Should you avoid products with Silicone if you Co-Wash
If you are into co-washing and not shampooing regularly, you might find that, after a while, your hair feels weighed down and looks dull because the silicone coating attracts debris and dirt.
What are Silicones
Silicones are a synthetic compound that help create the temporary illusion of healthy hair, but as they continue to build up layer by layer, your hair gets weighed down, can appear greasy, dull and lacking the smoothness and shine that the silicones are meant to provide in the first place.
Why you would choose to use silicone's.
- Absorb and retain moisture from the air (particularly good for dry hair).
- Leave a lightweight coating on the hair and is popular in smoothing and anti-frizz products.
- Increase in size when heated up - Perfect for fine hair as it gets under the cuticle and then inflates to ‘puff’ it out and make it look thicker.
- Make hair that is dry and damaged look and feel like it’s healthy by filling in the porosity (what looks like frizz and split ends)—and driving and locking in conditioner.
- Protects the hair from the elements, keeping it smooth and shiny by ‘waterproofing’ each strand.
Why we choose not to use Silicones
- Silicones produce product build up and it also hide any damage happening from heat and wear and tear by making it look shiny and glossy.
- The build up in the hair over time tends to weigh down your hair, making it look limp and greasy - Fine hair in particular is more affected.
- Harmful to the environment because they do not breakdown that easily and are more difficult to dispose.
- Silicones are so effective at sealing hair strands, that the end result is that important nutrients are prevented from penetrating the hair shaft, which can weaken hair over time – especially for naturally curly hair, which tends to be drier and more easily damaged.
- Thicker silicone's, such as dimethicones can build up along the hair cuticle over time like a film and require clarifying shampoos for removal which usually contain harsh sulfates like SLS/SLES which strip the hair of its natural moisture.
- If you are into co-washing and not shampooing regularly, you might find that, after a while, your hair feels weighed down and looks dull because the silicone coating attracts debris and dirt.
Life is about choices - If you do choose to use Silicone's -
- Thoroughly wash and properly rinse out the silicone based products
- Do not use daily and try rotating your hair products so you aren’t using silicone products everyday
- Most silicones are not water soluble. So, simply rinsing them out with water won't remove them. That's why they can build up. Use a Clairfying shampoo or Shampoo with Sulfates to strip off the Silicone
make your own decision and if you do use silicone based products, and experience silicone build-up you now know how to deal with it.
Here is our simple dummies guide to why we dont use silicones and sulfates and a more detailed summary is HERE