Silicone Products and My Hair: A No Go!

So as you may have read, I did a great roller set on my last Wash Day. I also used some  new products that day, including two that were pretty silicone-heavy. They were:

Alterna Bamboo Dry Kendi Oil – Isododecane, Cyclopentasiloxane, Dimethicone, Phenyl Trimethicone, Phospholipids, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Polysilicone-15, Bambusa Vulgaris Extract, Aleurites Moluccana Seed Oil, Superoxide Dismutase, Tocopherol, Saccharomyces/Magnesium Ferment, Saccharomyces/Copper Ferment, Saccharomyces/Silicon Ferment, Saccharomyces/Zinc Ferment, Saccharomyces/Iron Ferment, Passiflora Edulis Seed Oil, Glycerin, Mauritia Flexuosa Fruit Oil, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Oil, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil, Water (Aqua), Fragrance (Parfum), Citronellol, Limonene, Linalool, Butylphenyl Methylpropional.

GVP Smoothing Serum – Cyclomethicone, Dimethicone, Trimethylsiloxyamodimethicone, C-11-15 Pareth-7, C12-16 Pareth-9, Trideceth-12, Glycerin, Amodimethicone, Cetrimonium Chloride, Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, Isopropylparaben, Isobutylparaben, Butylparaben, Fragrance(Parfum), Amyl Cinnamal, Benzyl Alcohol, Benzyl Salicylate, Citronellol, Geraniol, Hexyl Cinnamal, Linalool, Limonene

For most of my hair journey, I have avoided heavy use of silicones, especially water-insoluable ones (read about them here). I remember seeing a blogger that I follow, Carolyn over at Waist Length Wishes, experiencing a devastating setback due to the use of silicones. There is some amodimethicone in my Ion Extreme Moisture conditioner and some dimethicone listed as the 8th ingredient in my Amla Legends 1001 Oils Night Wrap Cream and even some as the 6th ingredient in my Alterna Caviar conditioner, but for the most part, I shy away from them unless I am using direct heat … and after last night, I understood why I avoided them. Besides, you would have to pry the current Alterna Caviar formula from my cold, dead hands!

I began to M&S my hair and there were about 10 1-inch pieces of my hair that snapped off. This is not normal for my hair, especially when my hair is roller set. Most pieces that break are less than half an inch. The ends of my hair were also dry and frizzy. I immediately knew it was the silicone-heavy products that had coated my hair and prevented moisture from entering! My ends are extremely porous and need moisture on almost a daily basis and they were not getting it! I hurried up and got into the shower, used a sulfate-shampoo and did an in-shower deep conditioning treatment. I put in my normal leave-ins and sealed with kukui nut oil and let it air dry while Nathan and I watched “Roots.”

My hair felt so great applying the Bamboo Dry Kendi Oil this past Saturday, but it must go. I am going to return it (which NEVER happens with an Alterna product) and find something else. After researching some silicone-free serums, I am going to try the Living Proof Satin Hair Serum, available at Sephora and through Living Proof’s website. I will try the GVP Smoothing Serum once more, since I didn’t use too much of that on my roller set. If my hair continues to break, then I will return that as well! (UPDATE: I ended up returning this as well).

Some people’s hair can take use of silicone-heavy products, but mine can’t. Well, it’s better that I know that now than later down the road! The breakage even prompted me to do a long-needed dusting … my ends were a bit ragged anyway!

I also found a helpful primer on specific silicones from Naturally Curly. The broke it down by the impact of them on the hair.

Causes Immediate Build-Up (Avoid if at all possible)

  1. Cetearyl Methicone
  2. Cetyl Dimethicone
  3. Dimethicone
  4. Dimethiconol
  5. Stearyl Dimethicone

Gentler Silicones (Causes build-up over time)

  1. Amodimethicone
  2. Cyclomethicone/Cyclopentasiloxane
  3. Trimethylsilylamodimethicone

Water Soluable (Washes away with water)

  1. Behenoxy Dimethicone
  2. Stearoxy Dimethicone
  3. Dimethicone Copolymer (I added this because its in one of my products and I found it was soluable in water)
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