In late February of 2021, textured hair specialist Camille Janae shared a Tiktok of a client with type four hair styled into a wash and go. The voiceover stated that only shampoo, conditioner, and styler was used. No heavy oils. No raw butter. Twitter blew up. Since then, the #30dayhairdetox created by the hairstylists behind Black Girl Curls has been trending.
The detox asks naturals to stop using raw butters, heavy oils, and plastic-based gels in order to learn the basics of haircare: cleanse, condition, and style. It’s all over YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok as many naturals are trying out this routine to escape lengthy hair days. I started the detox in March of 2021 and after three months, I can say the actual detox is easy. It was detoxing my mindset that’s hard.
This isn’t the first time I’ve heard that Black hair can benefit from a simple regimen. When I finished transitioning in 2012, I met a guy with beautiful kinky hair. Curious about how he grew it to its current length, I asked him about his regimen. He said he used shampoo and conditioner. At first, I was shocked. It had to be some $20 shampoo and conditioner to get results like that, but no. He told me he used drugstore shampoo and conditioner. I made excuses and blamed it on biology. He was a boy. That’s why he could have a simple regimen, and I couldn’t.
Fast forward to 2018. I had spent years creating my own products because I believed that drugstore products couldn’t help my hair. It wasn’t until I got a scalp rash from following YouTube tutorials, that I finally stopped using butters. Over the course of four months, I had tried every natural remedy to get rid of the rash: henna, hot oil treatments, apple cider vinegar rinses, bentonite clay. Nothing worked. Eventually, I came across shampoo as a remedy for scalp conditions. To my surprise, not only did my scalp clear up after two washes, but my hair curled. In my seven years of being natural, I had never seen my hair curl!
Despite seeing results from using shampoo, I still believed that it was too harsh for my hair so I opted to co-wash more instead of shampoo. I followed YouTuber’s Naptural85 regimen which was a mix of homemade concoctions and drugstore products. It was still taking me four to five hours to do my hair.