Is Silicone Bad for Curly Hair?


Let’s talk about hair care. We know better than most that it’s a learning curve. There are so many aspects to hair care that it can be hard to get them all right without doing research. But we’ve got you! 

Let’s focus on certain hair care products' effects on curly hair — specifically the use of silicone in curly hair. A big question people face is if using silicone in curly hair is damaging or if it is safe to use. 

Like most questions about hair care, there is no straight yes or no answer. It all depends on what you use, how you use it, and how often.

Silicone may be the hair product you have been searching for, but the negatives have kept you from giving it a shot. Anything in excess is bad but we're going to get to the bottom of silicone's bad reputation and explore the benefits it can have on to support healthy curly hair.

Keep reading to see the pros and cons of silicone and figure out what is best for you and your hair needs.

What Exactly Is Silicone?

Silicone is an artificial substance also known as a polymer. A polymer is an artificial material built from a chain of smaller similar units. 

Silicone is typically a rubber-like or oily substance and is colorless. Silicone is easily manufactured, which makes it a popular product. Many different hair styling products contain silicone. The use of silicone in hair products has been around since the 1950s. 

So many large companies use silicone in hair care products that you may use it without even knowing. It’s a good idea to read all ingredients on the back of your products to see if you are currently putting silicone (or anything else) into your hair. 

What Are Some Benefits of Using Silicone on Curly Hair?

If you decide not to use silicone based on the negative information you’ve read online, you could miss out on experiencing some amazing curls. If you want to try silicone for your curls, you should — but you’ll want to find the best products for you! 

You may find out that this is exactly what your hairstyles have been missing. Silicone in curls can be a real game-changer. 

You may be trying different things and can’t seem to get those curls to stay bouncy and shiny. Silicone-based products can transform curls for the better as long as you know how to take care of your hair and avoid any unexpected damage.

Using hair products that contain silicone can give you a quick, easy fix for some of your curly hair issues. It is great for creating a style in no time for a night out. Are you low on time or don’t want to spend too long getting ready? 

The less time you need to get ready, the more time you have for important things, like a cocktail! This is where silicone can make the difference.

Silicone can take curls and bring them to life. It can help trap moisture, which is essential in keeping your curls hydrated. Silicone can make your dry hair look hydrated and full of moisture in a hurry.

When your curls are hydrated, it leaves you with bouncy and fun curls. Hydration is crucial when having curly hair, as it tends to be drier than straight hair. 

You want to avoid dry or frizzy curls; the drier your hair is, the more prone it can be to breakage. When you brush curly hair and it is too dry, you may notice small hairs falling all over the place due to the breakage.

Also, when your curls are big and bouncy they can appear fuller. There is nothing better than a full head of curls. Silicone can also add a beautiful shine to your curls. 

The best part about the shine from silicone is it won’t leave your hair looking oily, but give it that right shine that can have others questioning your hair care routine.

Silicone in hair products can also help reduce frizz, which is great for curly hair since curly hair is prone to frizz. It protects from the humidity outside and can keep that frizz away. Curly hair tends to poof and frizz up as soon as you walk into the humidity — silicone to the rescue. 

This means you can spend less time worrying about how your hair will look based on the weather and more time enjoying your time out with others.

If you are having trouble detangling your curly hair, silicones can help with this. Silicones provide you with a slip that makes it easier to detangle and get rid of knots. Just apply a generous amount of the product to your hair and comb through it. 

Another upside is that it is easily attainable if you want to add silicone to your hair. You can find products containing silicone at almost any store with hair products. Just be careful of the products you are choosing, which we will get into more detail about further down. 

Silicone is also easy to apply to your hair. You can use gels, sprays, and even serums that contain silicone. Just simply add it to your curls and style. This adds to the quickness of using silicone when styling your hair as it does not take a long time to figure it out.

Are Silicone-Based Hair Products Damaging to Curly Hair?

Silicone has definitely earned a bad reputation online, but silicone is not always damaging to the hair. All hair reacts differently to hair products because all hair is different. There are different hair textures and different ways hair handles certain products. 

When weighing the pros and cons of a hair product it is important to understand why the con is a con. It is typically not black and white and is based on a person's specific needs.

Silicone itself is not dangerous, but moderation is key! Silicone is not to be used as an everyday fix for your hair. It is a styling tool and is not meant to be used as a remedy for damaged hair.

