Why Are Silicones So Controversial In Hair Care

Why Are Silicones So Controversial In Hair Care

A lot of hair care enthusiasts have a love-hate relationship with silicones. This ingredient is often found in a broad range of cosmetic products, from shampoos to styling gels to moisturizers. So why does the mere mention of silicone spark so much debate among beauty enthusiasts? 

Silicones are often villainized in the hair care world. Also known as dimethicone, silicones can cause product build-up on the scalp and make the hair strands dull. It can also weigh down the hair, which is why more and more hair care brands are foregoing this ingredient.

A lot of hair care enthusiasts have a love-hate relationship with silicones. This ingredient is often found in a broad range of cosmetic products, from shampoos to styling gels to moisturizers. So why does the mere mention of silicone spark so much debate among beauty enthusiasts? You must have noticed many haircare products have silicone-free mentioned on the label, which makes us feel that silicone might not be good for our hair.

While some say that silicones can damage the hair others insist that they improve the texture of the tresses making them soft, smooth, and shiny. Let's explore silicone at a granular level so that we can better understand this controversial beauty ingredient.

What Is Silicone? 

Silicone is a type of polymer. It is a plastic-like substance that is available in solid or liquid form. It is derived from silica which goes through a lot of chemical processing and the end product that we get is not natural silicone, it is the synthetic silicone that is mostly used in our shampoos, conditioners, and hair gels.

Silicone is used in hair care products due to its emollient property. Emollients lubricate the hair, making it look silky and shiny.

Silicone For Hair 

The purpose of silicone in hair care products is to assist in smoothing the cuticles, reducing the appearance of frizz, tangles, and providing protection against heat. Silicone-based products are applied before heat styling as it creates a protective film over the strands that can hold in moisture and reduce dryness. Owning to these haircare benefits silicone became a sort-after ingredient in many hair care products. After all who doesn’t want to have shiny and silky soft hair.

As we go a little further things can get tricky as there are two types of silicone.

1. Water-Soluble Silicone 

This type of silicone is soluble in water and can be easily washed off. It doesn't create product buildup on your hair and scalp. Water-soluble silicone for hair is considered to be beneficial in improving the texture of the mane without causing any side effects.

  • Dimethicone Copolyol
  • Dimethicone PEG-8 Succinate
  • PEG-8 Dimethicone
  • PEG-12 Dimethicone
  • Lauryl Methicone Copolyol
  • Amodimethicone

2. Non-Water Soluble Silicone 

This type of silicone is not soluble in water and hence is difficult to wash off. It creates a film over the surface of your strands, resulting in product buildup over a period of time. Your hair appears dull and dry due to product buildup.

  • Amodimethicone
  • Cyclomethicone
  • Cetearyl Methicone
  • Phenyl Trimethicone
  • Dimethiconol
  • Stearyl Dimethicone

There is another type of silicone known as volatile silicone which is water-soluble and evaporates off after application, so you don't have to fear product buildup. Dimethicone is a type of silicone that is commonly used in beauty products. In hair care products, silicone or dimethicone is used for hair conditioning purposes and for improving the texture of your hair.

Are All Silicons Bad For Your Hair? 

All this while we have been blaming silicone for causing damage to the hair, without having in-depth knowledge about it. When you use silicone-based products initially your hair will look super shiny, silky, and vibrant, but after a period of time, you will notice that your hair has become brittle, dull, dry, and frizzy. No amount of conditioners can keep your strands hydrated. According to the experts, it is likely that the haircare product you are using contains silicone that is non-water soluble and sits on the surface, causing buildup.

Knowing how to use silicone correctly allows you to reap all its hair care benefits without falling victim to its negative effects. Silicone molecules are large and cannot penetrate the cuticle, hence sits on the surface of the strands. So while using silicone-based products make sure that your product contains water-soluble silicone. In your hair care routine, silicone-based haircare products such as styling gel or spray should be applied after applying other hair care products which are meant to penetrate the cuticle and provide hydration and nourishment to your hair. Dimethicones for hair are regarded as effective heat protectors. Silicone forms a superficial coating over the surface of your hair and does nothing to nourish it.

If you apply silicone-based products before applying a conditioner or a hair serum, your hair will not be able to reap the hydration benefits of the conditioner or the serum.

Are There Any Other Alternatives To Silicone? 

In the market, you can find silicone-free shampoos, conditioners, and serums if you don't want to use silicone-based products. Apart from this, natural oils such as jojoba oil, argan oil, or Vitamin E are very effective in conditioning your strands and keeping them well hydrated and nourished. These natural oils also help to tame frizz and improve manageability as they are rich in fatty acids and other vital nutrients which keep your hair healthy, shiny, and vibrant.

Image Credit :  www.freepik.com

Also Read :

Hair Care Benefits Of Salicylic Acid

Scalp Acne A Beauty Topic Seldom Spoken About

 

 

 

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