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Frugal "Malibu Treatment" to Remove Rust and Hard Water Build-up from Hair

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Can you use pink lemonade instead of regular lemonade when doing a Malibu treatment at home?

By Stacy from Pinconning, MI

Recent Answers

Here are the recent answer to this question.

By Tressa C.02/25/2014

I moved in with my boyfriend in Wasilla, Alaska 3 years ago and his ridiculously iron-rich well water turned my blonde hair bright red. It was depressing frankly and even the super-pricey salon fix only half-worked and did not last. Then I saw this online and tried one more time.

I started this experiment with Country Time Lemonade Mix thinking one brand as good as another and pasted that on. A sticky mess and terrible disappointment! My friend laughed at me, wow, you really are a blonde and steered me toward Koolaid Lemonade packets sans sugar. It worked. It freaking flipping worked! I am joyful.

RE: Frugal

By kroseaz09/27/2013

Everyone keeps saying be careful the home remedies can turn your hair orange. I am a brunette who lives in the country. We have a water softener and use rust away salt. Ever since we moved here (last July) my hair is orange! It almost looks blonde on the ends! My hair use to be healthy, and so dark people said I had black hair! Now it's frizzy and looks like rust! Is the OTC or home remedy going to make it more orange?

By Rebecca H.07/04/2013

My hair is a rusty mess. I had beautiful bleach blonde hair until I moved out into the country and the rust ruined it. I go into a big depression over my hair and i don't know what to do. Any ideas?

By Melissa H.04/15/2013

Omg, this actually works. I just moved a few months ago and have terrible water (even though we have a sofener) that has turned my hair from pretty blonde to disgusting, limp, orange brassy hair. I was pretty skeptical of some of the crazy Internet "fixes" but I was at the point today of chopping it off or dying it brown. It was really depressing me.

Anyhow, I did a test section and it worked. Then I did the rest of my head. No more rust! Back to blonde! Going to invest in a shower filter too, but at least this got me back to blonde! Thank you Kool Aid! I will also mention that my natural color is light brown, my blonde color is from highlights in case you're wondering about color safeness.

Worked great for my hair although I don't know if it would have the same effect on darker hair. I feel so much better! Plus, all the tackiness and dullness is gone, my hair is light and fluffy and shiny (and did I say blonde?!)

By Sabrina04/06/2011

This works! I have light brown hair that I heavily highlight til I am just about blonde on the top. I have had this icky water for 11 years, so I knew it was going to happen. I have used the Malibu 2000 and the crystal ion from sally's at home with not much luck. The ones in the salon are okay, but quite frankly I am frugal and do not even get my hair colored there, I do it myself.

The mixture does burn and itch, but it works. My husband thought I was a frootloop, but the results are amazing!

I would do a follow up with deep conditioning and try to wet your hair with distilled water, so that your iron laden water doesn't sit in your hair.

Looking at the back of the kool aid package, there is citric acid, lemon juice solids, and ascorbic acid, isn't the last one in Malibu? There is also salt in it, so that is why you need to condition, of course I have bleached hair -frost n tip- so it affected my hair more. Good luck!

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Archive: Frugal "Malibu Treatment" to Remove Rust and Hard Water Build-up from Hair

Instead of going to the salon for a "Malibu Treatment" to remove rust/hard water build-up, use 1-2 packets of lemonade (any brand will do). Add a little water to make it like a thick paste. Be careful, too much water will make it runny! Work into wet hair, leave on for 15-10 minutes! Rinse out and wash with your regular shampoo. Use a towel or shower cap. The mixture will sting/burn when in contact with your skin, just like in the salon. It works! I have blond hair and have rusty water so I use this about every 1 to 2 months!

By Tandy


RE: Frugal "Malibu Treatment" to Remove Rust and Hard Water

Be careful with this if you have dark hair! It can change the colour of your hair and you might end up with orange streaks. (03/31/2005)

By guest

RE: Frugal "Malibu Treatment" to Remove Rust and Hard Water Build-up from Hair

Something else that works and is less stressful on your hair and scalp is diluted vinegar. It may take more effort than the Malibu Treatment, but it is less expensive. Mix vinegar to water 2 to 1. Put in a spray bottle. Shampoo your hair, then towel dry. Spray the vinegar mixture into hair and comb through repeatedly and rinse with warm water. You can do a light shampoo afterwards to kill the vinegar smell. This will dissolve the build up on your hair with no damage to hair or scalp.

