You’ve been there. You fall in love with a new hair product and for a while everything’s golden – your hair looks good, you feel great… until things start going south. Your hair doesn’t have that bounce like it used to. Maybe it’s getting harder to style. The texture seems off; dull, flat and lifeless.
Or maybe you’re faced with this dilemma: the product that makes your hair look good makes your scalp feel bad, or vice versa. Is it time to move on? Not necessarily - you just might be in need of a hair detox.
Lifeless hair or an irritated scalp isn’t happenstance – they’re signs of an imbalanced biome, our natural self-defense system. Our bodies produce a cocktail of substances on the skin, scalp and hair that control the growth of the microbes that live there. This keeps the bad bugs from growing while supporting the growth of the good ones that we need to stay healthy.
"Your biome like a garden -- no matter what you plant, no flower can flourish if the pH of the soil is off," medical scientist Dr. Michael Zasloff explains. Similarly, he says, when your biome is out of whack, the colonies of good and bad microbes that live there get skewed, altering the environment. What do you see? Hair that’s easily damaged, looks dull, gets dirtier faster and/or a scalp that’s prone to irritation, flakiness, excessive oils or inflammation. These are your body’s responses to outside aggressors.
If our biome is our self-defense system, why is it so easily damaged? It’s this simple: Nature designed the biome to protect against the natural world, not a man-made one.
While most of us put effort into what goes inside our bodies, we give little thought to what we’re doing to the outside. Most standard shampoos rely on sulfates (or close chemical “non-sulfate” cousins we call “sul-fakes” that are equally damaging) to degrease your hair. But they over-strip and dehydrate your biome, lift the cuticle of your hair and leave a negative electrostatic charge on both the hair and scalp. Translation? Your natural protective oils and peptides are removed and can’t protect you from moisture loss, bacteria imbalances and exposure. The lifted cuticle weakens the structure of your hair and causes dryness, frizz and color fade. And the negatively charged residue attracts more dirt, product buildup and environmental contaminants.
Standard conditioners contain silicones to create a synthetic shine to cover the damage left by the sulfates and sul-fakes and try to neutralize the negative charge left by them. Dimethicone and other silicone derivatives coat the hair shaft and scalp, causing buildup, grease and the trapping of chemicals and impurities. Styling products behave in the same way - even the ones you love will eventually upset the balance on your scalp.
And good old tap water contains substances like calcium, magnesium, iron, copper, lead and arsenic. Remember that negatively charged residue from shampoo? You guessed it – some of these contaminants are attracted to it. "Conventional shampoos, conditioners and finishing products actually turn your hair a magnet for dirt, grime and environmental elements," says Dr. Zasloff. This can dull your locks and wreak havoc on color processing, especially if your cuticle has already been compromised.
So can you detox your hair? Yes! But keep it simple. A hair detox shouldn’t be complicated – the simpler, the better. Some hair detoxes are more hype than help (i.e. the no-poo method). Do your research: even all-natural products can upset the balance of your biome if the ingredients are formulated in a way that throws your biome off.
A good hair detox allows your biome to heal itself. When your biome is holistically supported, a host of hair and scalp symptoms simply no longer exist – from aesthetic symptoms like split ends to more serious immunological responses. In other words, a happy biome means happy hair.
With simply 7 ingredients, the illumai Essential System is medically sound and restores wholeness to your biome in only 3 days. Your hair stays clean and soft throughout the process. Here’s how:
When your biome is balanced, you’ll notice common hair symptoms disappear. You’ll need to wash less often. Your hair will feel stronger, look shinier and feel real. Whether you choose to detox your locks monthly or every wash is up to you. Regardless of how often you choose, illumai is safe for daily use and the biome-balancing results get better each and every time.
Sulfates, such as sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), are chemicals used to create strong detergents. Because they are such efficient cleansers and degreasers, sulfates are commonly used in manufacturing and construction industries to clean heavy machinery.