Signs Of Silicone Buildup On Hair

You may have heard that silicone is “bad” for your hair from ardent hair care supporters and Curly Girl Method devotees before.

Many individuals hate silicones because of their propensity to weigh down your hair and create buildup on it.

Others, however, refuse to quit using them despite being advised to stop since they provide a lovely sheen to the hair.

However, what is the actual fact about silicones and how they create buildup on our hair?

Do they truly deserve this negative feedback? Or do they genuinely work well for a variety of hair types yet just have some unfavorable long-term effects on your hair?

In this article, we’ll examine the advantages and disadvantages of silicones for your hair as well as how to get rid of them after they’ve begun to have buildup on your priceless strands.

What are the signs of silicone buildup on hair?

product buildup on hair

What Are Silicones?

Because of their ability to smoothen the hair, silicones are man-made polymers that are often utilized in cosmetic products.

Although you’ll find them in a lot of skincare and makeup products, they are particularly prevalent in hair products due to their capacity to calm and control the puffiest and frizziest hair types.

There are numerous different silicones, but they all work toward the same goal.

They form a coating on the exterior layer of our hair in order to prevent humidity from making your hair frizzy and help in sealing the moisture in your cuticles.

The outcome? Hair becomes very smooth and shiny and looks very stunning.

Since silicones work best on frizzy, unmanageable hair, they are most appealing to those with such hair.

They help keep flyaways and tangles at bay while making their mane velvety smooth.

Types Of Silicones

You’ll often find one of three different types of silicones in hair care products.

First, there are water-soluble silicones, which are relatively easy to remove with only water.

Additionally, the other type of silicones will evaporate into the air hours after application.

However, non-soluble silicone is the most problematic kind you will encounter.

These don’t vanish into thin air or wash out the moment water touches them in your hair.

They can only be removed by washing them out using surfactants, commonly referred to as sulphates.

Which silicones are soluble and which are not? How can you tell?

Checking their name on the ingredient list of your hair product is one method.

Since the majority of silicones ending in -cone (like dimethicone) are often not water soluble, you’ll need a rather powerful shampoo to remove them.

Silicones: Are They Harmful For Your Hair?

The bad news is that applying silicones in your hair isn’t always a bed of roses and daisies.

You risk silicone buildup, which makes your hair dry, oily and weak at the same time if you don’t know how to thoroughly wash them out.

Silicones help lock in moisture in your hair by forming an occlusive film around the hair cuticles.

On the other hand, when your hair needs moisture, this silicone outer layer may prevent moisture from penetrating into the cuticle.

Type of a slippery slope, that is one.

This is not to imply that silicones are inherently detrimental to hair.

They enhance shine, luster, manage frizz, and even guard against heat damage when you iron or curl your hair.

However, excessive silicone buildup may damage your hair by preventing moisturizing agents from penetrating your hair strands.

Another drawback of hair products that are silicone-infused is their difficult washing off and removal, especially the non-soluble ones.

You may have negative hair symptoms including limp, lifeless hair, an itchy scalp and excessively dry hair that lacks bounce and luster since they may remain lodged in your hair for weeks.

Everyone should avoid silicone buildup.

Some hair types, however, should stay away from it more than others.

For instance, females with coarse, curly hair that tends to be drier naturally than straight hair should avoid using silicones.

This is why having silicone-free hair is one of the Curly Girl Method’s guiding principles because of this.

Hair’s Silicone Buildup Telltale Signs

It’s certainly will not be the type of thing you can pretend nothing happen if silicone buildup is present in your hair.

It will let you know via several indicators until you are forced to take action.

The following symptoms of silicone buildup in your hair are what you should watch out for:

A Hair which is Weighing Down

If you find that your hair looks limp, lifeless and flat when you look in the mirror, this is one of the signs of silicone buildup that you should be able to detect yourself.

Your mane will be pulled down when the silicone covering around your strands becomes too thick and adds more weight to your hair.

This is particularly true if your hair is already fine and thin as well as having low density.

Similar to how too many lotions, creams and oils are applied over multiple days, gravity will eventually make an impact.

