Are you thinking about switching to silicone free shampoo and conditioner? First, make sure you know what silicone is and why it’s often been used in haircare to give shiny, smooth-feeling fibres. Once you’ve got the facts, you can then make the decision about whether or not to change your haircare routine to a silicone free one. Plus, you can discover the new silicone free hair care available for a variety of hair types. Here are the most commonly-asked questions when it comes to silicone for hair...
1. What is silicone?
These days there’s a popular trend of using hair products that are silicone-free. But do you know what silicone actually is?
Firstly, don’t get confused between silicon and silicone. Silicon is a naturally-occurring chemical element, while Silicone – with an “e” at the end, what we’re talking about here – is synthetic, i.e. man-made. “Silicone” is the word used to describe synthesized compounds that contain silicon. Scientific research has enabled us to use silicon to create silicones for a multitude of uses. For years, silicone has been reputed for its diverse use in the cosmetics industry, among others.
2. Why use silicone for hair?
In its liquid form, silicone is used in many types of hair care products; from shampoos to conditioners and hair masks. It works by forming a protective layer over the hair’s fibre. This layer smoothes over any rough cuticles, fills in damaged sections and forms a silky coat. The result is that hair feels smoother, and looks shinier because the light reflects more easily off its flat surface (hence why straight hair looks shinier than curls, incidentally).
3. Is it possible to get shiny hair without silicone?
Absolutely! Not only do there exist silicone-free shampoos and conditioners (see below for our favourites) but you can also get that intense shine and smoothness by using hair oils and/or a serum. Coconut and argan oils are particularly reputed for their shine-boosting properties.
4. Are silicones the same as parabens and sulphates?
The answer to this one is simple: no. Parabens, sulphates (or sulfates) and silicones are three different components often found in haircare products. While silicones provide your hair with the silky texture we spoke about above, parabens are preservatives. They’re what makes your hair products last for months without developing bacteria or mould. There are a few common parabens used in cosmetics. Each one protects against a wide range of micro-organisms developing in the product over time. All of them have been tested for their safety.
As for sulphates, they’re what causes your hair product (usually shampoo) to foam up and cleanse the hair. They’re a synthetic surfactant (cleansing emulsifier) made from petroleum, sulphur and lauryl alcohol. Sulphates work by lifting the excess oil and dirt off the hair fibre, emulsifying, and finally dissolving into water, taking the grime with them.
What are some silicone-free alternatives?
Natural hair care alternatives are growing in popularity. But you don’t have to compromise on hair quality if you want to use all-natural hair care, nor do you have to create a DIY shampoo and conditioner yourself! Inspired by nature, and enriched with the haircare expertise of L’Oréal Professionnel, the new Source Essentielle haircare collection offers a natural breakthrough in haircare.
From silicone free shampoo to silicone free conditioner, the Source Essentielle haircare collection from L’Oréal Professionnel has you covered. The formulas contain from 80-99% naturally-derived ingredients, and are free from silicones, parabens and sulphates. Simply choose the combination of shampoo and conditioning treatment that best suits your hair’s needs.
Try the Delicate shampoo, made with calendula and chamomile flowers, for scalp care. Or the Nourishing shampoo with jasmine and sesame oil to boost shine, silicone free. For your conditioner, choose the Daily Detangling cream with aloe leaf juice, and a regular hair mask like the Nourishing Balm for damaged hair, rich in natural oils.
Silicone free, yet still full of shine, the Source Essentielle collection offers alternative haircare that doesn’t compromise on great results!