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Are Silicones Safe For Hair Extensions?

Silicones are an ingredient found in many hair care products and cosmetics, and many find themselves unsure as to whether these are actually any good for the long term health of our hair, or whether silicone is safe for hair.

Silicones are an essential ingredient in products like conditioners, as this is the ingredient that deposits onto the hair to help smooth the cuticle, leaving the hair looking and feeling soft and shiny.  Silicones are widely used in conditioning, as they are very successful in achieving the results desired from conditioning treatment. Silicone is the fundamental ingredient in a conditioner, as without it most products would not work as a conditioner, but this leaves us with the question “Are silicones bad for your hair”?

What Are Silicones?

Before we can answer your all important question, let’s take a look at what silicones are.  Silicones fall into 3 categories, firstly non water soluble which include Cetearyl methicone, Cetyl dimethicone, Cyclopentasiloxane, Dimethicone, Dimethiconol, Phenyl Trimethicone, Stearyl dimethicone, Trimethylsilylamodimethicone.  The second category is partially water soluble which includes Amodimethicone, Behenoxy dimethicone, Cyclohexasiloxane, Cyclomethicone, Cyclotetrasiloxane, Stearoxy dimethicone. The final category is water soluble silicones which include Dimethicone copolyol, Hydrolyzed wheat protein (hydroxypropyl polysiloxane), Lauryl methicone copolyol and any silicone ingredient with PEG before it, such as BisPEG/PPG-20/20 Dimenthicone.

What Is The Difference Between Non Water Soluble, Partially Soluble, and Water Soluble Silicones?

Just as they sound, non water soluble silicones cannot be washed away by water alone.  They are heavy and waxy on the hair, and over time lead to product build up. You will require an SLS shampoo which contains sulphates to remove non water soluble silicones, as it will need this surfactant to work away the product.  You cannot use a sulphate free shampoo on non water silicones as it simply will not wash away the product. Partially soluble silicones will mostly evaporate after the conditioner has been applied, but the hair will still need to be washed with an SLS shampoo to ensure all of the product is removed to prevent it leading to product build up which is bad for your hair and also feels horrible.  Water soluble silicones are the best type of silicones, as these can be washed away with water alone. They are lightweight, do not weigh on the hair, and are easy to wash away which means you only need a lightweight shampoo that is SLS free in order to wash it out.

So Are Silicones Bad For My Hair Extensions?

The answer to this is yes and no, silicones can be bad for your hair if they leave product build up, therefore it is important to find a formula that contains water soluble silicones.  So it isn’t really a question as to whether silicones are bad for your hair, but more WHICH silicones are bad for your hair.

Silicone Conditioners And Hair Extensions

It is particularly important for hair extension wearers to pay close attention to the type of silicones that are in their conditioning products, as it is recommended that hair extensions are washed with an SLS free shampoo.  As detailed above, if you use an SLS free shampoo with a non water soluble silicone, the shampoo will not wash out the conditioner, and you will end up with product build up. Therefore for hair extensions you MUST be using an SLS free shampoo with a water soluble silicone conditioner.

HairExtensionBff Conditioner

At HairExtensionsBff, we have made it our mission to create, source and supply the best hair extension products available, which can be used with any brand of hair extension.  Our conditioner contains BisPEG/PPG-20/20 Dimethicone, which is a WATER SOLUBLE silicone. This is a high quality silicone that can be washed out using an SLS free shampoo, which is essential for keeping your hair extensions healthy.

Read more about why SLS free shampoos are recommended for hair extensions here.