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silicone build up in hair

So I went and got my hair cut yesterday, and the salon girl told me I had silicone build up in my hair (lots of it, apparently), and of course, that I needed to buy salon shampoo. I brushed it off (oh well, no pun intended, oops) as the obvious marketing ploy that it was, but a few things she said about silicone build up made sense. Like lately, my hair does get dirtier quicker and feels not as nice as it used to. I can pinpoint this starting back to when I went overseas and took not my usual shampoo, but some possibly expensive, perhaps salon stuff, that I'd been gifted for Christmas. Since then my hair has not recovered.

My usual shampoo is an Australian brand called Organic Instinct, and I had a brief look through the ingredients. Now I am no scientist, but I'm pretty sure there is no silicone in it, though I don't know how silicone would hide. It seems to me that my hair was doing just fine before I used that other shampoo, and now even though I've been back on my usual for three months now, it's still suffering for it. Also, it seems to suffer a bit after getting washed when I get it cut, and I've been meaning to stop it, but I like the feeling of someone else washing my hair. It's like a treat to my head, but not really to my hair.

Anyway, I tried Googling around for information on silicone build up in hair and what not, but all I found were stupid beauty magazine sites. I thought that here would be a good place to ask questions, so thanks for any answers! I just want to know how silicone could hide, what it does, and how to get rid of it without submitting to the marketing ploy that is salon shampoo.

Cross posted to no_poo 



( 20 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 1st, 2010 10:52 pm (UTC)
I was wondering this to. I cut my hair cut last month and the girl said something similar about mine.
Apr. 1st, 2010 11:16 pm (UTC)
Well, there's silica (which is silicon dioxide) in sand, which can be in dust since sand can become really fine, but that's probably something different.

If you use any hair styling products, they may have silicone. Also, lotions can have it (which can appear in your hair if your body absorbs it).

Anyways, I could be wrong about the lotion bit. Don't have a generic brand handy.
Apr. 1st, 2010 11:28 pm (UTC)
silicone is usually found in conditioners--and you need to look for anything with an -icone ending. If you have a buildup of it, you can just use a clarifying shampoo once a week or so and of course don't use any conditioners that have -icone in it.

Silicone is a really big no-no if you have curly hair, as it weighs hair down.

Also like the responder said above it's found in hair styling products and lotions.
Apr. 2nd, 2010 12:29 am (UTC)
this. do get a clarifying shampoo.
Apr. 2nd, 2010 01:51 am (UTC)
I don't use styling products and I hardly use lotions or creams at all. Everybody is mentioning the clarifying shampoo, but I don't know what that is! So, what is it?
Apr. 2nd, 2010 11:52 pm (UTC)
It's basically just a shampoo that's really good at removing silicone build-up. ^_^
Apr. 1st, 2010 11:30 pm (UTC)
I'm pretty sure that commercial conditioners typically contain some form of silicones, but I can no longer find the source I read that says this (and identifies the ingredients containing silicone). I don't know if/what conditioner you use, but that could be the culprit?
Apr. 2nd, 2010 01:52 am (UTC)
I had a look on the back of the bottle, and there was nothing ending in -cone, but I pretty much figured that there wouldn't be any in it. I'm guessing it was the shampoo I used months ago and the build up is still there.
Apr. 1st, 2010 11:57 pm (UTC)
I scrape this gunk off of my clients' hair. If I could recommend a cheap brand, I would, but most store brands have some kind of wax or silicone in them. The build up makes your hair, flat, dull, and kinda sticky. Salon brands contain little-to-none of those things, which is why we recommend them. Get yourself a good clarifying shampoo (or something more natural if you can) and give your hair a really good scrub or two get strip all the junk off. That way you can start a new regimen and see a faster result. :)
Apr. 1st, 2010 11:57 pm (UTC)
Anything that ends with "cone" in the ingredients can be a culprit. You might be able to get rid of the buildup by mixing your shampoo with baking soda. More shampoo than BS so it's a thin paste. That usually gets rid of any buildup in my hair.
Apr. 2nd, 2010 03:35 pm (UTC)
I agree, baking soda works well for this purpose. I've done it myself.
Apr. 2nd, 2010 10:01 pm (UTC)
Yep, I did it last night after nearly every person suggesting it! My hair feels better already!
Apr. 2nd, 2010 12:20 am (UTC)
the -cone ending, as mentioned is the usual culprit. There are one or two similar ingredients with different names but I can't recall them at the moment. An easy way to help get rid of the buildup is just to use baking soda or vinegar. I don't like baking soda on my hair, but many fare well. Just add a tablespoon or so to your usual shampoo amount (in hand) and massage in. You can also rinse with dilute vinegar (about 1:4 vinegar to water) to help cut the buildup.

There are cheap shampoos without -cones in them. longhair has a memory or two about cone free and sulfate free products. I use Trader Joes store brand, it's cheap, cone and sulfate free, and mildly scented. Many baby shampoos are cone and sulfate free, as are more natural brands. Styling products though are usually rife with cones, as when cones do what they should they make hair shiny and smooth. It's just when they build up that they are a problem.
Apr. 2nd, 2010 01:42 am (UTC)
Things that end in -xane are also silicone, I'm not sure of any other names. As others have mentioned, you can find shampoos and conditioners without silicone in them, just make sure you use a clarifying shampoo first. Only shampoos with sulfates will be able to remove the silicone. (Pretty much all shampoos have sulfates, but if you decide to go the natural brand route to avoid silicone, those most likely won't, so you'll still need to clarify first.)
Apr. 2nd, 2010 01:50 am (UTC)
The brand that I use is a natural brand, and the ingredients lists a SLS ingredient, but as a plant derivative. What do you make of that? I don't really know much about all this, I'm still relatively new to this natural thing.
Apr. 2nd, 2010 04:57 am (UTC)
SLS is a plant derivative that can be synthesized in other ways..but being plant-derived doesn't make it good, in my opinion. Its still a detergent that tends to be harsh on hair. Cyanide can be plant derived (from certain fruit seeds), but that doesn't make cyanide a good thing!
Apr. 2nd, 2010 07:19 am (UTC)
So, stop using that shampoo and start a different one, if I mind the SLS in any form?
Apr. 2nd, 2010 03:16 am (UTC)
Here is a sciency link that might help.

As long as the -cones are water soluble you are getting rid of them.
Apr. 2nd, 2010 05:00 am (UTC)
A good way to get rid of silicone buildup is to add a spoonful of baking soda to a dose of shampoo. Look out for -cones in conditioners, and nix out any smoothing serums or lotions - they're all full of silicones. I've managed to replace smoothing serums with a drop or two of olive or castor oil.
Apr. 6th, 2010 04:36 pm (UTC)
Could you use witch hazel to remove build up? Or is baking soda the best route? Im very interested but completely uneducated about these things! Ihad to cut my hair short and I hate it.. its extremely curly and I straighten it usually.. which I know is a no-no but its a long story.. anyway, I usually use vegan coconut oil in my hair too. Anyway, would witch hazel work out the gunk??
( 20 comments — Leave a comment )

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