Will oil get silicone buildup out of my hair?

EF asks: “Can coconut oil remove silicones from hair? I use ˜cone-free shampoos and conditioners, but my detangler does have ˜cones so I’m worried about buildup. I don’t want to use a clarifying shampoo (like Frederic Fekkai’s Apple Cider Shampoo) because it’s too harsh. Can I use coconut oil to get rid of the ˜cones instead?”

The Right Brain Responds:

Coconut oil is a good moisturizer for hair (it’s one of the few oils that have shown to penetrate into the cortex. What, you didn’t know that? Then you should have read our previous coconut oil post!)

However, natural oils are NOT good solvents for silicone. That’s because plant and mineral oils are based on carbon while silicone is based on the element Silicon. Just like oil and water, oil and silicone don’t mix. So, you’ll still need to use some kind of shampoo to wash those ‘cones out. The good news is, most light detanglers don’t use the high molecular weight silicones that give you the buildup. A regular shampoo should be fine for you. If your current detangler is too heavy, change to one that doesn’t have dimethicone.