WHY YOU NEED TO SWITCH TO A SILICONE-FREE SHAMPOO
It has happened to all of us: you get out of the shower after using your favorite shampoo, only to realize that it is no longer making your hair look full and shiny, but oily and lifeless. What went wrong?! People often believe this happens as you need to change up your hair care products every once in a while, to avoid your hair getting ‘used to’ your shampoo and conditioner. But is this actually true, or are cheap, chemical ingredients like silicones the culprits?
Widely used in mainstream hair care products, but forbidden under organic standards, silicones are becoming more and more controversial – not only because of their impact on your health and the environment, but also because they may be causing more harm than good for your luscious locks.
WHAT ARE SILICONES AND WHY ARE THEY USED?
Created in a lab to make dry and damaged hair look healthy, silicones are a cheap ingredient designed to give your hair that silky smooth feel. Forming a layer around the hair shaft, silicones smoothen your hair by filling it up and ‘waterproofing’ each strand. Silicone’s chemical composition make your hair feel untangled and slippery when you wash, which is great for brushing and blow-drying – after all, who needs tangles? However, what most people don’t know, is that in the long-term, silicones have the ability to damage and disrupt your hair.
SO WHY DO ‘CONES HAVE SUCH A BAD REPUTATION?
Although silicones create the temporary illusion of healthy hair, they are unnatural ingredients, similar to rubber or plastic, with considerable side effects for your hair and the environment. Here’s just a few reasons why you should be going silicone-free:
THE SHINE IS FAKE. When hair is properly hydrated and the cuticle (the outer layer) is sealed, light reflects off the hair and gives it shine. Sorry to break it to you, but the shine you get from silicones is a fake shine from the plastic.
THEY ARE INSOLUBLE AND NOT BIODEGRADABLE. Since silicones don’t easily break down, product residue ends up going down the drain and into the water system, eventually ending up in lakes, oceans and rivers, where they harm the environment and aquatic life.
A HEAVY HEAD. The fact that most silicones are hydrophobic means that they are tricky to wash out and build up layer by layer with every use. The result? Your hair becomes weighed down and heavier, while also looking dull, greasy and lifeless.
PREVENT NUTRIENTS FROM PENETRATING HAIR. The additional barrier silicones add to your hair strands keep nutrients from getting into your hair, which will make your hair weaker and more susceptible to breakage.
LEADS TO DRYNESS AND BRITTLENESS. One of silicones’ benefits – that it prevents moisture and essential oils from penetrating by forming a layer around the hair shaft – actually harms your hair in the long-term as it can make your hair dry and brittle.
A MAGNET FOR DIRT AND OTHER INGREDIENTS. Silicones not only build up themselves, but also attract other ingredients and dirt, resulting in even greater build up in your hair. And that’s just the start! Your shampoo and conditioner will no longer be able to get into your hair, and just sit on the surface, drying it out. Blow drying and heat-treating the hair will additionally bake the silicones into your hair, and make them harder to remove.
NO MORE COLORING. The waterproof film caused by silicone build up significantly decreases the uptake of color, as well as the amount of time dye remains in the hair.
IRRITATION OF THE SCALP. In addition to build up, silicone can cause rashes, itching, burning and irritation to the hair follicles, which can ultimately lead to hair loss.
To make matters even worse, most people tend to wash and style their hair more often than necessary when it feels limp and greasy. This leads to a vicious cycle of causing even more silicone build up, which can only be removed by a shampoo loaded with sulfates – an ingredient which has its own set of issues (disturbing the skin’s natural balance and stripping the scalp of natural oils that protect the hair are just a couple of the damaging effects!).
SO HOW CAN YOU BREAK THE DAMAGING CYCLE?
Ditching silicones will allow moisture to penetrate your hair shafts, so that the natural oils produced by the scalp can restore a healthy balance and nourish your hair. Another advantage: your hair will also need less washing, as your natural oil production returns to normal and your hair is no longer weighed down by unnatural ingredients and dirt!
If you want to know if your products contain silicones, just check your ingredients labels for anything ending in “cone”. Completely insoluble silicones like Dimethicone, Cetyl Dimethicone, Cetearyl Methicone, Dimethiconol,and Stearyl Dimethiconeare considered particularly harmful, especially if they are high up on the ingredients list, since this means there will be more of it. Other common silicones are Trichomethicone, Dimethicone Copolyol, Amodimethicone, Cyclopentasiloxanenoneand any ingredients ending in-cone -conol -xane -col or -cane.
But be aware: just because a shampoo is silicone-free, that doesn’t make it free of other harmful ingredients like SLS, parabens, or synthetic fragrances that can potentially damage your hair and scalp (not to mention the environment). By using ViTA’s hair care duo, free of silicones, SLS, parabens, and other toxins, you can get long-term results, restoring your natural hair health to its glorious former self.