Over-Conditioned Hair

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Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 1,073
Glad you're mentioning polyquats again, I often forget that they can be a pain for some people. In a way, when you think about it, their buildup is a form of "over-conditioning" since by definition they're in hair products to soften and "condition" the hair. Of course, I do see how the solution could be different.

I would bet "anything" that borax can remove polyquats. Whenever I use it to wash or clarify it turns the residue that's on my hair into a milky white liquid and my hair feels completely clean, no more "plastic-y" feeling.
Originally Posted by CGSince2002
Can you elaborate on how you use the Borax to clarify? Quantity, etc? TIA
Originally Posted by KauaiMareCurl
Sure, I only use 1 rounded tsp. of borax dissolved in a cup of water heated to boiling, then I let it cool down to lukewarm and put it in a plastic applicator bottle and start scrubbing my scalp first and use the rest on the hair making sure all hair is saturated by gently working it in well. I usually let it sit on my hair until I finish washing my body, then I will rinse well with warm water. If your hair is long or you think you may have a lot of "gunk" on your hair you can fix 1 1/2 times the above.

I will say that some people get all uptight when they read that anyone's using borax to wash their hair (even if it's occasionally...), because of the cautions in the box, etc., but I approach this like taking aspirin for a headache. You just use what's enough to do the job and if you're "normal" that won't cause any harm. In a thread in the LHC a girl was using 3 tsp. but she didn't completely dissolve them, however, she used what remained undissolved as a paste to scrub "stubborn patches" on her scalp and she had evidently not had any ill effects from doing so, to the contrary, she said it had healed her scalp from open sores she got after stopping the use of SLS shampoos. Borax has cured dandruff on me a couple of times, I guess because I have candida overgrowth I tend to get it back every few years.

For myself, I've found that 1 tsp. completely dissolved does a pretty good job for me, however, I have to make the caveat that I have soft water, someone with hard water might probably need to use a little more but IMO that's still perfectly safe.

Last edited by CGSince2002; 07-22-2014 at 09:41 PM.
Glad you're mentioning polyquats again, I often forget that they can be a pain for some people. In a way, when you think about it, their buildup is a form of "over-conditioning" since by definition they're in hair products to soften and "condition" the hair. Of course, I do see how the solution could be different.

I would bet "anything" that borax can remove polyquats. Whenever I use it to wash or clarify it turns the residue that's on my hair into a milky white liquid and my hair feels completely clean, no more "plastic-y" feeling.
Originally Posted by CGSince2002
Can you elaborate on how you use the Borax to clarify? Quantity, etc? TIA
Originally Posted by KauaiMareCurl
Sure, I only use 1 rounded tsp. of borax dissolved in a cup of water heated to boiling, then I let it cool down to lukewarm and put it in a plastic applicator bottle and start scrubbing my scalp first and use the rest on the hair making sure all hair is saturated by gently working it in well. I usually let it sit on my hair until I finish washing my body, then I will rinse well with warm water. If your hair is long or you think you may have a lot of "gunk" on your hair you can fix 1 1/2 times the above.

I will say that some people get all uptight when they read that anyone's using borax to wash their hair (even if it's occasionally...), because of the cautions in the box, etc., but I approach this like taking aspirin for a headache. You just use what's enough to do the job and if you're "normal" that won't cause any harm. In a thread in the LHC a girl was using 3 tsp. but she didn't completely dissolve them, however, she used what remained undissolved as a paste to scrub "stubborn patches" on her scalp and she had evidently not had any ill effects from doing so, to the contrary, she said it had healed her scalp from open sores she got after stopping the use of SLS shampoos. Borax has cured dandruff on me a couple of times, I guess because I have candida overgrowth I tend to get it back every few years.

