Kavella uses silicones at low percentages in some products to add important benefits such as heat protection and sealing in moisture. But what exactly are silicones and how are they used in haircare?
Cosmetic silicones are derived from the mineral silicon. (You can find it on the Periodic Table of Elements with symbol Si.) It is made into liquids and powders that offer a variety of benefits from slip and shine, to grit and volume.
Did you know, most "hair oils" contain over 95% silicone?
When a haircare brand uses lots of non-water-soluble silicones to give hair an instant feeling of health, the companion shampoos have to be harsher to remove it. If the shampoo is not strong enough to remove excess silicone, buildup occurs.
Our silicones are used in carefully chosen amounts (typically 1-2%) to ensure that the hair is getting only the wonderful benefits that silicones can offer with none of the buildup potential, so sulfate shampoos are not needed to remove them.
Although there are completely water-soluble silicones that won't build up, such as siloxanes and PEG-modified silicones, they are harmful to your health and the environment. To keep you and the planet healthy, we never use those ingredient types in our products.
When used in the right products at the right levels, traditional silicones are beneficial for the hair in many ways, including:
providing reliable high-heat protection
adding slip to reduce breakage during brushing and styling
protecting the hair from everyday stressors
locks in moisture, emollients and protein
Amodimethicone + Dimethicone
Our favorite silicone is amodimethicone. Amodimethicone is a functional silicone that conditions and does not build up upon itself on the hair shaft. It is also semi-water-soluble and easier to remove than some other traditional silicones. Instead of building up upon itself, it creates the desired conditioning and protective layer while the rest of the amodimethicone rinses away.
The other silicone we use in a few products is dimethicone. We have added dimethicone in our Moisture Mist as well as a small amount in our Moisture Conditioner and Thermal Primer to add important elements of heat protection and moisture retention. The low amount of silicone deposited on the hair with these products is easily washed away with any of our shampoos.
Powder versions of silica are used in our Dry Shampoo and Teasing Powder. As with all dry shampoos from all brands, even ones that do not contain silica, shampooing (not cowashing) is recommended to make sure the hair follicle does not get clogged with powder. Any of our shampoos can be used, but the Volumizing and Clarifying Shampoos clean the best!
No Siloxanes or PEG-Modified Silicones, Ever!
There is some confusion about silicone safety because they are often lumped in as buzzwords with toxic ingredient categories such as parabens. Silicones like silica, dimethicone and amodimethicone are completely safe for your health. Siloxanes and PEGs are the types of silicones that pose health and environmental risks.
As such, they have always been on our strict banned ingredient lists. If you'd like to read about those ingredient classes in more detail, here is information about siloxanes, and here is information about PEGs. If you would still prefer to use silicone-free products, no problem! We have you covered. More than half of Kavella products are completely silicone-free.
Click on the collection text to view the full catalog of silicone-free products - Silicone-Free Collection
More resources: Want to learn more about silicones in other products besides haircare? Check out this video by Lab Muffin Beauty Science.