You may have heard some talk about avoiding silicones in your shampoo, conditioner, and even styling products, especially if you have curly, coarse, or frizzy hair. What’s that all about?
Short answer: they can build up on your hair and be hard to remove.
Long answer isn’t quite that simple.
Many products that claim to tame frizz contain silicones. Most people don’t think about it one way or another, as long as their hair is under control. But many lines use non-water soluble silicones that deposit on hair shafts, and stay there even after shampooing, creating build up that can dull hair and keep it from looking shiny. And if you use sulfate-free shampoos, it can be even harder to remove these silicones from the hair.
The non-water soluble silicones that you might want to avoid include:
- Cetyl Dimethicone
- Cetearyl Methicone
- Stearyl Dimethicone
There are silicones that are water soluble, and you can find a complete list at the Science-y Hair Blog (which is a really great resource).
Going through all my hair products, I was surprised to see that many of them had these silicones in them. Even in products that I wouldn’t even have guessed, especially “oils.”
To remove these bad silicones from your hair, you’ll need a good clarifying shampoo, but one that doesn’t have sulfates – those will only contribute to frizz because they are such a harsh lathering agent. I personally love Purify Shampoo by Pureology, which clarifies even color-treated hair gently.
Once you rid yourself of these shine-destroying silicones, you’ll need to get products that tame frizz without depositing ingredients that can’t be removed easily. Because my hair is all of the things that silicones are supposed to help, like frizzy, coarse, untamable, curly, and just altogether unruly, I tend to focus on hair oils to help me style my long hair. Oiling hair has long been a way to style hair, and they can really smooth the cuticle down and help with frizz. I don’t need to use them every day, unless I’ve styled my hair curly using a diffuser – then I tend to work in oil daily because the frizz is really noticeable.
My latest true hair oil find has been Rejuvenique by Monat. Completely free of silicones, I have found that I really don’t need to use much to see great results. The ingredient list looks like something that could be whipped up in your bathroom, if you had access to super-quality ingredients:
- Limnanthes Alba (Meadowfoam) Seed Oil
- Crambe Abyssinica Seed Oil
- Camellia Oleifera Seed Oil
- Solanum Lycopersicum (Tomato) Seed Oil
- Daucus Carota Sativa (Carrot) Seed Oil
- Citrus Limon (Lemon) Peel Oil
- Citrus Aurantifolia (Lime) Oil
- Citrus Aurantium Bergamia (Bergamot) Fruit Oil
- Adansonia Digitata Oil, Mauritia Flexuosa Fruit Oil
- Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil
- Gardenia Tahitensis Flower Extract
- Moringa Oleifera Seed Oil
- Caryocar Brasiliense Fruit Oil
- Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil
No silicones. No sulfates. Just natural goodness.
There are several ways you can use this oil, I’ve found:
- pre-shampoo treatment: add oil to the scalp and hair and wrap in a scarf. Wait at least 15 minutes before shampooing. Style as usual. I normally let it sit overnight, and have had excellent results
- hair smoother while blow drying: after sectioning off hair and drying with a round brush, I add a drop or two of oil to my hands and work it into each section before moving on. This uses quite a bit of product, but my hair stays shiny and silky for days.
- skin oil: because I use a bit of it while blowdrying, I make sure to rub any extra into my nail bed and cuticles. The result has been pretty amazing. I’m sure it would work wonders on dry, flaky skin as well.
Other favorites include:
Top row, left to right: Carol’s Daughter Monoi Oil Sacred Strengthening Serum, Redkin Diamond Oil, Leonor Greyl Huile Secret de Beaute
Bottom row, left to right: Living Proof Satin Hair Serum, L’Oreal EverSleek Smoothing System, Rejuvenique
Most of these are serums, but I use them the exact same way as oils. Also plain oils work excellent for me – straight organ oil, straight olive oil, and straight coconut oil. But I like the extras you get with a formulation.
Do you keep silicones out of your hair products? Why or why not?
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."