I just clarified my hair this past weekend and thought to share this tip. At natural hair events, I have been asked why a product has stopped working by many an audience, and my first question is usually “when was the last time you clarified your hair?” In answer, I usually get the, huh? look.
When my hair styles stop looking like they normally do or my hair isn’t responding to moisturizing products as well, I know its time to clarify. Your scalp needs clear pores to produce sebum and for optimal hair growth. Cleansing conditioners, deep conditioners, rinse out conditioners, leave-in conditioners, butters, creams, etc. often leave just a little something on the hair and scalp even when cleansed weekly. These little deposits are what you need to get rid of so that your hair can retain moisture and flourish. I clarify once a month, but its always best to do so as your hair needs it, which may be more or less.
ALWAYS follow your clarifying shampoo with a moisturizing shampoo. Why? Well, the clarifying shampoo raises the cuticle to strip the hair of all that extra product with cleansers at a higher ph level. A moisturizing shampoo is able to bring your hair back to its optimal ph balance, but has conditioners to soften the hair as well. Conditioners do not work the same way and your hair’s ph may remain out of whack until a moisturizing cleanser is used.
Good clarifying shampoo’s for natural hair do not contain sodium lauryl/laureth sulfate or ammonium lauryl/laureth sulftate. Instead they usually contain essential oils like tea tree oil which are good for the hair. Moisturizing shampoo’s impart moisture while still cleansing (it’s a fine balance). Just remember, if you want the most moisturized, happy hair, clarify monthly and don’t forget to balance the ph of the hair with a moisturizing cleanser as well.