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mellie
August 20th, 2008, 08:32 AM
I don't really understand what "clarifying" means exactly, when pertaining to hair, at least! :-) Can someone please clarify? :p

What does clarifying do? How is different than shampooing?

What natural products are clarifying?

How do you know if you need to clarify?

Ursula
August 20th, 2008, 08:37 AM
Clarifying is doing a more intense wash than usual, to remove any buildup from products or hard water.

I'm not sure about "natural" things that clarify.

My usual suggestion for clarifying is to wash with a shampoo that contains ALS (aluminum lauryl sulfide), as it cleanses thoroughly and rinses verly cleanly. TreSemme Vit. C is good. You want a shampoo that is detergent and not much else.

If you have hard water, you may want to follow with a chelating shampoo or treatment, to remove mineral buildup.

mellie
August 20th, 2008, 08:42 AM
So. if you have been been shampooing with sulfates already, then you probably wouldn't need to clarify?

heidi w.
August 20th, 2008, 09:54 AM
Clarifying is a specific type of hair wash where one removes "buildup". Clarifying essentially strips the hair bare neked, removing all product, minerals (from water, usually hard water), sebum, detris (skin cells), dirt/grime .... all of it. All gone. Hair in this state is without applied moisture such as from conditioner or leave-ins or oils. Clarifying removes what's on the surface of hair strands.

Chelating is a similar treatment -- the difference being is it removes bonds at the cortex level. SO Clarifying removes stuff from the surface of the hair, on top of the cuticle; chelating removes at the cortex level. You do not want to chelate until you've first tried clarifying, once to two times before proceeding to chelating. The order to try is shampoo normally (twice); then clarify (up to two times); then chelate. Never straight to chelating.

Most people do not need to chelate. This is a salon service that is sometimes conducted (as is clarifying) in a shampoo prior to specific types of hair processes, although not all.

There are store bought products that will have the word CLARIFY in the label, so you can use these products, OR you can use BAKING SODA. (NOT Baking POWDER...USE BAKING SODA). Baking soda is fairly natural, considering. (Natural does not always mean good for you. Bleach is natural, for example.)

You can blend 3 Tablespoons of Baking Soda with your shampoo choice, again 3 Tablespoons of shampoo. Equal parts! Others just blend in water. Stir til creamy smooth, no lumps. Some shampoos have colorants and the creamy color may turn a slight hue from those colorants.

I wash my hair first, normally, to break the surface tension of the glompiness of my hair so that the effectiveness of the clarifying will work faster. I tend to do an application of the Baking Soda blend, rinse extremely well, then Baking Soda again, rinse extremely well, and then deep condition.

ANY CLARIFY METHOD (store bought, home recipe) YOU USE SHOULD INCLUDE, AS PART OF THE PROCESS, A SOLID AND HIGH QUALITY CONDITIONING AS PART OF THE PROCESS. If you fail to condition sufficiently, or worse, do not apply any conditioner at all, your hair will come out a bit flyaway, a kind of funny feeling of brittleness (but it won't break). Curlies will likely frizz more. It's IMPERATIVE TO CONDITION. You see, you've removed all weight from product, grime, etc. You've removed all conditioner, all moisture. Therefore, YOU MUST REPLACE WHAT'S BEEN REMOVED (and begin again).

A common error is to not condition or do so woefully insufficiently and then complain that the clarifying didn't work. Actually, it DID. The point is to remove everything off the surface of the cuticle!

