Silicones in hair products have had a bad reputation for years. You can see that the number of silicone-free shampoos and conditioners is growing rapidly. But is the bad name these commonly used ingredients have justified? Yes and no. Certain silicones cause build up in your hair, they conceal but do not improve hair problems and we cannot deny that these ingredients are bad for the environment. Yet they are not used in hair products for anything, because they certainly have many advantages.
To give you a different sound, I have listed 10 reasons to use silicone for you. I’m not trying to convince you to use products with these ingredients. I’m not necessarily for silicone, I’ve been silicone-free for a long time and I still try to keep the use to a minimum because I quickly suffer from build-up. What I’m trying to say is that you have to do what feels right for you, whether it’s using silicone or not using it.
1. Silicones give your hair shine
Does dull hair bother you? Silicones can improve the shine of hair fibres by reflecting lightly. Especially dimethicones are known to give more shine to your hair. They are therefore widely used in hair shine sprays.
2. Silicones form a protective layer on your hair
Many silicones, mainly non-water-soluble, put a layer on your hair that is still present even after several washes. This layer protects the hair shaft during abrasive, damaging actions such as brushing your hair or using elastic bands and sliding pins.
3. Silicones soften the effect of your shampoo
It’s no wonder that silicones are also widely used in shampoos these days. These ingredients soften the strong cleansing effect of sulphates in shampoo.
4. Siloxysilicates give your hair more body
Afraid silicone might make your hair limp? It doesn’t always have to be that way! Siloxysilicates are silicones that give your hair more volume. Because of the airy layer they put around your hair, your hair has a fuller appearance and feels thicker.
5. Polysiloxane polymers fill in the holes of hair damage
Split ends can’t be repaired, but some silicones can help fill in the holes in your hair caused by broken and raised hair scales.
You can see the silicone as a kind of cement for your hair. Research has shown that polysiloxane polymers, in particular, have this effect.
6. Silicones reduce frizz and static hair
Do you suffer from frizzy and/or static hair? This can be a sign that your hair is damaged. Damaged hair is often negatively charged.
Some silicones (hydrolyzed amino acids) contain positively charged molecules. By using these on damaged hair, a normal electrical balance is created in your hair.
7. Silicones protect your hair from heat damage
Silicones are heat-resistant, which means that they can withstand high temperatures. This means that they protect your hair when you start working with your hairdryer or straight/curling iron.
8. Silicones help against tangles
Tangles are caused by hair scales that stand up and hook into each other. Silicones help to create a smooth surface where the scales can no longer hook together like velcro. They do this by filling holes in broken scales, flattening scales by balancing the electrical charge and by forming a smooth, slippery layer around your hair.
9. Not all silicones cause build-up
One of the main arguments against the use of silicone is that it causes build up in your hair because it is difficult to wash out your hair. This is partly true. Some silicones automatically disappear from your hair through evaporation or rinse it out with water or shampoo quite easily. The silicones that are difficult to remove are usually the non-water-soluble silicones. However, you can use clarifying shampoo or chelating shampoo to remove them from your hair.
However, it is still important to keep an eye out, because build-up can cause annoying problems for your hair and silicones to conceal hair problems but do not improve them.
10. If it works for you, then it works…
I said it at the beginning of this article. I am not necessarily for or against silicone. What I am for, is doing what works best for you. If you notice that using silicone does your hair good, don’t be fooled by stories that these ingredients are very bad. If your hair does better on silicone-free products if you only use natural products and/or if you want to work for a better environment, ignore the above points and continue to use mainly silicone-free products. Weigh the pros and cons and do what feels right for you.