Sunday, November 1, 2009

Hairs and silicone oils

An other scientific post, deal?

It will deal with silicone oils (it explains the picture of the oil can) that can cause trouble when applied on certain hair types. I will also try to give pieces of advice on how to "cure" those particular problems.

What are silicone oils?
Silicone oils are polymers made of Si-O (silicon-oxygen) bonds as main backbone. They are repeated numerous time to tailor the length of the chain and its properties. One of the most common is the dimethicone. These oils are fully artificial, they are named mineral because silicon as the main component is extracted from sand.

Where will you find them?
In most non-organic beauty related products... These oils give shine and sleekness to hairs and a silky and smooth touch to a cream texture. To find them in ingredient chart, you have to look for compounds ending with siloxane or methicone.

What are the possible issues?
Biodegrability is not sure for the whole oil family which can cause trouble as these oils are evacuated with spoiled waters when we wash our hairs etc...
They are found in good amount in shampoos and conditioners for the shine they give to the hairs by trapping each individual hair in a "plastic-like" wrapping. As a result, hairs are shinier than ever and easy to untangle.
The problem is that on very dry and thin hairs, this waterproof roll enhances the dryness and in the end asphyxiates the hair fiber. There are many possible consequences : breakage, split ends, sensitised scalp leading to oily roots and straw-looking hairs.

What can be done?
Try to avoid specifical shampoos made for hair straightening. They are richer in silicone oils than the other kinds. Alternate your main shampoo, let's say one every three wash, and use a deeper formula like an anti-residue shampoo (Pantene, Neutrogena, l'Oreal Professional) or if you can not find or afford one like that, a purifying or anti-dandruff formula will normally do the trick. A drugstore brand (Bioderma, Rene Furterer offer good options) will be a better choice than a supermarket one.

I have long and wavy hairs, and I keep using shampoos rich in silicone oils which are the only ones strong enough to untangle my stubborn hairs. On an other hand, I hardly use styling products. I do not want to fight residue build-up :s.

See ya :)


Lullaby77 said...

I don't really use straightening or high-shine products, so hopefully not too many cones either. I'll have to check that but since I don't really have residue problems (don't use styling products either, at least not often), I guess it's ok.
But I heard of a good trick for getting rid of build-up residue: wash your hair once with dishwashing detergent. Should do the trick if you can't find an anti-residue shampoo.

Une fille Lambda said...

@Lullaby77: some hair types have not to face cones build-up. I have never had this problem either and have used straightening products (shampoo, conditioner and serum) for years!
The trick of dishwashing product sounds really strange to me, it may be really aggressive, don't you think? I sometimes dishwah without gloves and the way my hands look after that do not make me want to try it on my hairs!?! Perhaps a simple rinse with vinegar (white or cider)can do the same?

Lullaby77 said...

Ok I blame you, I read all the labels on my shampoos while I was showering yesterday night LOL, and no cones, yay!
The dishwashing trick is used by some hairstylists but it's something you shouldn't do more than once every 2 months, and just wash once and rince.

Une fille Lambda said...

@Lullaby77: you may be using high-end brands not to find cones in them... Mine are filled with them but I do not really mind as it keep my hairs manageable...
The dishwashing trick will stay away from my hairs... Sounds really too weird even for me :))))

Lullaby77 said...

All my shampoos are either L'Oreal Professional or Bona Cure (pro-line by Schwartzkopf).

Une fille Lambda said...

@Lullaby77: yeah using higher ends products help in many ways!! I may turn to this kind of products too...

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