Sunday, 22 January 2012

Build up question

After revisisting the articles I can find on the subject and generally poking about on forums and blogs now taking into account information on the different properties of different types of silicone. Looking at the sunsilk leave in I know we both use it contains both dimethicone and amodimethicone. Now amodimethicone is in itself not water soluble but together with trideceth-12 it is and since sunsilk contains trideceth-12 it should be removed just fine (according to the sources I used). However, dimethicone which is also in the sunsilk leave-in balm isn't water soluble. I notice other people write about clarifying in order to remove dimethicone build-up but you've never mentioned clarifying your hair, yet you don't seem to experience problems from build-up, how do you solve the build-up issue, and how often do you have to deal with it?
It’s pretty simple…
I solve the build-up issue by not having a build-up issue.
Honestly, I can count on one hand how many times I’ve had to clarify and still have fingers to spare.

The times when I’ve had to clarify has all been ”back in the day” where I was new to the whole longhair circuit and was way too eager to condition and care for my hair.

It’s been some expensive lessons a few times: Once back when I had shoulder length hair I had used a coconut oil-leave in thing (Think Palmers Coconut something-something?) that got super greasy and weird in my hair. I then used shampoo to get it out, but it didn’t seem to work on the first round, so I shampooed again. Then it just got even worse! I swear, somehow the fatty coconutty-coney thing fused with the cones in the Fructis shampoo I used and turned into some sort of disgusting lumpy super-coconutty-coney-greaseball. Yikes! I shampooed and shampooed and eventually emptied the bottle and had to go to bed with greasy-icky hair and run to the store next morning to get a clarifying shampoo. I had to shampoo nine times in all to get my hair back to normal! My scalp felt completely fried after that.

Well, I learned my lesson on over-conditioning healthy hair then.
It wasn’t until I was at around waist length before my hair even accepted any kind of oil or protein without flipping out on me.
Coarse hair has an extra layer (That is what makes coarse hair coarse) and it makes it difficult for oil and protein to penetrate, so they just “sit there” and can mess up the texture of the hair. It seems that coarse hair simply needs to take some damage before it will accept oils and protein. Not sure it’s a good thing I can oil my hair now!
Of course I knew people were saying that, back then but I didn’t want to listen. I wanted to try all these cool new things, especially this coconut oil that everyone seemed to love so much!

The whole “Benign Neglect” that the super long hairs always praised just seemed so boring. Hah, now I’m being one of them too.

Now I condition 0-2 times a week, usually in connection with having to wash my scalp. It’s obviously not enough to cause build-up or other issues for my hair type.
I try to add some more care to my ends since they can “take” more conditioning than the roots by doing an  Ankylosaurus without the heatpack overnight. It works really well. My ends love the extra care and I don’t upset the top and risk over conditioning it.

So well, boring anecdotes aside my answer is: If you don’t overdo conditioning, cones or no cones, you don’t have to clarify.


  1. This is so true, I never had buildup issues with conditioners either. I wash the scalp with cone free conditioners by principle more than anything, but use cones on the length and ends a lot, and never had a problem with it. My hair also likes oils, a lot, so I suppose it's one of those YMMV things, it depends on the hairtype and the products.
    I had never thought about it, but you have a point, I read posts all the time about people that complain that they CO and then do a treatment on top of that two or three times a week, sometimes every other day. That really is too much, CO washing in itself is already moisturizing, I can't even remember the last time I did a long treatment =D

  2. I have had to deal with build up, but I know why. I've over used conditioning products to keep staticky hair at bay. Made the problem worse. Bottom line I use--unless my ends feel dry, I stay away from conditioners. And when I do use a conditioner, I use a light conditioner. I rarely used conditioners in my youth because I have always just washed my scalp with a clairfying shampoo (or one for oily scalp).

    What I find very important in this blog post is that we all need to experiment with what works for us. My hair is no where near as coarse as Igors, so while I enjoy reading this blog, if I oiled and did all the treatments to my hair as she did, it would be a lank oil slick.

    What I enjoy about reading on blogs, is the information I gather, things I try and how I relate them to my own hair needs.

    So, if anyone has any tips on keeping static at bay, outside of getting a humidifier for my apartment, I'm all ears (and no, static guard didn't work, bounce sheets didn't work--I've tried it all)

  3. I'm sorry for the late answer, thank you SO much for (all of) your comments, it got me thinking and I'm making some experiments :)

  4. I have fine, fairly thick hair and find that although it means I wash my hair every day or every other day, a light conditioner or one that contains the word "clean" seems to keep them down without losing volume. Also the light serums used past chin or shoulder length. But my hair likes to stick straight out so even though it's fine it can take the extra weight. I don't know if that was helpful or not. I spent my childhood and teenage years without conditioner so when I heard of CO washing, conditioner had maybe touched my head ten times. I was stubborn and tried anyways. My hair got lank and heavy and after a month I couldn't stand it. But I still use the CO washing method to condition my hair which keeps me from double shampooing. Then I glop more conditioner on the ends. Then sometimes a cone free leave in after final rinse. This seems to keep my hair soft with reasonable volume and fewer statics. The results while experimenting though have been funny.