Are your shampoos and conditioners silicone-free?

Hello VivaBellas! If you’re able to get hold of your shampoo and conditioner now, can you run a quick scan to check if there are any silicones in the product? The name or names you should look for are Dimethicone, Cyclomethicone, and Phenyl Trimethicone, which are common silicone-based ingredients in hair care products. Most silicone variants feature “-methicone” in their nomenclature although there are also other less common variants, such as those listed here.

Silicones are bad for hair over time
This renewed interest in silicones is because the subject was brought up during my treatment at Phyto Hair Spa. Lots of supermarket brands of hair products contain silicones as they make the hair easier to comb, increase the fullness of the hair, or make the hair shiny and smooth. They create a short term illusion that the quality of our hair has improved. However, when used over time, silicone-based hair products coat the hair shaft and seal out moisture, possibly clogging the hair follicles. So what happens is that hair can become flat and greasy with build-up or dry and straw like with a lack of moisture. I was told that silicones are particularly bad for colored or permed hair as the hair will appear fizzy with excessive coating.

Use a clarifying shampoo
So it’s really best to avoid silicone-based hair products or another way is to rotate your shampoos. Clarifying shampoos are also able to help as they’re are created to remove excessive silicone buildups. A good one that I’ve tried and loved is EO Clarifying Shampoo.

Alternate my shampoos
Based on the scalp analysis, my scalp is pretty clean from build-up, even though I wash my hair daily and that’s truly good news. I alternate my shampoos and am currently rotating between Burt’s Bees Very Volumizing Shampoo and Kiehl’s Rice & Wheat Volumizing Shampoo. I know Burt’s Bees does not contain silicones but I wasn’t sure about Kiehl’s. So I checked, and from what I can see, they do not contain silicones either. But I might stop using Kiehl’s for awhile and revert back to Phytocedrat. And I only use one conditioner but it also does not contain silicones.

Check your shampoos and conditioners
So are you using a shampoo or conditioner that contain silicones…maybe lots of it? Or is your hair looking dull, greasy or out of shape with your usual shampoo? If so, perhaps it’s time to get another shampoo to alternate. And if you’re getting a new one, try to get one that is silicone-free. By the way, silicones in skin care products are definitely bad and should be avoided as far as possible.


  1. Yira says:

    Hi Sesame! I ran to my bathroom to see if my shampoo and conditioner has those ingredients. I am using the shampoo and conditioner of 100% Pure (Glossy Locks) and doesn’t contain the ingredients you mention. I like the honey-coconut smell of them, but I
    can’t blow dry my hair because is a waste of time. You see, I notice that with natural and organic hair products my hair turns very thin, well I have thin hair but I don’t know I can get a decent blow dry hair.
    Also I can’t use the flat iron because my hair so thin that burns easily. I will use those products because I expend money on them but I wish you can recommend me something. I have thin hair, trouble scalp (dandruf), is not straight, is not curly, it’s weird. To look decent I have to bloe dry it or use gel and rules to get some curls.
    I also have a low self steem with my hair. ?

  2. Yira says:

    Sorry for the “typos” but here in Puerto Rico is 11:27PM I should go to sleep.

  3. pf1123 says:

    I use Clairol Herbal Essence shampoo which has dimethicone. But my hair condition is quite ok. Still. At the moment. Touch wood.

    I already spend a few hundred bucks per year to do rebonding and colouring. Need to save other hair stuff.

    Sometimes I wonder why I spend so much on hair…which is dead.

  4. sesame says:

    I guess it’s because hair is the first thing we see and it really affects how we look. I used to spend quite a bit on hair too but have cut down a lot now by choosing to color the roots only for example.

  5. sesame says:

    Hair is something very tricky…your hair is very different from mine and so, it’s hard for me to recommend. I don’t understand why you say that natural hair products make your hair thin. As in flat or limp? I always blow dry my hair…every single day. I also make sure I get a good cut as my hair is limp and thin and I need a good haircut to give it a good lift.

    I wonder if you have a hairstylist who can give you some sound advice? I have a hairstylist whom I’ve been going for ages and so, he gives me genuine advice. I personally find that a good haircut makes a lot of difference.

