Is TikTok's Viral Hair Detox A Legit Way To Refresh Your Strands? Hairstylists Weigh In

TikTok and its effects on society is a hot topic in the media recently, but no one can deny it has taught us some pretty amazing hacks, especially in the beauty space. The latest of many hair hacks to go viral on the video-sharing platform revolves around detoxing your strands for the ultimate refresh. Hair detoxing is nothing new in the beauty community but is now widely being done at home after it exploded in popularity on TikTok.


Hairstylist and natural haircare expert Darrius Peace has been practicing his craft for over 20 years and now trains others in natural hair care. "TikTok's viral hair detox trend is a legit process and it has many benefits," Peace told Glam in an exclusive chat. "Hair detoxing allows one to clarify both the hair and scalp." This is what leads to the oddly satisfying videos we are seeing across TikTok of gunk being released from the hair and scalp during a detox.

Who should try a hair detox?

Cosmetologist Ghanima Abdullah told Glam exclusively that popular sulfate-based clarifying shampoos are very drying. Therefore, anyone who wants to clarify their hair using natural ingredients instead can try a hair detox. According to Healthline, detoxing is common in the Black hair care space, but hairstylist Darrius Peace recommended it to us for anyone who uses heavy amounts of products on their hair and scalp daily, has oily hair, or works out vigorously.


When using natural products — clay, apple cider vinegar, or aloe vera — it's still important to follow best practices because they, too, can cause dryness or irritation if used frequently. "If you have issues with an oily scalp or dandruff, clay is going to show a difference," Abdullah told Glam. "It can be used weekly, but more than that will dry out your hair and scalp."

Apple cider vinegar can balance your scalp, but because it is "more active" than clay, it should be used carefully, according to Abdullah. "You have to dilute it to at least 1:3 with water, and you can only leave it in your hair for up to twenty minutes or it will dry you out," she told us. Lastly, the slick nature of aloe vera helps oil and dirt slide off, but Abdullah warns that it's harsher than clay and "can irritate the scalp if left on for more than 10 minutes."


The benefits of detoxing your hair and scalp

While hair care methods trending on TikTok cannot always be trusted, the experts we spoke to agree that the pros of naturally detoxing your hair, to remove product buildup and dandruff, are nothing to scoff at. Those incredibly satisfying TikTok videos where you can see the amount of grime that comes off the scalp and hair are just some examples of the power of a detox. In a one-minute timelapse video posted by TikTok user @brenda_treto of her detoxifying her son's locs with lemon, baking soda, and apple cider vinegar, we see just how much dirt and grime is removed from his hair. 


Do note that while baking soda is often used in detox videos on TikTok, cosmetologist Ghanima Abdullah recommended against using it in our exclusive chat. "Baking soda lifts the hair cuticle wide and also corrodes it if you use it frequently," they said. "You can use it once, but the quality of your hair will still suffer."

Still, when using the right ingredients, the benefits of naturally detoxing the strands are excellent, hairstylist Darrius Peace told Glam exclusively. Ultimately, the process easily eliminates build-up on the scalp  — which may be itchy and inflamed — to effectively help unclog hair follicles and will result in "more flow, volume, and movement."