Put your hands up if you desire to flaunt your hair just as models do in TV commercials. Undeniably, a beautiful mane of lustrous hair makes you look enticing and gorgeous. To attain the smooth, shiny, and silky tresses you look for shine-enhancing hair cosmetics. In this quest, conditioners are the first thing that you like to try to get glossy hair. Conditioners are the hair care products that lend smoothness, silkiness, and softness to your strands. However, dermatologists explain that many people complain that conditioners did not go well for their hair and they ended up with more frizzy, dull, and damaged hair. You must be wondering why does happen so? The simple answer to your question is that the conditioning agents added in your shampoo or conditioners must be containing some harsh ingredients.
So next time when you buy your hair care cosmetics do not forget to check if it contains silicones. A study published in the International Journal of cosmetic science has demonstrated that silicone can stick to the hair for longer durations and cause long-term damage to hair. Frequent use of silicone-based products can build up a greasy and grimy mess on your hair strands along with making your hair appear dull and lifeless. That is why hair care experts strictly recommend using silicone-free shampoo and conditioners to keep your strands safe and healthy.
Don’t be worried, we are here to help you choose the right conditioner for your hair. Nothing can stop you from flaunting beautiful hair, once you know what is harmful and best suited for your hair.
What Are Silicones And Why Are They An Enemy To Your Hair?
Before you know why you should prefer silicone-free conditioners you need to know what silicones are. Silicones are the most commonly used ingredients in hair care products. Silicone is widely used by manufacturers in formulating hair products like shampoo, conditioners, etc due to easy availability and low cost. Silicones form a coating around the strands for imparting artificial shine. Almost every artificial ingredient or product comes with certain side-effects. Silicones are no less.
- Obstructs the flow of air, nutrition, and water to hair, which ultimately results in hair damage making it dull and lifeless.
- The hydrophobic nature of the silicone repels the water and attracts dirt and other ingredients.
- Products containing silicone may temporarily improve the look and feel of hair but eventually, they cause harm.
- Curly hair receives more damage in comparison to straight hair. It is difficult to wash off silicone residues from the curly strands, which results in heavy silicone build-up on the scalp.
How do you identify silicones - all you need to know?
Checking the list of ingredients carefully in your hair care products can protect you from the unwanted side effects of silicone. It is easy to identify the silicones in your hair products by reading the product labels carefully. Silicones are the ingredients that end with a ‘cone’ ‘con,’ ‘col,’ ‘conol’ or ‘zane’.
There are two types of silicones:
1. Water-soluble silicones
As the name suggests, these silicones dissolve in the water and are, therefore, easy to wash off. Since they are water-soluble, they do not leave a heavy build-up on the hair.
Few examples of water-soluble silicones
- Stearoxy Dimethicone
- Behenoxy Dimethicone
- Dimethicone Copolyol
2. Non-water-soluble silicones
These non-water-soluble silicones cause heavy build-up and are difficult to remove. They give a fantastic silky and shiny finish but weigh down your otherwise healthy hair.
Few examples of non-water-soluble silicones
- Cetyl Dimethicone
- Cetearyl Methicone
- Stearyl Dimethicone
Have you ever been confused between silicon v/s silicone?
It is a naturally occurring trace mineral found in plants, animals, and water. When it combines with oxygen, silicon becomes silicon dioxide or silica. It is known to be essential in our body for healthy and glowing skin, flexible joints, stronger nails, teeth, and bones. People with silica deficiency are found to have an increased risk of joints deformities.
Silicones are man-made chemicals, widely used in cosmetic care products such as moisturizers, shampoos, and conditioners. They contain silicon in combination with other elements like carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen. Hence, Silicone is deprived of the natural element silicon and passes through several alteration processes before being added to the hair care products.
How to avoid silicone buildup - a natural alternative to silicones
Conditioning is necessary because the use of shampoo alone withdraws oils from hair and makes them dry and frizzy. Silicone-free conditioners that contain botanical extracts like Babassu oil, Murumuru butter, pea proteins are considered the best natural alternatives to silicones. Many research studies have also demonstrated the benefits of murumuru for hair. They not only avoid long buildup but also repair the damaged hair naturally and add extra shine and straightening effects to your hair. These natural ingredients offer the moisturization to the inner layers of strands. Considering the emollient properties of babassu oil and murumuru butter, they are being used in making hair care and skincare formulations.
In the past few years, hair loss, patterns baldness, grey hair, and hair thinning has been happening to the mass population. Surprisingly certain unnatural ingredients in hair care products are silently damaging your tresses. That is why it becomes of utmost importance to rectify your hair care regimen. Even leading dermatologists advice to switch to the conditioners free of silicones. Be gentle to your hair and feed them with the goodness of natural ingredients.
American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) recommends using Sulfate-free shampoo. It is also important to check the list of ingredients on your shampoo bottle if it has sulfates. Many scientific studies have reported that the use of Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) based products is associated with side effects such as damage to hair protein, severe allergic reactions, and long buildup. Hence, it is wise to switch from typical mass-market hair care products to healthier sulfate and silicone-free shampoos and conditioners.