For myself, I've found that 1 tsp. completely dissolved does a pretty good job for me, however, I have to make the caveat that I have soft water, someone with hard water might probably need to use a little more but IMO that's still perfectly safe.
Originally Posted by CGSince2002
Thanks! I will try it next wash day :-)
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 1,073
YW! Last week I did a borax wash before a protein DT to make sure I'd removed all coating from my hair for optimal penetration.
Thanks for the advice everyone. My hair is now almost normal. I can use conditioner every other wash, for now at least.
naturecat likes this.
3b, low porosity, high density, medium hair width hair

Current Products:
  • Dr. Mercola Shampoo
  • Dr. Mercola Revitalizing Conditioner (also as leave-in)
  • Gelatin as protein treatment
  • Currently trying flaxseed gel +gelatin as hair gel
Techniques: Scrunching + Plopping Overnight


Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 1,073
Great to "hear" that! Be sure to clarify maybe once a month if you see your curls losing definition or getting a little frizz. You can try the "Lemon-aid", all you do is mix a portion of CO with the juice of a lemon (for my fine hair 1/2 was always enough). You can also use lime or even grapefruit juice, and it doesn't even have to be fresh, some people have used reconstituted and it worked fine. Note: don't over-rinse, I think the CG book instructs not to rinse it out at all but I always did.
naturecat likes this.
Great to "hear" that! Be sure to clarify maybe once a month if you see your curls losing definition or getting a little frizz. You can try the "Lemon-aid", all you do is mix a portion of CO with the juice of a lemon (for my fine hair 1/2 was always enough). You can also use lime or even grapefruit juice, and it doesn't even have to be fresh, some people have used reconstituted and it worked fine. Note: don't over-rinse, I think the CG book instructs not to rinse it out at all but I always did.
Originally Posted by CGSince2002
I might try that next time. Ever since taking better care of my hair I don't have a lot of frizz (a bit, but I don't mind), except for some reason my hair is always frizzy when wet. Most of it goes away once dry, but I'm not sure why it happens in the first place. It happened even when my hair was perfectly moisturized and when I do protein treatments so I don't think the moisture/protein balance is the cause.
3b, low porosity, high density, medium hair width hair

Current Products:
  • Dr. Mercola Shampoo
  • Dr. Mercola Revitalizing Conditioner (also as leave-in)
  • Gelatin as protein treatment
  • Currently trying flaxseed gel +gelatin as hair gel
Techniques: Scrunching + Plopping Overnight


Acids (eg. lemon) are chelating rather than clarifying.

I would recommend anyone trying baking soda or borax check the pH of their solution, very alkaline solutions can strip the hair of its water resistant/ protective fatty f-layer (18-MEA). Baking soda is pH 8 or 9 depending which source you trust, not a million miles from standard permanent hair dyes (pH 9 or 10).

Wendy (Sciencey Hairblog and Goosefootprints) notes that
"In my experience with hair analyses, it is unpredictable whose hair will swell and thus become more porous in acids and bases (alkaline solutions). Some people's hair is very sensitive to vinegar solution, but not citric acid or vice versa. Some people's hair does not swell in baking soda solution, but does in the lather of a strongly alkaline soap bar. You cannot easily predict how your hair will respond."
Science-y Hair Blog: Moisturizing Low Porosity Hair

Other useful links
Science-y Hair Blog: pH of Common Homemade Rinses
THE NATURAL HAVEN: Can you wash your hair with Baking Soda or Apple Cider Vinegar? : A scientific experiment!
THE NATURAL HAVEN: Investigation: Does pH affect your hair cuticle?
THE NATURAL HAVEN: Can baking soda or castile soap relax your hair?
Your 18-MEA Cuticle Layer: Once It's Gone, There's No Turning Back

An Indepth Look at Porosity and Naturally Curly Hair | Curly Nikki | Natural Hair Styles and Natural Hair Care

Hair structure, damage and interaction with dyes - Clinical Services Journal
2a-2c, medium texture, porous/ colour treated. Three years CG. Past bra strap length heading for waist.

CO-wash: Inecto coconut/ Elvive Volume Collagen
Treatments: Komaza Care Matani, coconut/ sweet almond/ fractionated coconut oils, Hairveda Sitrinillah
Leave in: Fructis Sleek & Shine (old), Gliss Ultimate Volume, various Elvive
Styler: Umberto Giannini jelly, Au Naturale styling gelee
Flour sack towel, pixie diffuse or air dry.
Experimenting with: benign neglect
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 1,073
Lemon/lime juice, more so than vinegar rinses IMO, have worked for removing product buildup for well over a decade for countless curlies following CG... Part of the reason buildup happens is due to the interaction of minerals in the water with the products, therefore, for the intended purposes without getting all "technical" they do clarify.

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