All About Silicones

All About Silicones

All the benefits with none of the buildup 

Kavella uses some silicones in moderation where they are the best option for specific concerns - such as heat protection - and never in concentrations that build up on the hair. Learn more about which ones we use, why we use them, and which ones we avoid for the health of your hair, your body and the planet.

Some brands use high percentages of silicones to mimic the benefits of natural oils and other nourishing ingredients. However, their shampoos have to be stronger to remove excess and keep the hair in balance. Then, some brands use silicones that evaporate so they won't build up, but these siloxanes are bad for your health and the environment. Kavella does not do either of these things!

When a conditioner is formulated with too much of a silicone that has buildup potential, and the shampoo pairing is not strong enough to remove the excess silicone in the conditioners and styling products, buildup occurs. Kavella uses silicones in some of our products in carefully chosen amounts, and primarily we use a specific functional silicone - amodimethicone - that provides amazing benefit but does not build up on itself on the hair!

How does a silicone provide benefit?

Silicones are “film-forming” like many other effective ingredients in hair products. Having a very thin layer of silicone on your hair does not cause damage... it actually helps prevent it. Silicones provide unparalleled heat protection, add slip to reduce breakage during brushing, add shine and protect the hair from everyday stressors.

Why not use only oils?

While other film-formers - like oils that have the ability to penetrate into the cortex of the hair - can be nourishing to the hair, they also have to be used in moderation. This is why even oils are best used formulated into a conditioner and not used straight on the hair. Using straight oils on the hair can cause buildup as well, making the hair feel sticky and heavy and blocking essential moisture from entering the hair shaft. 

Silicones can also help your hair to dry faster and more evenly to reduce frizz. When silicones are paired with low molecular weight conditioners, they work together to increase the strength of the hair as well!

Whether you are using products with silicones or oils, Clarifying is always something you should perform about every 2 weeks. Our Clarifying Shampoo will keep the hair balanced.  

More About Oils

Oil can do wonders for your hair, which is why we use so many of them in our collections.  They can tame frizz, moisturize and nourish hair from the inside out, and protect hair from damage. But oils aren’t the best at protecting hair from heat styling.

Heating up an oil past its boiling point will cause the oil to boil inside the hair shaft. Blowdryers aren't supposed to reach temperatures over 140 degrees F, so all of the oils we use are great for hair that is blow dried! Oils will help to seal in moisture so that the hair doesn't get as dried out or damaged from your blowout.

This is why our Defining Cream doesn't need to contain any silicones to effectively protect the hair. But if you are putting a 380+ degree flat iron on your hair, you need to be using products formulated for high heat protection. Try our All-In-One Mist for effective heat protection!


Silicones are the best option for heat protection for 2 reasons.

First, they have very low thermal conductivity, so hair is prevented from being heated up too quickly and damaged. Secondly, they offer the best slip and glide on the hair so that hot tools can easily pass over sections of hair without getting stuck, causing too much heat to be applied on that area.


More about Amodimethicone and why we use it.

The primary silicone you'll find in some Kavella products is amodimethicone. Amodimethicone is a functional, conditioning silicone that molecularly does not like to build up upon itself! Instead, it creates the desired protective layer while the rest of the amodimethicone rinses away.

The other silicone you'll find in one Kavella product is silica silylate, found only in our Teasing Powder. This powder form of silicone is excellent at creating a gritty texture in the hair to mimic teasing. This product is great for adding volume, adding texture for styling, or adding grip for extensions or other hair pieces to stay in place. (Our other powdered product, the Root Revival Dry Shampoo, is free of all silicones!)

The final silicone we use is dimethicone, although not much! The final 2 products of ours that still contained dimethicone were our Primer and our Moisturizing Conditioner. We just replaced our Primer with our All-In-One Mist, which utilizes amodimethicone instead of dimethicone for heat protection. Our Moisturizing Conditioner still contains 0.75% dimethicone for smoothing, detangling and moisture retention. However due to customer request, and since this formula still contains our favorite amodimethicone, we do plan to formulate the dimethicone out of this product at the next batch.


Kavella is a siloxane-free brand. We don't use cyclotetrasiloxane, cylcopentasiloxane or cyclohexasiloxane in our products. These silicones are used in many haircare products, especially sprays and serums, because they evaporate after they've done their job of detangling and providing heat protection.

Although this effect is very beneficial for the feeling of your hair, these ingredients are detrimental to the environment. These siloxanes have been found to be toxic, persistent, and have the potential to bioaccumulate in aquatic organisms.

Siloxanes don't entirely break up or dissolve when it is washed down the drain, leading to toxicity in our water waste. To humans, they may be endocrine disruptors and harm the reproductive and immune systems.     

Over half of our products are completely silicone-free. Click here to view all our products that are silicone-free. 

Have questions? Drop us a message on our Contact page!

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