How long do cones stay on hair?

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  • 2 Post By lolo918
  • 1 Post By artemis513
  • 1 Post By lolo918
  • 1 Post By artemis513
  • 1 Post By CGSince2002

I've been doing a CO wash on my hair for several years. However, in reading the Curly Girl book I seem to have missed the part about not using a conditioner with cones.


The conditioner I was using until a year ago was Pantene which has bis-aminopropyl dimethicone in it. Would my hair still have a coating of this cone after a year of not using it? Do I need to get some shampoo to remove it?


I'm asking because I have had breakage problems for around 15 years. I started the CO about 5 years ago hoping it would help with the breakage. Since then my hair has continued to get worse as far as how it looks - frizzy and sticking out all over. Some of my issues might be related to health, and some of them may be related to the fact that I am going gray. But now I am wondering if I have a buildup of something on my hair.


I'm trying to start to follow the full curly girl program, but I would like to have a clean start if needed. Thanks for any feedback.
The silicone in the conditioner is amine functionalized so it is a sort of special class of non water soluble silicones. They bond with damaged parts of your hair then repels itself so it doesn't build up. You might be ok, and if it was working for you before I wouldn't worry about it. By this time it should have worn off though I would think.

Sent from my SCH-I200 using CurlTalk App
Eilonwy and CGSince2002 like this.
3C/4A, fine texture, low-medium density, and low porosity?
CG since November 2013.

Pre-Poo: Coconut Oil overnight, or a greek yogurt mixture
Shampoo: Curls Cleanser and/or clarifier
Conditioner: trying out different Suave Naturals conditioners and GVP's leave-in conditioner at the moment
Styler: iagirl's super smooth flax curl cream. <3
PT: iagirl's gelatin treatment 3-4 times a month
DT: conditioner or yogurt base with honey and oil if the conditioner has none.
If you stopped using it and never re-applied, it would slowly dissipate over time, esp that particular silicone, like lolo918 stated it was made to not build up when bound to damaged areas of hair. If hair is healthy it will barely even stick to the hair. The information out in the e-universe about needing shampoo to remove silicones is kind of skewed, based off of research with certain controls used. But we are talking everyday life, right? You aren't reapplying thick silicone serums to your hair everyday, I would assume

Silicones are nonionic and can be removed even with centrimonium chloride and cationics such at that if the silicone is not reapplied. Silicones are not like a brick wall lol, if that were the case the hair could not get wet in the shower after using them.

So, more typing than you might need, but yes it should be gone from your hair by now. If your hair is damaged it's being caused by something else that's not working in your routine. Maybe your hair needs more moisturizing conditioner. Maybe you need a trim. Maybe you need to deep condition more. Maybe your diet has been poor for a long time. Maybe your products are old...it could be anything but you'll be better equipped to know that than anyone else. You might want to do some research on what your hair properties are (texture of individual strands, porosity, density) as perhaps the products and method you were using are ill-suited for your needs.
CGSince2002 likes this.
4a/3c, fine strands, low porosity, medium density
Last relaxer: Jan 2010 - BC'd: 2/27/11
My Fotki
My Blog
artemis513, I love how you explained it! Too much fuss has been created around silicones, I've said before that I suspect buildup is more of a problem for people with very hard water anyway.

CraftieKittie: Since you mention you've had this problem for 15 years I think you should've addressed that problem internally long ago. Things you can try are improving your diet and drinking more water, especially if you have health problems, that can never hurt. You could also try taking a supplement especially designed for Hair, Skin & Nails. I particularly like Kal's Super Silica Plus with MSM, years ago it was very popular here with ladies who wanted to grow their hair fast and/or very long. I used it because a lot of mine had fallen and out of curiosity I researched the main ingredients and it seemed to me me like it could work... and it did! I still take it periodically and it seems my fine hair is stronger than average and while wother women even younger than me are losing their hair I still have a full head of it (lots of gray that I color, but hey, it's hair, lol!).

Meanwhile, I think the advice you already got was probably right on target so treat your hair w/tlc and it will respond.
Joined Curltalk 1st time in early '02 shortly after starting CG. I'm a non-practicing Cosmetologist.
Hair: color-treated, mostly 3A.
CO-wash: VO5 K&L
RO: SpaHaus Salon w/OO, VO5 Shea Cashmere, W.R. Trop. Coconut, Dai
ly Defense Moisturizing & others.
LI: Beautiful Curls w/Shea Butter & C.O., Hollywood Beauty OO Creme, VO5 K&L, Aveda Be Curly Curl Enhancer.
Gels: LAL Wet Look, ORS Lock & Twist.
Oils: Jojoba, EVCO & Africa's Best Ultimate Herbal Oil

artemis513, I love how you explained it! Too much fuss has been created around silicones, I've said before that I suspect buildup is more of a problem for people with very hard water anyway.

