In regards to haircare and (more importantly) hair struggles, for the longest time, I couldn't figure out exactly what my strands wanted from me. Even when my ends were bone-dry from bleach, my roots were still greasy and occasionally flaky, and after trying every shampoo, conditioner, and hair mask under the sun, I was truly stumped. Fortunately, I've discovered a product that helps me get my cleanest, healthiest head of hair (and I've got the pics to prove it). I'm bringing you this Act+Acre Scalp Detox review in hopes that it inspires you to treat yourself (and your scalp) to a little TLC, in the name of future good hair days.
While obsessing over my hair as mentioned above, it never once occurred to me that the problems had more to do with my scalp than my strands. When I received a sample of a brand-new haircare brand back in December called Act+Acre, though, I realized I might've been going about my haircare all wrong. I was obsessed with cleansing and hydrating my locks, but I wasn't giving the scalp my hair grew straight from the same level of love. Right then and there, I vowed to start prioritizing scalp health as highly as I did hair health, and after trying a variety of scalp scrubs and rinses, the Act+Acre Cold Processed Scalp Detox ($42, actandacre.com) became a regular in my weekly routine.
Detox can be a tricky word with a lot of implied meanings, but in the case of this brand's Scalp Detox, it's all about removing product buildup and ensuring the scalp is properly moisturized and nourished. The vegan formula is free of sulfates, silicones, parabens, and gluten, and is primarily oil-based. Baobab and Moringa oils (the latter, a skincare favorite of mine) strengthen hair from root to shaft thanks to the vitamins, amino acids, and minerals they contain, and Amaranth oil adds shine to strands thanks to an antioxidant called squalene. Another key player in the formula is basil leaf, which prevents against bacteria and fungus and helps slough off dead cells to eliminate buildup and prevent dryness.
To apply the Detox, you simply squirt the product from the nozzle and drag it along your hair's part, and repeat while creating various partings throughout the head, like so:
The application process is easy, and only takes seconds. After, you simply massage it around a bit and then let it sit on the scalp for around 20 minutes. During this pre-shower time, I typically remove my makeup and wash my face, so that my skin is taken care of and I can focus on my hair. After 20 minutes is up, I hit the showers, and if I'm not using my go-to blonde toning shampoo, I'll go full health mode and use the brand's Cold Processed Hair Cleanse ($28, actandacre.com) and Cold Processed Hair Conditioner ($28, actandacre.com).
After going through the process of treating, washing, and drying my hair with the product, I always notice an improvement in how my hair feels. Prior to a shower (I only wash my hair three times a week max, although I body shower daily, FYI!), my strands look pretty dry, and my scalp can look particularly greasy, sometimes showing a bit of dandruff. Post-detox, however, my roots no longer feel heavy or look weighed down by grease and product; they're light and lifted, and my hair looks more voluminous as a result.
Also, after using the treatment two times, my visible dandruff was completely gone, and I made my oily-haired sister give the stuff a go, too. She loved it right away, and vowed to never wash her hair with anything but Act+Acre, which is a pretty glowing review from someone who has never really "loved" her hair or a haircare product. I was sold!
While my hair looked and felt much better, I didn't even realize how much healthier my overall scalp had become:
After trying out their products for a while, Act+Acre generously invited me to meet their team and learn a bit more about their products. The draw was to test out their scalp microscope, which would show me the state of my roots before and after receiving the treatment in real time. I'd spoken to others who had given the experience a go, and they were shocked at how much buildup and dead skin they had at first, then significantly impressed by how just one use of the Scalp Detox had improved it. I was expecting some majorly dramatic before-and-after photos myself, but to my surprise, I didn't get them.
Funny enough, my before-and-after treatment photos weren't too different:
A little less product buildup around the roots, for sure, but that was it. How could this be? All day, beauty industry friends had sent me their unbelievable transformations, and I was expecting mine to be just as dramatic. I had been excited to "OMG WHAT" the state of my own scalp!
Here's the thing, though: My strands didn't look drastically improved in the after photo because TBH, they didn't look too bad in the before. The Act+Acre team noted that my scalp looked pretty good before the treatment, while some other people showed way more product buildup and dead skin. I couldn't figure out why my scalp already looked fine... until I mentioned that I'd been trying their products out regularly, and it clicked. After using the products over the past couple of months, my scalp had already drastically improved. This stuff really worked.
Not under a microscope, my hair looked pretty damn good, too, if I do say so myself:
For comparison, here's one of the more dramatic before-and-afters of someone who hadn't ever tried the Scalp Detox treatment before:
Keep in mind, in many of the cases like the above, the before strands still looked totally normal to the naked eye, until inspected up-close. Scalp health matters, people, and the proof is in the weird microscopic pudding! The fact that the previous state of my scalp had been so massively improved by a few consistent uses of the brand's product left me beyond impressed. And the evidence was right there on the microscope.
It's safe to say I'll continue using Act+Acre, and I've already made a point to continue recommending their cold-processed products to friends and family. Now that I know to prioritize my scalp health as much as I do my hair health, my number of good hair days has increased, and really, I couldn't ask for more.