25, October 2023
5 BENEFITS OF SILICONE-FREE SHAMPOO
You may have noticed that all our shampoo and conditioner is silicone-free. But what’s so bad about silicones, anyway? And does switching to a silicone-free shampoo really make that much of a difference to your hair? Here’s why so many people are swapping this once-popular ingredient out of their haircare routine.
What Are Silicones?
Silicones are synthetic polymers that have alternating silicon (derived from sand) and oxygen atoms. They are usually resistant to water and temperature, as well as possessing strong lubricating properties. And it’s those lubricating qualities that led to them finding their way into haircare ingredients.
Yes, silicones are used to make loads of household objects (bathroom sealant, heatproof kitchen tools and phone cases, to name a few), but they’re also present in many skin and haircare products.
To spot silicones on shampoo and conditioner labels, look out for ingredients ending in ‘-cone’ or ‘-siloxane’, such as amodimethicone and cyclopentasiloxane.
What is the Problem with Silicones?
When silicones first arrived on the haircare scene in the 1970s, they were considered one of the best ingredients in the business. Silicones sealed hair strands, protecting them from external damage and smoothing the hair shaft and locking moisture tightly inside. Their lubricating and humectant properties made running a comb through even the knottiest of locks a breeze – and left hair glossy.
Silicones continued to play a starring role in hair products for the next forty or so years, but more recently, consumers have begun to question their efficacy. Yes, these ingredients can help hair look shiny, but how long does that shine last?
For many, the immediate gloss that silicones give is just a temporary fix. Long-term, the ingredients can build up on hair, dulling shine and colour. They can also weigh tresses down, making it harder for curly or wavy hair to spring into shape. Some users of silicones report their hair feeling greasy, meaning they need to wash it more frequently. In some cases, silicones can lead to a flaky scalp. And whilst silicones were originally prized for their ability to coat the hair shaft, this action means that nutrients from other hair products are sealed out and often can’t be absorbed.
Although silicones are not toxic or harmful, it’s clear their use in hair products can have a negative effect on hair and scalp for some users. And it’s not all about your hair: most silicones aren’t water-soluble or biodegradable, meaning they can enter our waterways when they’re washed down the plughole.
Why Use a Silicone Free Shampoo?
Thankfully, you don’t have to use silicones on your hair to achieve glossy locks. In fact, you may find that switching to a natural shampoo, especially one without silicones, makes your hair shinier and healthier than ever before. Here are 5 reasons to make the switch to silicone-free shampoo:
1. FOR THE NUTRIENTS
Locking moisture into your hair with silicones might seem like a good idea, but the coatings they leave behind can stop any moisture getting in, rendering other hair products redundant. Silicone-free shampoos don’t leave residue on your hair strands, meaning all the goodness from your conditioner or hair mask can sink into the hair shaft and do its wonderful thing.
2. STOP YOUR HAIR BEING WEIGHED DOWN
Silicones often weigh hair down, making it feel lacklustre and flat. Using shampoo that doesn’t contain any silicones usually leads to lighter, bouncier, healthier-looking locks. This is the reason why silicone-free shampoos are preferred by followers of the Curly Girl Method.
3. GET YOUR MOISTURE FROM NATURE
Smoothness and shine are two of the reasons why silicone became so popular in hair products in the first place. Thankfully, Nature itself provides plenty of shampoo ingredients known to moisturise hair and leave it silky soft, without dulling or weighing it down. Shea butter, coconut oil, argan oil and jojoba are all (literally) shining examples.
4. GO LONGER BETWEEN WASHES
Washing your hair with shampoo containing silicones can be a bit of a vicious circle: although hair might start out shiny, the coating left behind by the silicones can eventually make hair appear greasy. This leads to people washing their hair more frequently, which only exacerbates the problem. Use a silicone-free shampoo and enjoy the freedom of going much longer without even thinking about washing and drying your hair.
5. TAKE GOOD CARE OF YOUR SCALP
It’s widely believed that healthy hair begins with a healthy scalp. And as well as taking good care of your hair, silicone-free shampoos look after your scalp. Shampoos containing silicone have been known to block hair follicles and cause flaky scalps. Massage a silicone-free shampoo into your scalp to keep it – and your hair – in tip-top condition.