When I first started getting into hair care, one of the rules that were shoved down my throat by the online hair community is that I should, at all costs, avoid silicones in my hair products.
At first, I didn’t want to listen to them. I’ve used silicones in my conditioners all my life, and I saw nothing wrong with my hair.
But the more I learned about silicones and what it does to hair, the more I understood the benefits of quitting them altogether.
It’s been a process for me over the last few years, but today I want to impart what I know to all of you.
- 1 What are silicones, and what do they do for the hair?
- 2 The benefits of going Silicone-free Shampoos and Conditioners
- 3 The 15 Best Silicone-free Shampoos and Conditioners
- 3.1 Pureology Hydrate Sheer Shampoo
- 3.2 Pureology Hydrate Sheer Conditioner
- 3.3 Love Beauty and Planet Coconut Water and Mimosa Flower Shampoo and Conditioner
- 3.4 Maui Moisture Heal & Hydrate + Shea Butter Shampoo
- 3.5 Maui Moisture Heal & Hydrate + Shea Butter Conditioner
- 3.6 Nexxus Ultimate Moisture Shampoo and Conditioner
- 3.7 Maple Holistics Silk18 Shampoo and Conditioner
- 3.8 SheaMoisture Curl & Shine Shampoo
- 3.9 SheaMoisture Curl & Shine Conditioner
- 3.10 Garnier Fructis Pure Clean Shampoo
- 3.11 Garnier Fructis Pure Clean Conditioner
- 3.12 Puracy Silicone-free Shampoo and Conditioner
- 3.13 Natural Riches Argan Oil Shampoo and Conditioner
- 3.14 Live Clean Coconut Milk Moisturizing Shampoo
- 3.15 Live Clean Coconut Milk Moisturizing Conditioner
- 4 Conclusion
What are silicones, and what do they do for the hair?
Silicones are human-made polymers that we usually find in conditioners to give them more of a slip to detangle and run your fingers through the hair easily.
Over the last couple of decades, silicones have become a recurring ingredient in popular shampoos as well.
If you grab your bottle of conditioner right now, I bet you can find silicones like Dimethicone, Amodimethicone, and Cyclomethicone in the list of ingredients on the label.
But for many people, silicones are the bane of their existence and will avoid them to the best of their ability.
Popular hair influencers on YouTube will even look appalled at the mention of silicones because they know it’s a controversial hair care ingredient that can do more harm than good.
But the critical thing to know is that silicones aren’t necessarily harmful to you.
So many big and trusted hair brands use silicones in their products, so they can’t be completely horrible, can they?
Silicones actually have a lot of benefits you’ve probably enjoyed for years without you knowing it.
They also coat the hair with a protective layer of polymer that keeps moisture locked in your strands. They seal the hair and everything in it, including chemical hair color.
Because they’re quite heavy, they can also control frizz and tame flyaways.
The benefits of going Silicone-free Shampoos and Conditioners
So if silicones provide all that good for the hair, why should we avoid it?
The biggest reason is that the hair doesn’t absorb silicone.
It just kind of sits on top of the hair shaft, and while it gives it temporary shine and protection, it doesn’t do anything else to make the hair healthier. It has no nutrients or vitamins because it’s literally just plastic.
In short, it’s a band-aid solution—it fills in the gaps in your hair right now, but it doesn’t really do anything for overall hair health.
You probably still have dry, unmanageable hair underneath all that polymer.
When silicones sit on the hair doing nothing, it can block other moisturizing products from getting deep into the hair cuticle to nourish it.
The worst part is that they can build up on your hair over time, so you’re left with a hard coating around your hair that you can’t get rid of easily.
The situation makes the hair drier time by time and will make it less shiny and lustrous too. And as with all product buildup, your hair will feel heavy and lose that healthy bounce.
The biggest benefit of going silicone-free is that your hair will be able to absorb more of the nutrients and moisture other, healthier ingredients can give your hair.