Like most hair care products, silicone should not be used in excess. Overusing silicone, especially if you are not washing it out properly can lead to build up and in turn that can lead to hair damage.

Although silicone makes your hair look healthier, it does not make it healthier. Your hair is made healthy by using healthy products. 

It is recommended to avoid products that contain over 50 percent silicone to have the best chance of keeping your hair healthy. Any products with more silicone can impact your hair health. 

One downside to putting silicone in curly hair is that it can weigh down your curls. When curls are weighed down, they can lose their original shape and appear dull. 

How Do You Remove Silicone from Hair?

If you are using silicone on your curly hair, it is vital to know to remove it so your hair can stay healthy. There are two types of silicone products when it comes to hair products. 

There are both water-soluble silicones and non-soluble silicones in hair products. When choosing a silicone-based hair product, you will want to choose a water-soluble one, as these products are easier to remove from your hair. 

If you use a non-soluble silicone product, look for a clarifying shampoo to wash the silicone out. A clarifying shampoo is also known as a cleansing shampoo; it can cleanse your hair of anything it contains, including the buildup of silicone. Using a clarifying shampoo is like pressing the reset button on your hair.

Try and use clarifying shampoos sparingly, though, as they can be harsh and strip your natural oils. Be sure to follow up your shampooing with a good moisturizing conditioner to rehydrate your hair.

If you are using any silicone-based hair products, you should find a shampoo and conditioner that can revitalize your hair after use. If you have curly hair, find one that is designed to make curls healthier and stronger. 

How Can I Improve My Curls After Using Silicone Hair Products?

It is important to always keep up with your hair health. This is whether you are using silicone-based products or not. Everyone wants healthy, full, beautiful hair curls, but it takes time and effort to get there. 

Even if you use silicone in your hair, it is a good idea to continue using a heat protectant when styling it! Silicone cannot protect your hair from damage that comes from heated styling tools.

You can also take vitamins to keep hair healthy and add an extra layer of defense when using silicone. You can add supplements to your diet if you are not getting enough through your current foods. 

It is smart to have a good shampoo and conditioner on hand when you wash your hair, but it is especially important after using silicone. Look for shampoos and conditioners that are designed for curly hair. 

After using silicone-based products, it is a good idea to use a hair mask to revitalize your hair. Hair masks can rehydrate and assist in adding strength to your hair. Make sure to get a hair mask that is for curly hair!

Are There Any Alternatives to Silicone for Curly Hair?

Many natural products can be used in your hair and are a safe alternative to silicones. Natural hair products are always best for hair and hair health!

Some ingredients these natural products contain that are beneficial to curly hair are coconut oil and argan oil. Coconut oil is very healthy for your hair.

Coconut oil can give you the shine you crave, just like silicone, but without the damage. Some say it can even bring your curls back to life if used correctly. 

Argan oil is also very healthy for your hair. It can keep your curls full of moisture by providing a barrier that locks the moisture in.

So, What Is Best for Your Curly Hair?

The truth is hair care is all about trial and error. There is no definitive yes or no answer regarding hair products. It is all based on your hair and your hair needs.

If you want to try silicone-based products, then do so, but proceed with caution. Make sure that you have the right hair care products to help your hair thrive after using silicone. This includes the right shampoo and conditioner to revitalize your hair after using silicone-based products.

Start with a test strand if you want to try silicone-based hair products on your curly hair. See how that strand looks and feels after using silicone before you apply it to the rest of your head. 

Don’t let speculation keep you from trying something new that may lead you to better hair days. Give silicone a try and see what it can do for your curls.

After some successful and maybe a few failed attempts, you may notice that you can use silicone more often than you thought without damage or the opposite and rule it out altogether.

You will figure out what is best for your hair, and eventually, you will have a hair routine that you love and better curls than ever! 

Whatever your hair care needs are Better Not Younger is here for you. From serums to supplements and everything in between, we are ready to help you on your hair care journey. Our products are great for your hair and are easy to use. If you’re still unsure what products to choose, take our personalized hair quiz here


silicone | Definition, Composition, Properties, Uses, & Facts | Britannica

The what, why and how of curly hair: a review | PMC

Effect of shampoo, conditioner and permanent waving on the molecular structure of human hair | PMC