wavy hair women

Published 10th November 2021

Are Silicones Bad For Wavy Hair?

There’s a lot of talk within the wavy hair community on whether you should be using silicone products on your hair.


So in this article we’re going to break down what silcones are, the different types of silicones and the benefits and downsides to using products that contain them.


Keep reading below to find out.

what are silicones?

Silicones are synthetic substances that can be frequently found in hair care products. You will notice them in shampoos, conditioners, serums, hairsprays and many other styling products.


It has been a common hot topic of debate in the wavy hair care world as to whether or not silicone is beneficial though.

different types of silicones

Identifying silicones on the back of a product label can be challenging. I know one thing for certain: they are virtually impossible to say aloud or spell! 


The easiest way to identify a silicone ingredient is that many end in ‘-cone’.


Some frequently used silicones are: stearoxy dimethicone, behenoxy dimethicone, trimethylsilylamodimethicone and cyclopentasiloxane.


There are multiple types of silicones available - some are lighter, some are heavier.


One example of a more breathable, lightweight silicone is cyclomethicone. This is ideal for wavy hair as it is water soluble and can be easily washed out. I’ll talk more about the importance of this later on.


Some examples of denser silicones found in hair care products are amodimethicone and dimethicone. These are heavier and can weigh the hair down and require a few washes with certain shampoos to wash out. 


Again, I’ll go over this more later on.


A top tip to be aware of: if a silicone product is at the top of an ingredients list, it means there is a higher percentage of it in the product.

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what are the benefits to using silicones?

Many products contain silicones because they are known to form a protective barrier around your hair cuticles. 


This locks in moisture (which is particularly great in the winter), reduces the chances of your curly hair turning frizzy and gives your hair a more silky, softer feel.


Silicones also protect your hair from damage caused by using heat products frequently.


Although this all sounds great for keeping your wavy hair luscious, frizz-free and shiny, there are some damaging downsides.

downside #1 - they aren't water soluble 

Many silicones found in hair care products are not water soluble. Put simply, they will not easily wash out of your hair with the use of just water.


The problem with this is that you can develop a build up of unwanted silicones in your hair which can weigh your curls down and reduce the volume of your wavy hair.


There are shampoos available which contain ingredients designed to break down silicone but these are often not recommended for wavy or curly hair.

downside #2 - they prevent hydration

Although silicone creates a seal around your hair cuticles to lock in moisture, this protective layer can also block nutrients and ingredients found in hair products from nourishing your hair. 


They create a barrier that lets nothing out, yet doesn't allow good stuff in either. 


Overtime, there's a risk that your hair could become dry, weaker and more prone to breakage and dullness as a consequence of lack of moisture. 


Dirt, dust and other substances can then build up on our hair, which can lead to a greasy appearance. Not ideal. 

how to get rid of silicones?

If you’re just beginning your Merwave journey (yet have previously been cleansing your hair with products that contain silicones) then it’s advised to use a clarifying shampoo to remove any product build up.


This will result in much better wavy hair results, as you are effectively re-setting your hair and starting your hair journey with a clean canvas.


Be aware that a clarifying shampoo will also strip your hairs natural oils, which you need to lock in moisture. 


It’s therefore advised to follow up the clarification process with a deep conditioner treatment and a few drops of the Merwave Natural Oil to refuel your hair with the nutrients it needs to thrive.

wrap up

Okay, so silicones aren’t as bad as everyone makes out them to be. 


Yet if your aim is to achieve soft, lightweight waves then we’d advise staying clear of them.


Instead use high quality silicone free cleansing and styling products. These will still provide your hair with a deep cleanse yet won’t strip away your hairs natural oils and nutrients or cause product build up.


All of the products within the Merwave range are free of silicones and other harmful ingredients. Click below to explore our wavy hair products now. 

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