  6. MsLips says:

    I love the Kiehls Rice and Wheat Volumizing Shampoo. Currently using Kiehls Sunflower Colour Preserving Shampoo and Conditioner. Have done a quick check of the ingredients and so far so good. I’m relieved as I quite like it and want to continue using it. I previously bought the Burts Bees Grapefruit and Sugar Beet Shampoo but found it way too dry for my hair epecially since I don’t condition daily though I wash my hair daily.

  7. Brownies says:

    Well, Silicones works fine with most normal/oil scalp people in my family. As long as you pair up with a sulfate based shampoo, its ok. But for me, it was not. I have try all sorts of shampoo, treatment, leave-in conditioners, conditioners and even organic stuff to find that balance. It was not easy but luckily my mum could use any of my unwanted stuff that I tried out and has no problem adjusting quickly.

    I am sure some readers did know of the curly girl method and I am using a modified version of it. I am using chargrin neem and tea tree shampoo bar with tea tree conditioner with grape seed oil every 2 days and I am happy my hair for now. =)

  8. Sylvia says:

    I expected my shampoo would be on that ‘bad’ list as I had heard before that this brand (pantene) was bad for your hair. But as you described I always liked the (short term) results with their products. I must admit that my hair does get very frizzy though which is why I go for keratin treatments now. But will surely also change my shampoo. Thanks for clarifying! At least I understand it now…

  9. sesame says:

    Oh you’re also using the same Kiehl’s shampoo? Actually, I didn’t find it that great and it was left on the shelf. Now that I’m back to using it, I rather like it too,

    Yes, Burt’s Bees shampoos can be drying and it’s best to use a conditioner.

  10. sesame says:

    You’re right that it’s best to alternate the shampoos and so the silicone-based shampoos still work well for your family members.

    Ah…you’re using Chagrin shampoo bars! I’ve tried them and found them rather interesting but I wasn’t so keen to continue with them.

  11. sesame says:

    Yep, I heard the same about Pantene. I guess your treatments help so your hair is still okay. If you like Pantene and want to continue, you might want to consider getting a clarifying shampoo to alternate.

  12. pf1123 says:

    Sigh. I agree with you.

  13. fwy says:

    Thanks for sharing. I really had no idea as I had only started being into organic products this year. The current shampoo I am using was bought in Salo (Liang Court) that sells natural products. I remember reading the ingredient list & it was very short. However, the label has reap off due to contact with water after a week. I may just drop by the shop when I’m free to look at the ingredient list again on their current supplies of shampoos.

  14. Audris says:

    I’ve always had good hair, albeit on the fine side (i.e. limp and straight as a rod). Don’t use styling products and I don’t blow dry my hair. The normal ‘coned shampoos I’ve been using have also been working for me very well, so I thought. Until I tried using TBS’ Rainforest shampoo and conditioner. My hair seriously felt so much lighter and looked fluffier, with more body. It also took longer for my scalp to turn oily. So I guess for those with ok hair, you won’t know the difference until you try it, even though you might think it’s all ok with ‘coned shampoos.
    I plan to start on a better regime for my hair with paraben- and cone- free shampoos and conditioners. However, owing to my very very bad habit of stocking up, I still have very many new and full bottles of normal shampoo and conditioner to work through first. Looks like I’ll have to alternate!

    However, I think I’ll still stick to the L’oreal Sun Swim and Play shampoo for after-pool usage. I just have it in my head that you probably need a strong chemical to fight with the chlorine in your hair. I did google quite a bit before and know that Aubrey Organics has a shampoo and conditioner to remove chlorine, but the reviews on that and other more “natural” shampoos in chlorine-removal weren’t that fantastic.

  15. Ellie-B says:

    I am very conscious of how natural my hair care products are, and then i went and checked my Trilogy Shampoo and Conditioner, and, to my dismay, towards the bottom of the ingredients list there is Dimethicone ?
    And I had actually started using a new, natural shampoo + conditioner – MooGoo, and it was making my hair feel dry and ratty, and I thought it was because it was just very drying, but now I know why – it’s because there is no silicone in it, and my hair is detoxing itself… very interesting stuff! I am so glad I read this post. Thankyou ?
    Although I will stick to the MooGoo, I might try out Everscents – they’re very natural too ? And silicone free!!