CraftieKittie: Since you mention you've had this problem for 15 years I think you should've addressed that problem internally long ago. Things you can try are improving your diet and drinking more water, especially if you have health problems, that can never hurt. You could also try taking a supplement especially designed for Hair, Skin & Nails. I particularly like Kal's Super Silica Plus with MSM, years ago it was very popular here with ladies who wanted to grow their hair fast and/or very long. I used it because a lot of mine had fallen and out of curiosity I researched the main ingredients and it seemed to me me like it could work... and it did! I still take it periodically and it seems my fine hair is stronger than average and while wother women even younger than me are losing their hair I still have a full head of it (lots of gray that I color, but hey, it's hair, lol!).

Meanwhile, I think the advice you already got was probably right on target so treat your hair w/tlc and it will respond.
Originally Posted by CGSince2002

That applies to every silicone? Even Dimethicone?


Sent from my GT-I9000 using CurlTalk App
2C/3A Botticelli/Corkicelli.Color Treated
M/C, Medium/High Por, Normal Elast. Medium Density
CO: Conditioner with Wheat Protein and Aloe
DET/RO/LI: GNC Avocado And Shea Butter Conditioner
GEL: Schwarzkopf Taft Maxx Power
DT: Gliss Untimate Volume+Coconut Oil

HG
Goal: WL when curly
CG since Feb 2014

artemis513, I love how you explained it! Too much fuss has been created around silicones, I've said before that I suspect buildup is more of a problem for people with very hard water anyway.

CraftieKittie: Since you mention you've had this problem for 15 years I think you should've addressed that problem internally long ago. Things you can try are improving your diet and drinking more water, especially if you have health problems, that can never hurt. You could also try taking a supplement especially designed for Hair, Skin & Nails. I particularly like Kal's Super Silica Plus with MSM, years ago it was very popular here with ladies who wanted to grow their hair fast and/or very long. I used it because a lot of mine had fallen and out of curiosity I researched the main ingredients and it seemed to me me like it could work... and it did! I still take it periodically and it seems my fine hair is stronger than average and while wother women even younger than me are losing their hair I still have a full head of it (lots of gray that I color, but hey, it's hair, lol!).

Meanwhile, I think the advice you already got was probably right on target so treat your hair w/tlc and it will respond.
Originally Posted by CGSince2002

That applies to every silicone? Even Dimethicone?
Originally Posted by KaZenner1990
I don't think so about the build up but I could be wrong. Then again everyone's hair experience can be so different. That being said, I will put on the record that even with the amine functionalized silicones in conditioners I can't use them with every wash but the occasional use isn't bad. If I'm rinsing the conditioner out I can use them more often, but I also tend to have to use shampoo more often too so I just don't.

Long story- its a personal choice. Each person should decide after looking at the available info or through trial and error. If use of silicones/sulfates make you happier with your hair then it shouldn't matter.

Sent from my SCH-I200 using CurlTalk App
CGSince2002 likes this.
3C/4A, fine texture, low-medium density, and low porosity?
CG since November 2013.

Pre-Poo: Coconut Oil overnight, or a greek yogurt mixture
Shampoo: Curls Cleanser and/or clarifier
Conditioner: trying out different Suave Naturals conditioners and GVP's leave-in conditioner at the moment
Styler: iagirl's super smooth flax curl cream. <3
PT: iagirl's gelatin treatment 3-4 times a month
DT: conditioner or yogurt base with honey and oil if the conditioner has none.
People really should worry about the buildup and overuse of products in general rather than one single ingredient in a product. I have posted this many times, but "formulation, formulation, formulation"--one ingredient does not make or break a product. What matters more is how the overall product is formulated--that is what works, or doesn't work, for one's hair. Most of the time silicone isn't even the reason, but simply the scapegoat and it's exhausting. But yet plenty of people use shea butter and castor oil on their hair and don't ask questions.

If you are layering a bunch of stuff on your hair every day and are not cleansing or at minimum rinsing it off, guess what? Over time you will have build up. On an ingredient list, you may see a silicone in the mix, but you should also look at what other ingredients are around it and where it is on the list. If it's not in the first five ingredients, I doubt you will even feel it in your hair so it is less likely to cause problems. So it's really not necessary to be freaked out all the time over it. Anything you abuse will be bad for you. Cake, booze, sun, oils, tv, etc. Just moderation and how you want your hair to look and feel and you can't go wrong.

