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How Important is It to Avoid Silicones When You Have Long Hair?

Aug 17, 2007
Many people who read about caring for long hair are warned not to use conditioners with silicone products in them. These are products such as Dimethicone and Cyclomethicone, which are found in many conditioners.

On the other hand, many people with long hair have used such products for years with few problems. So who's right?

These silicone based products can be harder to rinse out for many people which is why some do not trust them. Long hair can be quite sensitive to product buildup, which can result in damage and unmanageable hair.

With these problems you may be wondering why silicone products are used in conditioners anyhow. The reasons are pretty simple, actually. Depending on which one you're talking about, they can smooth hair and keep it from absorbing too much humidity while keeping the hair's own moisture in it. That's pretty useful for most people, but can be a problem for those with long hair as the product builds up.

The tendency to keep humidity out of the hair may actually be a part of the problem. Over time, the hair does lose it's natural moisture, and if that happens faster than the hair absorbs humidity, you get dry, difficult hair. It won't look good, it will break more easily and it will require extra care and perhaps some extra split ends cut off.

That said, whether or not you have a problem with a particular variety of silicone depends on your hair. Some people say they have problems anytime they use a conditioner with it. Others can go months without trouble, then clear it up with a clarifying shampoo and be ready to go back to that conditioner.

If you want to avoid silicones, try an oil conditioner instead. Some love coconut oil. I like jojoba oil. Some people even just use olive or vegetable oils from their kitchen, although these can be very heavy in the hair.

If you aren't noticing a problem with what you're currently using in your hair, you may not have to worry overmuch. However, it may also not hurt to give something new a try. You may be surprised by the changes in your hair when you decide to use a more hair friendly product.

Long hair can be challenging to grow. The longer it gets, the pickier it becomes about the care you give to it. Experiment to figure out what is right for you and enjoy the results you get.
About the Author
Stephanie Foster blogs at http://www.whylonghair.com/category/long-hair-care/ about having and caring for long hair. Learn more about long hair styles at her blog.
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