How to get glossy hair and Why Silicones don’t always help
Silicones are one of those ingredients you’ve probably heard of but might not be sure why.
First of all, CENTRED’s products are completely Silicone free and that is because the purpose of our collection is to improve hairs health and condition in order to promote strong, healthy, shiny hair naturally.
This is because Silicones sit as a middle ground ingredient as they are mainly cosmetic and certain silicones can actually be detrimental to hair if used for a long time causing build up. Many people are oblivious that every single product they are using on their contains Silicones.
So why are silicones in so many hair products and why are they bad?
Since the birth of consumer hair products silicones has been one of those ingredients found in almost all 'conditioning', 'frizz easing', 'taming' and 'smoothing' products, sometimes even in shampoo’s too.
This is because Silicones are a kind of polymer and very good at making hair feel soft, slippy and shiny. All words those with frizzy hair will be drawn to. However there is a catch. Because silicones essentially are 'cling filming’ the hair shaft, as more and more build up on the hair they start to create a barrier stopping any real moisture from getting in and causing hair to become dehydrated over time.
What often happens in this scenario is that hair becomes very dry and brittle yet only feels good again once more silicones are applied to hair and therefore a vicious cycle begins. I see so many of my clients in a battle with Silicones because their hair feels and looks bad unless they use more silicones and do heavy styling such as blow drying, straightening or tonging in order to get shine back but the process of this causes more drying and damage in the long run.
Not all silicones are bad though. Some silicones are water soluble meaning they break down easier and come away from hair whereas others are not, and these are the ones to be wary of. They are generally anything on an ingredients list with Cone or One at the end.
This doesn’t mean you should never use products with Silicones but they definitely shouldn’t be used all the time. They should be considered as a cosmetic product, to be used perhaps on special occasions such as going on a big night out, a date or something like that. This way you will avoid access build up from forming and damaging your hair.
Here's a list of 5 Silicone ingredients to avoid. It may be worth checking the ingredients list of your conditioning based products at home to see if you can spot any of these in the line up as they may be responsible if your hair is feeling very dry. This includes hair serums, oils, creams, leave-in conditioners and anything along those lines. You would be surprised just how many products contain hidden Silicones.
Moroccan Oil is a great example of clever but misleading marketing. Their product ,which is supposed to be Argan Oil, actually only contains a very small amount of Argan oil yet the first 3 ingredients on the INCI list are Silicones! One of which, Dimethicone, is particularly bad for building up on hair as it is very water In-Soluble. This is almost always the case for products marketed as being smoothing serums and treatments, Frizz Ease is exactly the same it just costs a lot less than Moroccan Oil.
Even though some silicones are volatile meaning they will evaporate with heat or they are water soluble, using them every day and in every product can even make these type build-up on hair and most products designed for frizz contain both types anyway.
Watch out for these Non Water Soluble Silicones -
Did you know that the ingredients are listed on products in order by their amount containing, so the first ingredient listed is the highest level in the product and the last listed is the least by percentage.
so, what to expect from silicone free products
At first, you may just have a feeling of uncertainty about Silicone free products as you may not necessarily get that instant ‘slippy’ ‘soft’ feeling you get from silicone heavy products. The transition can feel strange especially to those used to Silicone heavy products as you will be experiencing your hair how it really is rather than masking its appearance with Silicones. Be prepared that it may feel worse at the start but you will be on your way to actually improving your hair and it will being to feel better over time especially if you are using high quality products that are designed to strengthen and protect hair
Our Unwind Detangling Primer for example is full of hydrating vitamins as well as glycerin, a natural ingredient known for its ability to retain moisture in hair and protect from heat styling. It is very lightweight and contains no silicones so you should expect it to not have that instant slippy feel, but as you style your hair you will gain more natural shine and softness.
The key to glossy hair
The key to glossy hair is condition. Ultimately it is about making hair more light reflective as that is what causes shine. Hair that is damaged tends to be light absorbing as the surface of the hair is very rough. If you work on improving your hairs condition you will create a smoother surface which in turn bounces more light and shows as shine.
How to create a smoother hair surface
Each individual hair strand when viewed under a microscope reveals little scales known as the cuticle layer that run from the root to the tip of the strand. Everybody will have different shaped and sized scales due to their natural hair type and texture but also depending on what condition the hair is in. These scales also contribute to hair porosity (how sponge like the hair is) with more spaced out and open scales hair is high porosity meaning it absorbs moisture very quickly but equally lets it go fast too. This is hair type will be naturally less shiny and prone to drying very quickly after washing. On the other hand, scales that are densely packed together and sitting flush to the strand produces low porosity hair meaning moisture is slower getting in but is also retained more easily and held in for longer. This hair type tends to be naturally more shiny and takes longer to dry after washing as the hair really holds on to water.
5 ways to make your hair more 'Light Reflective'
- Don't burn it! - Only use heat temperatures right for your hair type. As a rule, never go over 180 degrees unless your hair is very thick, course and dark but if you have fine to medium thickness or it is chemically treated always stick to lower temperatures in the 160-180 degrees range.
- Ditch the Silicones - Be mindful about what you are putting on your hair and how it may not be doing it any good in the long run!
- Treat it good! - Weekly hair masks will definitely help. Our Daily Calma Conditioner is rich enough to be used as a mask. All you have to do is leave it on after cleansing hair for a few hours to really allow time for the natural actives such as Hydrolysed Wheat Protein and Camellia Japonica Seed Oil to repair damage and smooth the hair cuticle.
- Never use Sulphates - Shampoos containing Sulphates can be very drying on hair, strpping away moisture and leaving hair dull and lacklustre.
- Brush Up Your Skills - Be gentle with your hair. Invest in a good quality Brush such as Mason Pearson or Kent Brush whose bristles are both kind to hair and smoothing by helping to distribute natural oils from the scalp down the hair strand. Never remove knots starting at the roots. My top tip is to detangle your hair when your conditioner is in your hair using a wide toothed comb or Detangling brush, starting at the ends first then working upwards.
I really hope you enjoyed this article, remember to keep practicing mindful moments of self care and if you have any questions then please contact us by dropping us a line to firstname.lastname@example.org