Will silicones dry out hair?

Summer says about silicones… I am an esthetician and an absolute ingredient crazy beauty product junkie. My question for you is whether or not silicone in any of its forms is drying and therefore damaging to the hair. My hair stylist told me that it dries hair out, resulting in the breakage I have always experienced. As a curly haired woman living in humidity, silicones have saved me from much unnecessary frizz. Please clarify what effect silicones have on hair, and also skin if you could, as I was taught that they formed a protective layer over the skin holding in the skin’s natural moisture (as well as imparting a silky feel to the surface).

The Right Brain’s silky smooth reply:

Good for your Summer! You’re not blindly following the advice of your hair stylist!

Savvy about silicone

The truth is, silicone (the molecule pictured above) is one of the MOST effective ingredients for conditioning hair or skin. In both cases it serves as a protective barrier. In fact, in skin lotions dimethicone (a form of silicone) is so good it’s approved as an over the counter drug ingredient.

In hair care products you’ll see a mixture of dimethicone and cyclomethicone typically used. Again, dimethicone is heavier and coats the hair; cyclomethicone is very thin and helps to spread the dimethicone, it also evaporates so it’s good for use in lightweight products like leave in conditioners or volumizing products.

The Beauty Brains bottom line

Silicones are good moisturizers for hair and skin and are commonly used in many, many products. We’ve never seen any data that shows they dry out or damage hair.