Why does Silicone buildup on hair?

Originally quoted from The Beauty Isle Insider by
The Creators of The Beauty Brains

~Image from: Google~

When it comes to buildup, the type of silicone (and how much is used) is more important than if it's used in a leave-on style or a rinse-off conditioner. There are many types of silicone with scientific names that can be confusing, so let's look at a few common examples.

No Buildup

One of the most common types of silicone is called "cyclic" because the chain of silicone atoms that composes this kind is linked together in a ring structure. This type of silicone evaporates and won't build up on your hair at all. It gives a silky-smooth feel and leaves the hair with incredible slip when wet. It's used in both leave-on styles and rinse-off conditioners and is commonly called cyclomethicone or cyclopentasiloxane.

Very Little Buildup

Another type of silicone is designed to be water soluble. This kind provides very light conditioning and is unlikely to build up because it washes away easily with water. It is often used in conditioning shampoos. Look for polyol in the name, as in dimethicone copolyol.

Moderate to Heavy Buildup

There is a different kind of silicone that is chemically modified to stick to your hair better. That means it conditions well, but it can also be more challenging to remove. This kind generally has amo, amine or amino somewhere in the name. For example, amodimethicone is commonly used in leave-in conditioners.

Potentially Heavy Buildup

Finally, perhaps the most powerful type of silicone is referred to as a silicone oil. It comes in many different forms but is typically used at very high molecular weights to make it highly waterproof, so it provides good shine to the hair. Because it's so water-insoluble, it can be very tough to wash off, depending, of course, on how much you have on your hair. Typically, this is used in rinse-off products. Look for it on the ingredients list as dimethicone.


Riih Rion is bashful when facing cameras and video-cams. But she soon realized she is more comfortable behind a PC screen than in front of a lens. Riih is passionate about beauty products, paranormal & folk lore from anywhere in the world and sushi. Especially sushi. Come visit her blogs or drop her a comment :D

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