Shiny, smooth hair = healthy hair, right?
Well, kind of.
When hair is moisturized and well cared for, the outer structure of each strand of hair (the cuticle) remains sealed and smooth, giving hair an overall healthy sheen. Each strand also becomes softer, making hair easier to manage and style.
But, healthy, naturally shiny hair doesn’t happen overnight. It can take time and effort to moisturize and nourish your hair from the outside in — especially if your locks are regularly heat-styled or color-treated.
However, back in the 1950s, hair product manufacturers discovered a way to mimic the look and feel of healthy hair in just one wash. Today, most shampoos, conditioners, and other hair care products on the market still include this type of additive.
The cheap, effective shortcut to silky, smooth hair?
You’ve probably heard about silicone-free hair care or the “truth” about silicones, but maybe you don’t understand why this little ingredient causes such buzz in the hair care world. Below we’re talking about silicones and explaining why our MopTop products are formulated without the (often controversial) ingredient.
What are silicones?
Silicones are a group of synthetic, polymer materials (usually described as somewhere between rubber and plastic) that are found in all types of household and beauty products, from cooking utensils to makeup and hair care products.
The Good and the Bad
When used in shampoos, conditioners, and leave-in styling products, silicones can create shiny, touchably soft hair. And to be clear, silicones aren’t all bad; the coating they create sits on top of the hair cuticle, sealing the cuticle from outside humidity, locking-in moisture inside the strand, and even offering heat protection when styling with hot tools like hair dryers or curling irons.
But, let’s be clear: silicones are a very short-lived fix. The shine and softness they create are because of a thin, plastic-like coating — not because of healthy, hydrated hair. Since silicone is left behind after washing and drying your hair, the residue can attract styling products, dirt, pollution, and other gunk that causes excessive build-up on your hair over time. This makes hair feel weighed down, oily, and limp.
When hair is coated with product build-up, conditioners and other moisturizing treatments can’t penetrate through the silicone layer to moisturize the hair cuticle. Over time, hair becomes drier, brittle, and more prone to splitting.
Once product build-up occurs, the process of removing it often strips hair of its natural oils, too. This leaves hair dry and dull. Many people will then reach for silicone-based products again to restore shine and softness, creating a cycle of long-term hair damage. If silicone is left unchecked, it causes dry, brittle hair in addition to coating the hair shaft it can potentially clog the hair follicle. We always recommend using a detox shampoo once every 4 to 6 weeks to maintain a healthy scalp and hair.
Not All Silicones are Created Equal
Some silicones found in hair care products are “water-insoluble”, or don’t fully dissolve in water. This means their shiny coating is more difficult to remove and can lead to greater product build-up with time. These types of silicones should most be avoided:
- Listed ingredients ending with “-cone”
Other types of silicones are water-soluble, meaning they can more easily be removed from hair when washing. That means that while product build-up can still occur, it will happen more slowly, and can be counteracted with regular use of a clarifying shampoo. Examples of these water-soluble silicones include:
- Dimethicone Copolyol
- Lauryl Methicone Copolyol
The Truth About Silicones for Curly Hair
For curly hair especially, silicones can be extra drying. That’s because most curly hair is naturally drier than straight or wavy hair. Over time, the dryness that comes after using silicone products will cause even more damage to curly hair. In addition, the heaviness that occurs as a result of product build-up can actually disrupt a natural curl pattern and weigh down curls. The result? Less defined, less vibrant, and less hydrated curls.
MopTop is Silicone-Free
When we created MopTop products, we wanted to create something that we couldn’t find on the market: hair care products that nourish hair without the product build-up that can weigh down natural volume. When formulating our products, we hand-selected every ingredient, making sure to only include the natural elements that improved hair’s health and appearance. We wanted to take out the “fake” shine of silicone and create a product that creates natural, long-lasting shine. We selected products that helped us achieve a perfect balance between nature and science in order to create the best consistent result. While it is okay to use silicone-containing products every once in a while, our MopTop products are designed for daily use and don’t cause excessive product build-up. You can feel good reaching for MopTop shampoos, conditioners, and styling products, knowing that with each use you’re giving your hair the nourishment it needs to look and feel beautiful all on its own.