Silicone is a common ingredient found in many hair care products, including shampoos, conditioners, hairsprays, and serums. It is a synthetic polymer with hydrophobic properties that create an impenetrable seal on the hair, helping to smooth the cuticle and retain moisture.
Silicones are categorized into three types based on their solubility: non-water soluble, partially soluble, and water-soluble.
Non-water soluble silicones are thick and heavy on the hair, leaving a wax-like texture, and cannot be washed away by water alone. Over time, non-water soluble silicones can cause build-up on the hair, which is not only unpleasant to the touch but can also negatively affect hair health. To remove non-water soluble silicones, shampoos containing sulfates are necessary as they break down the silicone on the hair.
Partially soluble silicones, on the other hand, will eventually evaporate after the conditioner has been applied, but hair that has used partially soluble silicones will still need to use sulfate shampoos to remove any product buildup and ensure healthy hair. Product buildup can be detrimental to hair health, and it's crucial to avoid it as much as possible.
Water-soluble silicones are the best type of silicone. They are lightweight and leave hair feeling silky smooth and soft. Unlike non-water soluble and partially soluble silicones, water-soluble silicones can be washed away by water alone, without the need for shampoo or any other product. Water-soluble silicones are the most desirable type of silicone as they are easy to wash off and do not cause any buildup on the hair.
When it comes to hair extensions, it is important to use a sulphate-free shampoo with a water soluble silicone conditioner to avoid product build-up.
In summary, it is not a matter of whether silicone is bad for hair and extensions, but rather which types of silicones are harmful. Water soluble silicones are the best option.