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Dimethylpolysiloxane: is silicone oil good for hair?




Dimethylpolysiloxane is in principle a safe component with great advantages. However, its accumulation can cause unwanted effects such as dryness and hair loss.

Dimethylpolysiloxane, a silicone oil with food additive number E900, is a silicone-based polymer found in several personal care products that have caused controversy. While some think it should be part of the list of toxic products in the beauty world, others say it shouldn’t. Find out about the pros and cons of dimethylpolysiloxane for hair in this article!

This compound is found in skin and hair care products. Dimethylpolysiloxane helps form a protective barrier that reduces moisture loss in the skin and hair. Opinions are divided on its safety.

Dimethylpolysiloxane: what is it?

Dimethylpolysiloxane is a polymer derived from silicone. Silicone, in turn, comes from silica, a naturally occurring compound found in elements such as sand, sandstone, quartz, and granite.

This compound is also known as polydimethylsiloxane. It is one of the most used in the cosmetics industry and its most valued property is its viscoelasticity, which makes it flexible and malleable.

It gives a soft and silky texture to skin and hair products and a velvety appearance. It is odorless, colorless, hypoallergenic, and non-comedogenic.

Uses and benefits of dimethylpolysiloxane for hair

The main reason for using silicone oil such as dimethylpolysiloxane in hair cosmetic products is the texture it provides. This mixture gives such products a soft, smooth, and slippery feel on contact.

It also has some positive effects, such as the following:

  • The formation of a temporary barrier. Dimethylpolysiloxane settles on the skin and hair and forms a barrier that protects against irritants and allergens.
  • Retains moisture. The barrier effect helps retain moisture in the skin and hair.
  • Evens out enlarged pores and fine lines. Dimethylpolysiloxane partially fills in cracks and gives the skin a smoother structure.
  • Coats the hair follicles in the scalp. This is similar to the effect it has on the skin. This results in the hair looking and feeling more uniform.
  • Gives a matte finish. It seals in moisture without being greasy. This is why it is widely used in foundations and moisturizers for oily skin, as it provides a shine-free finish.

Possible risks of dimethylpolysiloxane for hair

Generally speaking, dimethylpolysiloxane is a safe compound. According to a study, the build-up of this substance can cause hair loss. The barrier effect traps moisture but also prevents further moisture from penetrating.

This can lead to dry, brittle ends and dry, lifeless hair. Dimethylpolysiloxane is not water-soluble. Therefore, it is difficult to break it down when you wash your hair.

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves the use of this compound as an active ingredient. Dimethylpolysiloxane rarely causes adverse effects on the skin, and when it does, it is only temporary. Such effects may include itching, redness, stinging, or burning.

These types of silicones are not absorbed by the skin and hair. So when they are washed out, they go straight down the drain and from there end up in rivers and oceans .

If they accumulate, they are toxic to flora and fauna. A 2021 study warns of the negative effects of silicones on the environment.

Identify the product

Dimethylpolysiloxane is a component of countless cosmetic and medical products. It usually occurs in different proportions, from 15% to 60%.

It is important to always read the label of the products you buy, where you can find this compound under one of the following names:

  • Amino isopropyl dimethicone
  • Aminopropyl dimethicone
  • Amodimethicone
  • Behenoxy dimethicone
  • C30-45 Alkyl dimethicone
  • C24-28 Alkyl dimethicone
  • Cetyl dimethicone
  • Dimethicone
  • Dimethoxysilyl Ethylenediaminopropyldimethicone
  • Hydroxypropyl dimethicone
  • Polydimethylsiloxane
  • PDMS
  • Stearamidopropyl dimethicone
  • Stearoxy dimethicone
  • Stearyl dimethicone
  • Vinyl dimethicone

Dimethylpolysiloxane is commonly found in products such as the following:

  • Sunscreen
  • Sexual lubricants
  • Moisturizing creams
  • Creams against itching
  • Products against lice
  • Shampoos and conditioners
  • Make-up and foundations
  • Medicines for flatulence or treating irritable bowel syndrome

Alternative to dimethylpolysiloxane for hair

Research from 2018 shows that vegetable oils have a more beneficial effect on hair compared to products made from silicones. They provide long-lasting strength and shine. There are several products on the market that are marketed with the label “silicone-free”. Some alternatives to products with dimethylpolysiloxane are products that contain the following:

  • Coco-Caprylate/Caprate
  • Benzyl ether myristate PPG-3
  • Dicaprylate/Butylene Glycol Dicaprylate/Dicaprate
  • C12-15 alkyl benzoate isopropyl myristate

For skin products, alternatives to dimethylpolysiloxane for hair are as follows:

  • Hyaluronic acid
  • Colloidal oats
  • The sq
  • Glycerin
  • Kaolin

Dimethylpolysiloxane is not a dangerous product in itself. In fact, it is very beneficial, but its action is superficial and temporary, and when it accumulates, it can cause unwanted effects.

However, its negative effects on the environment are of great concern, and we recommend that you look for alternative products when trying to protect and preserve the natural environment.

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