Summer Detox: hair edition

Post-gym makeup refresh

**This post is the first in a series where I focus on “detoxing” our hair, skin (face and body), wardrobe, and home as a final step in closing out summertime. In each post, I shared some of my favorite tools, products or advice on whichever subject is the focus that day. Check out all the posts in my series and share any helpful tips or suggestions in the comments for others to benefit from as well!**

August is coming to a close, kids are heading back to school soon if they haven’t already, and if you are anything like me you are welcoming the next season.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not wishing summer away! We had a very full and very fun summer thanks to Justin’s job shift. It was, perhaps, our best ever! It was indulgent of ice cream, chlorine, sunshine, peach green tea lemonade, and salt water.

Today’s “detox” focus is on our hair.

It’ll be most helpful to really understand what the state of your hair is. I can offer a few thoughts to help you figure this out on your own, but you can also utilize your hairstylist to help you too!

-If you go a day or two between washing your hair, and even if you don’t use many (or any!) hair products, you probably have a bit of build up on your hair, especially around the root area.

-If you wash every day, but your hair is NOT oily, your hair is probably a little dry.

-If you wash every day and your hair is oily, your root area may be fine, but your ends may be a bit dry.

No matter what your hair routine is, it’s usually pretty beneficial to use a clarifying or cleansing shampoo on a regular basis. This is especially helpful for those who go a few days between washing, or who have an oily scalp.

Clarifying or cleansing shampoo’s can sometimes, but not always, affect hair color. Ask your stylist before you use one if you are concerned. It’s most likely to affect those who have their hair colored with demi or semi permanent hair color (also known as a gloss, glaze, or toner).

As someone with naturally light hair that has it pretty heavily lightened with chemical lighteners, I feel comfortable with using a clarifying shampoo under one condition-that I always follow it up with a very good conditioner.

Clarifying shampoo’s are supposed to get the extra junk off your hair, whether thats oil, product, or dirt build up. Treat your hair with extra care on a day you use one of these shampoo’s. You may not notice much of a difference, but I always feel like my hair is a bit more fine and delicate on these days. It feels nice, since I know it’s very clean and fresh, but it doesn’t normally style like I like it to. I save this routine for weekends or evenings 😉

So how do you use a clarifying/cleansing shampoo?!?

It’s simple!

  1. Brush through your hair well before wetting it in the shower. I love using the Wet brush even on dry hair.
  2. Wet hair completely, apply a quarter-size amount of shampoo to your hair, starting at the scalp.
  3. Using the pads of your fingers (NOT your nails), massage the shampoo into your root area. Slowly work it down to the ends. If you need to apply more, add it mid-shaft to ends.
  4. Let it sit on the hair for 2-3 minutes, or longer if the directions on your specific bottle suggest.
  5. Rinse well, repeat if necessary (like if you are one of those “I go 6 days between washing my hair” kind of girls!).
  6. Follow with a hydrating conditioner, applied from mid-shaft to ends.

I’ve recently really enjoyed the Dry Bar On The Rocks Clarifying Charcoal Shampoo. It makes my hair feel super clean without stripping it. This product is SAFE for color-treated hair and keratin-treated hair too!

For years I used Redken’s Cleansing Cream Shampoo when I needed a deep clean on my own hair. This one works to remove mineral build-up, as well as product build-up to leave the hair clean and shiny.

Another favorite is Bumble and Bumble’s Sunday Shampoo. It’s just like the other two products I mentioned above but it is not safe for color-treated hair. This would be a great option for those with virgin but very oily hair.

If you love a DIY project, add 1 teaspoon of baking soda to your favorite shampoo. I’ve also heard that spraying a mixture of apple cider vinegar mixed with water into wet hair is a great way to cleanse hair as well.

If you don’t have a clarifying shampoo already, try the baking soda tip mentioned above OR simply wash your hair twice with your favorite shampoo.


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R M says · 08.28.17

Is your hair shorter in the back?

Tamara says · 08.28.17

Thanks for the post! Your hair is always beautiful! You make styling look so easy but it is a constant struggle for me everyday, I need a cut and style that looks as beautiful as this one but is easy to achieve. Is the cut you have in this picture longer in the front?

Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog says · 08.28.17

I’ve never heard of detoxing my hair! But it sounds like a great plan!

Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

Carrie says · 08.28.17

Definitely will be trying that Dry Bar shampoo! What are your favorite shampoo and conditioners for non cleansing days?

Lynn says · 08.28.17

I love a good clarifying shampoo, so refreshing! I’ve also done the baking soda route, which makes my hair feel super clean. It’s a great option!

Bethany from CuteCapsuleLife says · 08.28.17

My hair is so dry but gets oily if I don’t wash daily. I’m going to try the charcoal shampoo you mentioned. Thanks for the tips!

