MY EXPERIENCE USING SILICONE AS A SEALANT ON MY NATURAL HAIR

By Hadassah Agbaps - May 27, 2015







Hi people,  what's been on?

I'm very comfortable with my routine and rotation of products. My regimen is sulfate free and almost silicone free. Almost because I straighten my hair and silicones help protect my hair from heat and humidity.

My current heat styling serum is Vitale Olive Oil Hair Polisher. It claims to be
- Anti frizz
- Anti breakage
- Heat protectant

- Smooth and give shine to the hair.

It smells nice and in addition to the silicones Cyclomethicone, Dimethicone and Phenyl trimethicone it also contains Vitamin A, Vitamin E and Olive oil. It's also paraben and mineral oil free.

Since I blow out my hair once in a while, I always keep a heat protectant on stand by. My favorite serum used to be Biosilk Silk Therapy serum by Farouk Systems which was introduced to me by my cousin. It lasted a long time and I even used it on my natural hair for quick shine. It didn't build up in my hair and I never had much trouble getting it out but of course, then I was using Aussie Moist Shampoo which contained Ammonium Laureth Sulfate. My hair still stayed moisturised.

I've used other serums like Alterna Bamboo Silk Sleek Brilliance Cream and Beautiful Textures Curly to Straight Flat Iron Silkener, Organics Olive Oil Heat Protection serum. None had satisfied me as well as the Biosilk Silk Therapy Serum but this Vitale Olive Oil hair polisher came close.

A little went a long way, it protected my hair, was lightweight, had amazing slip, helped me maintain my straight style for up to two weeks and my hair felt supple and soft. I also didn't have much trouble washing it out when it was time to go curly again.

P.S. Is it just me but do you notice the floor gets slippery after blow drying your hair with silicones in it? The first time I almost slipped on what I thought was water but I didn't see any water marks until I noticed that the tiles were slippery around the area I stretched my hair in.


SILICONE AS SEALANT
 Some naturals say they greased their hair (used Petroleum jelly) and liked it. My hair doesn't like petroleum jelly neither does my face. It's too heavy and attracts dirt like no man's business. I knew it wasn't the best for my hair but I noticed that the needs of my hair changes once in a while and what if silicones work in extending moisture time?

So I used the serum.
My hair didn't tangle as much, had a lovely shine, felt hydrated and supple. I would spray clean water on it daily and scrunch in. I kept this up for two weeks. First week with wash and gos, second week with twist out. I noticed I didn't have so much knotting on my ends and my twistout was shiny. After a while, my hair started looking dull and I resisted the temptation to reapply.

WASH DAY
To totally remove silicones, it is advisable to use a clarifying shampoo usually containing sulfates. I didn't have any sulfate based shampoo lying around but I did have some poos that claimed to be clarifying.

I decided this would be a good time as any to test those claims out. I had three shampoos available and I divided my hair into four equal parts. The fourth part as control. I won't shampoo this part so I can tell how well the shampoos worked.


Enter

1. Kinky Curly Come Clean Shampoo.



When I used it on my silicone free hair, it had a squeaky clean effect on my hair which I took to be the clarifying aspect of it. I used it on the section of hair as I usually do...dilute a capful in a small amount of water, apply first to scalp and smooth gently down to the ends of my hair. First rinse, my hair felt weird...like a plastic plate that hasn't been washed properly. I repeated the steps again and my hair felt very dry almost straw like. My hair has never felt this way in a long time even when I used the shampoo before. I just wrapped that section in a bantu knot and proceeded with the next experiment.

2. Elucence Volume Clarifying Shampoo

Since I had really good results with the Moisture Benefits Shampoo,  I thought I'd try this one out since it claimed to be acidic, clean hair well and improve volume which I felt could finally help my afro stand up instead of flop. With my usual products, I find this shampoo cleans well and I notice my hair clumps beautifully after washing and feels light and airy. It also foams a lot. I constantly have to check the ingredients to be sure it's sulfate free! I use it for monthly cleansing. It's our go to (four naturalistas) as you can see from the empty bottle!
So for this reason, I felt it should get rid of the silicone way better than the Kinky Curly Come Clean. It did the job perfectly but I noticed unlike the usual detangled but happy clumps I had, my hair this time was a mass of tangles. ....at this point, fear began to creep in. I bantu knotted that section (while my mind frantically went through my usual damage control Plan B options).

