Truth be told, the awareness about the advantages and disadvantages of mainstay hair care ingredients is much more prevalent now than ever before. If it weren’t for factual studies and deliberate investigations, we wouldn’t have known what certain ingredients do to our hair.
Here the “certain ingredient” under discussion are silicones.
They have been a popular ingredient in mainstream hair care products for decades. Ever since the clean and natural approach to hair care has taken over the masses, the use of silicones has become a controversial subject.
A few experts support silicones’ usage, and others downright disapprove of their existence in hair products.
Let’s get to the bottom of silicones’ chemistry, history, and everything else that will help you understand what it does and doesn’t do.
Be with us:
What Are Silicones?
Silicones were first included in hair sprays to plasticize styling resins by Toni Gillette in the late 1950s. Since they promote shine and softness, it did not take long for silicones to earn the reputation of being an effective conditioner in the haircare industry. By the 1980s, many famous haircare brands were already using silicones as a staple ingredient in their products. These products still exist today.
By composition, silicones are polymer, a form of plastic. Their chemical makeup allows them to turn, stretch and take any form for numerous uses. In haircare, silicones provide a protective coat over hair, enhance smoothness and strength, reduce frizz, add shine, and more. In addition, silicones deliver a sleek, vibrant, and glossy look, making your hair irresistibly appealing and attractive.
Just as there is a downside to everything, silicones are no saint. The very thick protective coat that you get on your strands from silicones can end up suffocating it. Silicones are occlusive materials. Occlusive materials block out outer elements to intrude–it includes both good and bad. On the one hand, it defends your hair against pollutants, UV rays, and free radicals. Contrarily, silicones do not let your scalp get the nutrients, moisturization, and hydration that your scalp requires: the result–greasy buildup, stringy strands, and flat appearance.
With that said, the question is to use silicones or not to use silicon? The answer to this complicated question is as follows:
Are Silicones Safe for Hair Health?
Silicones have a love-hate relationship with hair. They leave your hair with such shiny sleekness that you would never want to quit them. Meanwhile, the same silkening effect weighs down the hair, obstruct moisturizing agents in your products to penetrate, and cause a buildup, making your hair increasingly dry and rough. Most alarmingly, this circle will affect hair’s resilience and vitality over time, and it may even be challenging for you to rectify the damage.
So, by looking at the bigger picture, it is better to avoid any ingredient, silicones included, that may disturb and harm the wellbeing and condition of the scalp and hair. But it doesn’t mean you can’t get to have soft, shiny, sleekness in your locks because there are alternatives.
Silicone Free Shampoos and Conditioners Benefits
Lipids, amino acids, carrier oils, and neutralizing ingredients are used as alternatives to silicones in natural-based conditioners and shampoos. The main benefit of a silicon-free shampoo and conditioner is that they are lightweight and fast-absorbing. They wouldn’t make your scalp feel greasy or heavy.
Instead, you will notice your hair feeling more clean, fresh, and hydrated. Moreover, silicone-free conditioners and shampoos help repair the damage done to your hair and replenish the moisture, promoting a slick, shiny, and smooth look.
Choosing Silicone Free Shampoo and Conditioner for Healthy Hair
There are a couple of effective and deep moisturizing silicone-free shampoos and conditioners out there.
Start with Botanic Hearth’s extensive haircare collection made without additives, toxins, artificial fragrances, and of course, silicones. Keratin Conditioner, Biotin Shampoo, Apple Cider Vinegar Shampoo and Conditioner set, or Rosemary Mint Shampoo and Conditioner set are all incredibly hydrating and intensely soothing for the hair that needs some tender loving.
Thankfully, the haircare industry has made so many breakthroughs over the years that we are not out of options and alternatives to replace the chemicals. However, the choice is totally up to you!