The hot topic we’re chatting about today is silicones.
Silicones are an interesting ingredient that you’ll often find in hair ‘oils’ and ‘serums’, BUT dig a little deeper and you’ll find that this is certainly an ingredient you want to avoid like the plague! We pride ourselves in using only natural ingredients in our hair and beard remedies and our recipes are a carefully curated to have the ultimate impact on your hair and skin. We’re not saying that all man-made chemicals should be avoided; there are definitely some that have positive effects on skin and hair, but silicones are absolutely not one of them!
“Silicones are a large class of materials—not one item. They can usually be recognized by names ending in ‘cone.’ In hair care, they are primarily used to lubricate/condition and to add shine.” —Eric Spengler, Chief Commercialization Officer & SVP Research & Development, Living Proof
Silicones are at the most basic level, a sealant, so this shine and lubrication comes at a cost. They provide a superficial coating to the hair, which prevents anything from sinking in. This will provide a temporary, immediate shine and smoothness to hair, which fools us into thinking that the oil or serum containing these ingredients is working. I mean, we’re all after that shiny, swoosh-worthy hair, BUT long-term use of products containing silicones mean that it’s difficult for actual good ingredients to penetrate the hair shaft. Silicones themselves don’t contain anything nourishing to make your hair naturally shine, so you’ll become reliant on whichever product to provide it. Is that really worth it, when you can get the same results from hair and scalp health?
Silicones will build up in your hair and scalp and cause damage – if they’re not penetrating your hair, they’re just sitting there, aren’t they?
As silicones are a large class of materials, they can have several different names and that’s what you need to look out for on an ingredient label. Things ending in ‘cone’ are usually the main culprits however you can get a sneaky ‘cyclopentasiloxane’ thrown into the mix. When you see an ingredient you don’t recognise, Google is your bestie.
Now, when you purchase a product that has a silicone in its ingredients list (sometimes there are more than one in a product), especially if it’s particularly high on the list, know you’re paying for a very temporary fix. This is so annoying when you’re paying for a seemingly luxe product. It’s so important to have ingredients that will nurture your hair and – like any good relationship – works from the inside out. We don’t need that ‘just for Instagram hair’, on-the-surface hot hair; we need that ‘oh I just washed it and it looks this good’ hair.
For further, and in-depth reading on silicones, there is a fab article over on the Coveteur .