diciembre 12, 2023 6 lectura mínima
Many talk about silicone in hair products, but what makes it so bad for hair? Continue reading this article to learn more about it.
When it comes to hair care, the type of products we use - and the ingredients they contain - matter more than you think. Not all hair products offer the same safety, effectiveness and performance - for example, cheap shampoos and conditioners often contain ingredients that may irritate the skin and scalp, or even cause allergic reactions and damage to your hair.
On another hand, companies like NuMe put a lot of emphasis on high-quality products, ensuring that they are made from all-natural ingredients that not only nourish and protect the hair, but also contribute to its long-term health and vitality.
In this article, we will talk about one ingredient that is often discussed among experts and users of hair products, and not because of its good reputation: silicone. But what makes silicone in hair products so bad?
In order to answer this question, and determine whether it actually deserves it, let's get a better understanding of what silicone is, and why many companies use it in the first place.
Silicones in hair products are synthetic compounds with unique chemical structures that create a water-resistant film on the hair's surface. This film smooths the hair cuticle, reducing friction, locking in moisture, and providing a glossy appearance.
While silicone isn't only drawbacks, and does offer some advantages for hair (both of which we will talk more about in the next sections), there are better ingredients that offer higher quality and properties without causing potential buildup or damage.
Companies use silicone in hair products due to its ability to create a protective, water-resistant coating on the hair shaft. This coating smooths the cuticle and adds shine to the hair, giving it a more manageable appearance.
Let's dive deeper into its main use cases:
Another thing that will help us understand the role of silicone in hair products is the different types of silicones that exist. They can be summed up in 3 main categories:
What is the difference between each type?
Known as soluble silicones or easily rinsed silicones, this type has been modified to be readily removed from the hair with water and mild shampoos - as opposed to traditional silicones which create a water-resistant barrier.
They are typically associated with hair products that have a lighter formulation and can be removed with more easiness.
This is the most traditional type of silicones, and it doesn't dissolve or gets easily rinsed out with water. Instead, they create a water-resistant coating on the hair shaft, which comes with the risk of buildup as they can accumulate over time.
This product buildup weighs down the hair, and reduces the performance of other hair care products that you may use alongside. In fact, you may need a clarifying shampoo or a specialized hair cleanser to ensure that you have removed them effectively.
The third type of silicones in hair products are the so-called evaporating silicones, also known as volatile silicones. They are designed to have low molecular weights, which means that they will evaporate quickly (usually, from 10 minutes to a few hours depending on the product and the manufacturer).
While they don't leave a long-lasting residue as non-soluble ones, evaporating silicones only provide temporary effects of smoothing and shine which go away quickly as well. They also don't have good moisturizing properties, meaning you may have to use other products to ensure optimal hydration to the hair.
And now to the answer you've all been waiting for! Does silicone deserve its bad reputation, and why (or why not)? Let's answer once and for all:
While silicone isn't toxic and can be safely added to hair products without causing you physical harm, it is not the best ingredient to add to your hair care routine if you are looking for proper nourishment, hydration, and healthy appearance of the hair without heavy buildup.
As we mentioned earlier, while silicones in hair products do offer some advantages, they also come with enough drawbacks to make them rather unsuitable if you are looking for the best hair care routine. Let's dive a little bit deeper:
While silicones are not toxic for hair and can't cause physical harm, they are not the best ingredient to have in your shampoo or hair product. However, it may be difficult to spot them if you don't know what to look for - there are different types of silicones which appear under different names.
Luckily, you can identify silicones in hair products by looking for these ingredients on the label:
These are some of the most common types that you can find on the market. As a rule of thumb, most silicones will end in "cone" or "xane", which is how you can spot them easily.
As we've been talking throughout the article, there are better ingredients that provide higher quality and performance to your hair than silicone. So, instead of silicone, look for these ones:
Silicones are generally non-allergenic, but some people may experience irritation or scalp issues with prolonged use. Silicones can create a barrier that may trap sweat, oil, or product residue, potentially leading to irritation or follicle blockage.
It's essential to choose hair products wisely and monitor how your scalp responds to silicone-containing products.
Certain heavy silicones like dimethicone and cyclopentasiloxane can lead to product buildup, making hair appear dull and weighed down over time.
While not necessarily "bad," they may require more thorough cleansing and occasional clarifying shampoos to prevent buildup.
No, most silicones do not penetrate the hair shaft. They are primarily used for their surface-level benefits in hair care products.
Fine hair can benefit from lightweight, water-soluble silicones, as they provide shine and manageability without weighing down hair. Avoid heavy silicones that may lead to flatness or buildup.
Consider your hair's specific needs and experiment with silicone-free products to find the right balance for your fine hair.
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