It’s no secret we’re not big fans of silicones and we have multiple reasons why.
We believe silicones provide a false sense of hair health, they’re controversial in regards to their impact on the environment, and we personally don’t care for the way they feel in our hair. According to a recent publication by Dow Corning, 82% of new hair care products introduced in the USA contain silicones.
MOST OF THE TIME WE DON’T EVEN KNOW WE ARE USING THEM.
The most common types of silicones are: Dimethicone, Dimethiconol, Phenyl Trimethicone, Amodimethicone, Cyclomethicone, and Cyclopentasiloxane. Go and grab your favorite hair potions and turn the bottle around. You might get a little surprise when you find out the main ingredient is a silicone.
Now, if you have a head of ridiculously gorgeous curls, than you may be all too happy to slather those silicones on. But for the rest of us with fine to normal, straight, and wavy hair, there has to be an alternative!
REASON #1 – WE BELIEVE SILICONES PROVIDE A FALSE SENSE OF HAIR HEALTH.
Have you noticed you’re heading to the salon a little more frequently to snip off those dry, brittle, split ends? Does your hair seem “dry” all the time? It could be the silicones! A silicone’s job is to “coat” the hair and create smoothness, silkiness and shine-to fill in the potholes so-to-speak. And they do! At least for awhile.
BUT OUR HAIR HAS A PROBLEM. IT’S BECOME ADDICTED TO SILICONES.
For a visual effect, let’s picture silicones as a soft, bendable, plastic film that attaches to and surrounds each hair strand.
We want healthy, smooth, soft, silky hair with a beautiful shimmer, just like those sexy models have in the TV commercials and magazine ads.
We use a (silicone based) product claiming to give us what we desire and see/feel immediate results.
Then, one of two things happen…
Because the most common silicones are NOT water soluble, they require a harsh surfactant* to be effectively removed from the hair-which means-we need to use a sulfate-based shampoo every time we wash. Harsh sulfates strip the natural oils from the hair, requiring you to use more products to achieve moisture balance. Now, we’re all aware by now that sulfates produce formaldehyde and have been linked to cancer so limiting our exposure is a really good idea. Because of this, many of us have opted for a “co-wash”or “no-poo” option, sometimes going several days (weeks!) without shampooing to reduce our toxin exposure. But the crazy thing about this method is that we think we are eliminating the use of surfactants, but in reality, these formulas also contain a surfactant-but creatively combine it with a silicone that is somewhat water soluble-which actually just brings you to Scenario 2 below.
If we aren’t using a sulfate-free shampoo, the silicones will never be effectively removed form the hair and will produce unwanted build-up over time. Our hair will begin to feel dirty and dull and will start to dehydrate because the “coating” and build-up of silicones is not allowing moisture and hydration into the hair shaft. This results in dry, brittle ends, lackluster hair and a desperate the need for moisture! Hair won’t style properly and the use of hot-tools only creates more damage-which then brings us right back to why we chose to use the product in the first place.
SILICONES ARE CREATING THE PROBLEM WE ARE TRYING TO FIND A SOLUTION FOR.
It’s was a genius marketing campaign by Neutrogena more than a decade ago that led us believe that we need to switch our products every few months-because our hair has gotten used to it. But that’s a false belief. The needs of our hair changes depending on the weather, the styling tools we use/don’t use, hormones, diet, exercise, and the ingredients that make up the formulas. What’s happening more and more often is that our hair is responding to the overuse of silicones and it can’t get back to its healthy, natural state. We’re told that by switching to a new product it will give us a solution to our problem but we are only recreating the problem over and over because the ingredients are technically the same!
REASON #2 – WE BELIEVE SILICONES ARE CONTROVERSIAL IN REGARDS TO THEIR IMPACT ON THE ENVIRONMENT.
Even though silicones are extracted from silica (sand), it is still a man-made product and its impact on the environment, specifically aquatic life, is still being studied. From the chemical companies that create them to the environmental watchdogs that oppose them, the internet is full of arguments and conclusions from both sides. We came across this recent article that gives a more scientific approach to how silicones are affecting aquatic life.
REASON #3 – WE REALLY DON’T CARE FOR THE WAY THEY FEEL IN OUR HAIR.
Slip and slide and Oh! the static! OK curly girls, you may be exempt from this paragraph because you want and need the weight they offer, but for the rest of us, silicones can make our hair downright impossible to style without using more styling products and hairspray-which can be a problem if we are trying to eliminate toxins from our lives! It’s a styling nightmare. Can you keep your hair tucked behind your ear? Have you ever had your hair attach to your head so fiercely when you removed a scarf or jacket; like a third-grade science experiment featuring a balloon and a sweater? Do you try different styling products, blow-dry upside down, tease, spray, anything to try and get some volume because your hair has never been so flat up against your head? Tired of scrunching till your hands ache? Need to use hairspray? Does the word “stringy” come to mind when you try to describe your hair?
O.K. rant over… but you get the picture don’t you?
OUR HAIR NEEDS AN INTERVENTION!
The good news is we can finally break the addiction. With new “green” chemistry jumping in the spotlight, we finally have a plant-based alternative that actually acts better than a silicone! And do you want to know where it’s derived from? The humble cabbage family.
Specifically Brassicyl Isoleucinate Esylate (and) Brassica Alcohol. This cruciferous concoction is the anecdote for the healthy hair we are searching for! It works like a silicone to produce silky, smooth, detangled locks, creates intense shine, and doesn’t weigh down the hair. No static, no flatness, no build-up-just soft, manageable, voluminous hair and no sulphates required for removal. And no, it doesn’t smell like cabbage.
This powerhouse ingredient is changing the future of hair health. We can finally get our hair to be beautiful and healthy, not just for a few days or weeks, but to STAY beautiful and healthy indefinitely! We don’t need to use 6 different products to counter-effect the symptoms of dehydration and dryness brought on by the repeated use of silicones.