Those who care about hair health are careful about choosing hair care products that do not contain harmful substances such as sulfate, paraben, and petrolatum. There are different opinions about silicones as well. Although it is not a toxic chemical by nature, there are serious doubts about the effect of silicones on hair. Dimethicone, a type of silicone, is also one of the suspects to be considered here. So, does dimethicone cause hair loss?
Please continue reading to learn more about whether dimethicone causes hair loss and its relation to hair loss.
Table of Contents
What is Dimethicone?
If you’re a person who constantly reads the ingredients of your hair care products, you must have heard the word dimethicone before. Dimethicone is a type of water-insoluble polymer-based silicone. It is widely used in many areas due to its superior properties such as flexibility, resistance to moisture and UV radiation, and tolerance to high temperatures. Shampoos, hair care products, and creams are the main areas of use. Some of the contributions it makes to the product it is used in are as follows:
- Contributes to softening the hair and having a bright appearance.
- It maintains the moisture balance depending on the weather conditions.
- It acts as a shield for the hair and scalp.
- It enables the products to turn into a silky and smooth structure.
It can be stated that this substance has blocking and softening properties in general. Blockers trap moisture in the hair and thus ensure that the moisture balance is maintained. Softeners, on the other hand, cover the entire hair and contribute to the soft and flexible feel of the hair strands.
How Does Dimethicone Affect Hair?
Dimethicone provides a smooth and silky appearance to the hair. It makes tangles easier to untangle. It reduces hair static by providing a glue-like hold. However, despite these important benefits, there is a risk of causing long-term problems.
Dimethicone, when used for a long time, leads to accumulation in the hair. Accordingly, it prevents water from penetrating the hair. It can lead to split ends of the hair strands and dryness. Compared to the scalp, this substance is more difficult to remove and purify from the hair strands.
Although dimethicone has long-term adverse effects, it is not a major concern. When using products containing this substance, a cleansing shampoo or products such as apple cider vinegar should be used occasionally. In this way, the risks will be significantly eliminated.
Does it Cause Hair Loss?
Dimethicone makes the hair look great with its positive effects. However, it has the potential to be a secret enemy. It is stated that it is not directly related to hair loss. However, due to its nature, it can cause loss if used incorrectly. It causes dryness and splitting due to improper use. However, different products have been developed to avoid these problems.
Dimethicone has a water-insoluble structure. Unlike water-soluble molecules, it does not break down easily. Therefore, it causes thin hair to look greasier and the scalp to become unhealthy. When these negative effects last for a long time, they may result in hair loss.
How to Remove Dimethicone from Hair?
First of all, you need to determine which of the hair care products you have used contains this substance. It shouldn’t be forgotten that it is more likely to be found in products such as shampoos, cleansers, conditioners, and curl conditioners.
Using silicone-based products for a long time can lead to accumulation in the hair. To regain your healthy and good-looking hair, you need to get rid of this accumulation. You can do this by applying simple methods.
The first method used to remove this substance from the hair is completely natural. Vinegar, which is effective in removing silicones due to its natural structure, can be used. Apple cider vinegar is known to have an amazing property that adds shine to the hair. Besides, it effectively removes the silicon deposits accumulated in the hair.
The baking soda option is recommended for those who cannot get the desired result from the vinegar option. To increase the effect of some non-strong vinegar, they can be used with baking soda.
Another important option for purification is purifying shampoos. Purifying shampoos do not contain moisturizers, conditioners, and oils. They may be hard, but they are quite effective for removing silicone from hair.
· Purifying Shampoo
There are active ingredients that break down silicones, grease, chemicals, and other harmful substances in purifying shampoos specially developed for the deep cleaning of hair.
Purifying shampoos are much harder than traditional shampoos. This can lead to drying of the scalp. Therefore, using purifying shampoos alone can be harmful. Instead, it will be beneficial to use a moisturizing conditioner after the application.
· Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar, which can be found in almost every home or easily obtained from supermarkets, stands out with its hair-cleaning abilities. A quick application of apple cider vinegar speeds up the dimethicone clearance process.
Another way, other than apple cider vinegar, is baking soda. Baking soda is made from sodium bicarbonate, which acts as an exfoliant. This feature makes it a great purifier.