It’s a lot easier for moisture to penetrate the hair when there’s no silicone blocking it. Giving up silicones can also mean being able to use gentler shampoos.
To get rid of silicones, you almost always have to use shampoos with harsh sulfates. But if you do without silicones, you can opt for more gentle and natural formulations.
Another plus is that your hair will need to be washed less often when you give up silicones.
It won’t be so weighed down with buildup and excess oil, so you can get away with washing your hair just once or twice a week without feeling greasy.
You can get the hydrating and frizz-fighting benefits of silicone with other natural moisturizing and conditioning ingredients that will provide the same slip and be even better for your hair.
That said, let me share some of my favorite silicone-free shampoos and conditioners with you.
The 15 Best Silicone-free Shampoos and Conditioners
Pureology Hydrate Sheer Shampoo
It contains sunflower seed oil and vitamin E that help moisturize and boost the hair’s elasticity, making it soft, shiny, and bouncy.
This hydrating shampoo also works to protect your hair color and make sure it stays as vibrant as ever, so you can enjoy it for longer.
Pureology Hydrate Sheer Conditioner
Use this Pureology conditioner with its matching silicone-free shampoo above for fantastic results!
Like the other products in Pureology’s Hydrate Sheer line, this conditioner is perfect for colored hair. It helps soften and nourish the hair for easy detangling, leaving it soft and smooth to the touch.
The conditioner has the same gorgeous sunflower seed oil and vitamin E to strengthen and restore the hair. It also has a refreshing peppermint fragrance to wake you up in the shower.
Love Beauty and Planet Coconut Water and Mimosa Flower Shampoo and Conditioner
If you love tropical scents and deep hydration, you’ll love this silicone-free shampoo and conditioner set by environment-friendly brand Love Beauty and Planet.
This cruelty-free set builds bounce and volume in your hair by giving it plenty of hydration from organic coconut water.
Mimosa flower gives it a touch of zest and freshness in its fragrance.
It also helps to thicken the hair in the long run, so it’s perfect if you’re looking a shampoo and conditioner to grow out your hair.
Maui Moisture Heal & Hydrate + Shea Butter Shampoo
If you have particularly dry hair, you require serious nourishing shampoos and conditioners.
Maui Moisture’s shea butter shampoo is perfect for cleansing your hair and keeping it soft and moisturized without the use of silicones.
It’s made with shea butter, coconut oil, and macadamia oil to nourish your hair while this shampoo gives your scalp a gentle yet thorough wash.
It also doesn’t use any sulfates, so you won’t scrub your hair with harsh surfactants that can dry it out more.
Maui Moisture Heal & Hydrate + Shea Butter Conditioner
Use this matching silicone-free Maui Moisture conditioner from the same line to complete your nourishing hair care routine!
This conditioner is infused with the same shea butter, coconut oil, and macadamia oils to moisturize your hair and soften it too deeply.
Because of the rich, emollient ingredients, it’s super easy to detangle your hair in the shower with this conditioner, even just with your fingers!
Nexxus Ultimate Moisture Shampoo and Conditioner
One hair care ingredient that can soften your hair and control frizz apart from silicones is protein.
This silicone-free shampoo and conditioner set is infused with elastic protein and other moisturizing ingredients to keep your hair strong and silky.
They are also enriched with smoothening green caviar, which adds a luxurious, velvety softness to your hair.
The result is lustrous, bouncy hair that looks like you just came out of a high-end salon.
Maple Holistics Silk18 Shampoo and Conditioner
If you’re looking for a nourishing, strengthening, frizz-fighting and silicone-free shampoo and conditioner, then you’ve come to the right place.
This set by Maple Holistics is formulated with 18 silk amino acids’ unique complex to smooth out the hair and make it stronger.
Both products have shea butter, jojoba oil, and aloe vera to give your parched hair intense moisture and shine. These ingredients are naturally-sourced and cruelty-free.
SheaMoisture Curl & Shine Shampoo
Every curly girl has at least once heard about SheaMoisture’s coconut and hibiscus line that nourishes the hair and defines curls without the suffocating silicones and harsh sulfates.
