We all love our hair to shine. The shine we crave is the shine you get naturally when your cuticle layer is sealed and light reflects off the hair. This only happens when your hair is properly hydrated and kept as healthy as possible.
Many hair care products can give the illusion of shine through the use of silicone-based ingredients, but these silicones can act as a sealant on your hair, preventing the hydration that will give your hair that beautiful, natural shine.
When creating CurlyEllie for my daughter, I wanted all the benefits of silicone, which is synthetic, but none of the downside . This is why after months and months of research and testing, I chose Broccoli Seed Oil , a natural alternative to silicone.
What are Silicones ?
Silicone is a SYNTHETIC ingredient that shines our hair like it shines floors, plates and work tops with pleasing results - but only initially.
I must admit it - I buy and use many silicone-based products - My cup cake moulds, baking mat and cake mats can go from the freezer to the oven, microwave or dishwasher without affecting the quality of the product or the food.
I use silicones in the polishes and cleaners that I use on my floors and work tops. They are the reason my tops and floors shine easily and retain the shine for days instead of hours. We have Corian work surfaces and I happily use silicones because they do not chemically react with surface materials.
There are many obvious benefits to silicones. They have little odour, flavour and are very easy to work with.
I recently had a service visit for my washing machine and the technician said that they are updating the software on the washing machines because of customer complaints that there is too much foam when using the company's Detergent and Conditioner. I was willing to bet that this was down to the amount of silicones in the detergent and Conditioning agents that they sell. Silicones in fabric softeners help preserve "newness" because of their softening properties. silicones' elasticity helps smooth out wrinkles ensure foam control during a wash cycle.However, I draw the line at using silicones on our hair.
Here are my top 5 Reasons
1. Silicone's weigh down your curls causing more damage over time.
Curlyhair NEEDs moisture, which is why the Detangling spray is so important as part of your daily hair routine. You have to introduce your hair to moisture EVERYDAY and many times a day.
Silicones can stop moisture from directly penetrating the hair. This is worse for curls because, the curlier your hair, the more silicones get wedged and trapped into the curls, because they do not slide off as easily as they do on straight hair. This leads to a build up of silicones on your hair.
2. The Illusion factor
When you first use products with silicones, they make your hair feel like it’s healthy, especially if your hair is dry, curly, frizz or heat damaged. However, over time it can lead to dryness, frizz and damaged hair,
Due to the sealant properties of silicones, the hair can prevent moisture from easily penetrating the hair shaft. If you are using moisturising products on your hair they can end up sitting on the surface, rather than penetrating the hair shaft as intended. This eventually leads to greasy, damaged, fizzy and dry hair.
3. Lose Lose Situation - Impossible to get the full benefits of other more gentle, natural hair products
Silicones create a film on your hair that can be hard to remover. Heavy use of silicone products in the hair, leads to a build up on the surface which makes it hard for other products to penetrate the hair and do their thing. So you never get the full benefit of products that you buy for their natural and hydrating properties.
4. Dry, Dirty and Dull
Sealing your hair encourages your hair to become a magnet for dust, dirt and other pollutants. The initial promise of shiny, healthy hair can quickly fade.
5. It takes a while for silicones to be completely removed from your hair, especially if you have been using it for a while.
If you have been using silicone based products for a while :
- Did you notice that you get minimal foam from our shampoo the first time you use it ?
- Did you notice that the Leave In conditioner just sits on your hair and does not peneterate your hair to leave beautiful, non greasy bouncy curls ?
The CurlyEllie Natural Alternative to silicone
I once enjoyed the early benefits but soon found that I did not like the longer term costs. So I swapped out silicones and replaced it with Broccoli Seed oil .
Broccoli Seed Oil is gaining recognition as a natural alternative to the silicone in shampoos, conditioners and styling products because of the unique composition of fatty acids; approximately 50% Erucic acid (C22:1), an Omega-9 fatty acid that is useful for imparting a silicone-like sheen to hair.
- Look out for products that use broccoli Seed oil instead of silicones
- Strip it down and start again : Continually use our Gentle Shampoo and Nourishing Conditioner until most of the silicone is stripped from your hair.