One of the most overlooked and misunderstood home hair care routines is clarifying your hair properly. There are many things that build up on our hair. Minerals from the water, daily shampoos, conditioners, styling products and even elements from the environment. Hair is much like the windshield of your auto. When the glass is clean, it is very shiny. When it has road film on it, it becomes very dull. The same elements that land on our windshield can easily build up on our hair. Hair that has a build-up will frequently look dull and dry.
I once had a client call me and tell me that I was going to have to cut all her hair off because it was SO dull and dry. I knew that she wasn’t using any harsh chemicals on her hair…only semi-permanent color. It didn’t make sense that it should be so dry. I asked her when she had last clarified her hair. She replied, “huh?” I enlightened her on clarifying shampoos. Later, she called me to tell me that her hair didn’t even look like the same head of hair. It was shiny and healthy looking. Amazing what happens when you remove the build-up!
A commonly asked question is “how often should I clarify my hair?” This depends on several factors. If you live in an area with heavy minerals in the water, probably more often. If you use a lot of styling products or products with silicone based ingredients, also more often. I use styling paste in my hair every day, so I clarify once a week. If you have curly hair and you don’t use silicone based products, then you should only be shampooing your hair about once a week (if you have curly hair and this statement caught your attention, call me). In that case, clarifying once a month should be sufficient.
In the photo at left, you will see Redken’s Hair Cleansing Cream Shampoo. It contains a high concentration of chelating agents that surround minerals, making them more soluble so they can be washed away. Formulated with fruit acids to add shine, it purifies and refreshes hair, clarifies and works to remove copper, iron, hard water minerals and styling product build-up, leaving hair shiny. And, it’s gentle!
Now…go forth and clarify!