Activated charcoal treatments are the latest trend to hit the beauty industry and for a good reason. The shampoos and treatments that are derived from charcoal seem to have so many benefits, it's sometimes hard to know what's true and what's not.
You'll find charcoal treatments are being used in everything from skincare and beauty to toothpaste!
There are so many products on the market and each of them offers something slightly different, so the choices can be a little overwhelming. Let's get to the bottom of what makes a good charcoal treatment and why you need it in your life!
What is Activated Charcoal?
Firstly, there are two types of charcoal so it's important for us to know the difference between them as they work differently. There is charcoal and activated charcoal. Charcoal is mostly pure carbon. It comes from burnt hardwoods like oak wood and beechwood. The charcoal is made by cooking the wood in a low-oxygen environment.
Activated charcoal is similar to regular charcoal but is made specifically for use in medicines to treat poisonings, reduce gas and even prevent hangovers. Regular charcoal is heated in the presence of gas that causes the charcoal to create internal spaces or "pores".
The pores allow the charcoal to trap the chemicals, increasing its absorbing power. It means it will grab onto things much easier and faster, especially in the hair!
For hair, charcoal treatment is specifically created to help repair hair. The specially formulated ingredients are used to help combat the symptoms of dry, brittle and damaged hair. Hair charcoal treatments are formulated to restore moisture and help to give you more of a vibrant shine, without leaving your hair looking oily of course!
The treatment helps to smooth the hair without changing the hair's texture too much, it's actually really impressive! When you look at the technical side of things, it becomes even more incredible.
The Science Behind Charcoal
Charcoal is a lightweight black carbon residue produced by removing water and other volatile constituents from animal and plant materials. Charcoal is usually produced by slow pyrolysis - the heating of wood or other organic materials in the absence of oxygen (O).
Activated charcoal is also known as activated carbon. This charcoal is a form of carbon processed to have small, low-volume pores that increase the surface area available for adsorption or chemical reactions. This substance is high in microporosity, which is why it's used so widely. 1 gram of activated carbon has roughly 3,000m2 in surface area as determined by gas absorption. Some processes vary and use different types of wood during this process creating a slight variation in results.
Key Ingredients Used in Conjunction with Activated CharcoalThere are many key things you should be looking to make sure your charcoal treatment has. Some of the best ingredients found are:
- Activated charcoal treatment - helps to purify the hair
- Salicylic Acid is used as an anti-dandruff (but we do not make reference to this and we mainly say it may remove scaly dead skin) to use the word Dandruff we have to be TGA approved.
- Willowherb extract has an antioxidant effect and also helps to remove dandruff and remove excess sebum from the scalp.
- Kakadu Plum extract is an anti-oxidant, that helps to fight free radicals on the scalp.
- Tea Tree Oil - Tea tree oil improves the circulation of blood, which helps to flush out toxins and stimulate dormant hair follicles. The antiseptic, antifungal, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties of tea tree oil ensure that your hair stays clean and healthy.
- Menthol adds a cooling and refreshing feeling and helps with the circulation of blood on the scalp
Benefits of Charcoal Treatments
One of the best-known qualities of charcoal is its ability to detoxify!
That means it will help to cleanse your hair and scalp which will reduce the build-up of product, stopping your hair from becoming oily as often. The activated product will help get into each strand, strengthening it and leaving your hair silky smooth. It will give you more of a full-bodied look, increase hair growth and stimulation too.
Due to its high porosity and potent adsorbent qualities, activated charcoal is capable of carrying toxins and pollutants 1000 its molecular weight. As a result, your hair feels cleaner, silkier, and smoother.
Charcoal treatments are known for helping fight off dandruff. Dandruff is caused by an overproduction of skin cells, creating a fungus that leads to flaking of the scalp. The charcoal helps to remove bacteria, oil and build-up from the hair, removing the fungus. It also helps soothe the itching and irritation caused by dandruff. You'll stop the scratching in no time and be back to wearing your hair in all styles.
