The Real Deal: Is Silicone Bad for Your Hair?

The-Real-Deal: Is-Silicone-Bad-for-Your-Hair?


“ Is silicone bad for your hair? We’re here to assure you that the answer is no”

Silicone is an ingredient used in a wide variety of hair care products, from shampoos and conditioners to hairsprays and serums. It’s one of the most effective ingredients for taming frizz, locking in moisture, and adding shine. But what are silicones, exactly? And are they bad for your hair? While you may have been led to believe otherwise, we’re here to assure you that the answer is no. The worst a silicone hair care product can do is leave behind buildup, and all it takes is a good shampoo to wash that away. Plus, there are many different types of silicones — some heavier than others, some lighter; some adhere more strongly to the hair,  some less strongly. Most hair care formulas (including all of John Frieda hair care products) use silicones. The John Frieda formulas are carefully crafted to use
the right combination for each product and ensure they are non-drying. Rather than avoiding silicone hair products, the trick is knowing how to find the ones
that are right for your hair type.

What Are Silicones?

Silicones are synthetic (aka manmade) polymers that have hydrophobic properties, which means that they help retain moisture by creating an impenetrable seal. In addition to shampoos, conditioners, and styling products, they’re popular ingredients in makeup and skin care, as they help keep the complexion soft and smooth. They also prevent cosmetics like lipstick and foundation from drying out.

Silicones come in many different forms, some of which you would never put near your hair. Caulk is a great example — of course your hair would be damaged if you slathered it with this silicone-based sealant. Luckily, the types of silicones commonly used in hair care products — namely cyclomethicone, amodimethicone, and dimethicone — are significantly less sticky, heavy, and thick. They are not toxic and do not strip or damage hair. In fact, the opposite is true — silicones actually shield your strands from harmful elements by creating a protective layer around your hair shaft.

What Do Silicones Do to Your Hair?

Silicones form a thin, waterproof coating around your hair cuticle. This coating keeps your hair hydrated from within, while also preventing moisture from penetrating the hair shaft and causing frizz. Silicones also protect your hair from damage caused by heat-styling tools such as blow dryers and hot irons. Their slick, glossy texture leaves your locks soft, smooth, and tangle-free. Frizz-fighting shampoos and conditioners typically contain silicones, as do softening and straightening serums such as Frizz-Ease Extra Strength Serum.

Should I Use Silicone-Free Shampoo and Conditioner?

Shampoos and conditioners formulated with silicones are perfectly safe for your hair. They’re especially beneficial if you have dry, curly, and/or frizzy hair, as they help smooth the hair shaft, seal the cuticle, and prevent it from absorbing humidity. The most common complaint about silicone-based shampoos and conditioners is that they can weigh hair down, especially if hair is thin or fine. This tends to happen to people who wash their hair frequently, and can be avoided by limiting the number of times you shampoo and condition your hair per week. If you’re committed to shampooing daily, that’s fine, too — just switch up your products and use a silicone-free shampoo once or twice a week. You can also limit the number of times a week that you condition your hair.

"...make sure you are using products specifically made for your hair type because if, for example, you have thin hair but are using a shampoo and conditioner for thick, coarse hair, this could also be contributing to your hair being weighed down, regardless if the products have silicones or not."

How Do I Find the Best Silicone Hair Products?

Everyone’s hair is unique and responds differently to things like heat, humidity, and hair care products. The best way to determine if a silicone-based product is right for you is to consider your hair type. As mentioned, silicone-based products are ideal for people with coarse, thick, dry, and /or curly hair. If your hair is dull and lifeless, and you feel like you’re constantly fighting frizz, the silicone-based Frizz Ease serum by John Frieda, which is infused with bamboo extract, applied to soaking-wet hair will tame your mane, add shine, and infuse your hair with hydration.

People with straight, fine, and/or thin hair can also benefit from silicone-based products, particularly if they’re formulated with cyclomethicone, which is one of the lightest forms of silicone commonly found in hair products. Cyclomethicone is water-soluble, which means it washes out easily and leaves behind minimal product buildup. But even heavier, non-water-soluble types of silicones, like amodimethicone and dimethicone, can be washed out over several shampooings.

“Hair Care Tip: When it comes to silicone-based hair products, a little goes a
long way. “

This is especially true with serums — all it takes is a dime-sized amount rubbed between your palms to achieve maximum softness and shine. Often, when people complain about the heaviness of silicone products, they’re actually applying too much. These products are meant to be used sparingly — and they'll last much longer as a result!

The Bottom Line: Silicones Are Safe

Even though they're manmade, silicones are perfectly safe and do not cause damage to the hair shaft. They are safe for human use and safe for the environment. And, better yet, they have amazing moisturizing and smoothing capabilities, can protect hair from heat damage, and are one of the most effective compounds for fighting frizz, adding shine, and improving manageability. The best way to use a silicone-based hair care product is to take your hair type into account, as well as use it sparingly. If your hair starts to feel heavy or weighed down, use a clarifying shampoo to provide a deep cleanse and wash away product buildup.

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