actually effective. However, we will talk about some simple natural solutions that can be prepared at home easily. Let us know about 3 recipes of DIY clarifying shampoos for natural hair and everything else about them.
What Is Natural Hair?
Natural hair is essentially the type of hair that has not undergone any artificial alterations. In other words, it is the hair, which has never been treated chemically. Such hair usually ranges from wavy to kinky-coily (straight natural hair is pretty rare) with lots of differences in the texture and growth patterns. Natural black hair is drier and fragile than other types of hair. It is extremely difficult to over-condition and hence, frequent conditioning or moisturizing can cause damage to such hair. However, natural hair is highly versatile and a huge variety of styles can be tried on it (1).
Pressed hair is considered natural even after being processed by heat as its texture automatically returns to the unaltered state right after washing.
What Is A Clarifying Shampoo?
Though clarifying the scalp is not any specialty hair treatment, it is surely a vital step to prepare your mane for something new. While traditional shampoos are good for regular cleansing of the scalp and the hair, clarifying shampoos are essential for deeper and more effective cleansing. These heavy-duty shampoos cut through the buildups on the scalp and leave it as well as the hair squeaky clean. But what does contribute to their hardcore cleansing ability? Well, though clarifying shampoos contain 80-90% of water just like other hair cleansers, they have heavy surfactants as active ingredients that eliminate grease, impurities, and product residue. Some of the most common surfactants present in commercially available clarifying shampoos include ammonium-sodium lauryl sulfate, chlorides or bromides, cetyl-fatty alcohols, etc. However, it is always good to skip such chemical formulations and prepare your own clarifying shampoo at home with natural ingredients (2).
Homemade clarifying shampoo recipes will not only make your hair free from buildups but also turn it softer, smoother, bouncier, and more voluminous.
Why Use Clarifying Shampoos On Natural Hair?
Now, you must have been wondering how clarifying shampoo is even relevant to natural hair that has never gone any kind of heat or chemical treatment. Well, natural hair can also get affected due to poor scalp health, which is often resulted from buildups. Excessive production of sebum, too much use of hair styling products, frequent application of dry shampoo, and residue from your regular shampoo and conditioner can cling to your scalp and give you buildups. It has even been found that hard water, dirt, and dust can also make your freshly-washed hair look heavy and limp. And all of these are damaging to the health of your tresses. Hence, it is important to break up with those sneaky culprits and bid goodbye to that ickiness with a good clarifying shampoo.
3 DIY Clarifying Shampoos For Natural Hair
Now, here is a compilation of simple and easy homemade clarifying shampoo recipes that will not only make your natural hair free from buildups but also turn it softer, smoother, bouncier. Check them out:
1. Baking Soda Clarifying Shampoo With Acid Rinse
When it comes to clarifying natural hair, nothing can beat the power of baking soda. This is the most basic recipe for a clarifying shampoo that you can ever try at home and it is as easy as 1-2-3! The recipe is basically divided into two parts and we have described each part separately:
Part 1: Baking Soda Shampoo
- Baking soda – 2 tablespoons
- Warm water – 2 cups (for preparing the mask and rinse)
- A mild shampoo – 1 tablespoon (for preparing the shampoo)
- Apple cider vinegar – 2 teaspoons (optional)
Pour the shampoo onto your palm and add baking soda to it. Mix well and apply to your scalp. Massage for a few minutes. Let it sit for 10 more minutes. Then, shampoo your hair with your favorite herbal shampoo (or any other shampoo that is mild on your hair) and plain cold water.
There are also other ways to prepare and use this hair clarifying mixture. You can use it as a mask or a rinse. Given below are the details:
- As A Mask – Pour baking soda into a mixing bowl. Add warm water and keep stirring until a smooth paste is formed. If you want to add ACV, add it at this step and blend well. Apply the mask all over your scalp and hair. Massage the scalp gently for 5 minutes, wait for the next 10 minutes and then, wash off with plain water. Adding ACV to the mixture will generate lather and help you get a foamy wash.
