Signs You Need a Hair and Scalp Detox + How to Do It
Your scalp feels excessively oily and sensitive… or maybe it’s dry and flaky. And your hair just hasn’t been looking its best lately. You’ve tried changing up your routine, but you’re still not getting the results you’re looking for. What’s going on?
Beautiful hair starts with a healthy scalp. After all, your scalp is the foundation from which your hair grows. Unfortunately, your scalp is also prone to buildup, which can be a barrier to new hair growth and lead to adverse scalp conditions.
Performing a regular hair and scalp detox is the secret to growing longer, healthier hair and improving your scalp condition overall. Here are some common signs of scalp buildup, plus everything you need to know to detoxify and rebalance your hair and scalp at home.
What is a Scalp Detox?
A scalp detox is essentially a deep cleansing and rebalancing of the scalp to create a better environment for healthy skin and hair. It involves using a scalp cleansing treatment that’s formulated to remove residue from hair products, natural oils, dead skin cells, and hard water, followed by a nourishing scalp treatment that hydrates and promotes a healthy pH level and balances your scalp microbiome.
Signs You Might Need a Scalp Detox
So, how do you know you need a scalp detox? The following signs can indicate an excess build-up of product, oil, and residue, which can indicate that it’s time for a scalp detox.
- Your Scalp is Oily: An oily scalp can be a sign of an imbalance in the scalp’s microbiome. Imbalances often result in overactive sebum glands in the scalp, which promote the production of excess oil. The excess oil then attracts residue at the roots, leading to buildup which clogs the pores and hair follicles.
- Your Scalp is Itchy: An itchy scalp is often a sign of inflammation, which can be caused by a buildup of product or residue at the roots.
- You Have Flakiness or Dandruff: Flakiness and dandruff aren’t only undesired, but they’re also signs of an unhealthy scalp. Seasonal changes can also lead to a dry, flaky scalp and a detox helps restore moisture and balance.
- You Notice Increased Shedding or Fallout: If you’re noticing more fallout or shedding than usual, it may be time to consider a scalp detox. This can be caused by poor circulation in the scalp from excess build-up in the hair follicles.
- Your Scalp Has an Unpleasant Smell: If you notice that your scalp has an unpleasant odor, it could be a sign of inflammation caused by buildup. A healthy scalp shouldn’t have any smell.
- Your Scalp is Sensitive: If your scalp is sensitive or even painful, a scalp detox may help. Scalp pain can be caused by inflammation due to buildup in the hair follicles. However, if your scalp still hurts after a detox, it’s time to call your dermatologist, as it could be a sign of something more serious.
The Benefits of a Scalp Detox
The primary benefit of a scalp detox is that it removes excess buildup and rebalances the scalp. But there are many other potential benefits, too. They include:
- Reduced dryness, itchiness, and flakiness of the scalp
- Reduced scalp inflammation and sensitivity
- Reduced oiliness
- Improved hair growth
- Softer, shinier hair
- Fuller, thicker hair
- Improved hair manageability and easier styling
Best Ingredients for Detoxing and Balancing the Hair and Scalp
So, what should you be looking for when purchasing products for a scalp detox? You’ll need a clarifying or exfoliating shampoo to deeply cleanse and remove buildup, plus a nourishing scalp treatment to rebalance and hydrate the scalp.
When shopping for a scalp cleansing treatment, look for one or more of the following ingredients, depending on your needs.
- Physical or Chemical Exfoliants: Used to rid the scalp of buildup and unclog the hair follicles.
- Activated Clay or Charcoal: Used to absorb excess oil and dirt.
- Chelating Agents: Used to remove mineral buildup from hard water.
- Surfactants: Binds to residue so it can be rinsed away.
- Apple Cider Vinegar: Helps to remove buildup from the scalp and hair while promoting a healthy pH balance.
Then choose a nourishing scalp treatment, like our Honey Infused Scalp Treatment, which contains the following natural ingredients to promote scalp health.
- Mirsalehi Honey: Promotes scalp health with vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and antioxidants. Honey also has humectant properties to help prevent moisture loss.
- Mirsalehi Bee Garden Oil Blend: Moisturizes the scalp and strengthens the skin’s surface with omega fatty acids.
- Ectoine: A natural anti-irritant used to hydrate, balance, and repair the scalp’s microbiome, reducing redness and flakiness.