To get rid of all that gunk of silicones, it may be necessary to give your hair a thorough detox if it appears to be adhering to the sides of your head.

You’ll notice a lift around your roots and extra volume throughout your hair as soon as you wash the silicones out of your hair.

An oily scalp yet dry hair

Silicone buildup may prevent moisture from penetrating your hair’s cuticles, causing your locks to become severely dry over time.

Additionally, your scalp will overcompensate itself naturally by creating far more sebum than normal when your hair is thirsty and dry.

Your hair will then become unbalanced as a result.

Your hair will be dry, lifeless, and dull, and your scalp will be excessively greasy and it will look always glossy.

Your hair follicles may even get clogged by the overproduction of sebum on your scalp, which can slow down growth of hair and cause dandruff.

Hair Strands Which Are Coarse to the Touch

You will be taking risk of having stiff, coarse hair in the end because silicones put up a coating barrier between the moisturizing treatments and the hair that might nourish it.

Your hair will subsequently be more prone to tangling and frizz as a result.

Hair Breakage and Splits Hair End

Your hair is more prone to snapping off and breakage when it has a silicone outer covering on the hair that is as hard as a rock.

When your hair are internally dehydrated, it will much worse since it will not have the elasticity to withstand any kind of strain.

When your hair is dry and straw-like texturing, even the slightest force may damage your hair strands.

This includes pulling your ponytail out or combing your hair too roughly.

The silicones must be washed out to regain their softness and resilience.

White, Tiny Flakes That Aren’t Dandruff

You could see little white flecks in your hair when you observed the hair closely and carefully in the mirror.

This is the appearance of silicone buildup.

Similar to dandruff flakes, you’ll often encounter these tiny, scaly, unpleasant flakes where the parting of your hair is located.

Even while these white patches aren’t dandruff, they may eventually cause problems to the scalp.

Your hair follicles may get clogged by the flakes, which may cause you to have a scalp irritation.

Before you know it, your scalp will be irritated and you’ll be itching your head every five seconds.

When you start to see these flakes, it will be a tell-tale signs that your hair silicone buildup has been there for far too long.

It has become so bad that the protective layer on your strands is already coming off.

Your hair is virtually pleading with you to wash the silicone out at this point.

You Have To Shampoo Your Hair Several Times

One wash will never be sufficient if your hair contains a lot of silicone buildup.

Even after using more shampoo than normal, your hair could still not feel clean.

This is a side effect of your hair being oilier as it naturally move on to an overdrive situation to moisturize your dry hair.

Your hair may also feel stiff and dry from the silicone itself, which is never clean and pure.

It’s risky to develop the practice of washing your hair more often than necessary only to remove silicones out of your hair.

Shampoo may cause your hair to get even more dry, which won’t be beneficial over time.

Your hair will simply get thirstier and more brittle.

Difficulty Holding A Curl

What occurs when limp, dry hair receives little to no moisture?

It will be very challenging to style this dry and limp hair.

Your hair will struggle to hold this texture and style, regardless of whether you have naturally curled hair or use a curling wand to create those waves and spirals.

Heat may not be able to manage your hair effectively when the outside layer of silicone in your hair is already so thick.

On the other hand, using a curl-enhancing cream to define your natural waves and curls may not work well since the silicone in the cream prevents your hair from absorbing any more products.

How To Get Dimethicone Out Of Your Hair

The most well-known silicone ingredient out there is likely to be dimethicone.

The majority of shampoos and conditioners contain it because of its ability to protect and strengthen your hair from environmental pollutants and heat damage.

Additionally, it provides your mane a fuller appearance by giving it more movement and body.

Unfortunately, dimethicone is not a form of silicone that can be easily removed by just washing with water.

Additionally, it does not evaporate within minutes to hours after application.

Dimethicone will continue to suffocate and clog your strands if you don’t wash it out.

It’s acceptable to continue to use products containing dimethicone, but if you want to maintain your hair healthy and moisturized, you need to know how to thoroughly wash it out.

