What Are Silicones?
Silicones are an oil-like cosmetic ingredient used widely in the hair and beauty industry across the globe. Silicone in hair care creates a thin, water-resistant coat for the hair which can help protect against humidity, smooth fly-aways and leave the hair looking shiny.
Silicones are polymers with a chemical structure based on chains of alternate silicon and oxygen atoms. Traditionally polymers are synthetic plastics, made from very small molecules that are chemically bonded together creating larger molecules. There are many different types of silicones, and it can be a difficult task to tell if your shampoo or conditioner contains them especially if you don’t know what you are looking for.
Silicones will be listed in words ending in ‘cone’ on the ingredient list, e.g. Dimethicone. Silicones are a water-insoluble ingredient, meaning they are hard to dissolve and wash out.
Silicones are included in many hair care products to help add shine and smoothness however they can also form a layer around the hair shaft, effectively blocking the hair and preventing moisture from penetrating it. With the silicones creating a seal around the hair, this also stops water from being able to get in. Leading to dryness, brittleness and thinning hair.
Silicones when used in water bind the hair together creating a temporary illusion of healthy hair, but they continue to build up layer by layer. Over time hair can become weighed down, appear greasy, dull and lacking the lustre that the silicones were supposed to provide in the first place.
Some silicones are non-biodegradable or not fully biodegradable, meaning that when you wash them down the drain they can build up in the environment and may take hundreds of years to break down.
Why IS silicone used in hair care products?
If you’re not an ingredient whiz you may be wondering why your favourite shampoo once gave you that ‘fresh out of the salon’ feel now your hair is feeling weighed down, limp and lifeless?
It is often thought that you need to switch up your hair care routine regularly so that your hair does not get ‘used to’ the products you are using. But is this actually true?
Often the reason for your hair to feel heavy and dull comes down to ingredients in products. Ingredients like these, for example, silicones, are designed to provide benefits such as nourishing dry hair, taming curls, or tackling frizz.
Why Switch to a Silicone-Free Shampoo?
Silicones coat the hair shafts creating a seal & providing an artificial shine, which can mask the true condition of the hair. Overusing silicone creates a lot of build-up on hair over time and can make your hair feel dull.
Silicone-free hair care will often make your hair feel lightweight and will leave you with a fresh and clean feeling rather than a slick and slippery feel. Silicone-free products are also easier to wash out as you won’t have that lingering slip on your hair. Silicone-free hair care products are also great for curly hair as they will help bring curls back to life, as these types of products allow the hair to absorb moisture.
Before starting out with silicone-free products many people can resort to using shampoos that contain harsh, irritating foaming agents such as sodium lauryl sulphate (SLS) when attempting to remove silicone build-up. SLS strips the natural healthy oils that protect the hair and scalp, disrupting the skin’s natural balance and causing the hair to become dry, damaged and brittle. This then creates a vicious circle, as the hair becomes more damaged from the use of harsh detergents.
Ultimately, you don’t need silicone in your shampoo or conditioner. By using a silicone-free shampoo that doesn’t contain SLS, it is possible to achieve authentically healthy, shiny hair without using harsh, synthetic chemicals.
Removing silicone loaded hair care products from your routine will allow moisture to penetrate the hair shafts and the natural oils can be produced by the scalp again. These oils will then help to nourish and rehydrate the hair and restore the scalp’s healthy balance.
As the hair and scalp’s overall health improves and silicone build-up is irradicated, hair will also require less frequent washing as oil production returns to normal and hair is not weighed down, leaving the hair looking lighter and less oily.
Choosing a Silicone-Free Shampoo
Many mainstream shampoos and conditioners use silicones to give the hair that temporary silky smooth feel. Some brands have launched their own ‘silicone-free’ shampoos in an attempt to profit from the movement towards more natural hair care.
Although these high street shampoos may have removed silicone, they often still contain a whole list of other nasty ingredients that can potentially damage or irritate your hair and scalp. These can include ingredients such as drying alcohols, synthetic colours and fragrances (the leading cause of allergies to cosmetics), PEGs, mineral oil and other chemical nasties that can all put your hair and scalp out of its natural healthy balance.
The most common form of silicone used in hair products is dimethicone. Dimethicone builds up on the hair over time and is difficult to remove, preventing moisture and essential nutrients from penetrating the hair shaft so be sure to look out for this ingredient when choosing Silicone-Free products.
Using silicone-free hair products will allow the natural oils of your scalp and hair to be accessed so there will no longer be a build-up and plastic-like seal coating your hair strands. This can take time to regulate itself but once the silicone build-up is removed, your hair will start to shine from the natural oils your body produces.
EverEscents Organic Hair Care Silicone-Free Shampoo and Conditioner
The EverEscents research and development team, in conjunction with world-class hairdressers, have discovered many new and innovative ways to develop modern product formulas that harness the power of Certified Organic ingredients. Our beautiful products have been hand-crafted and developed by scientists in the laboratory of our Certified Organic factory in QLD, Australia.
The EverEscents Organic Hair Care range of Organic shampoo, conditioner, treatments and stylers contain the highest quality pure Australian Certified Organic ingredients and essential oils, paving the path for a new era in high performance, Organic hair care. Our products do not contain any harmful or toxic ingredients, and every EverEscents product is free from silicones, parabens and sulphates.
Choosing to use Organic ingredients ensures that the plants are vibrant and bursting with natural properties, the earth is kept fertile and of course, the farmers are not at risk from toxic chemicals.
Organic ingredients have been proven to contain powerful properties that can provide amazing results. When switching from chemical-based hair products to Organic hair products, you can be sure that not only are they safe and toxin-free, these products also perform to a professional standard.
With eight different scalp and hair targeted products to choose from across the range, it’s never been easier to choose a silicone-free shampoo.
For more information regarding ingredients, the Chemical Maze book and app are a great, easy to use reference detailing over 900 cosmetic ingredients.