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The Truth about Silicones

Sulpfates, silicones and parabens are three ingredients that are often added to hair products. According to the Curly Girl Method, you should avoid these ingredients, as they are drying and harmful to your hair and scalp. You prefer to replace them with milder ingredients and products such as conditioner, hair masks and gel. But why are silicones so bad, how do you recognize them in hair products, and which products can you use instead? You can read all about it in this article.

Also read:

  • The truth about parabens
  • The truth about sulphates
In this article:

In this article:

What are silicones and how do you recognise them?

Silicones are ingredients that are added to all kinds of hair products, such as shampoos, care products and styling sprays, to make the hair shine. 

It gives you shiny and frizz-free hair, which makes it look like silicone products are good for your hair and nourish it. But actually the opposite happens.

Silicones seal your hair, which means they cover your hair with some sort of thin layer. Good hair products – that do care for your hair – cannot get through here.

You can recognize silicones on the ingredients list by the words ending in ‘-cone’, ‘conol’, ‘-xane’ and ‘-col’:

  • Cetearyl Methicone
  • Cyclopentasiloxane

In addition, there are also water-soluble silicones. 

These silicones provide many of the desirable properties of regular silicones, such as shiny hair and no frizz, but can be washed out of your hair with water.

So they don’t take care of build up. These are water soluble silicones:

  • PEG-8 Dimethicone and other silicones that start with PEG
  • Dimethicone Copolyol
  • Lauryl Methicone Copolyol
  • Hydrolyzed wheat protein (Hydroxypropyl Polysiloxane)

Also useful to know: the ingredients on the ingredient list are ordered by weight. So the ingredient mentioned first is the most in it. 

The product mentioned last is probably hardly in there.

Why is this ingredient bad for your hair and scalp?

Most silicones are very difficult to wash out of your hair, causing it to build up in your hair. As a result, hair products no longer work properly, because they cannot get through that layer.

The many layers that adhere to your hair close off every hair, so that the hair can no longer breathe and the nutrients can no longer penetrate.

The result is heavy and lifeless hair, which dries out slowly and becomes brittle.

On top of that, you can only remove this build up with harsh shampoos containing sulphates, which will give you even drier hair. You are then in a vicious circle.

Therefore, when you start with the Curly Girl Method, the first thing you do is a Final Wash.

Before you go full CGM, you wash your hair one more time with a shampoo that contains sulphates, but no silicone. This way you will remove your build up on your hair and scalp and start with a clean start. 

That is the last time you use a shampoo that contains sulphates.

Products without silicones

You now know what silicones are and how to identify them on hair product labels. We’ll get you started with a list of brands that sell shampoos, conditioners, hair masks, hair gels, hair sprays, hair masks, and other hair products without silicones. Fortunately, you do not have to go to an expensive hairdresser immediately, because most of these products are available at Kruidvat, Etos, Action and De Tuinen – now Holland & Barrett.

  • Cantu
  • Dr Bronner
  • Dr Organic
  • Less is More 
  • Petal Fresh
  • Pure Nuff stuff
  • Shea Moisture 
  • Yes to…

Have you already used silicone-free hair products, or are you going to do so now? And, if you have any questions about it, feel free to ask them via Instagram! We are happy to help you.

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