Watching the models flaunting their long luscious hair in TV commercials or YouTube ads or on the pages of magazines and then dreaming for the same beautiful hair is a strong feeling. To add that smoothness, silkiness, and shine to hair we look for best hair care products. However, next time when you buy your hair care cosmetics do not forget to check if it contains silicones. Frequent use of silicone-based products can build up a greasy and grimy mess on your hair strands along with making your hair dull and lifeless.
What are silicones and why are they an enemy to your hair?
Before we know why we should prefer silicone-free conditioners or any other hair care product, it is important for us to understand what are silicones. Silicones are the most commonly used ingredients in hair care products. They are polymers synthesized from natural silicones in combination with other chemicals. Used in shampoos, conditioners, and other styling products, silicones help in detangling the hair while lending a shiny and silky feel by coating the strands which is highly artificial in nature.
Searching thoroughly the list of ingredients 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.’
Now that we know what are silicones, let us know the different types of silicones. There are two types of silicones:
- 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. Stearoxy Dimethicone, Behenoxy Dimethicone, Cyclomethicone, and Dimethicone Copolyol are some of the popular water-soluble silicones.
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. Dimethicone, Cetyl Dimethicone, Cetearyl Methicone, Dimethiconol, and Stearyl Dimethicone are examples of non-water-soluble silicones used in conditioners.
Side-Effects of Silicones
Almost every artificial ingredient or product comes with certain side-effects. Silicones are no less. Let us have a look at what are silicones’ side effects.
- 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 are damaged more as compared to straight hair as it is difficult to wash them off from the former which makes the buildup add to the deposit.
Silicon v/s Silicone
Have you ever been confused between the two? After learning what are silicones, let us learn the difference 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 Get Rid of Silicone Buildup
Now that you know the difference between silicon v/s silicone, here we bring another shocking fact into notice that there are very high chances that your shampoo contains sulfates! Go and check the list of ingredients on your shampoo bottle, if it has sulfates then it’s definitely a matter of concern. You must be wondering what sulfates do to your hair. Sulfates are the additive to shampoos which cause foaming action. Although sulfate-based shampoos work well to clean the hair, they can also strip off the essential oils and irritate the skin. In addition, one research study has found evidence of damage to hair protein after the use of sulfate-based hair care products.
Hence to prevent the hair protein loss, any severe allergic reaction, and long buildup, it is important to switch from typical mass-market hair care products to a healthier sulfate and silicone-free shampoo and conditioner. Such hair care products can remove the silicone residue from the hair strands in a better way so one doesn’t need to worry about that.
Conditioning is necessary because the use of shampoo alone will dry out the hair. Silicone-free conditioners not only clear the long buildup but also repair the damaged hair and add extra shine and straightening effects to your hair by lending a moisturising effect and building a protective layer around the hair strands. Read The Importance of Conditioners to know more.