Are silicones and oils bad for my hair?
Silicones and oils in hair products, moisturising shampoo, moisturising conditioner, moisturising oil? But you’ve still got dry hair? Read on. Healthy hair is a balance of protein and moisture. Protein is the key element, because without it moisture cannot bind to the hair. In pursuit of shiny smooth hair we use conditioners and serums, containing oils & silicones because they really do make it more shiny and manageable. But there’s a very dark side to these slippery characters. Like a good looking bad boy they will break your heart…well hair, which is worse in my book!
Oils and silicones, both water soluble and non, coat the hair, filling the microscopic holes and cracks in the cuticle caused by colouring & styling. This smooths all those crags and kinks out weighing it down & gives the appearance of sleeker more manageable hair with sealed split ends. Sounds good huh? Also silicones prevent frizz by not allowing moisture in, but unfortunately still allow it out. Which means our hair is gasping under a plastic like layer, unable to get the moisture or protein it needs. Even more scarily…silicones and oils have a boiling point! So if you straighten or curl your hair with oil & silicone residue on at high heats you are melting it into your hair…plasticising it! If you’ve ever tried to lighten your hair after dying it dark and not been able to get the colour out, it’s because its sealed under laminate! I did this and destroyed my hair! It was orange…I was called Fuzzy Bear. Conditioners can’t go in & it’s really bad hair days.
How Do I Remove Silicone From My Hair?
To remove silicone build up you have to use shampoos that contain Sodium Lauryl Sulphate (SLS). If you used a natural gentle shampoo your hair just wouldn’t feel properly clean because oils and silicones aren’t shifting without the harsh chemicals. This might lead you to believe the mild shampoo was rubbish, but really you’ve got some heavy silicone gunk going on. SLS is a cheap foaming agent used in washing powder, Persil etc. It’s in most shampoos, check for sulphate free. This stuff's nasty…it strips the hair of all its natural oils but it’s the only way to get Silicone residues (unmelted) out. Using it regularly is very bad for your hair and scalp and causes over oily hair as our scalps react to the stripping.
If like me you’ve struggled with damaged hair that refuses to grow you need to avoid SLS and silicones like you would a scissor happy hairdressing student.
Restoring The Moisture/Protein Balance In Your Hair.
Clarification is the first step in restoring protein/moisture balance. Reach hair ground zero by using a clarifying shampoo. Boots do one, its £2.50. Then gently blot hair until only damp and apply a protein pack by Nuttress. Actually, whipped raw egg does pretty much the same thing scientifically as the protein pack… but having tried both I recommend the pack…because it washes out easily and doesn’t make you stink.
After protein you always follow with moisture or hair goes straw like, on account of the holes being filled with new unquenched protein. So for moisture use the Naked range Marsh mellow & Butter milk conditioner. I use only their range of styling products now and it really sorts your hair out long term. Bingo balance restored!
The first time I did this after learning all this stuff, I clarified with the harsh shampoo from boots, then slapped a load of the pack on, left it on overnight with my head wrapped in cling film. Then washed it off in the morning and left the conditioner on for the day. I avoided mirrors ate pizza and binge watched Netflix alone. My hair is forever thankful! Now I avoid silicones and use the natural stuff above and the pack only once a month or so because this is important …or you’ll get protein overload and then it can snap! It’s all about balance.
When Should I Use Hair Serums?
If I need to be uber polished I use a light serum AFTER I've curled and so then I have to clarify with SLS shampoo to get the silicone off the next time, then immediately repeat protein/moisture routine. Remember if you don’t do this before you straighten you’ll melt it in and any conditioners you use will be useless! That way the protein and moisture in the nice silicone free conditioner can do its stuff and if like me you had damaged hair it can return to bouncy and lush. Below is a list of names of silicones to avoid…checking my products and the temp on my irons has saved my locks! If you actually read this I am very flattered and hope its useful. Xx Ps. If your hair is poorly & all else fails get some gorgeous hair extensions while your hair recovers.
The bad guys below: Oils, Trimethylsilylamodimetheicone, Dimethicone, Phenyl Trimethicone, Ceteary Methicone, Dimethiconol, Amodimethicon, Stearyl Dimethicone. Cyclomethicone, Cetyl Dimethicone, Cyclopentasiloxane, Behenoxy Dimethicone, Stearoxy Dimethicone!