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Are Silicones Bad For Your Hair?

Every day’s a school day, it seems, when it comes to finding out what’s safe to put on your hair and what’s not. Some substances not mentioned on hair product labels have a reputation for causing damage even if they’re not technically harmful. Sulphates certainly fall into that category. Silicones are another routine offender.

“Silicone-free” is a term that has become increasingly common on the packaging, particularly on solutions for those with curly hair. While silicones aren’t ideal for most hair textures, they’re also not a dangerous chemical that will permanently damage your hair. Much of what you’ve heard about the dangers of silicone probably isn’t true, therefore.

Silicones also have their uses, according to specialists. All you need to know about silicones is what they are, how they function, which ones are suitable for you and which are water-soluble types. Read on to find out more.

What Exactly Is Silicone and How Does It Work?

Silicone is a polymer, a plastic-like substance that can be solid or liquid and commonly serves as an emollient. Emollients act as lubricants and moisture sealants. Silicone is present in haircare products to soften the cuticle, which helps to reduce knots, add shine, and minimise heat damage.

It also produces a protective coating around the cuticle that seals in moisture and prevents dryness. All of these are positive attributes. However, there are two sorts of silicone, and that’s where things get messy.

How Do Silicones Affect Your Hair?

Silicones wrap your hair cuticle in a thin, waterproof layer. This protective layer moisturises your hair from the inside out while also stopping moisture from accessing the hair shaft and generating frizz. Silicones also protect your hair from heat-related damage inflicted by hairdryers and hot tools.

Your hair will be soft, silky and tangle-free because of its slick, shiny texture. Silicones are commonly present in frizz-fighting shampoos and conditioners as well as in straightening serums. As a result, silicone is usually a good product for your hair.

Do You Need To Use Silicone-Free Hair Products?

Silicone-based hair products are harmless, and they’re beneficial if your hair is dry, curly, or wavy. They help to smooth the hair shaft, seal the cuticle and prevent humidity absorption. However, the biggest concern regarding silicone-based hair products is that they can drag down fine or thin hair.

Individuals who wash their hair regularly are more likely to experience this problem. The simple solution is to reduce the number of times you wash your hair. If you insist on shampooing every day, you need to mix things up and use a silicone-free shampoo once or twice a week. You can also reduce the number of times you condition your hair each week. Make sure you’re using products that are specifically for your hair type.

When Should You Use Silicone On Your Hair?

According to experts, silicones can be effective as a final style agent. Using them as a heat protectant when flattening, curling or drying hair isn’t a bad idea, either. However, curly-haired people should generally avoid all silicones or use water-soluble silicones that wash out quickly.

Curls are fragile, so the accumulation of silicone can result in damage, curl pattern disturbance and further frizz. Curly hair may appear brittle and lifeless because of this approach. You should be aware, however, that silicone is present in many of the products expressly for curly hair and tangles.

The Difference Between Non-Water Soluble And Water Soluble Silicone

There are two types of silicone with different effects and functions on your hair. The two are as follows:

Non-Water Soluble

Non-water soluble silicone is hard to remove from the hair strand. This makes conditioners less effective at providing moisture to the hair, and the hair becomes drier as a result. Non-water soluble silicones can also create accumulation. They may appear on a label as:

  • Stearyl Dimethicone
  • Cetearyl Methicone
  • Amodimethicone
  • Dimethicone
  • Dimethiconol
  • Phenyl Trimethicone


Water-soluble silicones are easy to remove from hair and will not build up or weaken it over time. In essence, they offer the advantages of silicone without the drawbacks. Water-soluble silicones appear on labels as follows:

  • Amodimethicone
  • PEG-12 Dimethicone
  • Dimethicone Copolyol
  • PEG-8 Dimethicone
  • Dimethicone PEG-8 Succinate
  • Lauryl Methicone Copolyol


It is up to you to select what you want to do with your hair. You don’t have to give up silicone, especially if your hair is thick and rough. However, if you’re afraid of the chemical’s long-term impacts, limit your use to once a week, and use a tiny amount of the product. You can also get water-soluble silicones that are safer for your hair.

Hair products and haircare practices can have a negative impact on the health of your hair. It’s wise to consult a specialist at the first signs of persistent hair loss or shedding. That’s when Vinci Hair Clinic can help. We offer a free consultation to all our new clients. Contact us today to book your appointment!