Written by: Anindita Thakur

Unveiling The Truth: Does Charcoal Shampoo Darken Hair?

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Charcoal has taken the beauty industry by storm. Its magical properties have made it the favorite staple, even for hair cleansers. But, wait, does charcoal shampoo darken hair? It is a persisting question with swirling claims, and as a hair care expert, I unveil charcoal’s potential and limitations!

So, hair besties, let’s embark on this journey and explore how beneficial charcoal shampoo is your tresses!

Does charcoal shampoo darken hair
Does charcoal shampoo darken hair

What is charcoal shampoo?

Shampoo with activated-charcoal
Shampoo with activated charcoal

Charcoal shampoo has turned into a buzzword in the hair care industry. You may hear about it time and again. But what exactly is a charcoal shampoo, or let’s say, what does it do? Well, charcoal shampoo is a hair cleanser harnessed with the power of activated charcoal, whose deep cleansing and detoxifying properties are a known secret. These highly porous ingredients absorb impurities, dead cells, build-up, and excess oil from the scalp and hair and mop them out as you rinse your hair.

This deep cleansing action unclogs hair follicles, detoxifies the scalp, and turns it refreshed and revitalized without stripping off hair’s natural oil. Furthermore, it adds volume and shine to hair, making it a favored choice for people with dull or thinning hair.

The composition of charcoal shampoo

With other hair-loving ingredients, charcoal shampoo contain activated charcoal, a form of oxygen-treated highly porous carbon. The compound’s unique properties enable it to adsorb impurities and toxins from the hair and scalp, effectively purifying them.

What does charcoal shampoo do?

The benefits of charcoal shampoo on all hair types, textures, and colors have made it increasingly popular in the hair care industry. This shampoo not only cleanses and purifies the scalp, it adds more. What are they? Check out the 5 benefits of charcoal shampoo below.

  • Scalp and hair detoxification: Activated charcoal has an incredible clarifying property. Its porous structure pulls pollutants, impurities, and excess oil out of your scalp and hair follicles. You will notice that the impurities are washed away, leaving your scalp super clean and refreshed with no buildup. This process detoxifies your scalp, giving you healthy, clean hair.
  • Adds volume to hair: Charcoal shampoo can instantly revive your dull, lifeless, thin hair. Its deep cleansing property frees the scalp of the impurities that weigh down the hair. As a result, the tresses feel light, free-flowing, and bouncy from the first wash.
  •  Restore scalp and hair pH: The pH of a healthy scalp is 4.5-5.5, and that of hair is 3.67. But, various factors disrupt these pH levels, which leads to dryness, dandruff, itching, etc. Charcoal shampoo’s detoxifying and purifying power restores those natural pH levels and turns the scalp and hair healthy.
  • Heals scalp: Charcoal shampoo relieves you from itchy, irritated scalp or other severe conditions. The activated charcoal penetrates deep and exfoliates the scalp, pulling out toxins and unclogging the pores that let the scalp breathe freely. 
Difference in hair before and after using charcoal shampoo
Difference in hair before and after using charcoal shampoo

Related: Can you use bar soap as shampoo?

Does charcoal shampoo darken hair?: Debunking the myth

Despite many claims about charcoal shampoo’s relation to hair darkening, it is necessary to know the truth of its effects on hair coloring. One common misconception is that the shampoo’s dark color darkens the hair. The truth is it does not deposit color onto your hair strands. The inky black shampoo is a purifying and detoxifying hair cleanser.

To gain a deeper understanding of this intriguing topic, explore the scientific perspective, gather expert opinions and examine evidence-based findings.

What dermatologists say about charcoal shampoo and hair darkening

While some reports claim that charcoal shampoo can darken hair, dermatologists assert the claim is unsupported. According to experts, activated charcoal does not possess hair-darkening properties.

Dr Banani Choudhury, the Consultant Dermatologist at Sir H. N. Reliance Foundation Hospital, says charcoal shampoo “could help with mild dandruff and exfoliation. The abrasiveness of charcoal can physically exfoliate the scalp and soak up some of the oil.” Hoever, using it daily can make hair too drying. Dr. Choudhury further added that for any severe scalp condition or infection, it is better top go for a medicatd shampoo.

So, if hair appear darker after using charcoal shampoo, it is due to other factors. With the removal of residue, pollutants, or excess oil, charcoal shampoo reveals hair’s improved health and natural shine that makes it appear darker. Hence, the effect is merely a visual enhancement rather than an actual darkening of hair.

washing hair with charcoal shampoo

Scientific proofs about charcoal shampoo as hair darkening agent

Scientific studies on the relation between charcoal shampoo and hair color yielded intriguing results. Researchers conducted a controlled experiment on individuals with various hair colors. Every individual was treated with charcoal shampoo for an extended period. Surprisingly, no significant change in hair color, specifically hair darkening was observed.

Charcoal shampoos have been proven effective in removing impurities, excess oil, and product buildup from the scalp and hair strands, promoting a clean and refreshed appearance. This cleansing action can contribute to the overall perception of lustrous, well-nourished hair. It’s important to note that the absence of evidence suggesting hair darkening does not necessarily equate to the absence of any impact on hair health.

Related: Best color protect shampoo

FAQs on charcoal shampoo

Can you use charcoal shampoo every day?

Yes, you can use charcoal shampoo every day. But, according to experts, Using it once a week or every other week, depending upon your hair type and the shampoo you choose, may yield the best results.

Can you use charcoal shampoo on all hair types?

Yes, charcoal shampoo, being a gentle cleanser, can be used on all hair types. To use for color-treated hair, consult an expert. Furthermore, the shampoo is best for people dealing with oily or disruptive scalp, dandruff, and other issues.

Is charcoal shampoo good for colored hair?

No, charcoal shampoo may strip the color of your hair away if used frequently. So, for those with color-treated hair, it is recommended to consult a hair care expert before incorporating charcoal shampoo into your routine.

Is charcoal shampoo good for grey hair?

Yes, charcoal shampoo is recommended for grey hair with once or twice-a-week use. Regular use can lead to dryness, brittleness, buildup, and hair discoloration.

Final word: Does charcoal shampoo darken hair?

Hence, if you want to preserve your natural dark lock, charcoal shampoo alone won’t darken it. The combined effects of impurity removal charcoal shampoo and nourishing natural ingredients like botanical extracts and oils help maintain hair’s natural darkness. To darken your hair, explore other options or consult a professional.

Because of the numerous benefits, don’t let the hair non-darkening feature of charcoal shampoo deter you from exploring its advantages.

Anindita Thakur
Anindita Thakur

Anindita Thakur is a beauty writer covering perfume, cosmetics, hair care, and skin care. She holds a B.A. Hons in English, M.A. in English, M.A. in History, and a Certificate in Journalism and Mass Communication from Calcutta University. With robust credentials in writing and communications, Ms. Thakur provides engaging articles on beauty trends and tips. Her goal is to educate and inspire audiences on the best products and practices for skin, hair, makeup, and fragrance.

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