Understanding Haircare Silicones – Groomer to Groomer


Groomers will discover liquid silicones in every little thing from their shampoos and conditioners to styling merchandise akin to foams, mousse and specialty serums. In truth, silicones make up an unlimited sub-category of cationic hair-conditioning brokers all to their very own.

Some who know me assume I take pleasure in poking the bear on social media a bit an excessive amount of. However actually, I might by no means intend to anger or damage anybody—particularly when advocating for science and groomer training. Nonetheless, it will possibly get uncomfortable when transferring past any establishment. I usually received’t hesitate to stay my neck out or dodge just a few arrows alongside the best way when there’s a studying alternative on the road.  

For instance, many people have noticed “silicone-free” being referred to as out in a thirty-second TV advert by some acquainted haircare model we could or could not use. Doesn’t it strike you as peculiar how such claims are by no means defined, as in the event that they assume the viewer understands the issues being thwarted?

Such a declare for some might indicate that silicones will not be so good or maybe even harmful. Infrequently, corporations deliberately malign hair and skincare silicones as pretend, plastic, environmentally-threatening or poisonous. Consequently, some groomers could really feel the urge to cease utilizing a product based mostly on these assumptions. However that’s deceptive.

Let me be your information down the rabbit gap in an try and kind by the hubbub some discover alarming about silicones in as we speak’s grooming liquids. I promise to make it value your whereas and take simply couple of minutes of your time…

Usually talking, silicones are a household of specialty, high-performance supplies present in a variety of client and industrial items. Do you know they’re mineral-based, derived from the weather silicon and oxygen?

Please enable me to get nerdy for a  few paragraphs…

Greater than 90% of the Earth’s floor consists of silicate minerals, making silicon the second most plentiful component within the Earth’s crust subsequent to oxygen.1 When silicon is linked up with oxygen, it typically types the mineral compound Silicon dioxide (SiO2), generally known as Silica,2 which is merely quartz sand.

Artificial polymers are fashioned when two or extra compounds are added collectively.3 Including oxygen and different various compounds to silicon creates silicone polymers. Strong and liquid silicone polymers have been utilized in every little thing from non-stick baking pans, lubricants, automotive components and good telephones, to call just a few. Healthcare, digital communications, transportation, building and private care are just some of the industries that go down the advantages of this know-how. 

Groomers will discover liquid silicones in every little thing from their shampoos and conditioners to styling merchandise akin to foams, mousse and specialty serums. In truth, silicones make up an unlimited sub-category of cationic hair-conditioning brokers all to their very own. Why then are silicones so controversial to some within the pet business?

For some, going silicone-free is a matter of non-public alternative, not wanting to make use of artificial components on the physique. Let’s be sincere; silicones don’t precisely match the narrative professed by as we speak’s fashionable “pure” product claims. Since silicones are clearly artifical, they merely don’t meet the standards for being fully pure components. That’s comprehensible…or is it?

Herein lies the rub: Aren’t most beauty and hygiene components derived from Earth’s pure assets altered or processed by some type of extraction, distilling, refining or manufacturing?

The reply is “Sure”—granted, some greater than others. Absolutely they don’t develop a ready-to-mix shampoo formulation… 

Please perceive that haircare chemistry vastly differs from that of meals and culinary chemistry. Formulating shampoo surfactant mixtures isn’t like making a salad. Even as we speak’s trending USDA-certified cleaning soap bars and liquids (saponified oils) are primary chemical surfactants altered by man. Arguably cleaning soap is much less artificial by comparability, however simply because silicone is extra artificial than different components doesn’t imply it’s extra harmful and shouldn’t be used on you or your canine’s hair. 

Do you know that silicone could be infused into cleaning soap and a few bar soaps use artificial detergents as a substitute of saponified oils? Issues will not be all the time what they look like!

Though haircare silicones are non-toxic, some choose avoiding all of them collectively and say the true subject with silicones is that sure sorts construct up on hair, leaving a residue that blocks moisture from penetrating the hair strand. Utilizing the improper sort of silicone can actually foster undesirable end results. For instance, many old skool hair silicones like Dimethicone can depart an oily residue and crush or flatten hair. Some folks declare it dehydrates and causes static.

