yes it’s a thing. just like we all could use a break from certain foods our scalp needs to detox from certain ingredients and hopefully those ingredients are never re-introduced.
when transitioning from a commercial shampoo or even a “natural” shampoo that isn’t so transparent or natural into completely natural products like under luna, it’s normal to experience what I call a detox period.
let’s use your body as an example for this. you eat the way you want to, good and not so good foods and then you decide to eat extremely clean. your body has to sweat out and excrete those toxins that are in your body and will so during the first few days or week of eating clean right up until the sugar withdrawals have subsides, cravings, tastebuds all change, bloat deflates, bowel movements have shifted, your mood, sleep has all realigned into a new you.
with a not so great “diet” for the scalp, it can hold onto remnant films, build up, ingredients that you had no idea the scalp was holding onto. mind you this can also lead to scalp issues and/or an over oily scalp with dry ends, what’s called combination hair.
when you introduce a completely 100% natural product to cleanse and hydrate, that is giving these toxins permission to leave for good. you may be saying to yourself "but i already use a natural shampoo". those 'natural' shampoos may still contain ingredients that are causing congestion and trapping in oils. we'd have to take a deep look into that ingredient list to know for sure.
it can (not everyone) take time to transition to the balanced scalp we are all looking for. first it has to do the dirty work of removing everything and then it will get into rehydrating, reinvigorating it with vitamins and minerals these plants ingredients contain. the scalp is a complex landscape that needs time to adjust but when it does, ah it’s the best!
everyone asks how long does this take? just like our bodies, everyone’s body adjusts differently to a cleanse. depending on how clean you already eat or how much you are needing to detox, that timeline will look different for everyone. some will not have this “transition” period at all and others may need a couple weeks, maybe longer. your scalp will be the judge of that. one thing is for sure though flushing out those trapped ingredients, build up, toxins is welcomed and loved by all scalps.
typical scalp detox symptoms usually center around the oils. you will see an overproduction of oils because finally they are having the ability to breathe. there are a number of ingredients that are used in other shampoos that unfortunately trap these oils from breathing essentially suffocating them, sort of like an antiperspirant in deodorant. when finally given the chance to escape they are more than happy to finally flee.
scalp production works this way. consistently oils need to get out, the way your body releases oils, the same goes for your scalp. when you wash your hair, your scalp is trained to produce and release necessary oils based on that timeline. when you consistently wash your hair, possibly too much, your scalp knows it only has a very small window to release those oils which means your hair is going to get oily quickly. the scalp is trying to get ahead of you. that’s another tangent I can get on another day.
all to say the scalp is smart and if you let it’s do its thing, it all balances out. once these oils are out, all the build up is freed up and no residue remains from previous ingredients, then you’re able to start with a fresh slate and work with your oils, not the oils of previously trapped and angry oils.
on the flip side, some people experience dryness, more tangles than usual or even some flakiness on the scalp. this is just as common because the skin is purging and getting rid of irritating build up. all the tips below can help you out during this period.
TIPS TO HELP!
apple cider vinegar rinse. ACV rinses are amazing assistants in helping remove build up, bacteria + excess oils. youu can play with the dilution rate - 1 part ACV to 3 parts water. I like to use the ACV with the mother and I just go for it without any water, but it’s intense so not for everyone. spray/soak the scalp with this for about 10 minutes and then into the shower to wash. doing this once a week can be so helpful! MORE INFO
double shampooing. when you shampoo, it’s essential to double wash, always. the first cleanse massage deeply into the scalp. you’ll be picking up all the dirt, oils and gently removing them. with the second wash, you now treating your scalp with the nutrients, vitamins and minerals all these plant provide and that’s when the lather builds up because it has less dirt to hold onto. like any detox you can’t just stop eating to clear out the ick, you also need to put back in the essential nutrients so your body can thrive. now we’re adding back in so your scalp has the tools to regenerate and recalibrate. conditioner is essential as well. you may also want to add in one more wash during the week. your hair is looking for extra TLC and so one more wash during the week sometimes can make all the difference.
conditioner turned hair mask. no matter what kind of under luna conditioner you have, you are welcome to do a hair mask with it. each conditioner has loads of nutrients in it that your scalp will love. after leaving on for at least 10 minutes, rinse. if your hair is partially oily, then rinse all the way. if your scalp has been feeling dry, rinse about 75% of it so the conditioner’s oils have time to be soaked up by your scalp long after your shower.
an overnight hair mask is highly recommended. apply to a damp scalp and hair, massage into the scalp and hair, twist up into a bun and goodnight! wash your hair as you normally would the next day.
help with tangles. you can also use any of the UL conditioners as a leave in conditioner. with damp hair, apply a small amount of conditioner to your ends. this will help detangle and also give your ends the hydration they need!
there’s always more to say, but I hope this brings some clarity and understanding!