WTF: the difference between expensive detox shampoos and cheap 'clarifying shampoos'

Discussion in 'Blood, Hair & Saliva Testing' started by debator, Feb 16, 2006.

  1. debator

    debator New Member

    I've put together a document (attached) that compares the ingredients found in expensive 'detox shampoos' like Zydot Ultra Clean and Chlear Choice Hair Follicle Shampoo, to cheap 'claryfying shampoos' like KMS Daily Clarifying Shampoo and PPS Pure Cleanse Shampoo.

    The document lists all the ingredients in all the products alongside descriptions of what each ingredient does.

    From what I've found, inexpensive clarifying shapoos seem to be almost the same as detox shampoos in terms of ingredients. There are differences, but the differences seem to be in stuff that doesn't matter - preservatives, colorants, etc.

    What the ****? Does this mean that clarifying shampoos are just as effective? Does anybody know anything about this? I don't want to leap to conclusions...
  2. teufelfisch

    teufelfisch Seasoned Activist

    Most shampoos have lots of ingredients, many are the same from one brand to another, because they serve a specific purpose (makes it foamy, preservative, etc). With the detox shampoos, (I'm not sure but I think) there is only one really important ingredient: Propylene glycol (PEG)


    PPS Pure Cleanse Shampoo does not contain PEG

    Zydot Ultra Clean Detox Shampoo contains PEG

    Clear Choice Hair Follicle Shampoo contains PEG
  3. 1tokeovertheline

    1tokeovertheline New Member

    Just checked the cheap Suave shampoo that we have and it has PEG listed in the ingredients. It also has one of the EDTA's (tetra-whatever) I am still coming to the conclusion hair tests are like gambling. You might win you might not, but has to be something that will fool the test, only a matter of time then they will find another test and it goes on and on. Like I have read so many times. The only safe way is to get clean and stay clean and that sucks!!!!!!!!!! F'ing drug test!!!!!!!!!!
  4. debator

    debator New Member

    Thanks for going through all of that, teufelfisch. I've done quite a bit of research into this, and I came to the conclusion (rightly or wrongly) that tetrasodium-edta in combination with some kind of detergent/surfacant was the essential ingredient. I never would've guessed PEG was important -- let alone the main ingredient.

    You said that you weren't entirely sure if PEG was the main ingredient. This is a lot to ask, but if you could, somehow, be sure, then maybe we could compile a list of essential ingredients that a clarifying shampoo ought to have in order to be a sort of 'generic detox'. I read recently in a medical study (pdf attached) that detox products are effective, but only with multiple washes -- that's a problem when you're buying 1fl oz of Ultra Clear for fourty bucks, but not a problem at all if you're buying a litre of clarifying shampoo for only ten bucks. I suspect very strongly that the high failure rate here with the 'detox' products -- this huge hit and miss amongst different people -- stems from the fact that some people use the whole 1oz bottle of $40 detox in one hit, and the others either use the same bottle more than once (with smaller washes) or use more than one bottle.
  5. jahama

    jahama New Member

    Just bought the Nexxus Aloe Rid shampoo and treatment. It has propylene glycol listed as the second to last ingredient on the shampoo and is the second ingredient for the treatment.

    debator, great job putting that info together
    teufelfisch, thanks for your knowledge and input

    I have been clean for 3+ months for a physical at work because of this stupid ****ing test. My company is going to start random testing which will make it even worse. After my test next week and I know that I passed, the lab work will begin with the at home hair tests. I have been reading on here for a while and the problem is there is no consistency for what has worked other than abstinence, plus most that have passed did 15 different things to their hair, so you never know which did what. I know everybody's hair is different, but there has to more commonalities for what has worked vs. not worked. I don't think there will ever be a 100% answer, but I would at least like to make the odds better than a flip off a coin.
  6. teufelfisch

    teufelfisch Seasoned Activist

    I should have abbreviated propylene glycol PG, not PEG. Polyethylene glycol, a different chemical, is commonly abbreviated PEG.

    Tetrasodium EDTA will not help you pass a drug test. It is a metal ion chelator and will have little or no effect on cannabinoid metabolites.

    The PG seemed to be the only ingredient that would have any effect at all on the nonpolar cannabinoid metabolites, deep in your hair. I wish I could know for sure, but all I have right now is a best guess.
  7. debator

    debator New Member

    Teufelfisch, thanks again for the response.

    If you're absolutely sure that tetrasodium-edta plays no part whatsoever in the extraction of THC metabolites, then this page, the Hair Testing FAQ, really ought to be amended: The FAQ essentially states that tetrasodium-edta itself is the main active ingredient. If PG is the main ingredient, the FAQ ought to make note of that.
  8. teufelfisch

    teufelfisch Seasoned Activist

    It's remotely possible that EDTA could have some sort of effect, but I highly doubt it. EDTA (ethylene diamine tetraacetate) is designed to wrap around metal atoms. I have never heard of any other use for this molecule. Furthermore, it would be extremely costly to use it as a solvent.

