Conditioners and silicones have gone hand-in-hand for decades because silicones are serious conditioning multi-taskers. They can smooth hair, moisturize hair, detangle hair and more. But some of us find them to be too much. Too much weight for their hair, too much softness, or simply too much of the ingredients they want to avoid in their products.
What Silicone-Free Conditioners Are
Simply put, a silicone-free conditioner is made from a blend of conditioning ingredients other than silicones – like lipids, amino acids, and neutralizing ingredients. This is more possible today thanks to the research that has created a much wider range of ingredient options than were available in the past.
It can be hard to tell the difference between a silicone-free and silicone-containing product just by looking at the “juice”. Both are often milky, creamy formulas. You will likely notice a difference on your hair, though. Expect silicone-free conditioners to be lighter weight and to leave hair feeling more clean than slick.
Who Silicone-Free Conditioners Are Good For . . . And Not
If you find yourself reaching for lightweight conditioners and you really like the feel of clean hair, then you are a great fit with silicone-free conditioners. They can also be a good choice for those who want to add texture to freshly-washed hair.
If you’re looking for some serious damage repair, frizz taming or deep moisturization, silicone-free conditioners may not give you the results you want. In this case, start by looking for the version that sounds like the perfect match for what your hair needs. You could also go for a hair mask, deep treatment or leave-on treatment, like an oil, to use after your silicone-free conditioner.
What to pair with your silicone-free conditioners? Silicone-free shampoos, of course!
Start with a silicone-free shampoo to have a completely silicone-free hair wash. Pantene offers multiple silicone-free shampoos: Pro-V Blends Charcoal Shampoo, Sheer Volume Shampoo, Daily Moisture Renewal Shampoo, and Classic Clean Shampoo.
What are silicones and why do so many conditioners have them?
Silicones are derived from silicon - the 2nd most abundant element in earth’s crust and found in natural materials like sand, rocks, and quartz. Silicon goes through a multi-step process to become an oil-like material called silicone (with an -e). “Silicone” is a broad term covering thousands of possible ingredients – from heavy to light, from full coverage to selective targeting, from lightly held to intentionally sticky.
Despite their bad rap, many tests and years of use across hair care, body washes, facial moisturizers and even medical treatments have shown them to be safe for use as intended. Unlike some natural oils, silicones are extremely stable. That means they do not degrade under heat or UV to become something unknown or unwanted (like delicious wine turning into a vinegar taste when the bottle has been open for too long). This is especially important in your hair products if you style with hot irons or spend time in the sun.
Bottom-line - With so many advances in hair conditioning, the choice is now yours!