ACV or other type of Vinegar rinse (Apple Cider Vinegar) will only remove residual product or minerals from hard water that remains on in that specific hair wash. Once anything has dried on to the surface of hair strands, no vinegar rinse will remove it. If anything, it will feel even more weird if you try to use ACV or other vinegar as a clarify hair wash: tacky, tangly, a film. The prime benefit of an ACV rinse or other vinegar is re-setting the acid mantle to a more acidic state on the pH scale, which human skin prefers. Shampoos and conditioners tend to leave the skin in a more alkali state. This can leave the acid mantle alkali sometimes, and it prefers more acidic, around 5.0 - 6.5 or so. (6.5/7.0 is approaching neutral on the pH scale.) ACV or any other vinegar (never use balsamic vinegar as it has sugar in it -- white or ACV vinegar only) should be used well diluted -- perhaps as much as 1-3 Tablespoons in an 8 oz glass of water. Many like using distilled water for this rinse. It can be applied between shampooing and conditioning, or my preference was after conditioning (I no longer do any vinegar rinse of any sort as I was using it to manage my acid mantle, and I have long since now found products that work extremely well for my seborrheic dermatitus.) Vinegar also binds the cuticle meaning helps the cuticle to lie closer and tighter together imparting a trace amount of increased softness and sheen. It will help the cuticle to lie in its natural state: curlies have a more lifted cuticle compared to straight hair. The prime benefit of a vinegar rinse is pH balancing the scalp skin. In an ACV Rinse, malic acid is known to be beneficial to scalp skin (malic acid is what apples have in it). I do not recommend ACV for blondes, anymore. Brunettes may, over a great deal of time (years), notice a kind of reddish hue/tone to the hair if using ACV rinse. But all vinegars are acidic, so you can get the pH benefit from any vinegar. Second is binding the cuticle, and right next to it is removing product left on residually and not rinsed out sufficiently in that SPECIFIC HAIR WASH. Remember, doesn't work, once dried on the hair!

To improve water quality if you have hard water there are many options depending on your dwelling and budget: water filter on shower head arm (easy to install, even if renting, inexpensive solution); water softener or osmosis filter -- they all increase in expense and depend if you own your dwelling or not.

One clarifies when they have build up. One does not need to conduct this process on a regular schedule. It doesn't need to be done daily. I don't recommend this. Conduct a clarify hair was on an as-needed.

Buildup is what occurs on the surface of the hair, on top of the cuticle layer -- it builds on top of the cuticle layer -- buildup. Buildup is determined by a variety of factors that come together: there's a film on the hair that no matter a regular hair wash or shampoo or cleaning method of your choice is not removing this film. Film still exists after a fresh hair wash. Hair is overly tangly in areas more than the bottom 2-3 inches, depending on length--, and doesn't behave well per usual -- usually somewhat suddenly. Conditioner suddenly doesn't seem to work. Some may complain of a kind of crunchiness, but be careful, this may not be an indicator for needing to clarify -- this could be something about oil choice (if oiling) or another issue -- although sometimes it is an indicator for needing to clarify. (You can clarify a section of hair too, and not all of it!) If the film exists, hair may well be kind of section-y, clomping in chunks in an unusual way.

Again, I recommend proceeding in steps: always conduct a normal hair wash just to see if that will work. Maybe even try twice. Then proceed to clarifying. Do this twice. (It's rare that you will need to try it twice.) Then proceed to chelating. Do not ever go straight to chelating.

Clarifying is considered a harsh process, so be SURE TO CONDITION WELL!!

heidi w.
PS Note, there are products titled "daily clarify shampoo" -- this product is intended for folks who use a lot of styling products, gels, mousse, flat iron serums -- that kind of thing. Most of these types of styling products have silicone in them for shine boosting and hold.

mellie
August 20th, 2008, 10:44 AM
If baking soda is a clarifier, when people wash exclusively with diluted baking soda followed by an ACV rinse, then they are actually clarifying every time they wash? Is the ACV rinse acting as a conditioner for them, also?

And if one uses sulfates and no cones in their shampoo, then there really should be no buildup to clarify, correct?

heidi w.
August 20th, 2008, 11:24 AM
If baking soda is a clarifier, when people wash exclusively with diluted baking soda followed by an ACV rinse, then they are actually clarifying every time they wash? Is the ACV rinse acting as a conditioner for them, also?

And if one uses sulfates and no cones in their shampoo, then there really should be no buildup to clarify, correct?

