Understanding Silicones – The Bad, Not So Bad and Ok


Silicones are ingredients in many hair conditionersshampoos, and hair gel products. They usually have hard to pronounce names like phenyltrimethicones or amodimethicones. Too make things easier, just remember that anything ending in “cone”, “col”, “conol” or “zane” is a silicone. Silicones will produce a  build-up on the hair and scalp because they are often not water-soluble. This is why clarifying shampoos are so important to those of us that use “cone” filled products.

There is one exception to this rule though. If the abbreviation “PPG” or “PEG” is in front of any of the silicones, this means that it was specially developed to be water-soluble and will not leave a build-up like other silicones.

Build-up Causing Silicones

  1. Dimethicone
  2. Cetyl Dimethicone
  3. Cetearyl Methicone
  4. Dimethiconol
  5. Stearyl Dimethicone
If your someone like myself, silicones help me de-tangle my hair and keep frizz at bay, so I have no intention of letting them completely. So what does a girl do in this situation? Luckily it’s not all gloom and doom. There are some silicones that slow down the build-up process and water-soluble ones to choose from.

Deposit Repelling Silicones

  1. Trimethylsilylamodimethicone
  2. Amodimethicone
  3. Cyclopentasiloxane
  4. Cyclomethicone

Water Soluble Silicones

  1. Stearoxy Dimethicone
  2. Behenoxy Dimethicone

Getting Rid Of Silicone Build-up

Purchasing a quality clarifying or chelating shampoo will remove the product build-up. Some women still swear by mixing baking soda into their normal shampoo to convert it to a clarifying shampoo. Whichever method you choose, be sure to follow-up with a apple cider vinegar rinse to regulate the pH balance of your hair. You should find that your products take better to freshly clarified hair.


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