What You Should Know About Silicone and ‘Silicone Free’ Shampoo

December 26, 2013 Updated: January 6, 2014

Silicone is an inert, synthetic compound derived from silicon (sand from quartz crystals) and polymers, together with carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen, which form a heat-resistant and rubber-like substance that can be used in many household items and tools.

However, silicone is also found in many shampoos and other hair products.

Many shampoos declared “silicone-free,” contain similar substances hiding under names that are not as recognizable.

The most common ingredient listed on product bottles that is a form of silicone is dimethicone.

Silicone covers the hair, healing damage, increasing luster, and preventing tangling. After using hair products with silicone, people will find their hair loose and pliable.

On the other hand, using silicone for a long time can seal the strands in airtight packages that don’t allow moisture to be released. A thin layer of silicone is always left on the hair if it is a water-insoluble silicone, making naturally greasy hair even more greasy or weighing down fine hair.

Silicone can also cause hair to dry out and crack in the long run. While sealing some moisture in, it can also prevent moisture and oil from getting to the hair.

Many shampoos contain silicone. If a shampoo is said to be silicone-free, check the label for siloxane or ingredients with the suffix -cone or -thicone or with the prefix silane-. If you don’t want silicone in your shampoo, you also don’t want these ingredients.

Products with silicone can be used in moderation, but it’s good to give your hair time to breathe.

 Brands that advertise “silicone-free” products that actually are silicone-free includeTony&Guy, Alverde, Swiss O´Par, Nivea, and Dr. Hauschka. Of course, not all products under these brand names are silicone-free, only the ones labeled as such.


*Image of girl via Shutterstock.