Why Silicones Are a Cheap Alternative to High Quality Ingredients

Silicones — we hear about them all the time. They’re rubber-like polymers that are often used in everyday items like adhesives, electronics, toys, insulation, and cookware. But as common as they are, do they have a rightful place in our hair and skin products? 

Silicones are used in hair cleansers and conditioners, plus styling products and treatments that are designed to prevent frizz. “The challenging thing is that silicones might make our hair look and feel great in that instance, but over time, it’s like wrapping the hair in saran wrap — in plastic. Hair is almost being choked from nutrients and beneficial ingredients that are meant to be put onto your hair,” says Joanne Starkman, Innersense Organic Beauty co-founder. 

In our commitment to clean beauty, we take pride in avoiding silicones, resins, plastics, and other synthetics that add a slick coating or slippery feel. Below, get to know the benefits of using oils as a natural and clean alternative to silicones in your hair care products.

What are silicones and what are the different types?

Silicones have been used in hair care formulas to reduce frizz, impart a high-impact shine, and act as a heat protectant. There are three types of silicones used in hair care:

  • Water-soluble silicones: As you can assume from its name, this is a type of silicone that is able to dissolve in water. In theory, a clarifying shampoo or mild shampoo can be used to remove the silicone and less likely to cause buildup. 
  • Non-soluble silicones: These can’t be removed or penetrated with water.
  • Evaporating silicones: This type can evaporate after applied to the hair. 

Silicones can go by many different names, but an easy way to spot whether or not your hair care routine contains silicones is by taking a peek at the product label. Most ingredients that end with “-cone” or contain the prefix PEG are indicative of silicone ingredients. Dimethicone copolyol, for example, is a common water-soluble silicone found in cosmetics that gives hair that silky feel. 

So, what’s the big deal with using silicones? 

Though silicone’s ability for de-frizzing damaged hair and smoothing out dry and brittle strands sounds great, it’s worth taking a pause. “Think of silicones as being more a cosmetic ingredient and not really giving our hair nutrients or nutritional value,” says Starkman. While silicone isn’t toxic, it creates an umbrella-like shield around your follicles, so that it blocks moisture and good-for-you ingredients can’t penetrate the hair shaft. Over time, hair appears duller, weaker, and can lead to buildup. 

What can we use instead? 

In our silicone-free product line, we focus on formulas with conscious chemistry. To achieve the same shine-boosting, UV protecting, frizz-defying effects of silicone, we use ingredients used from nature like cold-pressed oils processed without synthetics. For instance, our new hair oil, I Create Shine, harnesses cranberry seed oil to safeguard against UV rays, sunflower seed oil to deliver deep moisture, macadamia oil to create a reflective luster, and sesame oil to prevent breakage. This luxe, lightweight blend illuminates all hair types and textures while maintaining your hair love. We can’t wait for you to experience the difference!  

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