Silicones & Curly Hair: The Pros and Cons Unraveled

Welcome to the curly hair community, where we passionately debate the pros and cons of using silicones in our hair products. While some avoid them like the plague, others argue that they’re not all bad. As a fellow curly girl, I understand how overwhelming it can be to make an informed decision. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll break down the mystery of silicones, explore why they’re both loved and loathed, and help you determine what’s best for your curls.

The Science Behind Silicones

Silicones, those wondrous hair ingredients that leave our locks looking shiny and smooth, are a group of synthetic polymers boasting hydrophobic properties. In simpler terms, they repel water, making them the perfect moisture-locking superheroes for our precious curls. When applied to our hair, silicones create an invisible yet effective shield that seals the hair cuticle, preventing moisture from escaping. This sealing action not only keeps our tresses hydrated but also imparts that coveted slip, making detangling and styling a breeze.


More from Glowing Gorgeous: Find out here the Best Silicone-Free Moisturizers And Why Do You Care

what are silicones

Now, let’s delve deeper into this silicone wonderland! Modern hair products feature a diverse array of silicones, each with its unique characteristics and effects on your curls.

Unraveling the Silicone Confusion

Among the most commonly used silicones, you’ll find Dimethicone, Cyclopentasiloxane, Amodimethicone, and more. These silicones come in various viscosities, determining their thickness and weight on the hair. Lighter silicones, like Cyclopentasiloxane, offer a weightless feel, while heavier ones, such as Dimethicone, can provide more substantial coating and smoother results.

The confusion surrounding silicones stems from their solubility or lack thereof. Non-soluble silicones, like Dimethicone, are water-resistant, forming that long-lasting shield on your hair, which also means they require sulfates or clarifying shampoos for proper removal. This can lead to buildup, causing your curls to lose definition and vibrancy.

Then there are other forms such as amodimethicone, a silicone-based polymer, which is different from other silicones because the proteins of this ingredient hold a positive charge. Positively charged ions actually repel each other… thus these silicone proteins cannot layer on top of each other, continuing to build up. This can help prevent excessive buildup and leave hair feeling lighter. (source: healthline)

The dilemma arises for us curly girls who prefer to avoid harsh sulfates in our shampoos to maintain our hair’s natural moisture. Breaking the vicious cycle requires some careful decision-making.

DevaCurl Buildup Buster can be a particularly good option for those with curly hair, since it uses micellar technology to help eliminate product build-up, while also offering hydrating benefits through Abyssinian seed oil and jojoba oil.

DevaCurl Buildup Buster Gentle Clarifying Cleanser, Green Oasis, 8 fl. oz. DevaCurl Buildup Buster Gentle Clarifying Cleanser, Green Oasis, 8 fl. oz. @ Amazon Amazon Prime

On the other hand, water-soluble silicones, like Stearoxy Dimethicone and Behenoxy Dimethicone, are more forgiving. They rinse out easily with mild shampoos, sparing you from buildup woes and facilitating product layering.

The Olaplex range; the No.4 Bond Maintenance Shampoo, No.5 Bond Maintenance Conditioner, and No.7 Bonding Oil all contain soluble/more soluble silicones.

Olaplex No.4 Bond Maintenance Shampoo, 8.5 Fl Oz Olaplex No.4 Bond Maintenance Shampoo, 8.5 Fl Oz @ Amazon Amazon Prime

The No.4 Bond Maintenance Shampoo gently purifies your curls, eliminating any buildup worries. Infused with the brand’s innovative bond-building technology, it repairs and strengthens damaged hair, leaving your locks soft and resilient. Embrace frizz-free, luscious curls with its moisture-boosting magic, ensuring your hair’s natural beauty shines through.


More from Glowing Gorgeous: Find out here Hyram’s Recommended Face Sunscreens For The Summer
Olaplex No.5 Bond Maintenance Conditioner, 8.5 Fl Oz, white Olaplex No.5 Bond Maintenance Conditioner, 8.5 Fl Oz, white @ Amazon Amazon Prime

The Olaplex No.5 Bond Maintenance Conditioner works hand in hand with the shampoo, to nourish and detangle your precious curls. Formulated with the brand’s unique bond-building technology, it repairs and hydrates damaged strands, promoting incredible resilience.

