Know everything about the effects and causes of Silicones in Hair Products

By Skin & Hair Academy | January 16, 2017
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Isha Agrawal

- Skin & Hair Care Consultant

silicones in hair productsLet’s face it – most beauty products have silicone – a synthetic ingredient which are found in almost all lab synthesised products.Silicones are polymers synthesised from natural silicones combines with other chemicals. Silicones are used to render a shine to any product and form a coat that cannot be penetrated by water.

Hair products contain generous doses of silicones that lock hair within a coating making hair appear shinier in an artificial way.Here we break down the synthetic compound and the effects of silicone on hair:

Pros Cons
Silicones condition dry and damaged hair Silicones only have superficial effect on hair and temporarily make hair appear healthy and shiny
They can make frizzy hair with split ends look healthy They cause build up in the hair & scalp and weigh the hair down
Silicones protect hair from dehydrating factors like sun exposure, wind etc. by water proofing individual strands of hair Their sealant properties prevent air, nutrition and water from interacting with hair causing damage

Water-soluble silicones

Water-soluble siliconesWater soluble silicones dissolve in water, meaning they are easy to wash off and do not leave a heavy build up in the hair. Cyclomethicone and Dimethicone Copolyol are popular water soluble silicones that are light weight and safer.

Non-water-soluble silicones

Non-water-soluble siliconesDimethicone and Amodimethicone are pocket-friendly conditioners that are commonly used in leave on conditioners. These non-water soluble silicones cause heavy build-up of product in the hair & scalp and are hard to remove. They give a fantastic silky and shiny finish but weigh down your otherwise healthy hair.

Silicone build-up

silicone build-up on hairWe have all heard about the harmful effects of product build up in skin and hair. Silicone in shampoos and conditioners are components that we are frequently warned about.

When a silicone based product is applied on the hair, it forms a synthetic coating around each strand of hair. This coating repels water and gives a shiny look which is a result of a plastic like encasement. The hydrophobic nature of silicone prevents it from washing it off the hair. The build-up causes extra damage to the hair in the long term. Products with silicone may temporarily improve the look and feel of hair but eventually cause harm. Use a clarifying shampoo to wash off silicones from the hair.

Silicones are especially damaging to curly hair as products wash off straight hair faster and easier than curly hair leading to heavy build up.

You can identify silicones in your hair products by looking for chemical names that end with a ‘cone’. There is no harm is researching a little before proceeding to buy hair products.But the safer alternative to silicones are the products with OFPMA – lightweight substitutes to silicones.

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