Author: Elizabeth Alex
Did you know? You can make any stylers work for you with a simple cleansing routine. Clean hair is the basic foundation and a solid cleansing routine is key for everyone - a beginner or veteran.
Are you a beginner? Do you get your CG info from watching IG videos? If you are, I bet you're more likely to purchase styling products first. Yes or no? I speak to beginners on the daily! And over the last two years I noticed most beginners can't make any stylers work for them. They blame the brands or products in the end. I don’t blame you... There are so many styling routine videos compared to cleansing routine videos these days. So it’s easy to assume styling is the only answer to great hair.
The Real Reason your stylers are not working for you
There are certain washdays when the same stylers don't seem to work for you. I mean, you had bomb wash days with the same combo but not this time and you wonder why? Many factors like the weather, your water intake, diet, sleep affect your hair. However, considering you follow a healthy lifestyle your stylers are most likely not working because of buildup. Styling products work best on non-buildup hair. Good news is you can totally control this. All you have to do to fix this is to clarify your hair and style again to improve definition.
The Biggest Cleansing mistake you don’t want to make
Clarifying is a level higher than a regular moisture shampoo. It completely strips your hair of eeything, giving you a clean slate to work with. There are many ways to clarify but the biggest mistake most beginners make is to not clarify hair enough. Some go days and weeks only cowashing - which is ok. But if you wonder why your stylers have stopped working like before then you know it’s time to deep clean your hair by clarifying.
Me? I clarify every third wash and cowash or use a gentle shampoo between. That’s my sweet spot and it only too me two years to figure this out (Woohoo!) That is about 4/10x a month for me. My clean clarified hair gets any product working for me. And I review new products all the time! Clarifying for me is key, you have to figure out what works for you. Here’s a video I made a year ago about clarifying and product suggestionsI was using at the time.
Why Clarifying often is actually Good for you
Buildup is not caused by hair products only. Did you know sweat causes build up too? And although sweat is water soluble, I have never felt cleaner with just plain water rinses. I have to at least cowash to remove this kind of sweat-build up to feel and stay clean. Sweat, natural oils, external oils, pollution, exposure to external environment also cause buildup. Then you go ahead and use rich products like this CGM Milk or curl creams.. Everything eventually causes buildup. There is no way to measure how much or how long to wait before clarifying your hair. So that's why I clarify every third wash as a proactive measure to preventbuildup. It helps me but since we are different, you have to see what works for you.
Are you concerned about Clay treatments? You should be
I do a clay treatment once a month. This is one of my go-to ways to cleanse and clarify my hair, using Bentonite Clay. Clay treatments detox my scalp and renews my hair giving me bomb definition every time! There are many products in the market now with this clay. Although I recommend it, clay treatments are not for everybody. For instance, clay treatments can dry out an existing dry scalp. This means if you have dry scalp to begin with don't do clay treatments! Drink your water and hydrate yourself from within to treat dry scalps (more on this another time). So timing is everything with clay treatments. and if you have reservations about trying this, your intuition is right! Read my Clay Treatment Guide here to learn more.
The Critical Role Cowashing Plays in your Routine
I cowash more than I clarify. Out of an average 10 washes a month, I cowash 6/10x. Cowashing is great to restore moisture into curly hair. Please don’t use regular conditioners to clean your scalp. That will only lead to buildup. I recommend using conditioners formulated for cowashing only. Clarifying cowashes help you cleanse and clarify at one go. Clarifying cowashes do not dry out your hair. Learn all about cowashing here.
Stylers work on clean moisturized hair. Adding cowashes to clean while also adding moisture is critical. Read my My Soigne Cleanser Review hereto get a quick idea. Love the @CurlyAndKind cowashtoo. She mixes yogurt+conditioner+chickpea flour to cleanse and deep condition hair at a go.
One thing every Curly Should understand about Cleansing
There are many ways to cleanse curly hair. Shampoo, cowashes or with extreme clay/herbal hair wash treatments. Oh yes, the herbal powders with Shikakai/Amla/Brahmi and things of that nature are clarifying. You want to choose a cleansing method based on how your hair is feeling at the time. How much buildup do you have? When was your last clarifying treatment? Me? I clarify as a proactive measure but you get the general idea of how it works for me.. You will learn what works for you with practice only.
Keep your Hair Happy
Clean hair is happy hair. The Curly Girl Method propagates cowashing, but I urge you to broaden perspective a little. Clarify your hair more often if you need to. Here are some options and my recommendations as discussed earlier.
- Clay Detox - DIY Bentonite clay
- Mid week Quickie - ACV Rinses
- DIY Herbal Powders - DIY Amla, Brahmi, Shikakai powders
A clean scalp encourages faster hair growth. With clean hair you can make any stylers work for you, thereby improving definition! It's our Healthy Hair Journey and there is a lot to learn. I know you will figure this out, and maybe I will get to play a little part in yours . Follow me on Instagram, for daily tips and motivation @HonestLizHere