8 September 2021

Othe founder of the brand of natural cosmetics (@ natureal.ua), cosmetic trichologist Vita Liasota told what silicones are, what means they should be avoided, and whether there are any consequences from the daily use of cosmetics with polymers.

Vita Lasota

Vita Lasota

Founder of the natural cosmetics brand Natureal. Cosmetic trichologist

What are silicones and who are they suitable for?

Silicone is a synthetic polymer that creates an impervious film on the surface of the skin or hair. In the production of cosmetics, it is used to create a wow effect – it makes it smooth and at the same time acts instantly.

There are means in which it takes place. For example, in cosmetics for the care of a regrown hair part. This is a dead structure, and it does not need a constant supply of oxygen for metabolic processes. But there is one rule that must be followed. The silicone film should be rinsed off periodically with a deep cleaning shampoo. Failure to do this will cause the silicone to build up, weighing down the hair. If the bulbs are loosened, it can lead to loss.

Dullness and brittleness is another possible scenario with daily use of silicones. Enveloping the hair and creating a film, they do not allow proteins from the masks to “integrate” into it. After a few months of use, the ends will begin to break off, and the strands will lose their natural shine and silkiness.

If you are trying to grow length and don’t want to cut the ends, silicone can be the solution, provided you follow these simple rules (for pro tips on how to grow hair, read here). The first is not to use such products every day, the second is to regularly use shampoo for deep cleaning, the third is to periodically detox the hair, using cosmetics without silicone in the composition.

Cosmetics intended for scalp care should not contain silicones under any pretext. They do colossal harm. Silicones create an impervious film, providing a “greenhouse effect”. These are excellent conditions for the reproduction of pathogenic microorganisms. Result: dandruff, flaking and other scalp reactions. In addition, the film disrupts metabolic processes in the follicles – hair can begin to fall out.

What silicones are there and which ones should you avoid?

The polymer consists of silicone and oxygen and has four bonds, two of which are radicals (methyl, phenyl, ethyl). It is the radical group that changes the properties of silicones – volatility, water solubility, and others. They are easy to find in shampoos or hair masks – most have the con or conol suffixes. Silicones can be divided into several large groups.

Water-soluble silicones. Used in cosmetics for smoothness and shine. They are washed off with water, but not completely. If deep cleaning is ignored, silicones will build up. This group includes: Lauryl Methicone Copolyol, Dimethicone Copolyol.

Partially soluble silicones… They are not washed off with plain water – mild surfactants are needed to cleanse the hair. On labels, they are disguised under the names: Amodimethicone, Amodimethicone & Trideceth-12, Behenoxy dimethicone.

Volatile silicones… “Encoded” as Cyclomethicone. Volatile silicones evaporate from the hair surface. Again, not completely – some of them need to be removed with special means.

Fat-soluble silicones… The list of this group can be made endlessly – it is huge. The most harmful are demithicones (polymers with two methyl groups). They are used in the production of both expensive and cheaper products. Dimethicone is a hydrophobic substance. Once on the scalp, it interferes with normal hydration and cell renewal, disrupting natural metabolic processes.

Who are silicones contraindicated for?

Silicones are not a “drug”. If you have scalp or hair problems, they need to be addressed differently. Most often they are internal in nature – you need to be tested. Start with blood biochemistry and hair mineral analysis. Check thyroid, ferritin, vitamin D.

If you have a sensitive scalp, avoid silicones. Accumulating, they can cause allergic reactions, which manifest themselves in the form of itching, redness, and peeling.

Silicones provide only a visual effect, smoothing and adding shine. They will not save you from hair loss. On the contrary, they will make them more fragile and brittle.

Some groups of silicones have a charge – they “stick” to the scalp even more. It is very difficult to wash them! Any silicone (even water-soluble) will sooner or later lead to the formation of biofilm, which will negatively affect the condition of the hair. Give your hair (at least sometimes) a little “vacation”.