Yes, when washing daily with Baking Soda, no matter how diluted or in water or shampoo or whatever, it's a clarify hair wash. ACV rinse is not a conditioner. There's always the unusual exception perhaps, but ACV doesn't condition hair the way conditioner does. It lacks the same chemical structure as conditioner. One should NEVER BLEND Baking Soda WITH any type of vinegar (whether ACV or white vinegar). You're not unclogging a drain!

If you oil, if you condition-only wash, or any other method of washing, if you use a leave-in or any styling products, there is a chance that you can experience buildup after some time -- whether cone free or sulfate free or not. Just the mere act of sebum doing its thing from the sebacious gland and skin cells sloughing, over extended time can become a bit gummy on the hair. It may be the case that going sulfate and cone free means a sincere decrease in a need to clarify, but most people end up needing to clarify once-in-a-while. Again, clarify on an as-needed basis only.

heidi w.

MeMyselfandI
August 20th, 2008, 11:46 AM
Heidi, Thank you for the detailed explanations.

My experience, after using sulfate free shampoo for about 6 months neither my hair or scalp felt clean. I went back to a sulfate shampoo, clarifying with neutrogena helped get my head and hair feeling clean. Now I use sulfate free for about a month, clarify before henna. Depending on the conditioners I use, I either stay sulfate free or use sulfate shampoo,

The biggest surprise:My daughter's hair, who has been using kids L'oreal shampoos for years, always looked dirty and greasy. Even after shampooing, it looked like she had just wet it. I finally told her to use the neutrogena clarifying on her head and hair. After that she went back to her normal shampoo and her hair looked good again.

I would not know when to clarify, other then the fact that the hair does not feel and/or look clean after it has been shampooed.

My worry is if I henna to often, I may end up clarifying to often since I clarify just before I henna my hair.

mellie
August 20th, 2008, 12:21 PM
I guess perhaps I've never had buildup then, which would explain my confusion as to the need to clarify...I've never used conditioners or oils, or any kind of styling products, and use a very simple few-ingredient cone-free shampoo.

If baking soda clarifying must be followed up with conditioner, how do the people who use exclusively baking soda followed by ACV rinses keep their hair conditioned?

Ohio Sky
August 20th, 2008, 01:36 PM
I guess perhaps I've never had buildup then, which would explain my confusion as to the need to clarify...I've never used conditioners or oils, or any kind of styling products, and use a very simple few-ingredient cone-free shampoo.

If baking soda clarifying must be followed up with conditioner, how do the people who use exclusively baking soda followed by ACV rinses keep their hair conditioned?

I've wondered this, too. I know some use oil after ACV rinse, and that acts as a conditioner, but I now some use only BS and ACV nad never condition. ACV does condition, to a certain extent, as it smooths the cuticle and increases shine and managability for many, but it does not impart moisture, so I suppose it depends on whether you hair needs the extra moisture.

It doesn't sound like you would need to clarify often, if at all, on your routine. Some say that even cone free COs build up over enough time, but then some have also said that they use cones and never feel like they need to clarify. :shrug:

Haith
August 20th, 2008, 01:50 PM
Thank you for the very informative posts, especially from you, heidi w.. I had always had a pretty good idea about clarifying, vinegar rinses and buildup, but seeing it all in one place has really helped me out!

heidi w.
August 20th, 2008, 02:49 PM
I guess perhaps I've never had buildup then, which would explain my confusion as to the need to clarify...I've never used conditioners or oils, or any kind of styling products, and use a very simple few-ingredient cone-free shampoo.

If baking soda clarifying must be followed up with conditioner, how do the people who use exclusively baking soda followed by ACV rinses keep their hair conditioned?

You misread me: any TYPE of clarify hair wash, whether a home recipe using Baking Soda or a store bought product or any other recipe (or product) MUST have a conditioning session as part of the process of this type of hair wash.

EXHIBIT A: this thread asked about clarifying, but I included ACV and other type of vinegar rinse to fully explain, knowing full well, that that many believe an ACV Rinse to be a clarify hair wash. It's only for that specific hair wash -- not for dried on gunk -- so I include this as expanded information on the topic of clarifying. Not all would think of adding this, though.

