Silicone hair products are valued highly for their versatility. Silicone hair products make hair shiny and soft, detangle hair, remove frizz, protect hair from heat, and a whole lot more.
But what exactly is silicone? And what do silicone hair products do for the hair? This primer on silicone and silicone hair products will help you understand exactly what silicone does and how it applies to hair care products. Plus, learn about specific silicone hair products, like Biosilk Silk Therapy and Simply Stylin', and uncover what their differences are.
WHAT IS SILICONE?
Silicone is an inert compound – that is, it is not reactive readily with other compounds. And silicone has a wide variety of uses, mostly due to its heat-resistant and nonstick properties. Specific properties of silicone as it relates to hair care include: protection from heat at temperatures exceeding 400°F, the ability to form a watertight seal around the hair shaft, resistance to sunlight, and flexibility.
When applied to the hair, silicone wraps around the hair shaft preventing what's inside from going out and what's outside from going in. Silicone molecules are too large to be absorbed into the hair shaft, so they act as a protective coating. For this reason, silicone hair products are great for retaining moisture in hair and for making hair resistant to outside influences such as heat and UV sun rays.
Specific benefits of silicone hair products include:
- adding shine
- adding softness
- reducing/eliminating frizz
- protecting from heat (flat iron, blow dryer, curling iron)
- protecting from sun's UV rays
- retaining moisture
- refresh hair extensions and wigs
TOP SILICONE HAIR PRODUCTS
Silicone is an expensive ingredient. And because silicone can be an expensive ingredient, most silicone hair products contain inexpensive fillers like alcohol or mineral oil. These fillers don't really provide any functional benefit to the product – they simply make the product cheaper for the manufacturer to make, padding their profit. Additionally, fillers easily lessen the protective effects of silicone on the hair. These watered-down silicone hair products can work, but generally they aren't as effective as pure silicone hair products.
Pure silicone products have no fillers included in their formulations. Because they are concentrated with pure silicone, these products can be much more effective at providing all the benefits you can get out of silicone. In fact, you may find that, in comparison to silicone hair products that contain fillers, you need to use less to get your desired results. Generally, these products are more expensive than their watered-down counterparts, but you can find a few affordable pure silicone hair products.
A good example of a silicone hair product that contains fillers is Biosilk Silk Therapy. Widely used by many, Biosilk contains SD Alcohol 40B, a quick-drying alcohol found in most hairsprays, as a filler. Although less effective than pure silicone hair products, Biosilk provides benefits typical of silicone hair products such as shine enhancement, softness, frizz control and heat protection. Generally, a 2.20z bottle of Biosilk retails for $12.99.
Good examples of pure silicone hair products are Simply Stylin' Silk and Simply Stylin' Light Silk Spray. Apart from the addition of fragrance, Simply Stylin' products are blends of 100% pure silicone. Available as a serum (Silk) and a spray (Light Silk Spray) Simply Stylin' products provide all the benefits of silicone hair products in superior fashion because they are not watered-down. 4oz. bottles of Simply Stylin' retail for $15 online and can be found for $10.99 in stores.
By: Donn Monroe