Silicones – we’re sure you’ve heard of them when it comes to your hair products! Whether you’ve heard silicones aren’t that bad or that you should avoid them altogether, it definitely seems to be a buzzword when it comes to your tresses. We’re here to give you the low-down on silicones, including what they are, what they do, and what they mean when it comes to your hair products.
What are silicones?
Silicones are a class of polymers (large ingredients that do not penetrate hair). In hair care products, silicones provide slip for combing and detangling – simply put, they are the ingredient that leaves your hair feeling silky and smooth. They are most often found in shampoos, conditioners, and leave-in conditioners but can also be found in treatments and other styling products. When your products are labelled as ‘silicone-free’, the biggest difference you may notice is that your hair has that ‘squeaky clean’ feeling after you’ve washed it.
But what do they actually do?
Silicones’ primary goal is to detangle and deliver ingredients that will stay on your hair after you rinse. This means that often your hair will feel super good both in and out of the shower. Silicones may also deliver anti-frizz benefits as well as heat protection in some products.
So, why can they be controversial?
The benefits of silicones sounds pretty good, right? The reason why this particular ingredient can be controversial is that they can cause product build-up as well as weigh your hair down. Silicones can basically suffocate the hair and prevent any nutrients from penetrating the shaft. Over time, our beloved tresses can become dry and brittle, due to the lack of moisture. This can lead to breakage, frizz and brittleness.
Silicones can also make it harder for colour or bleach to penetrate the hair, meaning your hairdresser may have a difficult time achieving that Insta-worthy hair you’re after.
Should I avoid them?
When it comes down to it, avoiding silicones in your hair care products is a personal preference. There are many different types of silicones and they have come a long way as hair technology has evolved. A lot of the outcome will depend on your hair type or what you are looking to get out of your hair care. Chatting with your hairdresser is always a good idea as they can make the best recommendation for your locks!