    Propylene glycol, OTOH, is well known for its properties as a solvent, and is frequently used as a solvent pair with water. Companies often use it to place non-polar ingredients (like fragrances... and like THC) into aqueous solution.
  9. teufelfisch

    teufelfisch Seasoned Activist

    Hm, I didn't know that paintballs use PG as their primary ingredient... so if you were broke and needed to pass a drug test, just shoot yourself in the head with a bunch of paintballs! :laugh:

    Oh, and I'll see what I can do about the FAQ.
  10. debator

    debator New Member

    As a final question, do you think it would be worthwhile to add PG to a 'clarifying shampoo' like PPS or KMS? The 'clarifying shampoos' seem to be pretty similar to the detox shampoos aside from their lack of that one ingredient... could this just be 'fixed' by adding PG, or is that an oversimplification?
  11. teufelfisch

    teufelfisch Seasoned Activist

    Adding PG to a "clarifying shampoo" sounds like it would work.

    However, I have no idea how much you should add, because concentration information falls under "industry secrets" and is likely guarded to the death by the shampoo companies.

    If you try it, be careful with the pure chemical. Propylene glycol is pretty harmless, but you shouldn't get it on your skin until it's diluted in the shampoo. Use a very small amount at a time-- I'd start with approx. 1 mL and work up.
  12. debator

    debator New Member

    Thanks so much for your help! Crazily enough, pure propylene glycol is a million times easier to get a hold of here in Hong Kong than detox shampoo. It's also quite a bit cheaper.

    For anybody interested in creating their own 'clarifying shampoo / propylene glycol mix', here's a list of propylene glycol concentrations in various household products:
    http://householdproducts.nlm.nih.go...chem&id=47&query=propylene glycol&prodcat=all

    Looks like it's used safely all the way up to 10% concentration in some liquid hand soaps. Then again, I've read that it's pretty benign stuff, so long as you don't get it in your eyes. I'll be using swimming goggles.
  13. 1tokeovertheline

    1tokeovertheline New Member

    results forum

    I was just at the results forum and for the hell of it started writing down pass/fail and method used. You can come to your own conclusion, but will include mine. I went thru approx. 18 pages and this is the results if I counted right.
    maccujo method: Pass 17 Fail 8
    AloeRid and/or PM3 with vinegar soak Pass 8 Fail 0
    Combination of Mac/aloerid/pm3 Pass 26 Fail 2
    No special treatment Pass 6 Fail 0
    Afterburner etc. online treatment Pass 4 Fail 3
    Using everything imagineable Pass 3 Fail 0

    This was only a few pages so may not mean anything except some pass some don't. I see very high pass rates if vinegar is used even if they just used the maccujo method, they still had to use some kind of shampoo at least I would think so. Even the aloe rid/pm3 had a high rate of success if combined with vinegar. I am not a scientist by any means, but "IF" people are reporting the results right, vinegar, has to have something to do with it.Still a lot of viaribles (useage,potency etc.)
  14. debator

    debator New Member

    For some reason, I can only get a hold of dipropylene glycol (DPG). Is the difference between DPG and PG important? I guess I'm specifically asking teufelfisch (thank you so, so much for your help so far!!), but if anybody else knows, I'd be really interested.
  15. 1tokeovertheline

    1tokeovertheline New Member


    I know you are a moderator, but how can you change a post,made by someone else, based on " I think,but I'm not sure". Well I'm not sure either and without scientific lab controlled info, I wouldn't think it right to change it in Postive4's FAQ sticky. I think, but I'm not sure, you should start your own sticky with your beliefs and your thoughts, instead of editing the thoughts of someone else.

    He took alot of time to gather the info he submitted. Maybe I should have PM'd you to express this, if so I appologize and also I have read many,many, post on this site and will say you have been a fine contributor.

    here is a link to a place that sells small quanities of Propylene glycol for the hobbyist and also one for Ingredient fact sheet for propylene glycol
    take care
    1toke :wave: :mj:
  16. debator

    debator New Member

    Thanks 1toke,
    I've checked out that site before, and millions of others like it, and all of them are really for people living in the States. Shipping from there to here (Hong Kong) costs $100USD, which is crazy. There are lots of places that sell propylene glycol here, but only in 100kg barrels! There's one site,, that'll mail dipropylene glycol to me using regular US Post -- four liters comes to about sixty USD. That's why I asked.

    Anyway, I discovered something interesting:

    Incase anybody living outside of the USA wants to do this whole propylene glycol + clarifying shampoo thing, it turns out that cigar 'humidifying solution' aka 'wetting solution' aka 'activator solution' -- a solution designed to keep cigars in a humidor at 70% humidity -- is really just 50% propylene glycol, 50% distilled water. You can pick this stuff up at stores that sell cigar humidors (which are in pretty much every city), and it's not crazily expensive. Pretty ****ing ironic, isn't it?
  17. ripgriggs

    ripgriggs New Member

    so i can get it at a cigar shop?

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