Sunday, February 1, 2009

The Great Debate

If you do a search on whether or not silicones are bad or good for your hair, you'll come across some heated discussions believe it or not. The rest of this post will be purely my opinion from researching online, discussion on forums such as, and my own personal experiences. I don't think silicones are that bad. It's the removal of silicones with harsh cleansers that seems to cause the most damage to hair which is why silicones that are not water soluble at all should be avoided.

Silicones fall into 3 categories: water soluble, slightly water soluble, and not water soluble. Just a few minutes ago I updated this list:


Not water soluble (Will buildup in hair)
1. Cetearyl methicone
2. Cetyl dimethicone
3. Cyclopentasiloxane
4. Dimethicone
5. Dimethiconol
6. Stearyl dimethicone
7. Trimethylsilylamodimethicone

Slightly soluble (May cause buildup in hair but some have found will still wash out with cowash)
1. Amodimethicone
2. Cyclomethicone
3. Bis-Aminopropryl Dimethicone
4. Behenoxy dimethicone
5. Stearoxy dimethicone

“CG approved” Water Soluble (Will not buildup)
1. Dimethicone copolyol
2. Hydrolyzed wheat protein hydroxypropyl polysiloxane
3. Lauryl methicone copolyol
4. Silicones with PEG listed before it

I moved Cyclomethicone to the slightly soluble list for a couple reasons. First, some have found that Cyclomethicone can be removed with a mild cleanser or conditioner washing. The same goes for Amodimethicone, which is found in DevaCurl One Condition, a product developed by Lorraine Massey. Lorraine Massey is the author of Curly Girl - the handbook that started the whole curly girl method revolution. Kind of ironic that she has a silicone in her conditioner. Secondly, having three categories opens up various prodcut possibilites for you. When I first started using CG products, I felt so restricted. When I was able to see I had more options product-wise, shopping for CG products became fun again. I was actually finding products without non-soluble silicones and with only slightly soluble and water soluble silicones. Some Garnier Fructis products, for example, contain the sole silicone Amodimethicone. It was actually the leave-in I tried the first time I attempted the Curly Girl method and was the best Curly Girl hair day I've had since. At that time, all I knew was only water soluble silicones were good. I didn't know about the other secret hidden category of slightly soluble silicones. I stopped using the Garnier Fructis leave-in and tried other leave-ins with less success and strayed from CG products because I was getting frustrated.

Then I learned more about slightly soluble silicones and picked up products that had them. Now, I have fun experimenting with my hair and trying out products that were closed off to me before. Even on the days I want to use heat styling tools, I have options. For the days you want to use heat styling tools and want a heat protecant without the hard core (non-soluble) silicones, you can turn to Tresemme Thermal Creations Heat Tamer Protective Spray and Sunsilk Thermashine Detangling Shine Spray which both have Amodimethicone.

I hope this helps anyone reading this that has been trying to follow the Curly Girl method and is thiiis clooose to giving up - hanging on by a thread. For those using the product list on the left hand side of my blog, I indicate which products contain soluble and slightly soluble silicones, for those that do not want to dabble in the slightly soluble products.

For the Twilight fans: The whole time I was reading this I felt like I was talking about the Cullen family. There are other options to killing people even if you are a vampire. To all the people out there trying to do curly girl method but about to give up, there are other options besides the hard core (non soluble) silicones.


A. Rose said...

Haha. I love the Twilight analogy. :P

Girl with Curl said...

A.Rose: Another Twilight fan that can appreciate it.