- As A Rinse – Take an empty spray/applicator bottle and spoon baking soda into it carefully. Add warm water to dissolve the baking soda completely and ACV (if desired) to make a lather. Shake the bottle well with its lid closed in order to mix all ingredients properly. Now, flip your hair, dampen it a little, and pour the mixture over it. Work it through your scalp as well as locks by using your fingers. Leave it on for 10-15 minutes. Then, rinse off thoroughly with tepid water followed by plain cold water.
Part 2: Acid Rinse
The bad part of a baking soda mask/rinse/shampoo is that it is alkaline. It can strip natural oils off your tresses and make them dry, dull, and frizzy. Hence, it is of utmost importance that you balance the high pH of baking soda with an acid rinse right after clarifying your hair. Here are a few choices:
1. Diluted Apple Cider Vinegar
Mix 1 teaspoon of raw apple cider vinegar with 2 to 3 cups of water and rinse your hair with it.
2. Diluted Lemon Juice
Squeeze out the juice of a large lemon into 3 cups of water and give your hair a good rinse with it. It works wonders for colored hair.
3. Aloe Vera Juice
If the smell of ACV or lemon bothers you, prepare an aloe rinse by combining 2 tablespoons of fresh aloe vera juice with 2 cups of water and use it a final rinse.
4. Citric Acid
Add 1 tablespoon of citric acid crystals to 2 cups of boiling water and wait until they dissolve completely. Rinse your hair with this concoction.
Read Also – 8 Sure Shot Ways To Fix Greasy Hair Instantly
2. Bentonite Clay Clarifying Shampoo
Using a bentonite clay mask is not only good for eliminating scalp buildups but it also helps in nourishing our scalp and improves our hair health substantially.
- Bentonite clay – (1/2) cup
- Warm water – 3 to 4 tablespoons
- Apple cider vinegar – 1 tablespoon (optional)
Add warm water to bentonite clay and keep stirring. It should form a thick yet spreadable paste with no lumps in it. Add ACV and blend once again. Keep the paste aside and let it sit for half an hour. Then, apply it to your damp hair to cover the entire scalp as well as the hair strands. Prevent the mask from drying out by wearing a shower cap or wrapping a plastic wrap around your head. Rinse it off after 15-20 minutes and condition your hair as usual.
3. Dried Herb Clarifying Shampoo
Herbs like rosemary, thyme, etc. work as great natural hair clarifier. Moreover, they make the hair follicles stronger and promotes the growth of hair fibers.
- Dried herb (leaves of thyme/rosemary) – 4 to 5 tablespoons
- Distilled warm – 3 cups
Bring 2 cups of distilled water to a boil. Add dried leaves of herb to it and simmer for next 15 minutes. Strain the concoction and cool it down. Add the remaining water to it and stir well. Rinse your hair with this mixture right after shampooing.
Side Effects Of Clarifying Shampoos
As mentioned earlier, clarifying shampoos are much stronger than your go-to shampoos and hair cleansers. They purge your hair strands of every trace of oil and gunk. But overuse of these shampoos can turn your scalp dry and flaky as the powerful surfactants in them can end up stripping its natural oils away. As a result, your hair can become even more unhealthy, dull, and lifeless.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How Frequently Should I Use These Shampoos?
Clarifying shampoos are not an alternative to your regular hair cleansers. So, they should not be used too often. Use these shampoos occasionally, which can be once or twice every month. Otherwise, you can use them whenever you feel that your scalp needs a cleansing session.
How To Clean Natural Hair Without Shampoo?
Well, it is quite impossible to get rid of scalp buildups without using a clarifying shampoo. However, you can give it a good cleanse by embracing the goodness of baking soda and white vinegar. Mix a tablespoon of baking soda with 2 tablespoons of white vinegar and massage your scalp gently with it. Also, work it through the length of your hair and finally, rinse it off thoroughly.
Do Clarifying Shampoos Help Hair Grow Faster?
Clarifying shampoos have no direct effect on the growth rate of our hair. But they indirectly promote hair growth by enhancing the health of the scalp. They keep the scalp gunk-free and maintain the hair follicles in good shape, which stimulates the growth of hair strands to a great extent.
- “What Is Natural Hair? A Definition And In-Depth Look“, Byrdie.com
- “What Is Clarifying Shampoo?“, Healthline.com