It’s vital to know what’s in the ingredient lists of your favourite hair-care products, just like it’s important to know what’s in your skin-care products. It can be difficult to tell which chemicals and substances are safe for your locks and which are not. Sulfates, parabens, and sodium lauryl sulphate (SLS) are typical substances to avoid in hair and skin care, as you’re surely aware. But what about silicone, another commonly used keyword on product labels? Is silicone harmful to one’s hair? The solution, as it turns out, is not that straightforward.
What is silicone and how does it work in hair care?
According to The American Chemistry Council, “Silicones are a diverse family of specialty, high-performance materials that includes reactive silanes, silicone fluids, and silicone polymers, which are widely used in a variety of consumer and industrial products.” Silicones used in beauty and personal care products are considered safe and do not pose health risks.
Serums, leave-in treatments, conditioners, and hair masks are the most common places to locate them. The goal is to lock in moisture while also smoothing or defrizzing your strands.
Is silicone harmful to one’s hair?
While there is no silicone in hair-care products that is poisonous, some do have negative side effects. According to Ryan Trygstad, famous hair stylist and CEO of Mark Ryan Salon in New York City, you should avoid those that aren’t water based or water soluble because they can produce dryness and buildup over time, which can be difficult to remove. Silicones like cyclopentasiloxane and dimethicone are among them, he explains.
Stick with silicones like dimethicone copolyol and stearoxy instead. “These water-soluble silicones, thankfully, do not build up,” adds the author “Trygstad agrees. “These silicones are referred to as breathable because they do not coat or harm the hair.” In reality, these silicones may be beneficial to your hair because they can improve shine and strengthen it.
Which silicone hair products should you stay away from?
Apart from silicones that aren’t water-based, Trygstad advises staying away from hair products that contain a variety of silicones because it’s difficult to tell which are water-based and which aren’t. Choose silicone-free, plant-based products instead if you don’t want to deal with the effort of figuring out which ones to avoid. “These products will operate in a similar way, providing hydration and conditioning while detangling and controlling frizz “Trygstad agrees.
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