· Honey and Cinnamon
The mixture of honey and cinnamon deeply nourishes the hair and scalp, as well as purifies dimethicone accumulation. While honey provides moisture to the hair and scalp, cinnamon contributes to the elimination of dimethicone and other harmful layers.
Who Should be Careful about Dimethicone?
Although dimethicone provides positive results for the hair in the short term, one should be careful due to its long-term negative effects. If you have curly hair, it can make your already dry hair even drier. This may mean that your hair becomes more fragile.
The effect on people with thin and sparse hair is that the hair becomes greasy and thus appears to have lost volume. Therefore, it harms both hair health and general appearance.
Long-term results can go up to loss indirectly, although not directly. Dimethicone is a substance of the silicone category that should be considered by those who do not want to experience hair loss.
What are the Alternatives to Dimethicone?
Dimethicone is considered a safe ingredient by the EU. However, due to its water-insoluble structure and cutting the bond between hair and water, alternatives are sought to replace this substance. The details of the alternatives are as follows:
Silicone Based Alternatives
Silicone-based alternatives meet expectations at the highest level with their ability to form silky soft feeling and hair care properties. Moreover, they do not have similar disadvantages to dimethicone since they are water-soluble. Silicone-based alternatives are as follows:
- Behenyl dimethicone
- Dimethicone copolyols
Silicone-free alternatives are preferred instead of dimethicone. Because they are silicone-free, they do not have the long-term risks of dimethicone. The details of the alternatives of this type are as follows:
They have similar properties to silicone and therefore show similar positive effects. Coconut alkanes stand out as a good alternative.
o Caprate / Coco-Caprylate
It is a medium spreading softener. It has a structure suitable for use in different cosmetic products.
o Dicaprate / Butylene Glycol Dicaprylate
As it is an oxidizing and non-saturated type of oil, it is mostly used as a non-sensitizing oil component in hypoallergenic cosmetics.
o Other Alternatives
Other alternatives to dimethicone include:
- PPG-3 Benzyl Ether Myristate
- C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate Isopropyl Myristate
These two alternatives are expensive options compared to the others. Instead of these, natural alternatives such as broccoli oil can be preferred. Broccoli oil is stated as natural dimethicone.
Should You Avoid Dimethicone for Your Hair?
In the beginning, dimethicone deceives you by making your hair look great. Because even though your hair looks amazing at first, it becomes dull and dry over time due to dimethicone. Therefore, avoiding products containing dimethicone would be a logical choice.
As the negative effects of this substance have become known, many brands have started removing it from their product contents. If you do not want to experience hair loss due to dimethicone, you should prefer products without this substance. If you still cannot give up the product you use, you can use a cleansing shampoo or similar products periodically. In this way, you can prevent the accumulation of silicone.
How Does Accumulation Lead to Hair Loss?
Accumulation causes hair loss in different ways. The details are as follows:
The scalp is of great importance in terms of hair health. The skin, which gets sufficient moisture, gives it to the hair and ensures that they are in a healthy structure. However, due to the products containing dimethicone that is used regularly, the pores in the scalp are blocked and this function cannot be fulfilled.
After the blocking due to accumulation, the hair continues to grow in the same way. However, your hair will be duller and weaker than before.
Thin, weak, and dull hair strands are vulnerable to splitting and loss. As a result, a loss may occur after a while.
Dry Hair and Split Ends
The outer part of the hair shaft is damaged due to dimethicone accumulation. Thus, hair strands are destroyed. This part is called the cuticle layer and is responsible for maintaining the moisture balance. It also has a protective effect.
The cuticle layer acts like a security guard and determines the products that will go in. However, it loses this feature with the accumulation of dimethicone. Thus, it is not possible to go in or out. Hair strands that do not have enough moisture become easily split at their ends.
The greater this separation, the greater the risk of hair-splitting and loss.
Schedule a Consultation
If you want to get help with dimethicone hair loss, you should first be examined by an experienced and expert doctor. It should not be forgotten that the right examination and diagnosis are the most important processes in treatment.
Our doctors at COSMETICIUM have great experience and expertise in determining the fundamental causes of your hair problem and their treatment methods. If you want to talk to our doctors free of charge, you can contact us to get detailed information about the subject and to benefit from our free online consultation service.
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