I am quite sure that some of these folks tend to forget to mention they did condition their hair because, likely, they're talking about this hair wash and don't realize that maybe mention of such would be helpful. It's easy to do. Lots of threads leave out pertinent information because it seems the topic isn't covering other aspects.

Some may not, though. Lucky them to fare well without conditioner. Most people's hair does fare better with some form of conditioning. ACV Rinse nor any other type of vinegar rinse is not a conditioner.

heidi w.

heidi w.
August 20th, 2008, 02:57 PM
How conditioner works! {entire text quoted] As you can see, vinegar clearly does not contain these surfectants.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/h2g2/A851627

When considering the question of how hair conditioner works you first need to know about the structure of hair. Hair, as you may know, is composed of a protein called keratin. This fact is important because keratin has a high percentage of those amino acids which have negative charges sticking out, like the hairs on a nettle.

The next thing you need to know is that most hair conditioners contain positively charged molecules called cationic1 surfactants. Soap, shampoo, and other cleaners contain surfactants (also called detergents) that are anionic2; that is, negatively charged. These cleaners are very effective at removing dirt, but they also remove natural oils and positive charges from the hair.

The positively charged surfactants in hair conditioner are attracted to the negative charges in your hair, and do not rinse out completely with water. When the hair dries, it is coated with a thin film, which adds weight, makes the hair easier to comb, and prevents static electricity from building up and 'frizzing' the hair.

Static buildup, by the way, is what happens when the positive charges are stripped from the hair. Rubber combs do this very nicely, which is why combing your hair on a dry day makes the hair 'frizz out'; because the negative charges on your hair are repelling each other!

All surfactants comprise an 'oily part' and a 'watery part'. The watery part - called the hydrophile - is what sticks to the hair; it contains the positive charge. The oily part - called the hydrophobe - is what gives the surfactant its conditioning ability, as it smooths the hair and gives it weight. The cationic surfactants used in conditioners come in several types, and can be classified by the nature of their hydrophobes.

If the hydrophobe has the structure of a saturated fat, like lard or butter, the surfactant has a waxy consistency. Oily hydrophobes, with a structure like liquid vegetable oil, give the surfactant a lighter texture; they may even be liquids. Hydrophobic polymers yield a hard, plastic-like material.

Hair conditioners come in several different types. 'Pack' conditioners are heavy and creamy in consistency. They contain high percentages of 'fatty' surfactants, and are used when the hair is damaged. Such conditioners are left in the hair for a long time, and will virtually 'glue' split ends and stripped scales into place. 'Leave-in' conditioners are lightweight, and will contain lighter-weight 'oily' surfactants, which add little weight to the hair. Ordinary conditioners have a balance between the two. There are also 'hold' conditioners; which are combination products that provide the benefits of conditioning while also holding the hair in place like a mousse. This effect is achieved using cationic polymers.

Finally, there are some conditioning ingredients which are not cationic. These do not offer the best results, but they have benefits of their own. Some anionic surfactants, which carry no electric charge, will stick to the hair in useful quantities. Unlike cationic surfactants, they can be mixed with anionic surfactants to produce conditioning shampoos. Other ingredients, like esters, oils, and polymers, are added to improve lustre, add comb-ability, and assure that the conditioning ingredients stay mixed in the bottle.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1 Cationic means having a positive electric charge (ie missing one or more electrons).
2 Anionic means having a negative electric charge (ie having an additional one or more electrons). Anionic and cationic surfaces will attract opposites and repel like-for-like (like magnetic poles).



APPLE CIDER VINEGAR
What is Apple Cider Vinegar?
http://www.homeremediesweb.com/apple_cider_vinegar_health_benefits.php

Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) is an effective natural bacteria-fighting agent that contains many vital minerals and trace elements such as potassium, calcium, magnesium, phosphorous, chlorine, sodium, sulfur, copper, iron, silicon and fluorine that are vital for a healthy body.

