The #30dayhairdetox has been causing a lot of controversy on the internet for the past couple of months. In this post, I share my thoughts on this detox challenge.

The origin of the 30 day hair detox

This detox was created in 2016 by two stylists: Aeleise Ollarvia and Aishia Strickland who run the platform Black Girls Curls.

They have an ebook called “Wash Your Damn Hair” which breaks down their principles. However, they are currently making some edits to it before relaunching it. I don’t want to misquote them so I will link all my references in this post.

the “rules” of the detox

  • Haircare boils down to 3 steps: cleansing, conditioning and styling.
  • Wash your hair every 5-10 days.
  • Don’t use raw oils or butters as stylers.
  • Avoid oils or butters in the first 5 ingredients of any hair products.
  • There are 3 types of stylers to choose from: gels, mousses/foam wraps or heat protectants.
  • When it comes to gels, plant based gels like aloe and flaxseed are preferred to plastic gels (e.g. Ecostyler)

What is the point of the detox?

They suggest that you think of it as an elimination diet. The aim of the detox is to familiarize yourself with your hair in its bare weightless state. Removing heavy oils, butters and grease forces you to unlearn what “soft” and “hydrated” hair looks and feels like.

Misconceptions about the detox

This is another “trend”

They have been talking about this since 2016 and it just happened to trend earlier this year.

They are against oils and butters

They have repeatedly disagreed with this. They simply want you to examine the role of oils and butters in your routine. They are big on formulation. Every product in your routine probably has an oil or a butter. If they were against them, there wouldn’t be any acceptable product for this routine.

They are against leave ins and curling creams

One of them mentioned doing a twist out with what they preferred to call a ‘cream based styler’ followed by a mousse. Most leave in conditioners, curling butters, custards and creams are just that: cream based stylers. It is fine to use provided that it respects the “no oil or butter rule in the first five ingredients.”

This method is only for people with looser curls

Both of them happen to have colour treated curly to coily hair. However, as with many licensed professionals , they do not believe in the Andre Walker hair typing system anyway. They say that these are principles apply to all hair types.

This is an influencer vs stylist war

Many bloggers have issues with their tone and approach because it seems to be condescending towards influencers. I don’t think anyone (certified or not) needs to belittle others to get their point across. I have seen both sides do it.

This has made me more aware of how I relay my “informative” content. Whether or not I am an expert, I am in dialogue with an intelligent person on the other side of this screen. At the end of the day, you get to make your own informed decisions.

We must give credit to the online natural hair community. We cannot ignore the role the internet has played in educating people on hair care.

That said, there is and will always be a space for hair stylists. We cannot take away from the knowledge and expertise that comes with working on different heads of hair for a long time. My hair journey is a testament to that.

Who is this detox for?

If what you’re doing is working for you, then you don’t need this detox.

Try this detox if:

  • you still haven’t found a routine that works
  • you’re an experimenter like myself.

Will I be trying the detox?

I want to give the detox a shot. This post was meant to be a preliminary introduction to this routine and my initial thoughts before putting it to the test. However, this challenge has to be sustainable for me. Hopefully I own enough products that fit into their criteria.

What are your thoughts on the detox?

Thanks for stopping by!

“Always remember that your hair is your crown and your body is a temple; embrace it, love it and take care of it.”


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