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Silicone FAQ, product-finding strategies

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AnaisSatin View Drop Down
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    Posted: April 20 2005 at 4:59pm

Didn't know how to move this thread from the Product Reviews to this Product Finder forum.

A silicone is a hair-coating ingredient in conditioners, ending in -cone, -conol, or -siloxane. On HB and other hair boards, they are commonly referred to as "Cones". Its role is to make the hair slick and easy to detangle. Cone-loving hair types generally tend to be coarse and straight, while cone-hating hair types generally tend to be curly, wavy, or fine. Different hair types respond to cones differently depending on porosity and coarseness/fineness. Also, tangle-prone hair may have success with cones giving more "slip" to the hair.
(sili-)Cones are extremely controversial and are found in many product lines such as Pantene, L'Oreal, and Garnier Fructis. They coat the hair shaft in layer of polymer/plastic. The silicone layer remains on the hair after the conditioner is rinsed out.  Many people swear that cones mask breakage by acting as a "glue" to keep breakage together. The layer also tends to flake off, taking with them the scales from the hair's outer shell. The underlayers of the hair shaft are then exposed.
Others like myself cannot live without silicones because that entails tangles, matting, and an even more enormous amount of breakage. While silicones are from the same chemical family as saran wrap and PVC piping, a cone conditioner comprises other ingredients besides the coating. Humectants (moisture-attractors) and emollients (smoothing agents) are also included in the formulation of a conditioner. For some hair types, the cone helps bind the moisturizing ingredients to the hair shaft. The use of cones is a personal choice coming out of personal experimentation. (above crossposted from my Lair)

Proper silicone use usually requires clarifying, because silicone tends to build up on the hair. Silicone cannot be completely removed by a regular shampoo. Clarifying is best done with a weekly or biweekly vinegar rinse or a "clarifying shampoo" that is specifically marked for that purpose. 

Apple cider vinegar (ACV) is the most popular vinegar for homemade clarifying rinses. Dilute a small amount of ACV (usually between 2 tablespoons and 1/4 cup) in 2 cups of water. Pour this mixture through your hair after shampooing, then condition your hair as usual. While ACV will not remove all product residue, it will remove a large amount. It will also remove a large amount of mineral deposits that can make hair stiff.

HOW TO TELL IF YOUR HAIR TYPE AGREES WITH CONE USE

(1) Try silicones for a week.
Or if you're already using cones, go to #2.
Again, silicone conditioners include Garnier, L'Oreal, and Pantene.

Observe the results of silicones: Does your hair feel plastic? Does your hair feel brittle? Does it feel dry or straw-like? Crunchy?
If any of these are the case, GET OFF CONES.
Clarify with a rinse or clarifying shampoo, and move on to coneless products.

Some coneless products include the following: Biolage Conditioning Balm, the Giovanni line, Aubrey Organics, Avalon, Nature's Gate, Jessicurl, White Rain Extra Body Classic, V05 regulars, and Suave Naturals.
Keep in mind:
Silicones are always listed as something that ends in "-cone", "-conol" or "-siloxane". Reducing cone usage can also help. The farther down the ingredient list, the less of that ingredient is in the product. 

(2) Or if you're already coning and want to find out if you are the cone type, switch to a silicone-free conditioner for a week. 
Observe any breakage that may show. Snip off any damaged ends, etc.. with sharp scissors. If you find that your hair had suffered severe damage while you were using a silicone conditioner, find a coneless product within your budget.

If your hair tangles significantly without cones, you'll probably want to get back on them. Silicone conditioners include Suave Professionals, Pantene, L'Oreal, Garnier Fructis, Finesse, Paul Mitchell The Leave-in.

------------------------------------------------------------ ------------------------

What do I look for in a shampoo?

Perfect products should be both effective on the scalp and gentle on the hair. This includes the cleanser in the shampoo as well as the conditioning agents in the conditioner. The only problem is that effectiveness and gentleness are not often paired in the same product. An effective product, e.g. a product that cleanses squeaky clean, will not necessarily be gentle. Likewise, a gentle product will not necessarily clean the hair as thoroughly as a person would like. This is one big choice that a person should make when choosing a shampoo, and it depends largely on hair type and length.

People with long hair, fine hair, color-treated hair, oily scalp, dry scalp, psoriasis or dandruff will likely need to seek gentle products. Note the second and third ingredients listed on the label. Gentle shampoos often contain Sodium Laureth Sulfate  or any ingredient beginning with TEA (the TEA often followed by cocamidopropyl betaine).

The more heavy-duty products contain Sodium Lauryl Sulfate  (note the YL in Lauryl), Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate  and Ammonium Laureth Sulfate (one or more of the three can be found in Suave, Pert Plus, Head and Shoulders, and other shampoos). The more heavy-duty shampoos are usually not suitable for fine hair, color-treated hair, oily scalp, dry scalp, or particularly long hair (can cause dryness on the ends of the hair, or overproduction of sebum (scalp oils) leading to oily hair). If you see any of these three above ingredients on a shampoo bottle label, exercise caution.

All of these surfactants a.k.a. cleansers, when dissolved in water, become charged particles that "bind" to dirt/grease/other particulate matter, washing it away. Although not the most natural way possible, shampoo still seems to be the cheapest and most popular, most readily-available method to cleanse.

Rotating products will also help in the search for a "perfect" or at least "satisfactory" shampoo for your hair type.

unconventional alternatives: clay washing , Indian herbs, CO (conditioner only), CWC, C-COW-C.

For more information on individual product ingredients, here's a cosmetic ingredients glossary: http://www.cosmeticcop.com/learn/dictionary.asp?TYPE=MAIN

Brightest Blessings
Anais



Edited by AnaisSatin
my LJ, 40 inches long
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oskana View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote oskana Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 08 2005 at 2:33pm
i am a liitle confuse since my knowledge in shampoo is limited. I have curly/kinky hair that is also damaged from coloring and heat processing...then should i stay clear of silicone products. someone also told me that i should stay clear of SLS/ALS ingredients... are these as bad as silicone.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote eKatherine Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 08 2005 at 6:03pm
Originally posted by oskana oskana wrote:

i am a liitle confuse since my knowledge in shampoo is limited. I have curly/kinky hair that is also damaged from coloring and heat processing...then should i stay clear of silicone products. someone also told me that i should stay clear of SLS/ALS ingredients... are these as bad as silicone.


The point of the article before is that silicones work wonders for some hair types, and don't work at all for others. The best way to figure this out is try them and see. Silicones are not a longterm treatment, they either leave the hair tangle-free or they don't. So you could probably just try them once or twice to see if they work for you. My hair is color-treated, but I always use Pantene, and I also love the silicone-laden conditioner that comes in the Nice'n'Easy box.

I guess you could say that I steer clear of SLS/ALS ingredients. I don't use shampoo, haven't in 13 months. Try a light conditioner like Suave Daily Clarifying Conditioner instead of shampoo, then follow up with a moisturizing conditioner, then a silicone conditioner. When your hair is almost dry, add a few drops of jojoba at a time until it seems silky and soft.


Just looking for a few good hair slaves - is that too much to ask?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote oskana Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 09 2005 at 5:21pm
thanks ekatherine

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote mintychoc Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 27 2005 at 9:00pm
thanks for the post! i found it really useful.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Joopdoop1 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 18 2013 at 12:40am
Totally agree with your suggestion.. Very nice post and good information here..Thanks for posting


Edited by Karen Shelton - March 06 2013 at 6:17am
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