While it seems like silicones don’t pose a great risk to your health overall, they may not be the ideal ingredients for your hair.
Silicones are polymers made from chains of silicon and oxygen atoms.
There are lots of different types of silicones with an array of different names, so you won’t just see ‘silicone’ or ‘silicones’ listen on a conditioner’s ingredients list.
Silicones are synthetic ingredients in hair care products that soften your hair and give it shine and help to smooth and straighten your hair.
What’s not to like about silky hair? While silky hair might sound like good news, silicone isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.
Why Avoid Silicones?
Even though silicones make hair appear smooth and healthy, and can protect it from the elements, there is a high price to pay for this.
Silicones seal the hair in a coating, which is what gives it shine and protection. However, the shine it produces is fake, temporary, and comes from the plastic-like silicones.
A natural shine will only occur when hair is hydrated and healthy. This is another reason why using silicone hair products is counterproductive.
While silicone seals out the harsher elements, it also seals out water and air. This means that your hair will continue to seem shiny while getting progressively drier and less healthy.
The build-up that occurs from silicone will eventually make your hair limp and dull while attracting dirt and sealing it off from naturally occurring moisture that helps your hair stay healthy.
As a result of this, hair will become weaker and will appear as if it needs more taming which will encourage you to use even more products.
Some silicones can contribute to skin irritation, so it is especially best to avoid this ingredient if you have sensitive skin.
Best Silicone-Free Conditioners in the UK
1. Green People Intensive Repair Conditioner
Intense Repair Conditioner by Green People is specifically designed for dry, coloured, chemically treated and frequently blow-dried hair, being gentle on stressed hair.
It adds shine and nourishes the scalp naturally and stops the loss of natural oils.
Made from organic green tea, aloe vera and B vitamins for a naturally nourishing care, this conditioner is free from synthetic fragrances, phthalates, parabens and irritation emulsifiers as well as silicone.
It is specifically designed for people prone to skin irritations and is certified organic, cruelty-free and suitable for vegans.
For a more pampered experience, leave in for 10 minutes before rinsing.
2. Cantu Shea Butter Hydrating Cream Conditioner
Winner of the 2015 Curl Box Awards for best conditioner, Cantu Shea Butter Hydrating Cream Conditioner is nourishing and protecting of brittle hair without the use of silicone.
It reduces split ends and prevents breakages, making it perfect for dry or damaged hair.
As well as not containing any silicones, this conditioner also doesn’t contain sulphates, parabens or mineral oils.
Cantu Shea Butter Hydrating Cream Conditioner is made from 100% shea butter for luxury and helps hair to stay hydrated by retaining its natural oils.
It’s safe and gentle enough for natural and coloured hair.
3. Green People Daily Aloe Conditioner
Also by Green People, Daily Aloe Conditioner is an intensive conditioner that leaves hair shiny and easy to manage.
With revitalising ingredients, your hair will be healthy and smooth and is perfect for daily use, gentle enough for all the family. The conditioner is protein rich and contains natural B vitamins.
Daily Aloe Conditioner is made with organic ingredients such as aloe vera and lavender for a naturally calming scent.
This conditioner is also free from any harmful synthetic ingredients and is certified organic, cruelty-free and is suitable for vegans.
4. Faith In Nature Lavender & Geranium Conditioner
Faith in Nature Lavender & Geranium Conditioner is made using 100% natural fragrances and essential oils for a wonderfully scented and luxury hair washing experience.
Faith in Nature’s products are free from parabens and SLS, being vegan and cruelty-free as well as offering you only the best quality ingredients.
This conditioner contains lavender, lavandin and geranium essential oils to nourish your hair and relax your senses.
5. Yes To Blueberries Smooth and Shine Conditioner for Frizzy Hair
Yes To Blueberries Smooth and Shine Conditioner is especially designed for frizzy or dry hair that needs extra moisture and nourishment.
The conditioner is infused with blueberries and shea butter to create more manageable hair, smoothing even the frizziest hair.
Made with almost completely natural ingredients, this conditioner will make your hair shiny, soft and healthy naturally. This conditioner will hydrate your hair without making it heavy or limp.
As well as being free from silicones, Yes To Blueberries Smooth and Shine Conditioner is also free from parabens, SLS, and is cruelty-free certified.
Removing Silicone Build-Up From Hair
Most silicones are hydrophobic which means they don’t wash out easily.
Because your hair will begin to feel worse after less time between washes when using products that contain silicone, it will encourage you to wash it even more which leads to a negative cycle.
Using clarifying shampoos and conditioners will help to remove the build-up of silicone.
However, it is better to avoid them completely and stick to silicone-free shampoos and conditioners.
How to Tell if Conditioner is Silicone Free
Finding out if a conditioner is silicone free isn’t as simple as looking for ‘silicones’ or ‘silicone’ on the ingredients list.
Silicones are sometimes listed under unrecognisable names, and there are quite a few to avoid. While some silicones are water soluble and claim to wash out easily without creating a build-up, it is better to avoid them all.
See a comprehensive list of silicones ingredients in hair products here.
Here’s a list of some of the more common silicones to look out:
- Dimethicone (the most common and hardest to remove)
If you are unsure about which ingredients on the label to avoid, anything that ends in ‘cone’ is usually something you don’t want to see in the ingredients list of your conditioner.
Dimethicone is the most common silicone in conditioner, so if your conditioner doesn’t contain this ingredient, there’s a good chance it’s silicone free.
Switch to silicone-free conditioner for long-term healthy hair that looks its best without being coated in chemicals that weigh it down.
With this selection of silicone-free conditioners, your hair will look and feel great as well as using only the best, natural ingredients from companies that know how to look after your hair.
If we had to pick just one silicone-free conditioner to recommend it would be Green People’s Intensive Repair Conditioner as it’s highly rated and is not only free from silicones but is also organic, cruelty free and doesn’t contain parabens, phthalates or synthetic fragrances.
It is worth noting that there is often a period of adjustment when switching from synthetic to natural hair products while your hair detoxes from all the chemicals.
It is well worth going through this for a few days as the silicones are removed to get the long-term benefits from naturally healthy hair.
When you swap your silicone conditioner for one that doesn’t silicones, you will notice the quality of your hair increasing over time. When it shines, you will know that it’s really your hair that’s healthy and not just a plastic-like coating.
You also won’t need to wash your hair as regularly with these natural conditioners.
It is worth investing in a silicone-free shampoo and changing any other hair care products you use they may contain silicone as it is best to avoid it completely for the best results.