Natural Apple Cider Vinegar is made by crushing fresh, organically grown apples and allowing them to mature in wooden barrels. This boosts the natural fermentation qualities of the crushed apples, which differs from the refined and distilled vinegars found in supermarkets. When the vinegar is mature, it contains a dark, cloudy, web-like bacterial foam called mother, which becomes visible when the rich brownish liquid is held to the light. The mother can be used to add to other vinegar to hasten maturity for making more Apple Cider Vinegar. Natural vinegars that contain the mother have enzymes and minerals that other vinegars in grocery stores may not have due to over-processing, over-heating, and filtration. For this reason, it is recommended that you purchase only Natural Apple Cider Vinegar, with an ideal acidity (pH) level of 5 to 7.

Kirin
August 20th, 2008, 03:23 PM
Be forewarned before using baking soda and vinegar on hair. Natural as they may be, they are NOT harmless. Though many have good results both can potentially damage hair.

I do not doubt the good results of many who use baking soda and then vinegar rinses, however, a simple test at home for me in a shotglass proved both can dissolve hair, rather effectively too. The experiment I did used a shot glass of warm water and 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda, and the same for the vinegar 1/2 teaspoon and water and hairs from my shower drain. The Baking soda took 24 hours to turn hair to mush, the vinegar 72.

A combination of -both- dissolves hair (straight use) in hours.

I did that experiment after my own failed (horrible!) attempt at using a very dillute baking soda wash on my hair. Others like me found it dried out the hair and made it exceptionally week.

So just bear in mind, your results may vary.

heidi w.
August 20th, 2008, 03:44 PM
Be forewarned before using baking soda and vinegar on hair. Natural as they may be, they are NOT harmless. Though many have good results both can potentially damage hair.

I do not doubt the good results of many who use baking soda and then vinegar rinses, however, a simple test at home for me in a shotglass proved both can dissolve hair, rather effectively too. The experiment I did used a shot glass of warm water and 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda, and the same for the vinegar 1/2 teaspoon and water and hairs from my shower drain. The Baking soda took 24 hours to turn hair to mush, the vinegar 72.

A combination of -both- dissolves hair (straight use) in hours.

I did that experiment after my own failed (horrible!) attempt at using a very dillute baking soda wash on my hair. Others like me found it dried out the hair and made it exceptionally week.

So just bear in mind, your results may vary.

I repeat: Do NOT BLEND Baking Soda WITH any type of Vinegar!! Never, ever, ever!!!

Rinse extremely well between applying a baking soda hair wash -- rinse WELL -- and then apply vinegar that is highly diluted (NEVER APPLY VINEGAR STRAIGHT TO HAIR! NEVER)

If one doesn't CONDITION EXTREMELY WELL when washing with Baking Soda, then the hair will come out as described above.

Correct: it is a common drain opener to apply dry baking soda and vinegar straight (no dilution is what I mean by 'straight') down a drain! dissolves the plug, including hair.

heidi w.

n3m3sis42
August 20th, 2008, 06:13 PM
After reading this thread, I'm wondering if I need to clarify. I've been using shampoo bars since March, followed by an ACV rinse. I haven't used any -cones or sulphates since at least March 2007. This was working great for me until a couple of months ago, when my hair suddenly became SUPER dry and rather brittle. The only real change I can think of in any of my routines at that point in time is that I started weightlifting again after not doing so for almost 2 years.

Since that time, I have tried doing SMT's, and have started using a light, cone-free leave-in (Goth Rosary conditioner) after each time I wash. It doesn't seem to have helped with the dryness much if at all. I think that part of the problem may have been that I used a conditioner that contained protein in my SMT a couple of times early on. Afterwards, I realized that was probably a bad idea if I needed moisture. I'm not sure how much that exacerbated the issue.

I have never noticed my hair feeling coated or gunky, but it has been oddly tangly. I haven't clarified thus far because I'm scared that if clarifying is *not* what my hair needs, it will just end up being even more dry.

