Why we really ask what shampoo you’re using at home
If you’ve picked up a supermarket hair product you’ve likely read the promises on the bottle. Glossy locks? Yes please. Smoother, stronger, more manageable hair - it all sounds wonderful.
That first wash may have you believe the product is doing exactly what it says on the label. However, that initial smooth and silky feeling is, more often than not, the result of an insoluble silicone ingredient.
Insoluble silicones, often used in these types of products, act in a way of coating the hair much like a glove - they create a seal, smoothing the hair, but over time this builds up and actually blocks moisture and protein from penetrating the hair shaft. Essentially hair becomes suffocated and when it’s unable to get the nourishment it needs, it becomes dry and prone to breakage. It’s the same story for your scalp, a film of silicones means moisture is unable to be absorbed causing itchiness and flaking, as well as greasier hair that will need to be washed more frequently.
These “bad” silicones aren’t water soluble, which means no matter how much you rinse, a build up will remain on your hair. This could spell bad news for the environment too, as they don’t break down easily, insoluble silicones are more difficult to process. When looking at a hair product some insoluble silicones to watch out for include: dimethicone, amodimethicone, cetyl dimethicone, cetearyl methicone and dimethiconol.
You may have read in the news that some hairdressers have been sharing horror stories of colouring over insoluble silicone coated hair. For starters, when there is a build up of silicones in the hair it can be hard for colour to be absorbed, so it can cause an uneven result. This may not be the worst case scenario - some hairdressers have reported that when they’ve applied colour to hair which has been treated with these types of products, there has been a chemical reaction which causes the hair to heat up to the point where it breaks off. This is why we’ll always have an honest discussion with our clients about what products they’re using at home, book consultations and do strand tests before starting new colour work. We err on the side of caution, we won’t start colour work if hair is at risk of damage - instead we’ll send our clients home with great advice and a plan for moving their hair in the right direction.
At MANE we prescribe Kevin Murphy home hair care, which contains only “new” silicones - not insoluble ones. These are the kind of silicones that are attached to a protein or amino acid so they build and improve the condition of your hair, are weightless and colour safe.
We know that salon home hair care products are more expensive than supermarket ones. Some hair hacks really do come for free and make the world of difference, such as covering up in the sun and keeping hydrated. But, when it comes to home hair care and protecting the colour you leave the salon in love with you really do get what you pay for - higher quality ingredients, technology, innovation and colour safety.