3. African Black Soap
African Black Soap is usually a good clarifying, gentle and cheaper alternative to regular shampoo.  It gives me clean results most times and the foaming action is sometimes welcome after a long stint of foamless cleansing. It's also very convenient as I can clean up from head to toe. However,  it was not strong enough to get rid of the silicone and left my hair feeling sticky and dull looking....like there was a cast on it.
Gosh, this experiment was turning out to be a nightmare. Unlike the rest of the shampoos, my hair didn't feel strawlike but between strawlike and yucky....I don't think I had much of a choice. ...

4. Bath and Body Works Warm Vanilla Bubble Bath


At the point I was, I needed sulfates badly. So I went through my closet for any product that contained the words "sodium lauryl sulfates" and my discarded bubble bath came to the rescue! I diluted it with water and proceeded to wash the fourth section I had left as control.Thankfully it got my hair squeaky clean and it didn't leave my hair feeling dry....not supple and moisturised but at least no strawlike feeling!


Gosh, what if it failed??????


I proceeded to shampoo the rest of my hair with my bubble bath poo and by the time I was through, my hair felt totally stripped but light and clean and no waxlike, strawlike feeling. I promptly nursed my hair back to its happy springiness with my ever trusty manshanu under a steaming cap for 1 hr at the highest setting!!!


LESSONS???

- I used more serum on my kinky curly hair than I used on my straightened hair because I felt I needed more to get it evenly distributed throughout my kinky hair. I use smaller amounts when straightening because I apply it to pre stretched hair (from twistouts) which makes it easier to distribute.
It is normal to be heavy handed when applying products to natural hair to get the job done   which is why it is recommended to use silicone free hair products. They are easier to wash out.

-To clarify, I had to use a harsher detergent (sodium lauryl sulphate) than was good for my hair. The other clarifying cleansers didn't have cleansing agents strong enough to dissolve the thick layer of silicone which was probably the reason for the waxy, strawlike film that still coated my hair. So if your product rotation contains products with silicones,  just get a regular shampoo for cleansing. Sulfate free la di da is not for you.


- Having silicones in your regimen leads to a vicious cycle of dryness and brittleness. Yes your hair "feels" great when it's there. It is only a feeling not the real deal.
Come washday, you'll have to use a harsh shampoo to get it off revealing the parched hair underneath and like me will have to waste more time trying to get the moisture in. If I kept this up as a regimen, with my fine, prone to dry hair...I can assure you I'd be stuck with earlength brillo pad afro.


VERDICT.....
I should stick to what has worked for me and leave the silicones for heat protectant in my once in a while straightening instead of as a daily sealant.

Tip: If you want your virgin hair extensions to last longer, don't apply silicone based serums on it often. I personally don't use serums on my weaves.  A light coating of olive or coconut oil gives it the shine it needs.



Do you have a silicone based regimen? Does it work for you?




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6 comments

  1. My hair is relaxed and I use heat protectors and serums with silicone. I would recommend Palmer's Olive Oil Formula Smoothing Shampoo, its sulphate and paraben free but it lathers great and does a great job of cleaning my hair without stripping it.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for the recommendation dear. As you said, your hair is relaxed so it's easier for the silicones to be removed from your hair. Natural hair has kinks and curls where the silicone hides add that to shrinkage when wet and you can see how it's more difficult to get it out. Also with straight hair , you can apply a small amount of silicone serum and easily distribute it along your hair without needing more but with curly hair, that same amount is not enough (unless the hair is straightened) and one has to use almost twice the amount.

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  2. Ah! It happens a lot of times in the salon - a new customer will tell me she's using all the right products but her hair is dry like straw. Then I ask what products they're using and you find out they have sulfate free shampoos but conditioners/moisturizers filled with silicones and mineral oil.

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    Replies
    1. Very true. Infact that's the main reason I decided to embark on this experiment so I can share. Sulfate free poos are best if one has a low silicone/mineral oil regimen.

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    2. I agree with you. Sulphate shampoos work better with a silicone/petrolatum/mineral oil regimen.

      Want to up your hair game? Check out these awesome Nigerians with amazing hair on Instagram!




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    3. Good stuff, thanks for sharing that!

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