I got 3 inches of thin, scraggly ends trimmed off today. If I'm still having issues from here on out, maybe I will try clarifying with a dilute baking soda solution. I will definitely deep-condition afterwards. :)



You misread me: any TYPE of clarify hair wash, whether a home recipe using Baking Soda or a store bought product or any other recipe (or product) MUST have a conditioning session as part of the process of this type of hair wash.

EXHIBIT A: this thread asked about clarifying, but I included ACV and other type of vinegar rinse to fully explain, knowing full well, that that many believe an ACV Rinse to be a clarify hair wash. It's only for that specific hair wash -- not for dried on gunk -- so I include this as expanded information on the topic of clarifying. Not all would think of adding this, though.

I am quite sure that some of these folks tend to forget to mention they did condition their hair because, likely, they're talking about this hair wash and don't realize that maybe mention of such would be helpful. It's easy to do. Lots of threads leave out pertinent information because it seems the topic isn't covering other aspects.

Some may not, though. Lucky them to fare well without conditioner. Most people's hair does fare better with some form of conditioning. ACV Rinse nor any other type of vinegar rinse is not a conditioner.

heidi w.

I washed my hair using a baking soda and water solution and followed it up with an ACV rinse for a little over a year. During this time, I never used conditioner, although I did oil my hair at night if it felt dry. I was pretty happy with this routine, although there were a couple of points in time when my hair suddenly got (seemingly randomly) really, really oily or really, really dry.

My baking soda solution was pretty dilute (1 tsp to 1 tbsp of BS in 1.5 cups water--I adjusted the strength depending on how dry or oily my hair was being at the time). I only washed once or twice a week. It's always possible that the problems I had were due to following a clarifying routine without using conditioner, but I don't really know.

manderly
August 20th, 2008, 06:39 PM
n3m3sis, sounds like you should clarify. For me (a poo bar user), the only indication I have that I may need to clarify is rough, dry, tangly ends.

mellie
August 20th, 2008, 06:46 PM
OK, I think I have a better understanding now. The BBC article was very helpful. It led me to look up vinegar to see if it had any cationic properties, and I found this:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fabric_softener

Cationic softeners bind by electrostatic attraction to the negatively charged groups on the surface of the fibers and neutralizing their charge; the long aliphatic chains are then oriented towards the outside of the fiber, imparting lubricity. Vinegar works on some materials in a similar way, as the hydrogen ions bind to the anionic groups on the fibers.

So perhaps that is how people who do exclusively baking soda cleansing followed by vinegar rinses might be getting along OK without conditioners?

One more question: if you clarify, and then immediately follow up with conditioner, aren't you somewhat defeating the purpose of the clarifying? Wouldn't the conditioner be adding some amount of buildup again?

mellie
August 20th, 2008, 07:28 PM
This is interesting as well:

http://blog.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.view&friendID=89890700&blogID=251573155

Lemons are the only food which are purely anionic. The catch is that
this is only true of fresh lemons. After about 30 minutes of exposure to air (oxygen), lemon juice becomes cationic.

julya
August 20th, 2008, 07:33 PM
I tried clarifying my hair for the first time recently and it made a big difference in terms of tangles and generally rough feeling ends. I hadn't let shampoo touch the length of my hair in ages, at least 8 or 9 months. I don't use cones at all, but I do use oils and various herbs.

I just applied a nice gentle shampoo, diluted, to all of my hair from scalp to tips and rinsed throughly. I followed up with a big handful of conditioner and rinsed that out after a few minutes. I could tell that it had helped right away and I didn't feel like I needed any oil for slip for at least a week.

Soniasonia
August 20th, 2008, 10:49 PM
I find that ACV is perfect for clarifying hair and removing build up, especially on scalp.

heidi w.
August 21st, 2008, 09:24 AM
OK, I think I have a better understanding now. The BBC article was very helpful. It led me to look up vinegar to see if it had any cationic properties, and I found this:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fabric_softener


So perhaps that is how people who do exclusively baking soda cleansing followed by vinegar rinses might be getting along OK without conditioners?

