When I went natural and started learning about healthy hair care, one of the things that jumped out at me was – avoid products with cones by any means necessary.
At the time, this proved to be a herculean task but over the years, it has become easier to find silicone-free products.
However, do you know why silicones are bad for hair and why so many people avoid it in hair products?
I’ll be covering this in this article, sharing the good type of silicones as well as 21 plus silicone-free conditioners for curly hair.
What Are Silicones?
Silicone is a polymer or oligomer used in hair care products to achieve deep conditioning and detangling effects.
It makes hair glossier, shinier, and softer so why would these kinds of effects be bad for curly hair?
Unfortunately, this conditioning, glossy, shiny, and soft effect is an illusion that leads to chaos for your hair in the long term.
Why Are Silicones in Hair Products Bad for Your Hair?
Silicones are water-insoluble making them a tad difficult to wash out from the hair.
They form a barrier on hair, coating the hair shaft, and preventing moisture from getting to the hair.
Long-term effects include dryness, dullness, brittleness, and breakage.
If you have thin hair, silicones can also weigh your hair down and make it appear limp and lifeless over time.
The only way to get silicones out of your hair would be with a strong clarifying or chelating shampoo, which in turn contain harsh ingredients like sulfates.
Sulfates strip all the natural oils and moisture from hair. As you can see, silicones are a double-edged sword.
They work wonderfully but only for a while before the usual natural hair enemies come calling, which can only be cleared by using another drying product thus leading to a vicious cycle.
5 Common Types of Silicones in Hair Products
Silicones can masquerade under many different names with the most common being:
- Cetearyl methicone
- Cetyl dimethicone
- Stearyl dimethicone
Are All Silicones Bad?
Not all of them.
There are some water-soluble silicones that don’t cause build up and are easy to wash out of the hair with a mild shampoo. The names to look out for on labels include:
Wow, those names are a mouthful!
21 Plus Best Selling Silicone Free Conditioners for Curly Hair
Though the list says 21, I have added some bonus conditioners because you know how companies like to discontinue products without notice.
They’ll have you running around like a complete lunatic trying to find a suitable replacement. Lol. 🙂
While these conditioners are silicone-free, sometimes a company changes formulas and sneaks something unfavorable into their ingredients.
It’s good hair care practice to check the ingredient label before picking up the conditioner if you haven’t bought it in a while.
Final Word on Silicones
Despite the disadvantages of products with silicones, there are some people that still find their hair loves these products and responds very well to them.
However, keep in mind that if you choose to use these conditioners, you will need to clarify your hair with a strong sulfate shampoo every few weeks.
However, this would depend on how your hair feels to the touch. Some great clarifying shampoos include:-
- Paul Mitchell Clarifying Shampoo Three
- Redken Hair Cleansing Cream Shampoo
- Green People Clarifying Vitamin Shampoo
- Joico K-Pak Chelating Shampoo
You may find that if you space out the use of silicone conditioners, you may not need to clarify as often and find a balance in there that doesn’t affect your hair growth goals.
In case you’re wondering what else is commonly included in hair care products, you can print out this handy hair product list next time you go product shopping.
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If you know any great silicone-free conditioners that should be on the list, let me know in the comments section and I’ll update the list.