In planning stories about Belegenza Extraordinary Hair Care and LivingProof No Frizz hair products, it became evident that I should address the use of silicones in hair and cosmetics products.
What are the characteristics of silicones?
In her ingredient dictionary, Paula Begoun describes silicone in this way:
... The unique fluid properties of silicone give it a great deal of slip, and in its various forms it can feel like silk on the skin, impart emolliency, and be a water-binding agent that holds up well, even when skin becomes wet.
Silicones 101, an article from the Coarse Hair Diary blog, notes that silicones build up on the hair and prevent moisture from entering. Dimethicone, an article from Christopher Drummond's blog, notes the occlusive (barrier-forming) properties of dimethicone, which is a type of silicone. Essortment, in its article, How to control frizz in curly hair, notes that silicone seals hair.
Silicones give face primers their slip, and I've become a believer in face primers. Unlike Christopher and some people who have commented on his article, I have not have problems with breakouts. I suspect that's because I apply primer to my cheeks, which are not prone to breakouts.
On the other hand, silicones have not worked for me in preventing frizz, which is a problem for me in DC's humid climate. In addition, silicones weigh my hair down, no matter how little I use. Some say that using silicones leads to hair loss. I've been experiencing hair loss, but I don't know if silicones are to blame: maybe it's "The Change." (I don't know whether to laugh or cry)
Both Belegenza and LivingProof No Frizz are formulated without silicones. In articles planned for next week, I'll review products from these brands.