Hello My Curlies:
It’s been a good bit since I’ve written anything for you so today I thought I’d do a post about a new revelation I’ve discovered during my natural hair journey and my quest for the perfect head of healthy curly hair! I’ve written an article in the past about the Curly Girl Method which is basically where you only use non-sulfate paraben-free products and you pre-poo (that is conditioner wash) your hair rather than shampoo. I like this method and my hair has responded well but old habits are hard to break and going without shampooing my hair has been very hard for me to get use to. Plus I’ve noticed that my curls are not as “poppin” as they have been in the past. The culprit: Product Buildup!! So After some research I found a great technique that I think I’ll give a try:
The Double Shampoo Method
If you’re like me, then you use a lot of styling products on your curls almost daily. This buildup of product on top of product can leave your curls looking limp and lifeless. The only way to remove the buildup is to clarify your hair by using a clarifying shampoo. If you notice that your hair is no longer responding to your favorite products, it’s time to clean your scalp and hair with a clarifying shampoo. It will improve the health of your hair, plus restore the effectiveness of your regular shampoo and conditioner.
Why should we clarify our hair?
You can look at it as starting fresh. It gives us a fresh start to style our curls without old product buildup. However, our curls can feel dry after clarifying. This is due to the low pH found in most clarifying shampoos.
You may remember learning about pH in science class. The literal meaning of pH is potential of Hydrogen. This means that there is a certain amount of hydrogen that occurs in a solution. This unit of measurement can tell whether or not certain types of solutions, such as shampoos and soaps, are acidic or alkaline. When measuring pH a scale of 1 through 14 is used. 7 is a neutral pH or a basic pH. This means that the solution is most like water. 1 to 6 on the scale means that the solution is acidic, like vinegar while numbers 8 through 14 mean that the pH of the solution is alkaline, like bleach or ammonia.
pH Levels and Healthy Hair
Your hair consists of tiny shafts which are made up of scales, called cuticles. Water and alkaline-based hair products cause these scales to open, exposing the interior of your hair shafts. Ideally, you want to close this cuticle to protect it from harmful elements. To do this you’d want to choose a slightly acidic shampoo to close the cuticle and help the hair shaft retain moisture. The best pH level for shampoo is between 5 and 7.
Why following up with a moisturizing shampoo is so important
Clarifying shampoos remove dirt oil and buildup from the hair but since they can be very drying you need to follow-up with a moisturizing shampoo in order to return moisture to your hair. Using both a clarifying and moisturizing shampoo can help cleanse your scalp and keep your curls hydrated and shiny. You can shampoo your hair once or twice depending on your preference, follow-up with a moisturizing shampoo, and proceed with your usual conditioning or deep conditioning session. Using the moisturizing shampoo afterwards can also make detangling easier since your curls have received some moisture at that point.