Silicone in your hair products could be silently damaging your hair as you read this.
Silicone, a commonly used ingredient in hair care products, is known for reducing frizz and making hair silky smooth.
From its superficial benefits to the long-term consequences.
Read on and we’ll dive into the different types of silicones, so you can know the “good” and avoid the “bad”.
So that you can make informed decisions about your hair care routine.
The Different Types of Silicone in Hair Products
Silicone in hair products is nothing new. It is a synthetic polymer derived from silicon, a naturally occurring chemical element. It is commonly used in hair products due to its ability to create a smooth, shiny appearance and provide heat protection. However, not all silicones are created equal. Some are perfectly fine for the hair, while others you’ll need to steer clear.
There are various types of silicones, including water-soluble and non-water-soluble variants.
Water Soluble Silicones
Water-soluble silicones are the “good" kind since they can be easily washed away with water and do not leave a heavy residue on the hair. These tend to be safer on your hair since they can dissolve easier and don’t stay in the hair and scalp. If you have to use products with silicones, aim for products with these kinds over their more aggressive sisters.
Some water soluble silicones to look out for:
- Stearoxy Dimethicone
- Dimethicone Copolyol
- Behenoxy Dimethicone
Non-Water Soluble Silicones
On the other hand, non-water-soluble silicones are the "bad" kind because they form a non-porous film on the hair, which can lead to build-up and prevent moisture from penetrating the hair shaft. Usually, cheaper products will have higher quantities of non-water-soluble silicones.
Some bad silicones to look out for:
- Pheryl Trimethicone
- Ceteraryl Methicone
- Stearyl Dimethicone
Understanding the different types of silicones are crucial in determining whether they are beneficial or harmful to your hair. Let's explore the role of silicone in hair products to gain a deeper understanding.
The Role of Silicone in Hair Products
Silicone is a synthetic material that is commonly used in hair care products, including shampoos, conditioners, and styling products. It’s added to hair products for its ability to create a temporary coating on the hair shaft, resulting in a smooth and glossy appearance. It acts as a lubricant, reducing friction between hair strands and making the hair easier to comb and style. Additionally, silicone can provide heat protection by forming a barrier against the damaging effects of heat styling tools.
The use of silicone in hair products has become very popular due to its instant cosmetic benefits. It can give the temporary illusion of healthier, shinier hair, making it an attractive ingredient for both manufacturers and consumers.
However, it is important to know that certain silicones can also have negative effects on the health of your hair. Don’t believe us? Keep reading below.
Why Can Silicone Be for Hair Bad?
Although it has its temporary benefits, certain silicones for hair come with a lot of possible problems.
Build-up on the hair shaft
One of the key issues with silicone for hair is that it can build up over time. When applied to the hair, silicone creates a coating that can make it feel smooth and look shiny, but this coating can also trap dirt and oils leading to build-up on the hair and scalp.
This build-up can make the hair feel heavy, greasy and more difficult to style and manage. Lastly, it can clog the pores on the scalp, leading to irritation, dryness, and even hair loss in some cases.
That's why for this case, it's better to use water-soluble silicones or avoid them completely.
Stripping hair of natural oils
Silicone can also strip the hair of its natural oils. This can lead to dry, fragile hair that is more prone to breakage and split ends. It can also make it more difficult for the hair to retain water, which can further contribute to dryness and damaged hair. Hair needs moisture to stay hydrated and is key to reduce hair heat damage.
Reducing effect of other products
Another potential negative effect of silicone is that it can interfere with the effectiveness of other hair care products. If you use a silicone-based product, it can create a barrier on the hair that prevents other products from being able to penetrate the hair shaft and work effectively. This can make it more difficult to get the benefits of other hair care products, such as nourishing oils or leave-in conditioners. You can be throwing money away by reducing or preventing the effectiveness of your hair care routine.
Overall, it is important to be aware of the potential negative effects of silicone on your hair and to choose hair care products that do not contain silicone or other synthetic ingredients. Instead, opt for products that are made with natural, nourishing ingredients that can help to strengthen and protect your hair without causing build-up or stripping it of its natural oils.
Making the Switch to Silicone-Free Hair Products
If your hair has been damaged by silicone and you want to avoid it entirely. Then it’s time to make a change and switch over to silicone-free hair products. Here are a few steps you can take to try to reverse the damage and restore the health of your hair.
- Use an organic, deep-cleaning shampoo
- Apply a deep conditioning treatment or hair mask weekly
- Try to avoid silicone hair products
One of the most effective ways to remove silicone build-up from the hair is to use an organic clarifying shampoo. Clarifying shampoos are formulated to deep clean the hair and remove any impurities, including silicone build-up. Be sure to follow the instructions on the product and use the clarifying shampoo at least once a week to help remove build-up and improve the health of your hair.