- Natural Botanicals and Extracts: Sunflower oil, black currant oil, celery seed extract, and more offer anti-inflammatory benefits and help target dryness, flakiness, and irritation.
- Prebiotic Complex: Beneficial for balancing the scalp microbiome and adding hydration.
- Organic Rice Protein: Soothes the scalp and reduces irritation.
How To Do a Hair and Scalp Detox
Detoxifying and rebalancing the scalp is a two-step process. Here’s how to do a scalp detox at home.
Step One: A Scalp Cleansing Treatment to Remove Buildup
To ensure that your scalp is thoroughly cleansed and free of all buildup, massage a clarifying or exfoliating shampoo into the skin with your fingertips. Be sure to focus on the scalp, rather than the hair itself. Rinse thoroughly and repeat, then follow up with your favorite conditioner.
Step Two: A Nourishing Scalp Treatment to Promote Scalp Health
Once your hair is dry, apply the Honey-Infused Scalp Treatment directly onto the scalp in 1-inch sections, moving from the hairline to the crown. Gently massage the treatment into your scalp for about five minutes to ensure that it’s evenly distributed. Massaging your scalp is also beneficial for stimulating the hair follicles, which may encourage hair growth.
Allow the scalp treatment to absorb overnight. There’s no need to rinse, but if you do notice residue in the morning, you can simply wash your hair. The active ingredients will have plenty of time to work their magic overnight.
How Often Should You Do a Scalp Detox?
The frequency at which you need to do a scalp detox can vary depending on how much hair product you typically use, how oily your scalp is naturally, and how often you wash your hair.
For optimal scalp and hair health, most people can benefit from doing a scalp detox every four weeks. If you notice flaking or itchiness in between, you can simply use the Honey Infused Scalp Treatment on its own once to twice a week to rebalance and nourish the scalp.
Things to Keep in Mind When Doing a Scalp Detox
Avoid doing a scalp detox on the same day as a chemical treatment, such as coloring or highlighting your hair. It’s also best to avoid any hairstyles that pull on the scalp the same day you do a detox, including a high ponytail, tight bun, or braid.
If your scalp is already dry or irritated, or you have sensitive skin, be sure to read the ingredients on your scalp cleansing treatment carefully. Harsh exfoliants, like salicylic acid or microbeads, can be too drying for many and may lead to more irritation.
It’s always a good idea to do a patch test before applying any new product to your skin, and that includes the scalp.
Maintaining a Healthy Scalp
Before you do a scalp detox, be sure to check in with your hair care routine to ensure that your daily habits aren’t damaging your scalp and hair, leading to scalp issues. After all, there’s no point in detoxing your scalp if your daily routine is going to reverse the results.
- Avoid Overprocessing Your Hair: Minimizing your use of harsh chemicals and heat tools as much as possible is essential for a healthy scalp, as well as healthy hair. It’s ok to use these products now and then for a special occasion or to change up your look, but try to avoid them in your regular routine. And, when you do use heat tools, be sure to apply a heat protectant first.
- Choose a Sulfate-Free Shampoo: Many commercial shampoos contain sulfates, which can be drying to the hair and scalp. Choosing a natural, nourishing, sulfate-free shampoo, like our Honey Infused Hair Wash, is key for supporting the scalp’s microbiome and maintaining a proper pH balance.
- How You Brush Your Hair Matters: Brushing your hair incorrectly can lead to scalp and hair damage. But the right brush can help to distribute the natural oils throughout your scalp and hair.
A soft bristle brush is a great choice for both distributing oil and adding shine. A brush that has rounded or polished ends on the bristles can also be a good option because it won’t damage the scalp or snag in tangles.
When it comes to detangling, finger combing or a wide-toothed comb are the least damaging, especially when hair is wet. Start at the ends and work your way up the shaft gradually until your hair is knot free. Be sure to use a Leave-In Conditioner before brushing to help detangle the hair and avoid tugging.
Maximize the Benefits of Your Scalp Detox
Looking for an easy routine to boost scalp and hair health in between detoxifying sessions? Try the Reset Routine from Gisou! Enriched with the powers of Mirsalehi Honey and natural botanical oils from the Mirsalehi Bee Garden, this luxurious routine is designed to rebuild and repair the scalp and hair from root to tip.