Silicones in Hair Products: Good or Bad?


Almost everywhere you look, it says that silicones in hair products are to be avoided because they are one of the worst things you can put in your hair. So are they really as bad as they say? What do they do? Well, let me explain.

I have used products that do have silicones in them and once I started looking into it more, I got rid of everything that had silicone in it because I thought OMG they make it sound so terrible, so even if I liked the product, in the garbage it went! After some more research, I learned that not all silicones are bad or damaging and if the product is working on your hair, then keep using it.

Having curly hair, they especially say to stay away from silicone containing products but I actually found a few products that had silicone that I liked and helped my hair. There are actually some benefits as well which I will get to in a second.


How do Silicones work?

They coat your hair with hydrophobic (waterproof) layer. This gives your hair a great slip so you can brush through with incredible ease. They make your hair shiny and frizz free. It’s also amazing for straightening your hair. It also reduces the porosity of hair.
However, the bad part of it, is that there are no long term benefits of it. It does not penetrate through to actually make your hair healthy. It only coats it. So it only gives you the appearance that your hair is shiny, strong and healthy.

– gives immediate shine to hair
– gives healthy appearance
– makes hair easy to straighten
– leaves hair frizz free
– it gives great slip and easy to comb through, great for detangling
– leaves hair immediately soft

– coats hair only, does not have actual benefits
– causes build up which can be hard to get rid of
– can weigh hair down

However, there are different kind of silicone: Water Soluble and Non-Water Soluble and you could group them into 3 categories: The good, The bad and The worst.

The Good
Water Soluble Silicones that do not cause build up and wash away with water.
Stearoxy Dimethicone and Behenoxy Dimethicone

The Bad
Cause build up over time but can be washed away with the right clarifying shampoos or a good regular shampoo.
Trimethylsilylamodimethicone, Amodimethicone, Cyclopentasiloxane, Cyclomethicone

The Worst
Cause build up very quickly and are hard to remove.
Dimethicone, Cethyl Dimethicone, Cetearyl Methicone, Dimethiconol, Stearyl Dimethicone.

So read you labels in your shampoos, conditioners and other hair products. See what it says.
I never used to read the labels. As long as it smelled good number one and then it felt good in my hair, I went for it. Then I noticed only short term benefits but long term it ruined my hair.
Hair is important. Very important. You can’t just put any random thing in it. Especially curly hair. Curly hair is a crazy bitch on her period. You gotta treat her right and she will maybe play nice with you back lol. So I feed her the good stuff.

It’s up to you and your hair type to decide if you find silicone good or more harmful. I personally do stay away from products with silicone but there is only with conditioner that I use from time to time in moderation that does have silicone in it and my hair loves it.



7 thoughts on “Silicones in Hair Products: Good or Bad?

  1. Great post. Its just another thing you have to read up on. Everyone jumps on those fads so quick, without even knowing whats going on. You get sold on that ” women saw 70% smoother hair in one week” shit, not knowing that its coating your hair.. not making it healthier.

    Washing my hair no more than twice a week has done more for my hair than anything, including going to salons. Course I don’t use product, so I don’t get much build up.

    Hooray for people who know how to read, and look shit up!

    1. I wish I could do without products but having curly hair you have to use them to shape, tame, and not look like a lion. I used to slap on whatever I could find and different products at the same time which gave me so much build up but less is more lol
      And also clarifying shampoos dry out your hair so damn much. They strip it off the product but also the natural oil too. Ahh I wish I could go back to 22 before any bleaching was done. I would’ve never touched my hair: (

  2. Thats so helpful, I’m bookmarking it! I hate silicone in foundation as there’s no way I want to be putting that stuff into my pores. It’s nice to know that some of it is water soluble though, so I’d use that on my curls to protect against evil humidity.

    1. I’m glad you found the post useful 🙂
      I don’t know if the same info would apply to foundation however as I only was talking about hair products but that is actually worth looking into.

  3. It’s so funny, Nina – in the natural hair community, some people love silicones, some are outright against. I stopped using them because of the gross buildup I would notice over time; that being said, I find it difficult to find products without the worst silicones in them! I just stick with all natural stuff, without sulfates or silicones. Also, I love your description of curly hair as a girl on her period – hahaha!! It’s kind of true. You never really know what you’re gonna get.

    1. Haha you really don’t! They can fall into place perfectly or that one piece can stick out the way you don’t want it to and no matter what you do, it won’t go the right way! lol
      But yes I try to stay away and stick with all the natural stuff and I strongly promote that but this Argan Oil Conditioner has silicone and it does wonders for my hair. I only use it once in a while though when my hair needs good detangling.


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