Wed. Feb 21st, 2024
Dimethicone and Curls: Here's What You Need to Know

Before you panic, let me preface this by saying that dimethicone isn’t an unsafe or “bad” ingredient, but it could be doing your curls more harm than good. After doing a little of my own research, I discovered that regular use of dimethicone can result in dry and brittle strands over time due to the nature of the ingredient. Dimethicone is a popular silicone used in both skincare and haircare products that creates a barrier and seals in moisture. However, it’s not water-soluble, so it doesn’t rinse out of your hair with just water, a gentle co-wash, or shampoo. 

This is the issue when it comes to curls. While there are pros to using dimethicone in your routine—like smoother strands, reduced frizz, and heat protection—it can prevent the absorption of water, ultimately drying out the hair in the long run since curls need water to activate and create definition. This isn’t to say that this will happen to every single person with curls, but I can say with confidence that this was my issue. It may be yours, too, if you find that your shampoo and conditioner dried out your hair the longer you used it.

I do occasionally still use a hair serum or two with a small amount of dimethicone in it, but I check the ingredient list before putting anything on my hair now. I also make sure to use a clarifying shampoo once a week to help remove any buildup. My hair took a turn for the better once I stopped using products with large amounts of dimethicone. It’s healthier, more hydrated, and less tangled than it was previously. If you’re still looking for a bit more information on this and personal stories other people have shared, Naturally Curly is another great and helpful resource.

Everyone’s hair is different, so if your routine is working for you and contains dimethicone, no need to make changes! This was just my PSA for anyone else struggling with curls that are dry AF who can’t figure out what the potential cause could be.

Below, I’m sharing a few of my favorite silicone-free curl products. 

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