One more question: if you clarify, and then immediately follow up with conditioner, aren't you somewhat defeating the purpose of the clarifying? Wouldn't the conditioner be adding some amount of buildup again?

Generally, BUILDUP, is acquired OVER TIME. Thus, if you condition after clarifying you're not necessarily creating buildup immediately. My explanation did include that you condition after clarifying and then begin again meaning that in a sense, yes, you begin the process of acquiring buildup. In my experience on my hair only, it takes me about 4 months to have any buildup.

Truthfully, I almost never need to clarify and I do use basic shampoo and conditioner each and every time. I don't ACV or any other vinegar rinse anymore (although I did for almost 10 years in order to manage my scalp condition of Seborrheic Dermatitus because I have now found a suite of products that manage the symptoms almost as though there's no scalp problem). I hardly ever oil, either, but I did for decades.

So the answer about conditioning after clarifying is a yes/no answer. It's fundamentally no, you're not building up anything immediately and yes you are beginning again to building towards buildup if you ever have that issue in your hair washing and hair care methods.

It's a possibility, though, that you could forego conditioning specifically and instead apply an oil or a leave-in conditioner of some kind (oil is effectively a leave-in conditioner!). This may be sufficient for some people and their hair. Personally, I wouldn't rely on this, but I can envision it working for some just fine.

Mostly, though, do not use the excuse of oh, I'm going to create buildup if I condition, and then decide not to condition after clarifying. You'll be sorry you made that decision. You'll have to get in the shower again and do something to add moisture to the hair.

Hair is dead. What's under the scalp skin is alive -- the follicle, the root, et.al. Once outside the head, it's a dead fiber. We can only apply things to it, on hair. We've all seen what dried out hair looks like, and after all this effort to care for your hair well, I do not recommend the idea of clarifying with any product or home recipe and then not conditioning.

ACV may well have some conditioning properties, but the overwhelming experience if you read these boards over the decades as I have, you will note quite definitively that most do not experience 'conditioning' as we understand it for hair as a usual outcome, or result, from an ACV rinse. Because all vinegars 'bind' the cuticle -- that is help the cuticle to lie closer and tighter and flatter within the context of one's hair type (curlies more lifted cuticle, straight a very flat cuticle) -- then it imparts a hint of sheen and softness, but not the way actual conditioners might. Remember, also, there are a lot of different types of conditioners -- such as creme rinses and full heavy viscous conditioners. They all have different uses, just as shampoos for color do v. shampoos for daily cleaning.

There are ALWAYS EXCEPTIONS, but the general consensus is that ACV does not work well as a clarifying once the stuff has built and dried on the surface of hair strands.

If one uses a system of no shampoo, and then introduces for a moment a diluted shampoo to wash the hair, this may seem like a clarify hair wash, but it is not. Not in the technical meaning of the full term.

Language matters. I tend to provide input based on the general experience, the majority that I read and mostly upon my experience (all folks here provide their input based on personal testimony). There are always exceptions, and you, Dear Reader, may be one of them, but it would be irresponsible of me to write ACV is a clarifying hair wash or it's OK to clarify and not condition or it's OK to clarify and then use a vinegar rinse as the conditioner -- and this would be rather misleading because most people will not experience a positive result with this input. Some do, most don't in these examples.

Also, many people tweak the basic information I am providing. For example, some people like washing with BS in water and then ACV rinse...... I personally would have terrible looking hair if I did so. When they do this washing system, they're basically tweaking the basics of what I outline. Often these little tweaked details are not related and can impart some misconceptions.

I am being very emphatic here: if you clarify condition your hair. If you want to see what happens when you don't, that's fine. Just know it'll feel dry, flyaway, a kind of brittley texture that's odd and most will be pretty upset and claim that clarifying didn't work. It did. It removed everything - moisture too!

