Most people want healthy, shiny, manageable hair and are always looking for ways to improve their hair. Today we are going to take a closer look at Silicones. Silicones are in most hair products now and there has been some talk – about how they are bad for your hair. Well – lets take a closer look…..
What Are Silicones?
Silicones are in TONS of products that we use everyday. They can typically be identified by names ending in “cone.” In hair care, they are primarily used to lubricate/condition and to add shine.
Silicones In Hair Products
Silicones pose no health or safety issues, and the positive effects are plenty, starting with the fact that silicone can actually make hair that is dry and damaged look and feel like it's healthy by filling in the porosity. Silicone protects the hair from elements, keeping it smooth and shiny by waterproofing each strand.
Here is where the “bad rap” comes in: Silicone is almost like rubber/plastic. It is used as a sealant against water and even air. It is not a natural ingredient and the side effects are BAD for our hair. It gives an illusion (but it is not the SHINE we want). It is a FAKE SHINE from the plastic. The shine that you desire is when the cuticle layer is sealed and light reflects off the hair. A process that only happens when the hair is properly hydrated. Silicone will weigh the hair down, making it limp and lifeless and over time, VERY DULL. It prevents moisture from penetrating the hair shaft and becomes like a magnet for dirt and other ingredients. So in conclusion – we get a good shine for a small amount of time – with continued use it will attract more buildup on the hair. It will also dry your hair out because it won't allow in the conditioner and it ends up sitting on the surface. Due to lack of moisture, the hair will become very brittle and will lead to frizz and breakage.
Which Silicones are Good/Bad?
Cyclomethicone is one of the most commonly used silicones in hair care. It evaporates and won't leave buildup on your hair. It gives a silky, smooth feel and leaves wet hair with a great slip. You can find Cyclomethicone in both leave-in and rinse-off products.
Dimethicone copolyol is a water soluble silicone. It is lightweight and provides little buildup. It is often used in conditioning shampoos, but it can be expensive and will increase the cost of whatever product it's added to.
Amodimethicones (or any silicone that have “amo,” “amine,” or “amino” in their name) are modified to stick to your hair better. While they condition well, they can be challenging to remove. Amodimethicones are common in leave-in conditioners and are well suited for people with thick, tight curls or unruly hair.
Dimethicone is the most common and least expensive silicone. It's great for conditioning and adding shine, but it can be difficult to remove. Additionally, this heavy coating can make hair feel heavy.
Piperidinyl Dimethicone is a fairly new water soluble silicone. They are highly valued for their ability to protect hair from thermal damage and to improve color retention. They also impart a high degree of shine, making hair appear very glossy and healthy. Like other silicones, they also ease detangling and give hair a soft, silky texture by reducing friction and offers a reduction of static electricity and fly away hair. It does not build up on itself and it does not attract environmental elements, so those will not build up on top of it.
Bottom line – research your products. Not all silicones are BAD and Not all are GOOD!