Olaplex No.7 Bonding Oil, 30 ml Olaplex No.7 Bonding Oil, 30 ml @ Amazon Amazon Prime

Olaplex No.7 Bonding Oil is a lightweight formula seals and smooths the hair cuticle, taming frizz and promoting dazzling shine. The oil’s bond-building technology works wonders, revitalizing damaged hair and preventing further breakage. Embrace touchable softness and vibrant curls, free from silicone-induced heaviness.

Now, it’s essential to consider your hair type and needs when choosing silicones. For fine hair, lighter silicones may be a better fit, as heavy ones could weigh down your curls. Conversely, those with thicker, coarser hair may find the extra moisture retention of heavier silicones beneficial. Remember, it’s all about finding the perfect match for your hair’s unique characteristics!

Why the Bad Silicones are a No-Go

Some silicones, like Cyclopentasiloxane, are notorious for their non-soluble nature, leaving an unwelcome film on your hair. These culprits prevent your curls from absorbing water, air, and the nourishment they crave. No wonder we dread them!

why are silicones bad for my hair

Embracing the Good Silicones

Not all silicones are villains! Water-soluble ones, such as Stearoxy Dimethicone and Behenoxy Dimethicone, are curly girl-friendly. Again, they wash out easily with mild shampoos, sparing you from that dreaded buildup. Say hello to nourished, bouncy curls!

Additionally, silicones can play well with other ingredients in hair products. When combined with natural oils, like argan or jojoba, silicones enhance the oils’ benefits by sealing them into the hair shaft, resulting in longer-lasting hydration and shine.

why are silicones so amazing

However, some individuals may be concerned about potential silicones’ buildup, affecting the hair’s natural curl pattern. Fear not, for water-soluble silicones come to the rescue! They provide all the benefits without the worry of buildup, offering a happy compromise for those seeking manageable, healthy curls.

The Middle Ground: Why Some Still Use Silicones

For some curly folks, certain products containing silicones have achieved holy grail status. But fear not, there’s a method to their madness! These savvy individuals balance silicone use with occasional clarifying shampoos. The key is moderation and knowing when to clarify.

These curly virtuosos incorporate silicone-laden products into their hair care routines judiciously. They understand that while silicones work wonders in providing moisture retention and styling ease, their non-soluble nature demands occasional cleansing to prevent accumulation. And what better way to do that than with clarifying shampoos, the superheroes capable of whisking away silicone residues without harming the hair’s natural integrity?

However, it’s vital to emphasize that moderation is the key to success. Overdoing clarifying shampoos can strip the hair of essential moisture, leaving your cherished curls feeling dry and lifeless. Thus, our wise curl champions use clarifying shampoos only when the need arises – say goodbye to the frequent wash cycle!

Following a clarifying shampoo, they pamper their curls with nourishing deep conditioners, restoring any moisture that may have been temporarily whisked away. The result? Soft, revitalized curls that are ready to take on the world.

What Makes Silicones So Seductive?

Admit it; silicones give you that hair flip-worthy moment! They provide unmatched shine, smoothness, and manageability.

These curly virtuosos incorporate silicone-laden products into their hair care routines judiciously. They understand that while silicones work wonders in providing moisture retention and styling ease, their non-soluble nature demands occasional cleansing to prevent accumulation. And what better way to do that than with clarifying shampoos, the superheroes capable of whisking away silicone residues without harming the hair’s natural integrity?

However, it’s vital to emphasize that moderation is the key to success. Overdoing clarifying shampoos can strip the hair of essential moisture, leaving your cherished curls feeling dry and lifeless. Thus, our wise curl champions use clarifying shampoos only when the need arises – say goodbye to the frequent wash cycle!

Making Your Decision: To Silicone or Not to Silicone?

In the curly hair world, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach. Embrace the journey of trial and error to find what works best for your unique curls. Keep experimenting and learning from your experiences.

Embracing the Silicone-Free Path

If you’re a devout follower of the Curly Girl Method or just want to keep sulfates at bay, a silicone-free route might be your best bet. Countless silicone-free products are available, ensuring your curls are pampered without any silicones, parabens, petrochemicals, or sulfates.