Charcoal absorbs minerals, toxins, impurities, and other harmful substances, leaving you with stronger, healthier skin. In addition, it helps to rid of chemicals from skin pores by exfoliating the dead skin cells and unpleasant odour. It will also stimulate cell growth leaving your skin supple, delicate and smooth.
Excellent for Oily and Acne-Prone Skin Types
If you are looking to add some volume, body and bounce to your hair, this is one way to go about it!
The activated charcoal absorbs any of the excess oil. This means that you won't use as much product and won't need to wash your hair as frequently too! Learn more about the charcoal benefits to see if it covers any of your other hair concerns.
Who Should Use an Activated Charcoal Treatment?
The treatment is recommended to be used by those who have dry and damaged hair. If you are wanting to try and restore damaged strands, this is the product for you. It doesn't matter the colour of your hair, even blondes can use this shampoo.
Although the product does come out black and appears a little daunting, we promise it won't turn your blonde mane into a black beauty!
How Often to Use it?
The frequency of use of these types of products really depends on you. There is such a thing as overuse, so steer clear of using this as a daily hair wash routine.
Aim to use this once every one to two weeks, to help remove build-up and impurities. It's important to test it first and see what works best for you!
Everyone has their own desired outcome, just test it a little.
Brands we Recommend:Below are the top brands of activated charcoal shampoos and treatments we stock. Check the ingredients of the range to make sure they partner with other beneficial ingredients to ensure you meet the ultimate hair goals.
We hope you enjoy trying these for yourself and we would love to see your results and feedback. Let us know what other brands you use and what routine works best for you.
A Deeper Look at Charcoal Shampoos
A great hairstyle is always achieved by fresh, clean hair and what better way than to use a charcoal shampoo on your head?
Do not be alarmed when the liquid pours out black. The colour may be confronting at first because we are all used to seeing white-coloured formulas coming out of shampoo bottles. This liquid black gold does not stain the hair but quite the opposite, it works miraculously in cleansing the scalp and the hair.
Charcoal shampoo can be used with all kinds of hair, too.
Here at AMR Hair & Beauty, there is a variety of charcoal shampoos and treatments that we offer.
The Blackwood Charcoal range is Australian made and owned. It soothes and cleanses the hair while stimulating scalp circulation. The clarifying shampoo, with its main ingredient being pure charcoal combined with its active ingredients of bamboo, is well known for its beauty and health benefits.
Rich in antioxidants and essential fatty acids, the shampoo helps remove and effectively draw out dirt, toxins, oils, pollutants and build-ups from the scalp to restore shine and softness back to healthy hair as well as moisturise and nourish the hair.
The Blackwood Charcoal Bamboo treatment can be used weekly to further condition and cleanse hair.
The cleansing shampooing process is gentle and safe enough to be used daily and on all different hair types. With scents of fresh tea tree oil, it gives your showering and hair treatments more of an organic fragrance.
18-in-1 Detox Range
The 18-in-1 Detox range has a distinctive fresh and zesty scent so you know this will do more than clean your scalp.
The luxurious and detoxifying products are formulated with rich Bamboo Charcoal ingredients mixed in with Canadian Willow Herb and Kakadu plum, it provides the usual 18 in 1 bottle beneficial properties the brand is known for.
The 18 in 1 beneficial properties are:
- Cleansing the hair of impurities
- Removing the impurities from the scalp
- Leaving the scalp feeling healthier
- Revitalising the scalp
- Adding body and volume
- Removing excess oil
- Deeply soothing itchy scalp
- Relieving irritation from a dry scalp
- Improving the feel of hair
- Reducing the static feel to the hair
- Improving comb-ability of hair
- Imparts soft velvety skin feel
- Imparts gloss to the hair
- Moisturises and hydrates
- Rebuilds hair
- Returns elasticity to the hair
- Reduces damage to hair
- Rich in Anti-oxidants
Both 18-in-1 and Blackwood are proud to be cruelty-free, free from sulphates and parabens.
So, go on and treat your hair and scalp to a fresher you.
Cheers to Charcoal!