Silicone hair products are valued highly for their versatility. Silicone hair products make hair shiny and soft, detangle hair, remove frizz, protect hair from heat, and a whole lot more.
But what exactly is silicone? And what do silicone hair products do for the hair? This primer on silicone and silicone hair products will help you understand exactly what silicone does and how it applies to hair care products. Plus, learn about specific silicone hair products, like Biosilk Silk Therapy and Simply Stylin’, and uncover what their differences are.
What is Silicone?
Silicone is an inert compound – that is, it is not reactive readily with other compounds. And silicone has a wide variety of uses, mostly due to its heat-resistant and nonstick properties. Specific properties of silicone as it relates to hair care include: protection from heat at temperatures exceeding 400°F, the ability to form a watertight seal around the hair shaft, resistance to sunlight, and flexibility.
When applied to the hair, silicone wraps around the hair shaft preventing what’s inside from going out and what’s outside from going in. Silicone molecules are too large to be absorbed into the hair shaft, so they act as a protective coating. For this reason, silicone hair products are great for retaining moisture in hair and for making hair resistant to outside influences such as heat and UV sun rays.
Specific benefits of silicone hair products include:
Top Silicone Hair Products
Silicone is an expensive ingredient. And because silicone can be an expensive ingredient, most silicone hair products contain inexpensive fillers like alcohol or mineral oil. These fillers don’t really provide any functional benefit to the product – they simply make the product cheaper for the manufacturer to make, padding their profit. Additionally, fillers easily lessen the protective effects of silicone on the hair. These watered-down silicone hair products can work, but generally they aren’t as effective as pure silicone hair products.
Pure silicone products have no fillers included in their formulations. Because they are concentrated with pure silicone, these products can be much more effective at providing all the benefits you can get out of silicone. In fact, you may find that, in comparison to silicone hair products that contain fillers, you need to use less to get your desired results. Generally, these products are more expensive than their watered-down counterparts, but you can find a few affordable pure silicone hair products (see below).
A good example of a silicone hair product that contains fillers is Biosilk Silk Therapy. Widely used by many, Biosilk contains SD Alcohol 40B, a quick-drying alcohol found in most hairsprays, as a filler. Although less effective than pure silicone hair products, Biosilk provides benefits typical of silicone hair products such as shine enhancement, softness, frizz control and heat protection. Generally, a 2.20z bottle of Biosilk retails for $12.99.
Uggghhh! My frizzy hair!
Frizzy hair is unwanted, unsightly and tough to control. It makes you look untidy and disheveled. And it doesn’t look attractive.But it’s also a fact of life for many women, particularly (but not exclusively) for women with curly hair. And if left untreated, frizz can turn very quickly into split-ends, a definite no-no.
So what to do about your frizz? And how can you finally control frizz?
First, what is frizz? Frizz is a condition where very small bits of hair shift away from the cuticle and hair shaft resulting in a fuzzy effect. It happens when your hair is dry and lacks moisture. Some women are genetically predisposed toward having frizzy hair. But others experience frizz when confronted with high humidity.
Humidity removes moisture from the hair shaft resulting in a frizzy condition. You can also get frizz from over-drying of your hair by the sun or by using heating implements. However you get it, achieving frizz control requires that you understand its most prevalent source – lack of moisture. Other things to avoid when trying to control frizz are:
So now that you know what it is, what can you do about it? How to reach that nirvana – frizz control? Here are some essential tips to follow so you can control your frizz.
Hair extensions vary widely according to application type and origin. You want to make the right choice to ensure they enhance your natural hair perfectly and stay looking good as long as possible.
Weaves require the stylist to attach the hair to your head via tiny rows of braids. The stylist first braids your natural hair into these tiny rows. Then she stitches the weave to these braids. This method is apt to apply a great deal of tension to your natural hair, especially when it gets wet. If you shampoo your hair frequently, this may be of concern for you, so be sure to consult with your stylist prior to getting a weave.
Bonding involves gluing a latex plug into your real hair. It's a good short-term method that's fast and relatively cheap, but it's tough to get out. It requires a lot of heat and oil to dissolve the bonding agent, a lengthy, itchy process that can take some of your hair with it.
If you have fine hair, never let a stylist give you extensions using metal tubes. This involves clamping small metal tubs over real hair to attach extensions, which adds a lot of weight and stress. And it's next to impossible to pry the damn tube open later to get it off your head. It's expensive, risky and the most likely to damage thin locks.
There is a method known as heat-shrink tubing, which doesn't harm natural hair as much as the previous method. But it requires a lot of gluing, and can quickly loosen, allowing the extension hair to fall out. It's not fun watching your $1,500 go down the drain every time you shower.
The Adhesive-Based Fusion method can work wonders, but you have to make sure the stylist is using top-of-the-line adhesive. Wax-based glues are the cheapest, but they'll melt the first time you blow-dry your hair (and try getting that out without massive breakage). Professional-grade adhesive is an absolute must. A good stylist can glue in extensions with a bonding agent that's gentle but superstrong. And when it's time to take them out, the stylist applies a remover that dries the glue to a powdery substance. No oily mess, no heat, no fuss. Much better.
A final tip: always go for high-end human hair extensions, which can be colored and curled. Synthetic hair is a guaranteed disaster -- it melts when you try to style it.
What do you use to protect your hair from a flat iron that goes up to 400 plus degrees? Flat iron protection is essential when you apply temperatures that high on your hair; and most flat irons easily reach up to 400 degrees.
Heat protection starts with the type of flat iron you purchase for your hair. Ceramic plate flat irons are the Rolls Royce of flat irons. They create a bone straight, smooth, silky look and feel to the hair. That’s because Ceramic plate flat irons apply an even heat pattern which provides a more uniform finish. Ceramic plate flat irons also move through the hair more smoothly so you will experience no snagging or sticking to the hair shaft. With these benefits alone Ceramic plate flat irons have the more traditional gold-plated irons beat hands down.
Regardless of whether your flat iron is ceramic, metal, ionic, or thermal, they all can be used incorrectly, doing damage to your hair over a period in time. And while we all know no one wants that, damage is still one of the biggest complaints of flat irons.
So we’re going to give you some essential tips for using a flat iron to avoid damage and to achieve luxuriously straight and smooth hair.
Flat iron protection starts with the purchase of your flat iron. Make sure it has a temperature gauge setting on it. Rule # 1: not everyone’s hair can stand the same amount of heat, and you will cause dryness as well as breakage in the long run if you don’t get an adjustable setting with your ceramic flat iron.
Be sure to apply a heat protectant to your hair. A pure silicone like Simply Stylin’ Silk or Simply Stylin’ Light Silk Spray will protect the hair shaft with a silk coating that will not allow heat to penetrate and damage the hair. One of the really great benefits of the Simply Stylin’ products is that you can put them in your hair while wet and then reapply while dry for extra protection; and they are so light that they still will not weigh your hair down!
For maximum flat iron protection, section your hair off in four parts so you have more control over your hair. Start with one section at a time and make smaller sections within each section. Spray Simply Stylin’ Light Silk Spray on the smaller sections you are going to flat iron, going from close to the root to the ends of the hair (avoid getting it on your scalp.) Continue the process until you complete all four sections. Run your flat iron down each section of your hair smoothly, and avoid overlapping. Flat iron each section of your hair once or, if you must, no more the twice. That’s because overuse of your flat iron on your hair can make your hair very dry and brittle, leading to breakage over a period of time. When you’re done flat ironing your hair, style as usual.