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One of the recent social media trends has involved doing a seven-day hair detox. How is this done? It’s simple in practice, but hard for many to follow through with. Essentially, you allow your natural scalp and hair oils to replenish by not using any kind of hair products. This means no shampoo or conditioner and no hair care creams, sprays or oils for seven days. You can still shower and wet your hair, but that’s it.
In my case, I took the 7-day challenge to see if one of Amazon’s best clarifying shampoos lived up to the hype we’ve been seeing in its reviews and on social media. I figured it would be a good test for the shampoo to work on hair that has not only had product buildup on it but also really needs a reset.
Before I get into my experiment and results, let’s look at some of the best clarifying shampoo products based on Amazon reviews. Either would work well for an experiment of this type, so if you’re looking to try it out, consider them both.
The Best Clarifying Shampoos
Olaplex No. 4 Bond Maintenance Shampoo promises to repair, strengthen, and hydrate all hair types. It is formaldehyde-free, gluten-free, paraben-free, and sulfate-free.
This clarifying shampoo has more than 53,000 reviews on Amazon and a 4.7 out of 5-star rating. Reviewer Tiffany Gordon gave the product a 5-star rating for how it worked on fine-textured hair.
“For the first time … I have no extensions in and my hair is shiny,” Gordon wrote in the review. “I can actually brush it and it doesn’t stick straight up.”
Both Olaplex and users of the clarifying shampoo recommend pairing it with the conditioner, Olaplex No. 5, for best results.
Meant for use only once or twice a week, Ouai Detox Shampoo promotes a “fresh start” for your hair each time you use it. This concentrated, clarifying shampoo is made with apple cider vinegar and other nutrient-rich ingredients to bring out the best in your hair.
Nearly 1,800 customers have rated Ouai Detox Shampoo on the website and give it a 4.6 out of 5-star rating. Amazon reviewer stephtor011 called the clarifying shampoo “a must buy” in her online review, which included before and after photos.
“The first picture was taken before using the product,” the user wrote. “I was losing volume and definition … I decided to give it a try, and on my first use, my curls came back to life!!!”
Ouai Detox Shampoo also has no parabens, no phthalates, and is sulfate-free.
My 7-Day Hair Detox Experiment
So, after looking at the two products above, I decided to order the Ouai Detox Shampoo. A number of the reviewers mentioned they had curly hair, so it seemed like a good match for me.
I have short, thick, curly (sometimes frizzy) red hair that is graying and tends to get dry quickly. It’s something I’ve struggled with for a long time.
Over the past few years, I’ve increased my activity level to improve my health and lose weight. I run/walk five or six days a week and strength train two days a week. In other words, my hair gets a workout, too, from the sweat, the heat, etc. Oh, I also wear a bike helmet, because while I like being safe, I clearly like to be cruel to my hair.
The helmet came out on day two of my seven-day detox — on bike day. Yikes. Let’s add insult to injury, shall we?
You can see even under the helmet that my hair already looks dry and a bit frizzy.
When I’m trying to keep my hair under control, I tend to use a lot of products: a moisturizing shampoo and conditioner, a leave-in conditioner, and a frizz serum. I don’t use them every day, but the buildup is real.
By day four, my hair didn’t necessarily look awful thanks to the short length. But it felt pretty nasty thanks to the no washing with shampoo and the daily workouts. Ick.
My Results, Using Ouai Detox Shampoo
At last, I arrived at my hair-washing day. I’ve never been so relieved to wash my head! I pulled out the Ouai Detox Shampoo and hopped in the shower.
I admit I used a little more than the quarter-sized amount most people recommend. I will say this clarifying shampoo doesn’t smell like something you’d enjoy at a spa or salon. Clearly, Ouai wasn’t going for fragrance. Don’t get me wrong: it doesn’t offend the nose. It just smells like soap.
But, it did work up a good lather, which surprised me for some reason.
I had already scrubbed the shampoo in for a while at this point and you can see there’s still some lather present. I rinsed off with some cooler water to help tame the frizz.
I did not purchase the accompanying conditioner. I decided to just skip using one to see what the actual results would be with just the shampoo.
My hair felt and sounded squeaky clean! And, after I let it air dry, I was impressed with how soft it felt even without using conditioner.
I haven’t styled it or used any other hair care products, yet. I wanted to make sure you saw the final result without any frills.
It may not look a lot different, but I do feel like my hair and scalp is cleaner than normal — like it has that “fresh start” clarifying shampoo manufacturers promise.
I will definitely keep using this product and see how it fares after repeated washings! Is it a good value? I think so since you don’t need to use it every day and it will last a while.
Have you ever tried a clarifying shampoo? What did you think?