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What Is Silicone-Free Shampoo? | An Overly-Detailed Guide

You may have noticed a silicone-free stamp on shampoo bottles and wondered, “What is silicone-free shampoo?”

There is much more awareness of the ingredients in shampoo and other beauty products today, and companies are providing options. Read on to learn what silicone-free shampoo is and why it matters. 

What Is Silicone-Free Shampoo?

Silicone-free shampoo is shampoo that doesn’t have any silicones in it. Silicones are synthetic ingredients, and they are made of silica. Silica is an element in sand that is similar to plastic.

It’s inexpensive and it adds shine and smoothness to your hair. However, over time the drawbacks can outweigh the benefits, as the silica starts to build up around your hair shaft and prevent moisturizing ingredients from hydrating your hair. 

You may have questions about silicone-free shampoos, including the following:

  • What is silicone-free shampoo?
  • Why do people use it?
  • Are silicones something to worry about?
  • Should you stop using silicone shampoo?

Many people ask these questions, so we set out to find the answers. Continue reading to learn what you need to know about silicone-free shampoos.

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The Facts About Silicones and Silicone-Free Shampoos

Silicone free stamped on a white background for a piece on what is silicone free shampoo


Silicones in shampoo are polymers, which are large molecules formed through chemical reactions. They are similar to plastic, as they are flexible and can be molded.

They come from sand, quartz, and other natural items, but they are formulated into synthetic ingredients in a lab. They make hair shiny and soft. Silicones are heat resistant, so they offer protection to your hair before you use heated styling tools.

They are not toxic, but the issue is that they can build up on your hair. When they do, they can block moisture from entering your hair shaft. This causes your hair to become dull, dehydrated, and weak over time. 

There are different types of silicones, and some are more damaging than others. Silicone-free shampoo doesn’t contain any silicones, and in the long run, your hair will be healthier.

This type of shampoo won’t damage your hair or leave buildup. They contain other moisturizing ingredients that give you the softness and silkiness that you want.

Why Do People Use Silicone-Free Shampoo?

One of the main reasons that people use silicone-free shampoos is that their hair is consistently healthier, and it stays that way for the long-term.

Silicone-based shampoos might make your hair softer and smoother in the near term, but it comes at a price. You end up with buildup that weighs down your hair and makes it heavy.

Although shampoo with silicones leave you hair feeling good, in the long-term, they cause damage. People choose silicone-free shampoo because their hair is cleaner. Silicones don’t dissolve in water, so the buildup can prevent the shampoo from cleaning your hair.

Silicone-free shampoos penetrate your hair strands, and the product washes away when you rinse. This makes your hair cleaner.

You will have less buildup and less irritation. Silicones can clog your pores and make it harder for your scalp to get air. This can lead to itching and redness. Silicone-free shampoos won’t irritate your scalp.

They use silicone-free shampoos for healthier hair with more volume. In the long run, your hair will have natural softness and shine when you use natural products and avoid synthetic ingredients. 

Are Silicones Something to Worry About?

There are benefits to using silicones in shampoo, but they are still synthetic ingredients. They create a seal to keep your hair hydrated and make it shiny, but this seal can block nourishment from getting into your hair follicles.

As it builds up on your hair, it can become dry and dull. It may also become weaker and break off. Silicones are not dangerous, and they aren’t toxic. They are safe and won’t cause health problems.

However, they can cause your hair to become weak and dry or dull over time. People are moving away from shampoos with silicones because the short-term benefits are less than the long-term downsides. 

However, there are different silicones in shampoo, and some are lighter than others. You can take the time to learn about the different individual silicones, or you can simply avoid them altogether.

When you switch to a natural, silicone-free shampoo, you may go through an adjustment period, but your hair will be stronger and healthier in the long run. 

Should You Stop Using Silicone-Based Shampoo?

If you’re concerned about the overall health of your hair, you should choose a silicone-free shampoo. The long-term impact of using silicones will cause you to continue adding products to counteract the effects.

It makes more sense to stick with natural products such as silicone-free shampoos. Look for shampoo with conditioning properties that will hydrate and nourish your hair.

Plant-based oils and natural ingredients can nourish your hair, hydrate it, and make it shiny. Look for ingredients, such as:

  • Jojoba oil
  • Shea butter
  • Aloe vera

If you have thick hair, you may not want to cut silicones out. However, in the long run, your hair will be healthier, less heavy, and shinier without using a lot of extra products. 

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take to get used to silicone-free shampoo?

If you switch from a silicone-based shampoo to one that is silicone-free, it can take up to six weeks to make the adjustment. However, most people make the change in two or three weeks.

Do silicones cause hair loss?

Hair products that contain silicones leave a residue behind. Over time, it builds up on your scalp, and it weighs your hair down and blocks the hair follicles. This can lead to hair loss.

How do I get silicones out of my hair?

The best way to eliminate silicones from your hair is by using a clarifying shampoo. This type of shampoo has surfactants that are powerful cleansers. They will strip the silicones out of your hair.

So, What Is Silicone-Free Shampoo?

Silicone-free shampoo is shampoo that is completely free of any silicones. These synthetic ingredients help give your hair a shiny appearance, but they can build up over time and cause hair to become heavy and dull. When possible, try to avoid silicones in shampoo — your hair will thank you.

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