Christina Pamparo says · 08.28.17

I have a fine, thick but oily hair.
I use the apple cider vinegar wash and it works very well with my hair and For the longest time my oldest son, David, which is 11 now has developed a certain smell on his head, i guess its a puberty thing but I couldn’t stand the smell, it stinks! So I tried doing the Apple cider vinegar rinse for him and it works so wonder., It seems like it balances out his hormonal, puberty smell into a baby smelling like again.

Jennifer says · 08.28.17

What is the ratio of cider to water?

Myra says · 08.28.17

What can I use for a super dry scalp? I naturally have dry patches around my forehead/scalp line and every time I get my hair colored (chemically lightened pretty much all over) my scalp seems even worse. All the salt water and chlorine are NOT helping LOL. I’m flaky! Help! I have tried Head and Shoulders but I just don’t like how it leaves my hair feeling. Any suggestions???

Kristin says · 08.29.17

I use Davines products and never ever have a dry scalp even in our harsh WI winters. It’s also completely cured my son’s dry scalp after two uses.

Katie R. says · 08.28.17

I LOVE Caviar Daily Detoxifying Shampoo. I only use it once or maybe twice per week (and then a regular, cheaper shampoo on the other 2 days I wash) but it is awesome! The formula is thick & the bottle lasts forever. Great body & shine.

Sarah says · 08.28.17

My naturally blonde, dyed blonder hair always turns green after dying it and I’m never in chlorinated pools. Have you run into this with your hair? Any suggestions? Would a detox/one of the products listed above help?

Kimberley Schoenbein says · 08.28.17

I love your blog and look forward to hearing what you have been up to. Have you ever tried Monat? I am not asking to sell to you but curious if you have heard about it and if you have opinions? I love it and my hair has never felt better 💕

OnlineCB says · 08.28.17

I’ve been following your blog for years now and love your styling advice.

I’m not able to wear scent in the workplace which makes finding good products a challenge. I use Bumble and Bumble unscented DeFrizz but would love suggestions for other good quality unscented products.

Kayla says · 08.28.17

Do you have a opinion on the new Monat trend? I’d love to hear your thoughts

Jen Garnant says · 08.28.17

I LOVE Beautycounter’s Daily Shampoo & Conditioner for my ‘detoxed’ hair. For my skin, their charcoal bar soap as a facial cleanser has made ALL the difference in my skin. Love all their products, but the charcoal bar is my favorite! #saferbeauty

Jen Garnant says · 08.28.17

Also, loving the length of your hair right now!

Tammy says · 08.28.17

What would you recommend for my teenage daughter that cannot go more that a day between washings before her scalp is excessively oily? Overall her hair is not oily, just at the scalp.

Kellyn says · 08.29.17

This was my daughter! All hormones for her. We did a the baking soda/shampoo trick for years! We found doing it every couple weeks did the trick, with limited washing in between. When we started we did it once a week and it made all the difference in the world. I was actually sitting and scrubbing her head with the shampoo/baking soda to get it really well cleaned. We did do a deep conditioner on her ends after, otherwise they can dry out pretty fast.
Now if she is feeling oily she will shampoo with a clarifying shampoo twice and feels so much better.

Tammy says · 09.05.17

Thanks of sharing!

Kate says · 08.29.17

Very helpful advice! What would you consider to be a good conditioner to follow up with?

Lara says · 08.29.17

I’d love to know your favorite deep conditioners to follow up with! Thanks 🙂

Hannah H says · 08.29.17

Just another option..
I have been using Rusk Clarify- Detoxifying Shampoo. I love it and it has a wonderful peppermint smell to it. Definitely wakes up your senses, but leaves my hair feeling light and cleaner than ever before.
I have think hair that requires washing every other day. I used the Detoxifying shampoo about twice a week. <3

Ginny says · 08.29.17

My absolute FAVORITE hair detox is a simple mix of apple cider vinegar and baking soda – it foams up like a volcano and leaves your hair SUPER clean. I do it almost every month, and it is so amazing. Definitely try it because it is free! Everyone I recommend it to, loves it. You can see the recipe here –

Darlene liedtke says · 08.29.17

Is it wrong that my biggest question is about the peach green tea lemonade? Where do you get it or even better how do you make it?

Paige says · 08.29.17

What do you think of Lanza hair products?

Kimberly Lite says · 09.01.17

What conditioner would you recommend after the detox shampoo?

special hair dye says · 09.11.17

I have curly, brunette hair that you never brush. I’m always looking for new hair care products. Your products look gorgeous but are the polar opposite of what I use..

rybijanotyvy says · 11.18.17

Hello Kate, i also love the summer but not with what it does in my hair. Let me share how i used coconut oil for hair loss. I massage coconut oil on my scalp gently in a circular manner. This stimulates the follicles and encourages growth. It also nourishes and moisturize the hair.

Carmen Finger says · 09.20.21

My scalp itches so bad! What kind of shampoo should I be useing?? Thanks! I usually was my hair every other day. Used to be everyday. Now it’s not very oily anymore.