This is what I said in my original explanation: YOU MUST REPLACE WHAT'S BEEN REMOVED (and begin again).

heidi w.

heidi w.
August 21st, 2008, 09:34 AM
This is interesting as well:

http://blog.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.view&friendID=89890700&blogID=251573155


Lemons are basically acidic. Thus they can be used in place of a vinegar rinse or an ACV (vinegar) rinse. I recommend that lighter haired folks use lemons instead of ACV vinegar, or lighter haired folks can use white vinegar (as mentioned earlier by me in this thread).

Lemons also help to 'bind' the cuticle.

Here's the hierarchy of an ACV rinse, a white vinegar rinse or a lemon rinse (I wrote this in my initial input but in a narrative format):
1. The main thing acidic applications achieve is pH balancing the acid mantle,
2. removing residual product not rinsed out in that hair wash, including minerals from the water (hard water especially -- and this is why many like to use distilled water)
3. bind the cuticle

I generally don't say the word 'condition' -- I say 'bind' the cuticle. The term condition here on hair boards tends to have a particular understanding and I don't want to mislead the folks.

heidi w.

mellie
August 21st, 2008, 09:41 AM
If folks want to use a lemon rinse instead of vinegar, should they let it sit out for 30 minutes as the quoted article mentions, to let it become cationic?

mellie
August 21st, 2008, 09:50 AM
I did some more searching on conditioning, and found a photo which unfortunately I cannot figure out how to post, that shows an electron microscope photo of a hair follicle before and after conditioning. It was amazing, the conditioned hair was much smoother and looked much healthier.

I can see how that would be helpful now after the intense cleaning of clarifying.

It is also helpful to know that clarifying is not something one necessarily needs to do very often.

heidi w.
August 21st, 2008, 09:59 AM
If folks want to use a lemon rinse instead of vinegar, should they let it sit out for 30 minutes as the quoted article mentions, to let it become cationic?

It probably doesn't matter. Most aren't using it as a conditioner. They're using it as a rinse for the purposes described above. I've used lemon rinses. Actually, though, I prep the shower setup before a hair wash, cutting the lemons and putting them in the shower with me, so by the time the time arrives to apply the rinse, it's been at least 20 minutes if not longer!! (I allow conditioner to sit on my hair a while....and I use several applications of shampoo, and many rinses in between including high pulsing ones with a handheld shower.)

heidi w.

n3m3sis42
August 22nd, 2008, 08:26 PM
So I worked up the nerve to try clarifying. I know from past experience that my hair is okay with a baking soda and water solution in general. However, I was scared that if my hair really needed something other than clarifying, baking soda would make it worse.

I made a stronger solution of baking soda and water than I normally used when it was my normal washing method--2 tbsp baking soda in 1.5 cups water. I followed with an ACV rinse and then coated my hair in Biolage Conditioning Balm, and a bit of coconut oil over that. I covered it all with a shower cap and left it on for a couple of hours. After I washed out the conditioner, I used a little Goth Rosary daily conditioner as a leave-in, followed by a tiny bit of coconut oil.

My hair has not felt this good in MONTHS. And I doubt it's just the conditioning, because I have been conditioning and SMT-ing like crazy for 6 weeks at this point and it hasn't helped. I don't know how long it will last, but now I wish I hadn't waited so long to try clarifying. I guess that's what my hair needed after all.

manderly (and heidi w., although I was really just eavesdropping on your advice to someone else), thank you so much for the advice! :)

Wild Strawberry
September 1st, 2012, 05:22 PM
Hair is dead. What's under the scalp skin is alive -- the follicle, the root, et.al. Once outside the head, it's a dead fiber. We can only apply things to it, on hair. ...

I'm sorry for the offtopic.
I have the same opinoin, but I don't understand why some people write that you kill the hair if you use bleach or dye, that it's dead hair after. Does it mean you destroy it inside too? I would like to understand this better and you seem to know much in detail :)

Ml001
September 2nd, 2012, 12:08 AM
I see heidi w has given extremely detailed info on what, when, why yada yada lol. I just wanted to jump in and say when I feel I need to clarify, I grab the baking soda and ACV. It does a great job for me. :)