How to Detox Your Hair & Why

Use mud to wash your hair? What? Is hair detoxing 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. The use of silicon in many conventional store-bought brands, coats the hair in a similar way to plastic, to give it its shine. Due to 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. However, as hair follicles shed their coating, they’ll be able to take in more moisture, but again this may take some time. Here are a few ways to help speed up the process…

Put Mud in Your Hair!

As it turns out, bentonite clay can also be used for hair! The clay helps in removing toxins and can leave hair looking clean and shiny.

Bring back shine with a simple hair detox!

So if homemade shampoo or no-poo hasn’t worked for you, give this process a go. It can be customised to your hair type (oily, frizzy, dry, etc.).

Benefits to hair detoxing include:

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

Hair Detox Recipe

We’ll be using a herbal tea brew in our hair detox 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 (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 sunlight will lighten hair and produce natural highlights. The more they’re used, the lighter hair will become.
  • For red hair: Calendula flowers, fresh marigold petals, hibiscus petals and henna will create a red/dark strawberry blonde tint in lighter hair and auburn tones in darker hair. Hair will become more vibrant red hair the more often they’re used.
  • For black hair (or even dark brown): Black walnut powder (this will create VERY DARK hair) or strongly brewed black tea will darken any colour hair.

The mixture recommendations recommended by Wellness Mama were:

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 our the herbs and reserve 1 cup for the hair detox recipe, and 1 cup for the shine-boosting rinse at the end.

Apple cider vinegar also worked in lightening my hair, and can be a natural alternative to chemical dyes to give hair highlights.

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 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 oils (I use lavender, rosemary and/or peppermint).


  1. In a blender, pour in tea and apple cider vinegar, then add in the clay slowly, 1 tbsp at a time, while blending to combine. Continue until clay has been used up and mixture looks similar to that of yoghurt. Add in the essential oils and mix together.
  2. Store in an air-tight container in the shower for up to 1 week.
  3. To use: Wet hair, then starting at the roots, massage a handful of the clay mix into your hair. Repeat until hair is completely coated. Leave in for 5-20 minutes (do not let it dry!) then rinse out with warm water.
  4. Shine-boosting rinse: Mix together 1 cup of herbal tea with 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar, then spray or pour over hair to saturate. Allow it to sit on hair for 2-3 minutes, then rinse using cool water (which is best as 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. It’s important to check with a doctor before taking this or any new product, especially if taking any other medicine or supplement or if pregnant or nursing. Be sure to check ingredients to make sure there is no risk of an allergic reaction to it.

Have you done a hair detox before? What was your experience? Share below.

Lots of love,

🖤 Vanessa


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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