I Didn’t Know I Needed a Detox Shampoo Until I Tried One

PureWow editors select every item that appears on this page, and the company may earn compensation through affiliate links within the story. All prices are accurate upon date of publish. You can learn more about the affiliate process here.

I rarely do much of anything with my hair. I use shampoo and conditioner every day, and then let my strands air dry. I don’t use any heat styling tools or products either, save the occasional leave-in conditioner in the winter. Basically, I never considered myself someone who might benefit from a detox shampoo. That is until I tried one. Specifically, the new Ouai Detox Shampoo.

I’ve long been a fan of Ouai’s products (the texturizing hair spray is a particular fave, as is the North Bondi Eau de Parfum). So when I heard Jen Atkin and her team were coming out with a shampoo meant to deeply cleanse your hair and scalp of all dirt, oil and product build-up, I figured, why not give it a try? I didn’t expect it to feel all that different from Ouai’s other shampoos, considering the lack of attention I so often give my strands. But whoa—I was wrong. After the first wash, I noticed an immediate difference. My hair felt lighter, fresher, cleaner. I was sold.

I’m not a big fan of heavily scented products and so was wary of the fact that Ouai’s shampoo is made with apple cider vinegar, which has amazing clarifying properties but also features a pretty overwhelming (and not particularly pleasant) smell. So I was relieved to find that there was no aggressive ACV scent, nor was the overlying fragrance overpowering. In fact, long-time fans of the brand might immediately recognize its signature Melrose Place—a light, refreshing mix of rose, bergamot, lychee, cedar-wood and white musk—as what’s been mixed in with the shampoo. As Atkin, herself said, “There was no reason the experience of detoxing your hair had to be unpleasant to the senses, which is one of the reasons I’m so proud of the outcome.” The shampoo also gets super sudsy, making it easier to really work into your scalp, even if you just use a little bit.

Although Ouai’s Detox Shampoo is intended for those who may have gone a little overboard with the dry shampoo, mousse, heat protectant or other styling products, after my experience, I think it’s likely that just about anyone could benefit from some deep cleaning. “We heard so many people talk about how they were able to go longer in between washes with all the resources available to them in the hair space, but then realized that because of all this product buildup, they needed a deeper wash. Hence, Detox Shampoo,” says Atkin.

So, how often should you be using a detox product like this? “Only you can best gauge the health of your hair, of course with our education and the advice of your stylist. But the general rule of thumb for a deeper cleanse is once or twice a week,” Atkin told The Zoe Report in a recent interview. She even has a handy (if a little gross) little trick if you’re still not quite sure if you need to detox. “You can get a really good sense of your hair’s readiness by scratching your hair at the root, and seeing how much gunk is under your fingernail. If there’s a lot, then yes, it’s time to detox.” Even if you haven’t been pretty heavy-handed with the dry shampoo.



Abby Hepworth is an RRCA-certified running coach who has worked in fashion for over 10 years. Want to know what shoes are in this season? She's got you. Need recommendations on...