How to remove dimethicone from hair

Written by barbara cannon
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How to remove dimethicone from hair
Many hair products contain dimethicone. (hair care image by Glenn Jenkinson from

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 build-up 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) recognises the potential for health risks. Fortunately, removing dimethicone build-up is a simple process.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Clarifying shampoo
  • Baking soda (Bicarbonate of soda)
  • Plastic bottle
  • Squirt of fresh lemon juice
  • White vinegar
  • 1 cup measuring cup

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  1. 1

    Wash your hair using a clarifying shampoo. Clarifying shampoos are widely available wherever shampoos are sold.

    How to remove dimethicone from hair
    Clarifying shampoos can remove dimethicone build-up. (lid image by andrew chambers from
  2. 2

    Condition your hair after using the clarifying shampoo. These shampoos can be harsh.

    How to remove dimethicone from hair
    Condition your hair after using a clarifying shampoo. (wet brunette image by Leticia Wilson from
  3. 3

    Dry and style your hair as usual. Use a clarifying shampoo every 10 to 14 shampoos.

  1. 1

    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.

    How to remove dimethicone from hair
    A plastic bottle is the safest container for use in the bathroom. (Sport water bottle image by TekinT from
  2. 2

    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.

  3. 3

    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.

Tips and warnings

  • There are three levels of clarifying shampoos. The strongest ones contain lauryl sulphate. 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 build-up on the hair.
  • The hair care experts at suggest using a clarifying shampoo no more than twice a week.
  • Some people react to clarifying shampoos with a dry and itchy scalp. Be sure to use a conditioner or a homemade clarifier.
  • If you have sensitive skin or scalp, try baking soda or a homemade vinegar rinse instead of a clarifying shampoo.
  • Don't confuse baking powder for baking soda!

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