Dimethicone is a non-water soluble substance belonging to the simethicone/silicon family. Dimethicone is contained in numerous hair care products to add texture and shine, and to control “the frizzies.” There is a price to be paid for the illusion of healthy hair, however. Over time, a buildup of dimethicone occurs, weighing down strands of hair causing limp locks. There are conflicting reports on the safety of dimethicone; The FDA has approved its use in cosmetics, while the CIR (Cosmetic Ingredient Review) recognizes the potential for health risks. Fortunately, removing dimethicone buildup is a simple process.
Things You'll Need
How to Remove Dimethicone from Hair
Wash your hair using a clarifying shampoo. Clarifying shampoos are widely available wherever shampoos are sold.
Condition your hair after using the clarifying shampoo. These shampoos can be harsh.
Dry and style your hair as usual. Use a clarifying shampoo every 10 to 14 shampoos.
Two Methods for Using Homemade Hair Clarifying Agents
Place about 3/4 cup of baking soda on wet hair. Work the baking soda into your hair, coating the length of all strands. Rinse very well. Wash your hair as usual, and follow with a good hair conditioner. Repeat this process every two weeks to clarify your hair before shampooing and conditioning.
Mix 2 cups of white vinegar with 2 cups of cool water in a plastic bottle. Add a squirt of fresh lemon juice to make an effective clarifying rinse.
Pour this rinse on the hair after shampooing, but do not rinse out. When the hair dries, no vinegar scent will be detectable, and no conditioner is needed. Use this technique twice a month as an alternative to the baking soda method.
There are three levels of clarifying shampoos. The strongest ones contain lauryl sulfate. For a milder clarifying shampoo, look for these ingredients: Disodium Laureth Sulfosuccinate, Sodium Lauryl Sulfoacetate, Sodium Lauryl, or Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate. A third group of ingredients to look for, most often found in baby shampoos, are Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Lauroamphoglycinate, or PEG 80 Sorbitan Laurate. Clarifying shampoos can be harsher than regular shampoo, so use a conditioner after washing your hair.
Ordinary baking soda is an effective and inexpensive way of removing dimethicone buildup on the hair.
References and ResourcesReal Self: Ingredients in Dimethicone
Live Curly, Live Free: Product Ingredients
Naturally Curly: What's the Scoop on Silicones?
The Beauty Brains: How do Clarifying Shampoos Work?
ResourcesRSC.org: Take Two Bottles into the Shower
The Beauty Brains: What do Silicones do for your Hair?
Cosmetic Database: Dimethicone
Silicones-Science: A Short History of Silicones' Production