There is an old Jillipoo blog post out there from Jillipoo where she interviewed 5 hair care experts (Tiffany from LiveCurlyLiveFree, JC from Natural Haven, Marsha from Curl Junkie, Jess from Jessicurl, and another guy I wasn't familiar with) were discussing silicones and all of them...all of them said that polyquats are more likely to cause buildup and should be of more concern to curlies than silicones. Silicones just don't do what everyone on the internet has said they will do. I personally think that everyone's overuse of Shea Moisture products is more of a problem than silicones could ever be...but that is another thread lol.
CGSince2002 likes this.
4a/3c, fine strands, low porosity, medium density
Last relaxer: Jan 2010 - BC'd: 2/27/11
My Fotki
My Blog

Last edited by artemis513; 05-22-2014 at 10:42 AM.
Everything in this world wears out over time, especially where there's friction and other chemicals involved. The terpenes in essential oils, for example, have the ability of breaking down 'cones, and oils weaken them too. So, occasional use doesn't usually present any problems, especially on color-treated hair or any hair that for some reason has become very porous, but low porosity hair can have buildup pretty soon.
Joined Curltalk 1st time in early '02 shortly after starting CG. I'm a non-practicing Cosmetologist.
Hair: color-treated, mostly 3A.
CO-wash: VO5 K&L
RO: SpaHaus Salon w/OO, VO5 Shea Cashmere, W.R. Trop. Coconut, Dai
ly Defense Moisturizing & others.
LI: Beautiful Curls w/Shea Butter & C.O., Hollywood Beauty OO Creme, VO5 K&L, Aveda Be Curly Curl Enhancer.
Gels: LAL Wet Look, ORS Lock & Twist.
Oils: Jojoba, EVCO & Africa's Best Ultimate Herbal Oil

People really should worry about the buildup and overuse of products in general rather than one single ingredient in a product. I have posted this many times, but "formulation, formulation, formulation"--one ingredient does not make or break a product. What matters more is how the overall product is formulated--that is what works, or doesn't work, for one's hair. Most of the time silicone isn't even the reason, but simply the scapegoat and it's exhausting. But yet plenty of people use shea butter and castor oil on their hair and don't ask questions.

If you are layering a bunch of stuff on your hair every day and are not cleansing or at minimum rinsing it off, guess what? Over time you will have build up. On an ingredient list, you may see a silicone in the mix, but you should also look at what other ingredients are around it and where it is on the list. If it's not in the first five ingredients, I doubt you will even feel it in your hair so it is less likely to cause problems. So it's really not necessary to be freaked out all the time over it. Anything you abuse will be bad for you. Cake, booze, sun, oils, tv, etc. Just moderation and how you want your hair to look and feel and you can't go wrong.

There is an old Jillipoo blog post out there from Jillipoo where she interviewed 5 hair care experts (Tiffany from LiveCurlyLiveFree, JC from Natural Haven, Marsha from Curl Junkie, Jess from Jessicurl, and another guy I wasn't familiar with) were discussing silicones and all of them...all of them said that polyquats are more likely to cause buildup and should be of more concern to curlies than silicones. Silicones just don't do what everyone on the internet has said they will do. I personally think that everyone's overuse of Shea Moisture products is more of a problem than silicones could ever be...but that is another thread lol.
Originally Posted by artemis513
Bingo again my friend! I read that blog post not long ago too, and agree 100% with what you just said! MODERATION is the key for everything in life, it works for me...!
artemis513 likes this.
Joined Curltalk 1st time in early '02 shortly after starting CG. I'm a non-practicing Cosmetologist.
Hair: color-treated, mostly 3A.
CO-wash: VO5 K&L
RO: SpaHaus Salon w/OO, VO5 Shea Cashmere, W.R. Trop. Coconut, Dai
ly Defense Moisturizing & others.
LI: Beautiful Curls w/Shea Butter & C.O., Hollywood Beauty OO Creme, VO5 K&L, Aveda Be Curly Curl Enhancer.
Gels: LAL Wet Look, ORS Lock & Twist.
Oils: Jojoba, EVCO & Africa's Best Ultimate Herbal Oil

Thanks everyone for your information and suggestions! I am very interested in all the technical information. I want to understand about ingredients in products and how and why they work or don't work. I can't use any products with scents, so I can't ask for suggestions, I can only find out what ingredients to use and then search for an unscented product which contains them.


This last week I've been using my conditioner as a leave-in and I have been much happier with my hair. It still has a ways to go, but it has been much better controlled.


I would like to ask a few more questions:


1. My water is hard. Do conditioners keep minerals from hard water from building up on hair? Or would I need a shampoo to remove them?


2. I have followed the instructions on this site for porosity, and my hair floats on the water - which is supposed mean my hair has very low porosity. On the Dr. Oz show they said if you have low porosity hair you are lucky - your hair is very healthy. But that is not the case with my hair. My hair acts like it is very damaged - even though I have not done anything damaging to it. So is it true that my hair is low porosity? Or is there something I am not understanding?


