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30 Day (Natural) Hair Detox

30 Day (Natural) Hair Detox

Have you ever heard of the 30 day hair detox? If YES, let’s have a chat. If NO, let’s gather information.

So what is it about?

Might sound crazy, but it’s a journey in getting to know your natural hair again. From what I understand, it’s all about trying to really get back in touch with the hair and break the care down to the basics. No complicated techniques. No massive usage of hair care products. No Ecostyler Gel.

Where is it coming from?

Many naturalistas are really heavy handed on how they use hair care products. A lot are oiling their scalp and moisturizing the hair on a consistent base. That’s not the problem. Often it is simply too heavy handed. Then comes the practice of washing the hair infrequently, sometimes a month to months of no washing. The frequency on how, what and how much we put products in our natural hair doesn’t align with the frequency on how often we wash and clean our scalp. Overtime we create a lot of product buildup which can’t be washed out of the hair and scalp easily. Of course there are exceptions out there: Natural haired ladies with long & lushious hair strands. But we also do have to admit, that the majority of us do simply not belong to that league.

So going all in and avoiding the additional use of raw oils and butters, allows our hair to reset again. Also, it’s a rethink about the common natural hair practices. Why does the hair dry out so fast? Do we really need to prepoo, especially with oils? Do we need hours of deep conditioning? Do we need to moisturise daily or every other day? Do we need hours of detangling? Does hair wash day really need to be one day long? Do we need to oil the scalp?

So the main focus to answer all these questions is to really clean the hair from years of product buildup in order to get hydration. If the hair becomes dry it should be washed in order to be hydrated than just to ‘moisturise’ and seal oils or butters on top of it. The detox helps to relearn washing the hair, styling it and keeping the moisture in until the next hair wash.

What are the principles?

  1. Wash your hair at least once a week
  2. Shampoo your hair
  3. Condition and detangle your hair
  4. Apply one to two styling products
  5. Style hair and let it dry
  6. And that’s it. If you have the budget, sit under a dryer and let it dry.

Ok pause, where are the oils and butters?

They are neglected for 30 days or find a new purpose in body butters. But no single drop will make it from your fingers to the scalp and even touch your own hair. Sounds very frightening, right?

And here comes more

If you’re already using con-free products, good. But still, you might need to switch up products. Because you can only use products, where the first five ingredients aren’t oils and butters. If you’ve never read the back of ingredient lists, now it’s the time. Also, using clay, apple cider vinegar, aloe vera gel or juice, Ayurvedic mask, tea rinses and other non oily products can’t be used. It’s really all about the use of cosmetically processed hair care products.

What happens after 30 days?

Mission completed. You can go back to your old habits or embrace the new one or make your own tweaks. You’ll also be free again to use hair care products where the first five ingredients are oils and butters. But avoiding the additional use of additional raw oils and butters would still be a kind of no go, because you may not need it.

Also, depending on how much buildup you have and what you hair care practices used to be, it may even take much more longer (months to a year) in order to achieve HYDRATION… hmm sounds a little bit like, what was the name again? YES, Maximum Hydration Method, but with a different approach.

Who created it?

The cofounders of Black Girls Curls created this challenge. I have never heard of this until mid summer 2021, when everyone was talking about it on Youtube, Facebook and Instagram. There’s a lot of controversy on the Detox and I’ve got the feeling the natural hair care community is more divided than ever. Especially with the sensitive topic about ‘No oils No butters‘.

However, if you’re curious, brave and have the monetary budget to try it out: Black Girls Curls have moved their challenge into their paid digital & visual library called See some Curls. They’re also active on Youtube, TikTok and Instagram.

Would I try it out?

No. Why? Because I don’t have issues with hair hygiene or hair dryness. I don’t need anybody to tell me to restrict myself from certain brands, unless I choose to do myself and understand the why behind. Claiming raw oils and butters to be the cause of dehydration in black people’s hair without further explanation and scientific proof sounds strange to me. If raw oils and butters could dehydrate hair strands and cause buildup, hair strands wouldn’t be able to get wet. Curly hair wouldn’t get frizzy once humidity hits and we would wear more heat stretched hairstyles because it doesn’t revert back. The other part: how to clump & keep my tiny curls clumped I already found out years ago with the Maximum Hydration Method. Around the time they also started their hair care mission which didn’t cross my mind until the internet outcries in summer 2021.

I find it not fair to pay fees to learn how to wash black people’s natural hair. Because if you don’t have the financial resources to do so, you’re left behind. And I’m not saying I’m against hair professionals who don’t want to display the brands they use. I’m saying why can the simplest of basic hair care not be free?! Wouldn’t it be amazing if people knew how to do their hair without spending hundreds or even thousands for educational purposes? Should black hair care be totally commercialised up to the point that it’s not about finding hair professional for regular hair cuts or special hairstyles like Goddess Braids / Cornrow Patterns / Box Braids anymore?

Regular Cleansing, Conditioning & basic everyday styling should be something that is taught growing up in early ages. Because it’s our natural hair and we’re born like this and it’s the duty of parents to educate on this, especially if there aren’t any free structures out there to do so. So we don’t end up walking around totally clueless until we reach the age of financial freedom to pay for paid resources. Growing up in both worlds, a black African family in Germany, I’m best familiar with “White” cultures. But even in my relaxed days my mom taught us to wash & condition & detangle our hair regularly. Many pupils visit state organised swimming lessons while in Elementary school.

So there’s no way you won’t dip your hair into chlorine water, if you don’t cancel these important lessons for religious beliefs. Swimming caps were originally made for athletes, so that they glide through water with the maximum potential. If I remember right, I tried them all. 😆 Swimming caps & shower bonnets… my hair always became wet & weighed down with long & braided extensions. Observing my “white” mates, they ALWAYS did wet their entire hair & body first before entering the pool room. And there’s reason behind. It’s not only for removing & oils and creams from your body, but it’s also to get your hair saturated with plain water first. Once the hair is already wet it won’t able to fully absorb the chlorinated or salted water to the max.

Now why should things suddenly change, just because the hair isn’t chemically alternated anymore?

The hair strands that were straight are now curly. Why shouldn’t it be washed anymore? I asked my mom how she grew up in Togo and how often family, people & the society she knew cleansed their hair while growing up. She said once a week was taught in cosmetology school. They washed once a week to every two weeks. Rich or stable families went to the hair salon for regular washes including hairstyles. After the cleanse many used shea butter or other oils to keep their hair moisturised until the next hair wash. Petrolatum based products like hair grease came later from abroad.

Even Grandmothers who owned straight or afro textured wigs would wash their wigs regularly and dry it in the sun. And I’m talking about the 1970s. I truly wonder when did this shift happened when some in the black communities decided to not wash their hair anymore. Because to me it sounds like if you didn’t grow up limited to water and the hair wash came last or you didn’t belong to certain ethnic / cultural practices were frequent hair washes aren’t the thing, why should afro textured hair be scared of water?!

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