“Silicone is a mineral. It is an effective ingredient commonly used in hair care products. It provides slip and shine, can help smooth and straighten hair and gives hair a luxurious, conditioned feel.” —Bridget Brager, Celebrity & Editorial Hairstylist
“Silicones are a large class of materials—not one item. They can usually be recognized by names ending in ‘cone.’ In hair care, they are primarily used to lubricate/condition and to add shine.” —Eric Spengler, Chief Commercialization Officer & SVP Research & Development, Living Proof
Any ingredient with -cone at the end is a form of silicone.
“The positive effects [of silicone in hair care] are plenty, starting with the fact that silicone can actually make hair that is dry and damaged look and feel like it’s healthy by filling in the porosity—what looks like frizz and split ends—and driving and locking in conditioner. Silicone protects the hair from the elements, keeping it smooth and shiny by ‘waterproofing’ each strand. It also gives hair a slippery-when-wet feel because of its hydrophobic coating, which is coveted in our world of brushing and blow-drying—who needs tangles? Not to mention the conditioning benefits.” —Bridget Brager
“Silicone will weigh the hair down, making it limp, lifeless, and with time, very dull. It prevents moisture from penetrating the hair shaft and becomes like a magnet for dirt and other ingredients. So in essence, we get a good shine for a couple of days, but over time it will attract more buildup on the hair. With time it will dry the hair out because it won’t allow in the conditioner and it ends up sitting on the surface. Due to lack of moisture, the hair will become very brittle and could lead to frizz and breakage.” —Shai Amiel, Celebrity Hairstylist & Owner, CAPELLA Salon
Is silicone bad for your hair? It seems like it can be if you don’t shampoo (or clarify) your hair at least once a week. While the effect is temporary, it is quite amazing. Silicone coats the hair, making it appear healthier, sleeker and with little frizz. They make it easier to comb through the hair, they help trap moisture in, and they can also help preserve your hair color. Here in Boulder, at our hair salon, all of our stylists use silicone on their clients as appropriate. As we indicated in a previous post, it’s good for everybody to get their hair care products locally.