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Using silicone-based hair care products is still one of the best ways to condition and impart shine to your hair. Silicone's water-repelling properties make it a great humidity fighter and protector against heat damage from the sun, curling irons and thermal straighteners. Unfortunately, silicone-based hair products still get bad press in the hair-care world. They can build up on the hair and create a waterproof layer that blocks further conditioning of the strands. Without the ability to get much needed moisture, the hair can begin to feel limp, greasy and dry. A clarifying shampoo is needed to remove silicone buildup.

How to Remove Silicones from the Hair

Gently remove any large tangles from your hair with your fingers and a wide-tooth comb.

Wet your hair with warm water to remove any loose dirt or debris.

Apply a quarter-sized amount of a clarifying shampoo like Pantene's Purity Clarifying Shampoo or Kenra's Clarifying Shampoo to your hair. Rinse thoroughly. Clarifying shampoos are specially formulated to remove stubborn product buildup like silicones, gels and pomade type products that may be difficult to lift from the hair with regular shampoos. You may repeat this step if your product buildup is particularly heavy.

Optional: Apply quarter-sized amount of your favorite moisturizing shampoo to your hair. Rinse thoroughly. Clarifying shampoos can strip the hair shaft and cause the hair to tangle. A gentler shampoo may be used to help remove any lingering buildup and help gently detangle the hair in preparation for the conditioning step. This step may be skipped if heavy tangling has not occurred with the clarifying shampoo.

Carefully section the hair with your wide-tooth comb. Apply a quarter-sized amount of any thick, creamy moisturizing conditioner to each section.

Cover the hair with a plastic cap.

Sit under a warm, hooded dryer for 15 to 20 minutes. The dryer heat will help the conditioner penetrate the hair deeply and reverse the harsh, stripping effect of the clarifying shampoo. Remove the cap, and rinse the hair thoroughly.

Apply your favorite moisturizing leave-in conditioner. Detangle the hair, and style as desired.


Frequent use of clarifying shampoos can dry out the hair. Always condition your hair after using a clarifying shampoo.