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 have so many benefits, it’s nearly hard to believe. 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 offering something slightly different from the next, 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 beechwoods. 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 used in medicines to treat poisonings, reduce gas and even to prevent hangovers. The regular charcoal is heated in the existence of gas and that causes the charcoal to create internal spaces or “pores”. This allows 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!
Basically, for hair, charcoal treatment is specifically created to help repair one’s hair. The specially formulated ingredients are used to help combat the symptoms of dry, brittle and damaged hair. It’s 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 it:
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).
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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 woods during this process creating a slight variation in results.
Key ingredients used in conjunction with activated charcoal:
There 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 – it’s 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 – it has an anti-oxidant effect, also helps to remove dandruff and remove excess sebum from the scalp.
- Kakadu Plum extract – anti-oxidant, 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 – cooling and refreshing feeling, helps with the circulation of the blood on the scalp
Benefits of charcoal treatments:
One of the best-known qualities of charcoal is its ability to detoxify! It means that 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.
Bye-bye dandruff! 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.
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It absorbs minerals, toxins, impurities, and other harmful substances, leaving you with stronger, healthier skin. In addition, it helps rid of chemicals from skin pores as exfoliating the dead skin cells and unpleasant odour, it will 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 to 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 those 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 on 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. Certainly try and 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:
These are the top brands of activated charcoal shampoos and treatments we stock. Check the ingredients of the range to make sure they partner with some of the other beneficial ingredients to ensure you meet the ultimate hair goals.
Finally, 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.