I used to be a hair stylist and I used this back in the 80s when the hair products were designed to make hair stand straight up, change colors, and less frizzy. What a era! Also available at "Sally's Beauty Supply" is a product called "Shimmer Lights" which is designed to take the discoloration out of naturally blonde or bottle blonde hair. Smoke will cling to light colored hair and turn it brown over a period of time. This takes the discoloration caused by smoking and the over use of hair products off of your hair regardless of the color. It works great and is inexpensive, also. (04/04/2005)

By Cindy Lou

RE: Frugal "Malibu Treatment" to Remove Rust and Hard Water Build-up from Hair

The best treatment is ascorbic acid (Vitamin C powder) 1- 2 tsps mixed with unflavored gelatin and then diluted in 2 oz warm water. Cheap, and identical to Malibu. (02/19/2006)

By Holly

RE: Frugal "Malibu Treatment" to Remove Rust and Hard Water Build-up from Hair

I have very hard well water. My hair use to be very summer blonde. It became very rusty, dull, and flat.

I was very surprised when I had given myself a perm and the waving lotion turned extremely purple. I was afraid that it had stained my hair purple. When I rinsed out the waving lotion I was very pleased to see that my hair, even though it was still wet, had been significantly lightened. All of the orange color was gone. When it dried, I was over joyed to see that my hair was almost as blonde as it had originally been! Even if you don't want a perm you can just put the waving solution on damp hair, wait for about five minutes, and rinse it out. Use the neutralizer for as long as the instructions tell you, usually about 5 minutes. Then rinse it out. Then condition as well. Hope it works as well for you as did for me. Good luck. (08/19/2006)

By Darlene M. from IN

RE: Frugal "Malibu Treatment" to Remove Rust and Hard Water Build-up from Hair

I have extremely hard water and no softener. My hair was so dull and had turned a brown color (it was originally sun-bleached blonde). I was getting so frustrated with it that I wanted to cut it off. I mentioned it to a blonde neighbor and she said she gets Malibu Treatments ever couple of months.

After looking it up I found this sight and tried the lemonade packets. I have hair to the middle of my back and I had to use 15 Kool-aid size packets with a few tablespoons of water. I let it set with a towel over it for 15 minutes then shampooed like mentioned above. I was so shocked that after only $2 my hair looked wonderful and shiny. Thank you so much. (12/25/2006)

By Linda

RE: Frugal "Malibu Treatment" to Remove Rust and Hard Water Build-up from Hair

For severe red-rust build up in your hair, there is a Malibu Crystal Gel treat specifically for well water. I spent a ton of money to finally find this remarkable product. You can get it done a Smartstyle salons in Walmart stores for about 10 bucks. Make sure to specify well water crystal gel treatments. The gel is mixed and then goes on your hair and with a cap you sit under the dryer for 20- 45 minutes.

It is a must do before you color your hair. If you have well water, you can do this once per month. This is the ultimate fix, better than Malbu Shampoo or any home remedies. EC mode also makes a crystal gel treatment. If you have a friend who is a cosmetologist you can have them buy these packs for a $1.75 each at a beauty supply and you will need some caps. Then use a blow dryer to heat it up on your head. Make sure you specify Crystal Gel Treatment for Well Water (not chlorine), well water.

Don't mistake this for an packet that is an additive to your shampoo, it is crystal gel treatment. It's a dry mix, but you do not add it to shampoo you mix and place on hair and then process. It's awesome. (02/07/2008)

By Tami D from IL

RE: Frugal "Malibu Treatment" to Remove Rust and Hard Water Build-up from Hair

I have used this on brown hair and I never got orange streaks it is for any color hair. They have different products for bleached hair and non pigmented hair. (08/01/2008)

By Missy

RE: Frugal "Malibu Treatment" to Remove Rust and Hard Water Build-up from Hair

The Malibu Crystal Gel treatment will not color your hair, it removes minerals that have deposited in your hair cuticles causing damage and deposits that block the full effect of expensive colorings and perms.

If you have brassy hair they have products for that. It's a $3.00 packet, and you going to spend $90.00 on a hair color. Do this first before going to the salon for color and perm, and then use it say once a month to prevent more damage to hair.

I get an iron smell coming off my hair when I put the gel on for an hour under a plastic hair cap. It's my insurance policy for the salon trips. (10/05/2008)

By Maude

RE: Frugal "Malibu Treatment" to Remove Rust and Hard Water Build-up from Hair

In looking at the ingredients on Malibu, they use citric acid and ascorbic acid. I would not leave this on your scalp very long. Sun-in uses citric acid to lighten your hair, so too long and it might bleach and damage your hair. No longer than 15 minutes anyway. (02/25/2009)

By Teresa

RE: Frugal "Malibu Treatment" to Remove Rust and Hard Water Build-up from Hair

Brunettes, listen up! Do not try the Ion treatment from Sally's. I ended up with orange hair. I followed the treatment exactly as directed. Even though it is October and I now look like an autumn leaf. I still do not recommend it unless you want to go as a pumpkin for Halloween. I can only guess that the lemonade treatment would do the same. My stylist recommended the Malibu treatment, but I was impatient because my hair was driving me crazy. I sure hope I get better results with the Malibu treatment next time! (10/05/2009)

By bmeister2

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