You will be left with dry, brittle hair and a greasy scalp for who knows the consequence of your hair if you leave dimethicone on the hair for an excessively long time.

Shampoo With Sulfates

Dimethicone should be easily eliminated using any shampoo that contains sulfates, such as sodium lauryl or Laureth sulphates.

But you may need something a bit more powerful and effectively if you think your hair has been building up  and accumulating much too much silicone over the last several weeks.

Bring on the Clarifying Shampoo.

This kind of deep and intensively cleansing shampoo is excellent for getting rid of all types of buildup in your hair.

It works extremely well to remove silicones in addition to hard water minerals and product buildup from gels and creams that have built up over time.

But please heed the warning.

A lot of hair moisture and hydration might be lost while using a clarifying shampoo.

Therefore, if you use one, be sure to apply a nourishing conditioner after using a clarifying shampoo.

Baking Soda

You may take the natural approach and use baking soda in place of shampoo if you’re attempting to avoid using one that often become dry and stripped the hair of its natural oils.

Besides, using baking soda for cleaning the bathrooms and countertops, it is also renowned for its bleaching properties.

However, it still works on your hair when it is oversaturated with silicone.

Two teaspoons of half a cup of water and baking soda are well mixed together to make a paste that has to achieve the consistency of a conditioner.

Apply it to your whole head of hair and scalp, then wait five to ten minutes before washing it out with lukewarm water.

Additionally, this should be effective in removing dimethicone.

Be aware that you could not get accustomed to your hair’s new texture after using one of these ways and washing all the silicone out of it.

Don’t panic; even though it won’t be as silky and smooth, this is an indication that you’ve been effective and successful in getting the silicones out of your hair.

What to do to avoid future silicone buildup

We are sure you’d prefer not to go through the effort once again because now that you’ve successfully removed that unpleasant silicone buildup from your hair.

To prevent it from happening again, it’s crucial to do some modification on your existing hair care regimen.

Here are some recommendations and strategies for avoiding silicone buildup in the future.

Avoid Using Silicone-Infused Products Daily

We are not telling you to throw away your beloved shampoo and conditioner which will contain silicone.

But you should refrain from using it often.

If you do, silicone buildup will probably return quite quickly.

Use silicone products sparingly or when needed.

Your hair will feel significantly different if you just wash it a few times a week as opposed to daily.

Aim for washing days once or twice each week.

Use the same brand of shampoo and conditioner.

Since items from the same brand and collection are often made as a system, thus the shampoo formulation should be effective to wash out the silicones from the matching conditioner on the next hair wash.

You run the risk of washing your hair with something made with surfactants which cannot remove the silicones in the conditioner if you choose a shampoo that is entirely different from your conditioner.

Give up using silicones entirely

You may think about switching to a silicone-free hair regimen if you are fully tired of silicones.

Numerous products, many of which are formulated for women with wavy and curly hair, are made without any silicones at all.

To strengthen and nourish the hair, they are made using fruit extracts from coconuts, bananas, mangoes and other fruits.

Don’t worry if you like using leave-in conditioner products that include silicones.

There is also a tonne of style items available that don’t include any silicones but still provide the smoothness and silkiness you need.

Without using silicones, it’s quite useful for enhancing shine and smoothness.


At the end of the day, silicones are fantastic for the hair since they provide shine, smoothness, and control frizz.

You should also adore anything made using silicones.

The consequences for the health of your hair, nevertheless, if you don’t thoroughly wash them out, must be considered.

By no means are we suggesting that you stop utilizing silicones in your hair care regimen?

Since what works for you may not work for everyone else, some people swear by them.

To minimize buildup and to know the best technique to remove the silicones your products utilize, make sure you are aware of their kind.

Just keep an eye out for the many indications of silicone buildup on hair.

Grab your sulphate or clarifying shampoo and then wash it out, (or baking soda, if you’re feeling crafty!) as soon as you have noticed them and suspect silicone build-up.

Don’t allow careless usage of silicone to ruin the health and appearance of your hair.

Learn about silicones and how to combat them so that you may make use of their smoothing properties without suffering the dreads of product buildup.