(Check out more Shampoos and Conditioners for Curly Hair)
This shampoo has a sweet, tropical coconut and hibiscus scent to invigorate you in the shower.
To moisturize and fortify the hair, it’s infused with silk proteins and neem oil.
It’s also a holy grail shampoo if you want to boost elasticity and prevent breakage.
SheaMoisture Curl & Shine Conditioner
Now, on to the matching silicone-free conditioner of the SheaMoisture shampoo mentioned above.
This conditioner has the same shea butter, silk protein, and neem oil combo to nourish and soften the hair.
It makes it extremely easy to detangle even kinky and coily curls while providing it the nourishment it needs to be naturally shiny and smooth.
That goes to show you how much better organic ingredients are than stuffy silicones that only give temporary slip and softness.
Garnier Fructis Pure Clean Shampoo
All it takes is simple natural ingredients to restore your hair health.
This paraben and silicone-free shampoo by Garnier Fructis uses clean ingredients like aloe vera and vitamin E to hydrate, soften, and fortify your hair strands so they can be bouncy and lustrous.
It’s also a perfect choice for oily scalps. It hydrates lightly without stripping your skin, so you don’t develop greasiness in your hair.
This formula is vegan, so if you’re looking for products with no animal-derived ingredients, this is the shampoo for you.
Garnier Fructis Pure Clean Conditioner
And of course, here is the matching Garnier Fructis conditioner from the brand’s Pure Clean line.
This silicone-free conditioner also uses aloe vera extracts and vitamin E to strengthen and simultaneously detangle and moisturize the hair.
Besides, it’s enriched with palm oil, glycerin, and apple extracts, which is even more hydration while conditioning and a touch of the tropics in the aroma in your shower.
Puracy Silicone-free Shampoo and Conditioner
Clean beauty brand Puracy uses refreshing citrus and mint in their silicone-free shampoo and conditioner.
These aromatic extracts help stimulate your hair follicles and roots as you gently cleanse and soften your hair.
The set is infused with LexFeel N5, an innovative, plant-derived ingredient that gives you the same slip and silkiness silicone does, without the polymer coating and product buildup.
LexFeel N5 makes hair super easy to detangle and manage.
Natural Riches Argan Oil Shampoo and Conditioner
If you want a brand made of purely natural ingredients and botanicals, this argan oil shampoo and conditioner by Natural Riches will be to your liking.
Each product contains nourishing argan oil from Morocco enriched with other organic ingredients.
The shampoo has a blend of moisturizing oils, from coconut to jojoba to sweet almond oil. It also has botanical keratin for hair strength.
Meanwhile, the conditioner uses pro-vitamin B to fortify the hair and make it smooth and soft.
Live Clean Coconut Milk Moisturizing Shampoo
This moisturizing shampoo from eco-friendly brand Live Clean boasts of rich and creamy coconut milk that gives the maximum hydration and shine to the hair.
This vegan and cruelty-free shampoo wash the scalp and hair thoroughly while replenishing it with the moisture it needs to stay healthy.
Coconut oil also penetrates the hair to nourish it from the inside out.
Live Clean Coconut Milk Moisturizing Conditioner
Pair this coconut milk conditioner by Live Clean with its matching shampoo above!
This conditioner is made with coconut milk and apricot oil that give your locks a sweet smell while it nourishes and softens deeply.
It’s super easy to detangle your hair in the shower with this product.
Like all products by Live Clean, this is vegan, cruelty-free, and doesn’t contain any silicones, sulfates, and parabens.
If you’re looking for a sign about whether you should give up silicones or not, this is it!
I bet that a few days or weeks into a silicone-free routine, you’ll find that your hair is way more lightweight, bouncy, and shiny (given you use a lot of natural moisturizing ingredients, your hair will drink up).
It seems like a big change in your routine, I know. But I promise it’ll be worth it, and your hair will be looking better than ever.