How to Detox Your Hair & Why You Should!

hair detox shampoo recipe

Using mud to wash your hair? Is that an actual thing?

Why yes, yes it is.

Hair detoxing can help with excess oils, dandruff, and even chemical build-up.

Why Detox Your Hair?

If you’re new to using a homemade natural shampoo, here are a few key things to be aware of:

  1. The shampoos you usually get from the store will often have a pH level of around 5-6, which is similar to that of your hair’s natural pH. While this is a good thing, it’s often achieved using toxic surfactants like sodium lauryl sulfate.
  2. Most natural homemade shampoos tend to be soap-based, rather than surfactant-based. Soap has a much higher pH level, which can leave hair looking dull and even oily. Thankfully, it’s easy to restore your hair’s natural pH (along with it, its shine and smoothness) after washing. All you need to do is apply a Shine-Boosting Rinse (see below).
  3. Silicon, found in many store-bought shampoos, coats the hair in a similar way to plastic to give it its shine. Becuase of this, hair may take some time to adjust from commercial shampoos to more natural, homemade formulas.

Hair detoxing can help with this process.

It may take up to a few weeks, depending on the types of products previously used, to completely adjust to using a natural shampoo, and during the process, hair may feel dry and tangle easy.

But, as hair follicles shed their coating, they’ll be able to take in more moisture, restoring hair health.

Put Mud in Your Hair

As it turns out, bentonite clay can also be used for hair.

The clay helps to remove toxins and leave hair looking clean and shiny.

If homemade shampoo or no-poo hasn’t worked for you, give this method a go.

Some of the benefits of hair detoxing include:

  • Promoting healthy hair growth
  • Clearing away odour-causing bacteria
  • Oxidative stress prevention and enhanced scalp health
  • Removing build-up that causes dull hair and restoring shine
  • Soothes scalp irritation and redness

How to Detox Your Hair

We’ll be using a herbal tea brew in this detoxifying solution, so it’s important to note which herb to use for your specific hair colour. Different herbs provide different darkening or lightening effects:

  • For brown hair: Nettle leaf, rosemary leaf or sage leaf all help to gradually darken hair that is light brown or darker (it will even darken blonde tones as well). The more they’re used, the darker the results.
  • For light hair (blonde): Pure, strong chamomile tea or lemon juice (along with sitting in the sun) will lighten hair and produce natural highlights. The more these ingredients are used, the lighter hair will become.
  • For red hair: Calendula flowers, fresh marigold petals, hibiscus petals, and henna will create a red strawberry blonde tint in lighter hair and auburn tones in darker hair.
  • For black hair (or dark brown): Black walnut powder (this will give hair a VERY DARK colour) or strongly brewed black tea will darken any hair colour.

The mixture recommendations recommended by Wellness Mama are:

For dark hair: In 2 cups of boiling water, add 1/4 cup rosemary leaf + 2 tbsp nettle leaf

For blonde hair: In 2 cups of boiling water, add 1/4 cup chamomile flowers + 2 tbsp nettle leaf

Once the mixture cools, strain out the herbs and reserve one cup for the hair detox recipe, and one cup for the Shine-Boosting Rinse at the end.

Note: Do not use any metal equipment when making this recipe, as bentonite clay can react with the metal properties. Instead, use wood, plastic, or glass for the best results.


  • 3/4 cup bentonite clay
  • 2 cups brewed herbal tea or water (see above for herbal suggestions)
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 10 drops essential oil (I use lavender, rosemary or peppermint).

To make:

  1. In a blender, add the tea and apple cider vinegar, then add in the clay slowly, one tablespoon at a time, while blending to combine. The mixture should look something like yoghurt.
  2. Add in the essential oils and mix together.
  3. Store the clay shampoo in an airtight container in the shower for up to one week.

To use:

  1. Wet hair, then starting at the roots, massage a handful of the clay mix into your hair. Repeat until hair is completely coated.
  2. Leave in for 5-20 minutes (do not let it dry!) then rinse out the muddy shampoo with warm water.
  3. Shine-Boosting Rinse: Mix together one cup of herbal tea with one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar in a spray bottle, then spray over hair until saturated with the solution. Allow it to sit on hair for 2-3 minutes, then rinse using cool water (which is best because it helps the hair cuticle to close).

As always, this is not personal medical advice and we recommend that you talk with your doctor before trying or using any new products. I am not a doctor. All opinions expressed are my own personal thoughts and feelings of the products mentioned. Check with your doctor or health practitioner if you are uncertain about trying out any of the products, recipes or tips mentioned in this post.

Have you done a hair detox before? How was it? Share in the comments below.

Lots of love,

🖤 Vanessa


Wells, Katie. (September 18, 2018). How to Detox Your Hair. Wellness Mama. Retrieved from

Dessinger, Heather. How To Detox Your Hair. mommypotamus. Retrieved from

McDow, Candis. (Updated: April 24, 2019). How to Detox Your Hair of Oils, Dandruff, and Chemical Buildup. Healthline. Retrieved from

Gotter, Ana. (Updated: May 3, 2017). 7 Natural Hair Dyes: How to Color Your Hair at Home. Healthline. Retrieved from

Annmarie Skin Care. (Updated: July 28, 2021). 7 Natural Ways to Dye & Color Your Hair without Chemicals. Annmarie. Retrieved from

Wells, Katie. (Updated: May 28, 2020). Natural Hair Dye Recipes (for Any Hair Color). Wellness Mama. Retrieved from

6 Signs You Need A Scalp Detox. Organic Beauty. Retrieved from

Fink, Hillary. (October 2, 2019). This DIY Hair Build-Up Detox Restores Shine Better Than Any Clarifying Shampoo. Peaceful Dumpling. Retrieved from

How to Detox Your Hair. (December 18, 2012). Coconut Mama. Retrieved from

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