A lot of people don't realize that most hair products contain silicones. There is a lot of debate as to whether using silicone-containing products is good for the hair or not.
There are benefits to silicones and there are drawbacks. Having an informed opinion, and knowing how to care for your hair if you use silicones is very important.
Silicones do provide a lot of slip to hair, and prevent tangles very well. They can provide shine, smoothness and they seal in moisture. They can also help hide chemical damage and split ends.
The downside is that they also seal moisture out, and they do create buildup. Eventually, this can lead to dull hair and potential breakage.
So if you feel that silicone products are beneficial for you, here are some tips on how to prevent problems down the line.
1. Clarify hair. I wrote an entry on April 9, 2010 that explains how to clarify your hair.
2. Do a deep moisture treatment with a non-silicone based moisturizing conditioner. I described a good moisturizing treatment in that same April 9, 2010 entry.
3. When that is rinsed out, use the silicone-based conditioner of your choice. There are also many smoothing and shining serums that contain silicones as well.
4. Periodically, repeat the clarifying and deep moisture treatment process. This will prevent the hair from damaging buildup, dullness and dryness that can occur with regular silicone usage.
I myself was on a regimen of non-silicone based products for about 2 years. After dying my hair from dark brown back to blonde, I incurred damage that still remains in the last several inches of my hair. It will be some time before it's all trimmed out. So I do use silicones now, and will likely until the damage is gone.
Most hair products these days have a full list of ingredients on the bottle. Here is a comprehensive list, compiled by Nightshade from the Long Hair Community, of most of the most common silicones that are found in hair products.
There is no right or wrong when it comes to silicones. It's all about what works for you and your hair, and knowing how to care for your hair if you use them.
Wishing everyone a wonderful Earth Day!