View Full Version : How often do you clarify?

June 12th, 2008, 09:53 PM
Hello all- I've been alternating between CO and diluted shampoo + deep conditioner for a while now but haven't really had much success. My ends were still dry and looking pretty bad from all the damage.

Yesterday I tried to make my own SMT with coconut oil, Aussie 3MM Deep, jojoba oil, and honey. My hair felt great when doing it, but it was really hard to rinse out just by CO. I ended up with pretty greasy hair that I left overnight, figuring it would be good for my hair to "stew." I was going to leave it to Friday but today I couldn't take it after looking in the mirror and decided to try to do a clarifying treatment.

I put maybe a quarter-size amount of Dawn in a water bottle and added water to dilute it, but then added some of my shampoo (Garnier Fructis for colored hair) and diluted again. I used that, and kept refilling the bottle with water to get the liquid still at the bottom of the bottle and rinsed my hair over and over. I then lightly put my Aussie 3MM on the ends and rinsed after a few minutes.

Well- my hair feels insanely good! :cheese: Did this get rid of all the buildup I must have had? Even my ends feel great! Everything is shiny and smooth. But now, I'm not sure how often I can do that. I definitely don't want to strip my color any more and I already see a difference from a few days ago. But it's worth it for this great feeling- so how often can I do it? I was planning on staying with my diluted shampoo, and just using a bit less of the Aussie (only on my ends) to gain some volume, but am not sure if that would bring back the buildup. I guess it wouldn't be too bad if I stuck to that and then did this clarifying treatment every so often.

So how often could I do it? Once a week? Every other? Once a month? Opinions, please! :)

June 12th, 2008, 10:28 PM
I rarely clarify it usually leaves my hair feeling stripped so I try to limit it to every few months.

Personally with using dawn I wouldn't clarify more than once every month or two, definitely not every week!! But thats just my two cents.

Do you use a lot of silicone products? Because in that case you probably will need to clarify more than me.

June 12th, 2008, 10:35 PM
Most of my conditioners have cones, I believe, and although I think the Garnier has it, it usually cleans pretty thoroughly. That's why I mixed it with the Dawn so it wouldn't be so harsh. I'm not sure if it was a fluke, though! :)

June 12th, 2008, 11:40 PM
Maybe you're getting cone build up??

Our hair types are pretty close and cones will sometimes make my ends feel dry and prickly, especially if I use lots of them, like a coney conditioner and shampoo together for a bit. Another thing that will do it is too much protein or really any protein, it makes my hair throw a fit and my ends become sharp spikes!

It probably wasn't a fluke you probably did need to clarify but I personally don't do it often because I am pretty natural and lazy with what goes in my hair so stuff doesn't build up too much and clarifying just leaves my hair stripped.

I use right now:
Giovanni 50/50 conditioner and shampoo
Long lovely locks hair creme (it is pretty much herbs with some oil mixed in)
aloe gel
Loreal Vive pro pearl protein formula deep treatment (no cones and for some reason my hair doesn't hate pearl protein, whatever that is)

That's pretty much it and sometimes I oil. I am not anti cones though sometimes I'll throw some in for fun or to enjoy my hair becoming 1a and super silky :D but for the most part I try not to overdo it with them.

I am thinking of doing the dawn soap clarifying thing I usually use baking soda and it works okay but nothing fantastic so dawn might be the trick.

June 13th, 2008, 09:05 AM
I liked the Dawn- it didn't leave my hair a brillo pad like the baking soda. I think the fact I diluted it with water and shampoo helped too. :)

I keep hearing about the Giovanni but can't find it in my area (Florida). That's a lot of product you use! You don't get buildup? How does your routine go?

I usually just use the diluted shampoo on my scalp, then heavy conditioner on the ends, but I think I'm going to use less because they tend to clump together. I try to let it air-dry with my natural waves, but it's right before I go to sleep, the waves disappear when I wake up :( So most of the time I let it dry in a clip.

wolf girl
June 13th, 2008, 09:18 AM
I only clarify every other month the night before I henna so the dye will take better. I don't use cones though. Clarifing just gets the oils out of my hair so the henna can penetrate the shaft better.

June 13th, 2008, 08:46 PM
Yay for getting rid of build-up!

The Super Target near my neighborhood carries Giovanni 50/50. I was surprised. I haven't tried it, yet, but like you, I've heard lots of recommendations.

As for how often to clarify, as you've seen, your hair will tell you. :) I try to minimize the need, but different things work for different hair and water.

Build-up occurs more because of the ingredients in the products and the type of water you have (soft rinses better than hard) than the number of products used, per se. My water is hard, so vinegar rinses are an important part of my routine. 'Cones can definitely be a big contributor to build-up. The SLS in the diluted shampoo acts as a mild clarifier, so you will get more build-up with CO than with a diluted shampoo routine.

Glad you found out what was wrong and how to fix it!

June 13th, 2008, 10:09 PM
Do you think your color was stripped from the Dawn or from the honey in the smt?

June 14th, 2008, 04:41 AM
I can't be sure, though from what I have read on here, the fact that I heated the mixture made the honey's lightening properties ineffective.

In any case, I'm going to leave it out next time and see how it works. My mix will be coconut oil (though I think I used too much last time), Aussie 3MM Deep, and jojoba oil.

Riot Crrl
June 14th, 2008, 04:45 AM
I don't really ever, but that's why I make sure not to put cones now. I used to use them and never clarify, and the combination of the two was basically a disaster. It happened so slowly over time that I didn't realize it was, until I got it all off.

June 14th, 2008, 06:52 AM
This might sound like a silly question, but I'm new to all of this. What are cones, and what does rinsing with vinegar do?

June 14th, 2008, 12:16 PM
...So how often could I do it? Once a week? Every other? Once a month? Opinions, please! :)

I don't clarify on schedule, I wait until my hair lets me know it's time. When my ends start to feel like velcro, or the length just feels sticky or gummy, I will clarify. (I use a weak solution of baking soda and water, after the shampoo and before the conditioner). Sometimes that could be every 6 weeks, sometimes it can be months and months.

June 14th, 2008, 04:07 PM
This might sound like a silly question, but I'm new to all of this. What are cones, and what does rinsing with vinegar do?


There are no silly questions. A lot of long-hair-specific vocabulary and abbreviations are used here.

Here's an article that explains 'cones:

And here is an explanation of what diluted vinegar rinses do, and how to do them:

'Cones seem to be a personal love-them-or-hate-them kind of thing. If your hair loves them, make sure you monitor whether they start to build up.

For some folks, the vinegar smell is enough of a turn-off to rule out diluted vinegar rinses. You can do comparable diluted citric acid rinses for a similar result without the smell.