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I Tried This Detox Shampoo on a Whim and My Hair Has Never Felt Softer

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I Tried This Detox Shampoo on a Whim and My Hair Has Never Felt Softer featured image
Adene Sanchez / Getty Images

The winter months are my perfect storm of bad hair conditions. The drier air, increased heat styling and hat wearing (plus the notoriously hard NYC water) turns my hair straw-like and air dries neither straight, curly or wavy, but somehow a dull, frizzy mixture of all three. Come spring I’m always frantically searching for masks, treatments and creams to repair the damage.

This week I learned about about a new launch from hair-care brand milk_shake called the Deep Detox Shampoo ($26). Having always relied on adding extra product for softer, shinier locks, I was excited to see what a “hair detox” entailed. According to the brand, the shampoo is formulated to rid hair of pollution, grease, styling product build up and heavy metal build up (specifically, copper and lead) that can sit on the scalp.

My hair 101

My hair has been a source of stress and disappointment for as long as I can remember. I have what you’d call “combination” hair. Like its skin-type counterpart, combination hair has multiple textures and styles happening at the same time. In my case, the outer layers are fine and run slightly wavy to traditionally wavy; a 2A type if we’re being official. However, my under layers are much thicker and curlier; think full-blown 2C curls.

What this means is air drying never looks just right. I have a lot of hair, but instead of volume and bounce I just get poof. Some areas of my hair are always frizzier than others. Certain styles are out of the question without blow-drying or straightening. When I try to embrace a curlier texture, my finer, straighter strands get weighed down by product. I tend to use heat more often than not just to get some semblance of order, which in turn causes damage. I also inherited early graying from my mom’s side of the family and cover up my roots with permanent color every six-ish weeks.

It’s not all bad. Despite my frustrations and many single-process color treatments, my scalp is healthy with no major issues. Save for the times I try out multiple products, I wash my hair only when it needs it—about every three days or so.

What’s the difference between a detox shampoo and a clarifying shampoo?

You’d be forgiven for thinking a “detox” shampoo and a “clarifying” shampoo are the same thing (I did), but there are key differences. While a clarifying shampoo removes product buildup from your tresses, a detox shampoo works by starting at the scalp. “This shampoo type not only removes product buildup but it also allows me to work on removing heavy metals, pollution and excess oils from the scalp too not just the mid-shaft to ends. Build-up like this can cause damage, while leaving hair dull and unreceptive to color services. Detoxing your hair gives you the upper edge. It provides nourishment and enhances body while restoring luster to your color,” explains Gerard Caruso, creative director of education for milk_shake.

What hair type is best for a detox shampoo?

According to milk_shake, the Deep Detox Shampoo is suitable for all hair types.

The formula and feel

Milk_shake’s Deep Detox Shampoo contains antioxidant-rich green tea leaves to protect and soothe the scalp. Milk proteins provide strength and nourishment for hydration and softness. I also spotted all-star exfoliator salicylic acid in the ingredient list.

The shampoo looks like a matcha latte, has a sweet, subtle scent and lathers into a luxuriously creamy foam. (It’s worth noting that unlike other shampoos this formula is meant to sit for a few minutes before rinsing.) After rinsing and conditioning, my hair felt really clean; I was worried the formula could be too drying, but my hopes rose when I had zero issues with knots or tangles while brushing.

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The results: my softest hair yet

Not patient enough to wait to see how the results look air dried, I grabbed my blow dryer and got to work. I can’t stress this point enough—I could feel how uncharacteristically soft my hair was immediately. Not only that, it feels lighter and looks like I just got some sort of in-salon glaze treatment. My hair hasn’t been this touchable or looked this healthy and vibrant in a long time.

The brand recommends using the Deep Detox Shampoo at least once a week. Because my hair has always been on the drier side, I’ll stick to every seven days. I’m excited to put it through the air dry test to see if it helps tame frizz and maintain softness. In the meantime I’ll be hyping up this detox shampoo to anyone who’ll listen.

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