What is build up and How to Remove It
by D.A. Fox
Build up occurs when hair products like shampoo, conditioner, and other styling aids contain waxes, silicones, and other depositing product ingredients that coat the hair and are not easily removed. Some sources say that salon products will not create build up, but if that is true, why do these same salon lines create and sell "build up remover" shampoo?
Products that contain heavy silicones do create a build up problem over time, and this can cause your hair to become dry. While some lighter silicones are water soluable, some are not! There are also other forms of build up, such as shampoo residue. This type of "build up" is very light, and can easily be rinsed away if you know what to rinse with! With proper hair care, you can remove these types of build up! You do not even need to go out and buy a special product to do so. Most of the things you will need can be found right in your kitchen! Yes, Mother Nature to the rescue!
There are some options you can choose from for build up removers.
Option A: Apple Cider Vinegar & Lemon juice
While many different types of vinegar can be used for your hair, I've found that Apple Cider vinegar is used the most for any hair color and hair condition. White vinegar can be used for blonde hair, but it seems to be a little bit stronger than Apple Cider is. Avoid getting straight vinegar and strong vinegar mixes on your skin. Vinegar is acidic and can have a burning effect on sensitive skin. Weak mixes do not normally have any burning feelings associated with them. I've used stronger combinations without any ill effects at all, but wanted to caution those with sensitive skin to be careful when applying this to your hair.
Vinegar rinses can be used after every shampoo.
To cleanse your hair of build up, add a few Tablespoons or up to 1/2 cup of your favorite vinegar into your rinse water (at least 2 cups). You can catch the water into a large bowl and rinse again for added benefits. To make your vinegar rinse into a conditioning rinse you can add herbs to hot vinegar and allow them to steep. Some recipes are given below from the book "Mother Nature's Guide to Vibrant Beauty and Health" by Myra Cameron.
Adding a Tablespoon of lemon juice (for light hair) or cider vinegar (for dark hair) to a quart of water for the final rinse, removes dulling film and restores the pH balance. (Strain the lemon juice through a sieve. If you rely on the juicer strainer you may think you've developed a terminal scalp disease when fragments of the lemon pulp appear in your hair.)
Combine 2 tablespoons each, vinegar and double strength peppermint tea with one quart water as a final rinse. To liven drab hair, mix 1/4 cup vinegar with 1-1/4 cups water; to dispel the odor by adding a few drops of oil of cloves to a pint of water and rinsing again.
Each of the below combinations should be brought to a boil in an enamel or glass pan and simmered, uncovered, for 15 minutes, then covered and allowed to steep for 30 minutes before straining.
*All Purpose Sparkler
1 cup each white vinegar and distilled water
1/4 cup each dried nettle, red clover, and rosemary
*Light-Haired Vinegar rinse
1 cup each white vinegar and distilled water
3 camomile tea bags
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
1 cup each red wine vinegar and distilled water
2 Tablespoons dried sage
For those of you who don't have the time or inclination to make your own rinse, you can buy wonderful rinses pre-made! Longhairlovers.com offers some of these great rinses to you from WiseWays Herbals. WiseWays states that, "Apple Cider Vinegar helps to revitalize your scalp, restore its proper pH, relieve dandruff and remove soap residue. The fragrant herbs condition, strengthen and soften your hair and create a beautiful shine." Be sure to check out all that WiseWays has to offer at their website: http://www.wiseways.com
Option B: Baking Soda
It isn't hard to make a simple baking soda rinse. All you have to do is combine the following:
1/2 C. baking soda
1 C. warm water
Dissolve your baking soda in the warm water. Pour this mixture over your hair after shampooing. Massage it into the hair and scalp for a few minutes, then rinse well. This is very effective in removing build up and leaving you with clean and shiny hair.
Another recipe from Myrna Cameron's book you can use is:
Baking soda, mixed with water in the proportions of 1 tablespoon to 3/4 cup water, will remove hair spray residue and discourage unpleasant odor. Work the liquid through your hair, then rinse out.
The Arm & Hammer company states, "For cleaner and more manageable hair, shake a small amount (quarter-size) of Baking Soda into your palm with your favorite shampoo. This removes the residue that styling products leave behind. Then use your regular conditioner for the body and bounce you desire."
Please Note: Some users with color treated hair have had some reactions using baking soda on their colored hair. If your hair is colored, you might want to choose the vinegar rinse method.
Option C: Herbal Tea & Coffee
I've added some of the herbal rinses in the vinegar section already, but you can also use these alone, without the vinegar. If you don't use many styling aids like hair spray, gel and mousse, then this rinse may be perfect to simply remove your shampoo residue. Herbal teas and coffee, like vinegar, help to rinse away shampoo residue that water alone leaves behind. The acidic rinse helps your hair cuticles to lay down flat, leaving your hair with a healthy looking shine. To make a simple tea rinse you can buy herbal tea bags or bulk herbs from your local healthfood store. Try chamomile for blondes, rosemary or sage for brunettes, green pekoe for strawberry blondes or for any color hair that wants some reddish highlights, brewed regular strength and use for a final rinse. This will tone the hair and restore the acid mantle. To enhance color, use double strength. To both you can add a teaspoon of honey for added shine! Mmmm! Should you drink it or rinse with it?
You can also use your leftover coffee for a hair rinse. Extra strength brewed coffee can also help to remove excess oils from oiling your hair. I find that the vinegar rinses also help with excess oils. Just remember when using coffee that it can darken your hair a bit and stain your towels, so be sure to use a dark colored towel!
If you don't want to try the vinegar, baking soda, herbal teas or coffee methods, you can always go out and buy build up remover products. Jason Natural Cosmetics has a Swimmer's and Sports shampoo & conditioner that removes build up of chlorine and other minerals. Aubrey Organics has a Rosemary and Sage hair & scalp rinse that removes shampoo residue. These are great in helping to rid your hair of product build up, and both companies use more natural hair care ingredients. Some hair care companies promote the idea of rotating the products you use. Not only does this help to prevent build up, but it also gives you the benefit of other product ingredients that your favorite product may be lacking in. Neutrogena markets their own shampoo in this way. They state, "Neutrogena Shampoo (Anti-Residue Formula or Regular/Extra Mild Formula) is a shampoo treatment that instantly removes up to 70% of dulling residue caused by shampoos, conditioners and styling products. It cleans hair thoroughly and easily rinses away." Neutrogena does use synthetic ingredients and is not considered a "natural" source shampoo. On the other hand, Giovanni Cosmetics states that they use only vegan protein sources, and this creates a product that does not cause build up at all. So there are plenty of choices out there for you! Find something that works for you!
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