Silicones in shampoos are used commonly to enhance smoothness and shine. They surely help in improving the looks, but do they make hair healthier?
The most popular silicones, which you can find on the ingredient list of a hair product, are:
There are also polyquats, which are „lighter” than silicones, but the way they work is the same.
Silicones are added to shampoos because of what most consumers do: wash they hair from roots to ends with lots of shampoo, rinse and done.
If hair is washed the bad way, silicones help to lower moisture loss caused by strong detergents. They form a protective layer, similarly to oils, but on the surface exclusively (while some oils may penetrate the shaft).
Silicones may also prevent water loss from the upper part of skin, which helps in some cases of dry and itchy scalp.
Sounds great, so where is the catch?
Silicones and polyquats may create build-up on hair and scalp. On hair, it just mostly looks bad.
Too much silicones may result in weighening down your hair, making it look greasy and flat.
On scalp however, it may cause more serious problems, including hair loss and dandruff.
Silicones are not the best choice for curly hair. They may loosen the curls and make them look less defined.
In the CG (Curly Girl) method, silicnes are banned from hair care routine.
Should Silicones Be Avoided?
Silicones in shampoos should be avoided by people with scalp problems. Greasy scalp is a major no-go zone for silicones, same with easily weightened roots.