Over time, your hair starts to collect a build up of products that need to be removed to avoid damaging your hair. Most are aware of oily build up on hair but there is also “magnetic” build up. There are certain ingredients that have a strong magnetic hold on the hair (especially in damaged, porous regions). Even though these ingredients are water-soluble you have to break the magnetic charge to remove them. So, how can you remove the build up on your hair? Sulfate cleansers can be used for oily product build up, while alkyl sulfates remove not only oily buildup, but also the “magnetic” buildup. However, it’s important to know that clarifying every wash would further damage your hair, so it is best to clarify when you no longer can achieve consistent styling. Finding a gentle, but effective clarifying wash is beneficial.
Ingredients to look for include: C 14-16/17 olefin sulfonate, sodium polystyrene sulfonate, and ammonium lauryl sulfate.
National Center for Biotechnology Information. “PubChem Compound Summary for CID 23675606, Sodium C16 olefin sulfonate” PubChem, https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/Sodium-C16-olefin-sulfonate. Accessed 13 July, 2021.