Keep in mind that silicone know-how is all the time evolving and by no means stagnant. Not all silicones are created equal; some act fully totally different than others. In truth, increasingly more are water pleasant and wash away simply. Right this moment’s hair silicones are a lot lighter and provide far more advantages than not. 

Right here’s what silicone conditioners can do:4

  • Act as a superior sebum alternative that repels oil moderately than attracting it.
  • Bolster tensile power, defending hair from additional brush and gear injury.
  • Assist handle the hair’s porosity by closing lifted cuticle scales.
  • Rehydrate, moisturize and lengthen manageability.
  • Fill in and restore broken surfaces like cut up ends.
  • Allow drive dryers to be one’s digital brush, decreasing coat injury and bodily effort.
  • Safely launch tangles, mats, and shedding undercoat within the tub and whereas drying.
  • Lower drying time and scale back static.

Some nonetheless say the affect that producing silicones has on our planet is the rationale they have to be prevented. Silicon and oxygen are probably the most plentiful assets on the Earth, so that may’t be it. But others insist it’s the emissions from manufacturing silicones and siloxanes that have to be thought-about. Nonetheless, analysis has concluded that the usage of silicones truly reduces the carbon footprint of many important services.5 In different phrases, the advantages they carry to society—be it dwelling life, transportation, farming, manufacturing, manufacturing and even pet grooming—now have smaller carbon footprints due to silicones.

What if you happen to nonetheless need to decide out of silicones altogether? Aren’t there just a few plant-based, silicone-free options accessible to groomers? 

Whereas efforts have been made within the haircare business, there actually isn’t something that comes near liquid silicone polymers. Please be weary of merchandise making such claims. They is probably not as pure as portrayed, have restricted purposes and finally fall wanting all that silicone polymers carry to the grooming desk.

Silicone liquids are merchandise of science, and that’s not a foul factor. They’re merely massive molecules fashioned by chemically connecting a succession of constructing compounds collectively, not not like every little thing else that surrounds us. They’re mineral-based, derived from the Earth’s silicon, refined and bodily processed in a plant. The tip product is a highly-engineered, man-made ingredient providing profound advantages. Higher but, their science is progressively evolving in know-how and proficiency, at present outpacing the pet grooming business.6

Silicones profit grooming in so some ways. Happily, most grooming liquids as we speak safely intertwine sustainable, pure and artificial components like silicones collectively, offering the perfect of science and nature. 

I problem you to check out different claims and opinions on the market regarding pet grooming liquids akin to “parabens,” “sulfate-free,” “preservatives” and “fragrances.” You could be stunned at what you’ll study by doing a little truth checking by yourself. I wholeheartedly encourage wholesome debate over such matters—offered one can base their views on knowledgeable opinion and details, moderately than pseudoscience and rumour. 

Absolutely the subject of silicones could be complicated, however that doesn’t imply they need to be dismissed all the identical or in spite. In the end, it’s as much as every particular person to make their very own selections. Silicones could or is probably not the suitable alternative for you, however please decide whether or not your references are based mostly on concern, misinformation, or science when selecting whether or not to help or keep away from utilizing silicones. You then’ll know what’s finest for you and your canines. ✂️


  1. https://www.britannica.com/science/silicon
  2. https://www.britannica.com/science/silica
  3. https://www.britannica.com/abstract/silicone
  4. https://paragonpetschool.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/CONDITIONER.pdf
  5. https://www.silicones.eu/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/SIL_exec-summary_en.pdf
  6. https://groomblog.blogspot.com/2014/08/silicones-quest-for-truth.html?fbclid=IwAR2QO0zuIq72uVxmY_swt_f7adWjfNXJX74ZXNYM8LJ9hHVrN60YGLQif48

Dave Campanella

Dave Campanella is a PGC Educator, entertaining seminar speaker, widespread podcast visitor, and business columnist. He’s Finest Shot Pet Merchandise gross sales and advertising and marketing director with over 30 years of pet business knowledge. He and his spouse Tracy co-owned a full-service pet salon and self-wash in Ohio previous to relocating with Finest Shot to Kentucky over 17 years in the past. Collectively they take pleasure in exhibiting at grooming reveals, being business ambassadors, canine breeding and displaying Kerry Blue Terriers together with their Samoyed and Lowland Polish Sheepdog at AKC occasions.


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