I'm natural. Do I need to detox?

Q: Hi! I've been natural for 6 years, do I need to detox? I use a natural co-wash conditioner that I got from a health food store, so I should be ok, right?

A: 

It doesn't matter if you've been “natural” for 6 days, 6 months, 6 years, or 60 years – the term “natural” is unregulated and therefore means nothing. It is easy for any company or corporation to put the word "natural" on a product, because there is no qualification of that term legally. This is why we are a USDA certified organic company. Our hair wash falls into the "made with organic ingredients" category because there is a good bit of clay in the hair wash, and since clay is an inorganic substance (a mineral), it cannot be called "organic." That being said, all ingredients of every USDA certified organic product must comply with the National Organic Program's list of Allowed and Prohibited Substances. So no random, toxic chemicals can be put into an otherwise "organic" product. Also, the clay we use is not irradiated (treated with radiation) or chemically treated in any way. Remember, with USDA organic products the actual ingredients of the products and also the method by which the product is made must comply with the national standards.

If you want to learn about the different labeling categories of USDA organic certification, check out this post on our Organic News Blog.

If you want to see the National Organic Program's list of Allowed and Prohibited Substances, this is the link to it.

If you want to see a comprehensive list of USDA certified organic companies, see this webpage from the USDA National Organic Program website.

Something else you may find helpful is our own Healthy Person's Guide to Personal Care Ingredients. This webpage helps identify commonly found chemical ingredients in lots of conventional shampoos, conditioners, styling products, etc. These are the things you want to avoid!

Last, but not least, you should pick up the bottle of the conditioner you are using and look at the ingredients label. Check to see if any of the nasty chemical compounds from the webpages above can be found on it. Also, see if the actual conditioner itself is certified by an organic certification company (a company can label ingredients as organic without the end product being considered organic). Also, not every product from a company may be certified organic, so you have to inspect each product individually and carefully to ensure its safety for your health and the health of those around you. If the conditioner is not certified organic, then it is not organic and therefore not "natural." Remember, if you need help conditioning or styling your hair while using our hair wash, our Pure Earth Hair Wash is compatible with only USDA certified organic oils and butters. So if that conditioner you are using is not a USDA certified organic product (remember, the USDA is a government agency), then yes, you have to go through detox.

Also, it's important to note that health food stores do not carry exclusively organic, or even truly natural, foods and products – especially in the body care section. So I still highly recommend that you get out your "natural" conditioner (remembering that the word "natural" has no real meaning since it is not regulated) and read the label to see what is in the conditioner. As we say here: "If it doesn't have the [USDA organic] seal, it ain't the real deal!" Our hair wash is compatible with only USDA certified organic styling products, so you can't use other products with it unless they have the official USDA organic seal on the label.

I am including here two more links. One is to our online Hair Wash instructions that are more in depth than the ones sent with your package. The other is to our Hair Help Blog which has lots of great information about detox, hair styling, and conditioning. When using our hair wash, you do not want to use any chemical dyes, conditioning, or styling products. It doesn't matter if you're going through detox or if you finished detox. No matter what, no chemicals should be used on your hair because then you will have to detox again. Remember, the steps outlined in our hair wash instructions (outlined as day 1 wash your hair this many times, day 2 wash it this many, etc.) is just the beginning of detox. Detox, depending on your personal hair history and how often you wash your hair, can last from two weeks to longer. At no point should you revert back to a chemical conditioner because then you'd have to start detox over again.