Monday, September 3, 2012

Silicones Not All Created Equal

We talk a lot about silicones, and how we should, for the most part, avoid them. But as with many things in life, silicones are not all created equal. Here's your Live Curly Live Free primer. Print it out and take it with you when you go shopping for hair products! And make sure to pick up a copy of our book, so you can unlock ALL the secrets about curly hair.

Silicones generally end in "cone,"  "conol," "col," or "xane" and are found in many hair products. A silicone with the abbreviation "PEG" or "PPG" in front of it is water-soluble and will not build up.
Here are some silicones that are not soluble in water, which means they build up on the hair and require a surfactant-based shampoo to remove:
  • Cetearyl Methicone
  • Cetyl Dimethicone
  • Dimethicone
  • Dimethiconol
  • Stearyl Dimethicone
Here are silicones that are not soluble in water, but whose chemical properties allow it to repel further deposit, helping to prevent buildup:
  • Amodimethicone
  • Cyclomethicone/Cyclopentasiloxane
  • Trimethylsilylamodimethicone
Here are silicones that are slightly soluble in water, but can, over time,  build up on some types of curly hair:
  • Behenoxy Dimethicone
  • Stearoxy Dimethicone
And here are silicones that are soluble in water -- which means they're  generally considered safe to use. Also safe are those with  "PEG"  or "PPG" in front of them:
  • Dimethicone Copolyol
  • Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein Hydroxypropyl Polysiloxane
  • Lauryl Methicone Copolyol

Live Curly, Live Free, The e-book, is available for Kindle, iPad and Nook formats. In it, Curl Whisperer Tiffany Anderson-Taylor tells us all we need to know to have healthy, happy curls.

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