Navigating the Middle Ground

For those unwilling to part ways with their favorite silicone-infused gems, consider opting for water-soluble silicones. Pair them with a trusty clarifying shampoo when needed, and don’t forget to follow up with a nourishing deep conditioner to keep your curls happy.

Decoding the Silicone Language: Common Names to Look Out For

Here’s a handy list to help you decipher the ingredient labels like a pro:

The Good Silicones

Stearoxy Dimethicone
Behenoxy Dimethicone
Amodimethicone

The Bad Silicones

Trimethylsilylamodimethicone
Cyclopentasiloxane
Cyclomethicone

The Worst Silicones

Dimethicone
Cetyl Dimethicone
Cetearyl Methicone
Dimethiconol
Stearyl Dimethicone

Conclusion

Now that we’ve unveiled the secrets of silicones, it’s time to embark on your curly hair adventure armed with knowledge. Remember, there’s no right or wrong choice here – only what’s best for your curls and your preferences. Embrace your beautiful mane, and don’t hesitate to explore different paths until you find the perfect fit. Happy hair journey!

FAQ’s

What types of silicones are commonly found in hair products?

Silicones used in hair products come in various forms, each offering unique benefits for your curls. Some commonly encountered types include Dimethicone, Cyclopentasiloxane, Amodimethicone, Stearoxy Dimethicone, and Behenoxy Dimethicone. These silicones differ in their viscosity, weight, and water solubility, catering to different hair types and needs.

Are all silicones bad for curly hair?

No, not all silicones are bad for curly hair. The impact of silicones on curls depends on their water solubility. Water-soluble silicones, like Stearoxy Dimethicone and Behenoxy Dimethicone, are generally well-tolerated by curls as they rinse out easily without causing buildup. On the other hand, non-soluble silicones, such as Dimethicone, can lead to buildup and may require occasional clarifying shampoos for removal.

Why do some people avoid using silicones in hair products?

Some people avoid silicones in hair products due to concerns about potential buildup on their hair. Non-soluble silicones can create a film on the hair’s surface, preventing moisture absorption and leading to lackluster curls with reduced definition. Additionally, for those following the Curly Girl Method or seeking a more natural hair care approach, silicone-free products are preferred to maintain the hair’s natural integrity.

How can I find the right balance with silicone usage?

Finding the right balance with silicone usage involves understanding your hair’s unique characteristics and needs. If you love certain silicone-infused products, consider using them in moderation and incorporating occasional clarifying shampoos to prevent buildup. For a gentler approach, opt for water-soluble silicones that rinse out easily, sparing your curls from potential residue.

Do clarifying shampoos damage curly hair?

Clarifying shampoos are potent cleansers designed to remove product buildup and impurities from the hair. While they can strip the hair of some moisture and natural oils, occasional use should not cause significant damage, especially when followed by deep conditioning. However, avoid overusing clarifying shampoos, as excessive cleansing can lead to dryness and potential damage over time.

Can silicones be combined with natural oils in hair care?

Absolutely! Combining silicones with natural oils can yield fantastic results for your curls. Silicones create a protective barrier over the hair cuticle, sealing in the benefits of the natural oils. This combination enhances moisture retention, boosts shine, and improves the overall health and appearance of your hair.

Will water-soluble silicones provide enough moisture for my hair?

Water-soluble silicones, like Stearoxy Dimethicone and Behenoxy Dimethicone, are lighter in weight and less likely to cause buildup. While they may not provide as intense moisture retention as non-soluble silicones, they can still offer adequate hydration for many curly hair types. Pairing them with leave-in conditioners or natural oils can further enhance their moisturizing effects.

How often should I use clarifying shampoos for silicone removal?

The frequency of clarifying shampoos depends on your hair’s specific needs and your silicone usage. As a general guideline, using clarifying shampoos once every two to four weeks should be sufficient to remove any potential silicone buildup. However, adjust the frequency based on how often you use silicone-containing products and the condition of your curls.

Beauty Editor

Follow me

About our Chief Editor


A passionate beauty specialist and blogger with a deep love for skincare and wellness. More about me here.

Comments

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments