Natural Clarifiers

Most loc wearers aspire to have smooth and shiny loc’s.  It is essential to keep your loc’s clean in order to reach this goal. However, what many people don’t realize is that many shampoos will leave residue on the loc’s, making them look dull and dirty.  Also a lot of us do not thoroughly clean the buildup of wax, dirt, butters, mineral oils, petroleum, gels, and other residue in our loc’s.  I always wash my hair with HOT water, the hottest you can take it.  Hot water melts the heavy products we may use to twist your hair.  We must remember that because dredlocks are thick, dirt and grime build up easily.   

We can allievate these issues of buildup by looking in our kitchen cabinets.    

To maintain shiny loc’s and to remove any residue follow any one of these loc mainteance recipes: 

Recipe AACV Soak 

Wash loc’s with a clarifying shampoo. 

After shampoo is rinsed from hair and loc’s are squeezed to remove as much water as possible, soak your loc’s in Apple Cider Vinegar. 

Pour it on the scalp from the roots and then down on each individual loc. 

Leave Apple Cider Vinegar on the hair for about 10-12 minutes. Cover loc’s with a plastic cap and wrap head with a warm towel. 

Rinse hair with warm water thoroughly to ensure all or any build-up has been removed from the hair. 

This hair treatment can be done every two weeks or possibly once a month – depending on the condition of the hair. This handy recipe adds sheen to loc’s keeping them looking well maintained and manageable. 

Used as a hair rinse, vinegar neutralizes the alkali left by shampoos. This recipe can be used for all hair types to add sheen and softness to your hair. 

NOTE:  Don’t forget to try a patch test first to ensure you have no allergic reactions. 

Recipe BThe Combo — ACV+BS 

For a proper cleanse, a combination of vinegar and baking soda should be used. First, pour the baking soda into the palm of your hand. It should be enough to cover your palm. Then, place both palms together and then release them over and into wet hair. Rub the baking soda around and into your dreadlocks. Then, get your vinegar spray bottle and spray it all over the head. This will cause the baking soda to bubble up, which causes a deep cleansing. If no bubbling up occurs, add more baking soda and spray the vinegar again. Now, rinse out the vinegar and baking soda thoroughly with water. Purified water works best, but many people would rather not buy water for each time they wash their hair. Once the dreads are rinsed, shampoo following the instructions on your clarifying shampoo. The clarifying shampoo will clean away any residue left from the baking soda, as well as bring the hair to the consistency needed to keep the dreads locked and healthy. 

Recipe C: Vodka Hair Clarifier 

Add a bit of vodka into your shampoo! It’ll help to detoxify your hair, removing buildup from products and minerals in your water. You’ll notice an increase in shine and a vast improvement in flat, lifeless hair.

The vodka also deep cleanses the scalp, which can stimulate the follicles and promote healthy hair growth. So this is an inexpensive practice to possibly ward off hair loss by keeping the scalp ultra-clean and free of growth-retarding buildup on the follicles.

Condition afterwards with a quality moisturizing conditioner to restore softness and manageability to the hair. 

Recipe D: Baking Soda 

  • 2 tablespoons shampoo 
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
  •  Directions

    1. While you’re in the shower, bring along the box of baking soda with you.
    2. Measure out approximately 1 tablespoon of baking soda and add it to twice as much shampoo in your palm.
    3. Use the shampoo as you would normally, using the pads of your fingertips to give your scalp a thorough massage.
    4. Rinse very well with cool water, and then condition as normal.
    5. The baking soda should help remove build-up, naturally!

    Recipe E:  ACV Clarifier

    2 Tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar
    2 Cups distilled water
    2 Drops Sage Oil (this is optional)
    1 Small bowl
    1 Spoon or stirrer

    Mix ingredients together. Shampoo wash or conditoner wash as usual. Rinse conditioner. Use fingertips (not nails) to massage mixture thoroughly into scalp area. Use cool water on the last rinse, for shine.


    16 thoughts on “Natural Clarifiers

    1. Love these recipes and I use a few of them. Right now my favorite method combines recipe B, and recipe C. I’ll do the ACV Baking Soda first, rinse REALLY well, and them I’ll shampoo my locs with the vodka+shampoo combo. It gets my locs SUPER clean, but because it can be drying, I only do this occasionally.

    2. Thanks this was helpful want to start my loc my hair is long and bushy but can I returch the front to make it look good I don’t want to look like a ragga man

    3. I have build up in a few of my locs in the back that’s starting to become visible. Which recipe will be the most efficient in getting it out?

      1. I usually do ACV and baking soda. The bottom row of your locs collect the most lint and it’s the closest to your clothes. It definitely will require that you do it more than once maybe once a month clarify it. If its at the tip and you are able to pick it out, you can do that first then do a rinse. I have some locs in the same position with buildup and I open the loc where the buildup is, I attempt to remove it that way first (be gentle you don’t want to weaken your loc) and then do the rinse. Hope that helps!!

      1. ACV does stink. That’s why you should dilute it. The scent is very strong but diluting it makes it better. You need to thoroughly wash it out of your hair. After you clarify you should then wash and condition (some loc wearers don’t condition) if you wish. After you’re done your hair should not smell like either and your hair should be fully moisturized. You can then add your oils and any other product you wish for styling purposes.

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