  16. sesame says:

    Hey Ellie-B: if it’s at the bottom of the list, the amount is quite insignificant. Maybe you can just alternate it with your MooGoo until it’s being depleted and you can switch to a new shampoo.

  17. sesame says:

    You’re good to have a few shampoos on hand cos you can alternate, according to your needs. But you’re absolutely astute about how normal hair reacts to silicone-based shampoos versus those with problematic hair. My hair is like yours…so definitely need less silicones.

  18. sesame says:

    If it’s short, probably it doesn’t contain silicones. But if it’s working well, then not too much to worry about.

  19. astrorainfall @ beauty box says:

    Oh dear, glad to find out from the comments to this post that Pantene contains silicones. Now I know why drugstore haircare brands behave the way they do – they start out great but give less desirable results in the long run which makes the consumer switch to another one! I’m def all for using clarifying shampoos at least once a week. I’m quite cost conscious so to only use non-silicone shampoos daily is quite a change I’m not quite ready to accept…lol! Alternating plus clarifying – got it.

  20. sesame says:

    Yup, instead of changing the shampoo, you can just introduce one that is non-silicone based and you should be good to alternate the two. Perhaps after you’re done with the silicone-based shampoo, you’ll find something better that works for your budget too.

  21. fwy says:

    I had just picked up a UK brand Faith in Nature Aloe Vera Strentening Shampoo
    at SGD15 for 400ml at Brown Rice Paradise over the weekend. I had tried it out yesterday & it works well for my hair.

  22. sesame says:

    Oh…it looks very interesting. Glad it’s working well for you.

  23. Jennifer says:

    Thanks for all the tips! I noticed that you said silicones in skin care products are bad … do silica powder for oil control and cyclopentasiloxane count? I noticed that they are in my face serum!

  24. sesame says:

    Cyclopentasiloxane is a type of silicone so I would try to avoid it if I can spot it. Silica powder is different I think and usually does not pose much problems but of course it also depends on skin type.

  25. laura says:

    I have fine, dry hair, and I use Ojon Hydrating Volumizing shampoo and condition (on rotation with cheaper brands because it’s VERY expensive). It has tons of natural oils in it so it conditions your hair from within rather than coating it with silicones.

    So, when you’re looking for a natural shampoo and conditioner, look for ones with oils in it and your hair won’t be dry. It conditions quite well. People with oily hair might want to use a stronger shampoo though and only use a conditioner with oils. My hair is dry so it needs all the oils it can get!!

  26. sesame says:

    Haven’t seen this one where I am based though but I’ll take a look at those containing some oils.

  27. Marie says:

    Silicones as are useful before applying heat. If i use a conditiner with silicones i just use a clarifying shampoo to get them out. I recently bought a “Natural” conditioner and didn’t check the list properly and it was near the end…so i tried ?

  28. Sesame says:

    If it’s end of the list, it wouldn’t make too much of an effect.

  29. Caitie says:

    Hi Seasame,

    I recently started to find what feels like acne on my scalp, possibly from the pores on my scalp being clogged. It makes me feel super gross! Any suggestions to clear this out?

  30. Sesame says:

    Ah…What I do is use tea tree oil on them. Very painful though when you have acne on the scalp.

  31. Erde says:

    I have extremely dry hair that has lots of static. I keep reading that silicone based shampoos and conditioners work best for static cling as they close the shaft of the hair. I’ve tried a ton of products and nothing seems to work. I even used a deep conditioning coconut oil treatment. What am I doing wrong?

  32. art says:

    Came across this post. Now I know why my hair has started thinning so much was coz i switched to pantene ?
    Lucky I also received some loccitaine shampoo with 5 essential oils as a gift recently and have been using that too occasionally. Should just switch to that instead. Paraben free, silicone free and just a natural shampoo with goodness. Lol. The only drawback is that it has this kinda medicinal smell that i dont really fancy. But I guess since it’s natural it doesnt have additional fragrance and all..

  33. Sesame says:

    You probably need to get used to the scent but once you’re into more natural scent, the chemical ones will become “repulsive”.

  34. Helena says:

    Just got pantene silicone free shampoo paired with their overnite miracle leave in. I think conditioners and serums with silicone are fine if your shampoo is free.

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