Water Soluble Silicone Hair Products

Finding a water-soluble silicone hair product may be tough, but not impossible.

Photo: Ralf Nau/Lifesize/Getty Images

If you're looking to make a glossy change to your hair, adding silicone to your routine can amp things up, leaving your hair shiny and gorgeous. Most silicones aren't water soluble, but some are chemically altered to be more water friendly. If you want a hair product that's silicone-soluble, there are a few to choose from.

The Basics

There are two types of silicones: water soluble and water insoluble. Water insoluble silicones help to tame frizz and leave your hair looking shiny. But since they're not soluble, they can create a barrier between your hair and any additional moisture you try to put on it. In the long run, your hair will start to feel dry and brittle. The only way to remove water insoluble silicones is to lather up with a detergent-based shampoo, which can be really harsh on the hair -- making water-soluble silicone an alluring option.

Spotting Water-Soluble Silicone

When you shop for hair products, flip them over and read the ingredients on the label. Look for silicone names that start with the abbreviation "PEG" or "PPG". There's also a silicone called dimethicone copolyol that's water soluble, so if you see that on a label, you're good to go.

Ones to Avoid

Double check your label to make sure you're not also seeing any silicone products that aren't water soluble. Ingredients to look out for include dimethicone, dimethiconol, phyenyl trimethicone, amodimethicone and cyclomethicone. All of these silicones will leave your hair glossy, but aren't water soluble, which means they'll build up on your hair.

Switching to Water Soluble

Water-soluble silicones are chemically changed to allow water and moisture to penetrate the hair shaft. This doesn't mean they don't do their job just as well as water-insoluble silicones. Water-soluble silicones will leave your hair shiny until you wash your hair. So, after you lather, rinse and repeat, you'll have to apply your shine-enhancing product again.

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