Thanks again to anyone who will answer my questions.
Thanks everyone for your information and suggestions! I am very interested in all the technical information. I want to understand about ingredients in products and how and why they work or don't work. I can't use any products with scents, so I can't ask for suggestions, I can only find out what ingredients to use and then search for an unscented product which contains them.


This last week I've been using my conditioner as a leave-in and I have been much happier with my hair. It still has a ways to go, but it has been much better controlled.


I would like to ask a few more questions:


1. My water is hard. Do conditioners keep minerals from hard water from building up on hair? Or would I need a shampoo to remove them?


2. I have followed the instructions on this site for porosity, and my hair floats on the water - which is supposed mean my hair has very low porosity. On the Dr. Oz show they said if you have low porosity hair you are lucky - your hair is very healthy. But that is not the case with my hair. My hair acts like it is very damaged - even though I have not done anything damaging to it. So is it true that my hair is low porosity? Or is there something I am not understanding?


Thanks again to anyone who will answer my questions.
Originally Posted by CraftieKittie
Conditioners with chelating ingredients will help with mineral buildup, though they won't eliminate the issue entirely. You may still need a low poo (sulfate free) shampoo occasionally. One with Cocamidopropyl Betaine or Cocobetaine will remove both product buildup (including any silicones, even the non-water soluble ones), and should do a better job of removing any mineral deposits than just cowashing alone. If your hair is very prone to buildup, there are specialized chelating shampoos you can grab at Sally's, such as Malibu-C or Ion sachets. Those shampoos are specially formulated to remove any and all mineral deposits on the hair, but they can be very drying. Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) rinses are another option, but ACV is an acid, so can be damaging if used frequently or in the wrong concentration. I have hard water myself and prefer an occasional low poo over ACV rinses to handle product /mineral buildup. I've never had to resort to specialized chelating shampoos.

The float test is inaccurate as far as porosity goes, as is the slip 'n slide test. I know of people with high porosity whose hair floated forever, likewise people with lower porosity whose hair sank. Barring a formal hair analysis, which would give you a definitive answer, a better indicator of porosity is how hair behaves. How long does it take to get fully wet? How long to dry (without product)? Do products tend to sit on the surface and leave the hair feeling coated or weighed down? Does the hair really soak up products? Hair that has been damaged by heat appliances, coloring, perming, bleaching, UV exposure, or rough handling is more likely to be highly porous than hair that is undamaged. However this isn't a hard and fast rule. Some people's hair comes through a dye job without a lot of damage and without getting noticeably more porous, and some people simply have high porosity hair that grows out of their head that way.
CG since 11/2011
2c /3a F /Mii, low porosity

Summer Products /Routine:
Clarifying: ACV rinses, Suave Professional Men Deep Clean Peppermint
Low Poo: Renpure Luxurious Argan Oil
Co-washes: VO5 Kiwi Lime Squeeze or Strawberries & Cream
RO: VO5 KLS or S&C, Cure Care
LI (if needed): VO5 S&C, VO5 SC, Cure Care
Stylers: FSG, AIF,
Tresemme Flawless Curls Bouncy Curls gel
PT: IAGirl's (link) as needed
Yeah, I agree that water test is meaningless, I did it twice and the first time my hair floated and the 2nd it sank... BUT since we put our hairs there usually after something's been on it... that could explain why some porous hairs float sometimes, so maybe you can try it right after shampooing.

With that said, hard water doesn't always require the use of a shampoo. I lived in S. FL, which turns out to have pretty hard water, for 8 years after starting CG and once I found products that worked for me I never had a problem again. But I do have to say that I color my hair and although I don't run the color down all my hair every month that might've done some "clarifying" on its own. But, more than anything, I think the real reason I didn't need to clarify very often is because 1) the porosity of my hair 2) I didn't "pile up" products on my hair. At first I only used a mostly organic CO as my LI, and later on just a RO and a gel.

Polyquaterniums are probably something to keep your eye on as too many of those can definitely build up on the hair. Castor oil and shea butter are others that come to mind.
Joined Curltalk 1st time in early '02 shortly after starting CG. I'm a non-practicing Cosmetologist.
Hair: color-treated, mostly 3A.
CO-wash: VO5 K&L
RO: SpaHaus Salon w/OO, VO5 Shea Cashmere, W.R. Trop. Coconut, Dai
ly Defense Moisturizing & others.
LI: Beautiful Curls w/Shea Butter & C.O., Hollywood Beauty OO Creme, VO5 K&L, Aveda Be Curly Curl Enhancer.
Gels: LAL Wet Look, ORS Lock & Twist.
Oils: Jojoba, EVCO & Africa's Best Ultimate Herbal Oil

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