Not sure where to get one? You can check out our Recover Me Shampoo, which contains a rich plant-based formula for regenerating new hair cells.
You can also try using a deep conditioning treatment to help nourish and repair damaged hair. Look for a treatment that is formulated with natural ingredients, such as avocado oil, wheat germ, or rice, which can help to moisturize and strengthen the hair. Be sure to follow the instructions on the product and apply the treatment to your hair as directed.
Constant Hydration & Protection
To further help repair damaged hair, you may also want to consider using a leave-in conditioner or a hair oil. These products can help to nourish and protect the hair, making it more resistant to breakage and damage. Again, be sure to choose products that are made with natural ingredients and follow the instructions on the product when using them.
Avoiding Silicone Hair Products
Finally, it is important to be mindful of the hair care products you use and to avoid those that contain bad silicone or other synthetic ingredients. Instead, opt for silicone-free hair products that are made with natural ingredients that will help to strengthen and protect your hair without causing build-up or stripping it of its natural oils.
By following these steps and being mindful of the products you use, you can help to reverse the damage caused by silicone and improve the health of your hair.
At Agua de Cielo, we offer a wide range of silicone-free hair products that are formulated with powerful organic formulas. Make sure to check out all our products after finishing the blog and find the right one for you.
How Agua de Cielo Can Help You Get Healthier Hair
- For your organic deep cleaning shampoo: Our Recover Me Shampoo, which contains a rich plant-based formula for regenerating new hair cells and removing impurities and product build up.
- For your deep conditioning treatment: Our Hydra Glow Hair Mask is an intensive hair mask treatment to activate and strengthen hair growth. It even contains biotin which improves the hair’s ability to retain water which prevents breakage and damage.
- For your hair oil: Our Everything Serum 3-in-1 is perfect for targeting split ends, promotes hair growth and helps prevent frizz. It contains many essential oils, such as jojoba oil, castor oil and argan oil that help nourish and hydrate your hair without leaving your hair greasy.
- For your leave-in conditioner: The Hair Hydrate will be your best friend. It works as a 2 in 1 conditioner and heat protectant to keep your hair hydrated and protected from heat damage. It contains a powerful blend of jojoba oil, castor oil, cocoa and yogurt.
BONUS SECTION: Dimethicone for Hair: Unveiling the Truth
We can’t talk about the dangers of silicone without talking about one of the most commonly used non-water-soluble silicones: dimethicone. Known for its ability to leave your hair with a smooth and silky feeling, dimethicone can be found in many hair products. From shampoos to leave-in treatments. But what does dimethicone for hair truly do?
- Smoothness & Shine: Dimethicone coats each hair shaft, reducing frizz and giving a glossy look.
- Detangling: This silicone makes combing and detangling easier, preventing hair breakage.
- Protection Barrier: It forms a barrier on the hair, guarding against environmental damages, like humidity.
However, the concerns lie in its non-water-soluble nature:
- Increased Buildup: Due to its inability to dissolve in water, dimethicone can accumulate on the hair over time. This buildup can weigh hair down, make it appear greasy, and block the penetration of essential hair nutrients.
- Requires Harsh Shampoos: To effectively remove dimethicone, one often needs a sulfate-based shampoo, which can strip the hair of its natural oils. Sulfate is another hair care enemy you’ll read about in our Sulfates blog you can read here.
- Long-term Damage: Prolonged use without proper cleansing can lead to dryness, brittleness, and overall affect hair health.
While dimethicone for hair offers immediate aesthetic benefits to the hair, it's crucial to weigh these advantages against the potential long-term drawbacks. If you choose to use products containing dimethicone, ensure you're regularly clarifying your hair to prevent buildup and maintain optimal hair health.-
Silicone may offer temporary cosmetic benefits to your hair, but it can also have potential long-term risks if you use the wrong ones. The build-up and moisture-blocking properties of silicone can lead to dull, lifeless hair, scalp irritation, and other hair health issues. By now knowing the different types of silicone, learning the horrors, and opting for silicone-free alternatives, you can take control of your hair's well-being.
Want to learn more about the dangers of certain chemicals found in your everyday hair products?
Make sure to check out our other blogs on these chemicals:
- 3 Reasons to Ditch Sulfates and Give Your Hair the TLC it Deserves
- The Salty Truth: How Sodium Chloride Affects Your Hair Health
- The Truth About Parabens: Understanding Their Impact on Your Health