The Dangers of Absorbing Silicone Through Shampoo
& 21 Recommended Silicone Free Shampoos
Silicone has become a common ingredient in many hair care products, including shampoos. With its ability to create a smooth and shiny finish, it’s no wonder that silicone is often used to enhance the appearance of our hair. However, there is growing concern among health-conscious individuals about the potential dangers of using silicone-based shampoos. In this blog post, we will delve into the world of silicones, explore why they are used in shampoos, question their necessity, and shed light on the harmful effects that silicones can have on the body when absorbed through your shampoo. So if you’re someone who values a toxic-free lifestyle and wants to make informed choices when it comes to your hair care routine, keep reading to discover why you should consider avoiding silicones in your shampoos.
What is Silicone?
Before we dive into the potential dangers of silicone in shampoos, let’s first understand what exactly silicone is. Silicone is a synthetic compound derived from silicon, a naturally occurring element found in rocks and sand. This versatile substance has gained popularity due to its ability to create a smooth texture and provide heat protection for hair styling tools. In shampoos, silicones are added as conditioning agents to improve hair manageability and add shine.
Why is Silicone Used in Shampoo?
Silicones are commonly used in shampoos for their cosmetic benefits. When applied to the hair shafts, they form a protective coating that helps smooth down cuticles and reduce frizz. This results in hair that appears sleeker and shinier. Additionally, silicones can provide temporary detangling effects and make combing or brushing easier.
Is Silicone Necessary in Shampoo?
While silicones may offer short-term benefits for our hair’s appearance, their necessity in shampoos is highly debated among experts. Some argue that silicone-based shampoos can provide immediate results, making hair look healthier and more vibrant. However, others believe that the long-term effects of silicone use outweigh these cosmetic benefits. There are no health benefits to yourself or your hair by using silicone, as it is simply for short term appearance, look and feel.
Harmful Effects of Silicone Absorption
One of the primary concerns regarding silicon in shampoos is due to dermal absorption, otherwise known as its potential to be absorbed into our bodies through the skin or scalp. The skin is our largest organ and has the ability to absorb certain substances, including silicones. Over time, this absorption can lead to a buildup of silicone in the body. Silicones can last in the body for up to five years, meaning that the consequences of silicone use can be long-lasting.
The Dangers of Silicone Buildup
Silicone buildup on the scalp and hair strands can have detrimental effects over time. As silicones accumulate, they can create a barrier that blocks moisture from penetrating the hair shafts. This can lead to dryness, brittleness, and lackluster hair in the long run. Furthermore, the occlusive nature of silicones may prevent other beneficial ingredients from reaching your hair follicles.
The fact that silicones are not biodegradable means that in your body it will form a buildup over time. This can lead to health issues such as skin irritation, inflammation and hormonal disruption.
Common toxins in shampoo include:
- SURFACTANTS, SLS, and SLES – can be irritating, potential carcinogens, and may hinder the immune system. Additionally, these substances are likely to be contaminated with 1, 4 Dioxane, which is a known carcinogen.
- POTASSIUM SORBATE – is associated with DNA damage.
- PHENOXYETHANOL – often contaminated with 1,4-dioxane. This harmful compound is a known carcinogen, nervous system depressant, and hormone disruptor. Even absorption through the skin can be detrimental to infants. Stay cautious and prioritize your well-being when it comes to selecting personal care items.
- QUATERNARY AMMONIUM COMPOUNDS – also known as QACs, have been identified as endocrine disruptors and allergy irritants. Furthermore, they have been linked to fertility issues, raising concerns about their potential impact on reproductive health.
- POLYQUARTERNIUM – potential carcinogen.
- FRAGRANCE – an endocrine disruptor and a blanket term for various other harmful chemicals, such as phthalates. These substances have been associated with ADHD, organ toxicity, and reproductive toxicity.
- CITRIC ACID AND SODIUN BENZOATE – can result in the formation of benzene, a substance known to have carcinogenic properties and the potential to cause bone marrow damage, leukemia, and blood disorders.
Endocrine Disruptors in Silicone
Research has found that many silicones used in shampoos are endocrine disruptors. Endocrine disruptors are chemicals that mimic the body’s hormones or interfere with hormone production and metabolism, which can lead to health problems including cancer, infertility, birth defects and developmental disorders.
- Cyclotetrasiloxane (D4): an industrial chemical used to create the silky texture that it imparts on our hair. Studies have found that D4 can act as an endocrine disruptor when absorbed by the body, potentially causing reproductive issues and otherhormonal imbalances.
- Octamethylcyclotetrasiloxane (D4): This chemical has been linked to a variety of health issues, including hormonal imbalance and reproductive issues.
- Polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS): PDMS works as an emulsifier to help evenly distribute the silicone molecules throughout the shampoo. The chemical has been found to be absorbable by skin, and can potentially cause hormonal disruption and fertility issues when absorbed by the body.
- Methylene chloride: which is used to help dissolve and disperse silicone ingredients throughout the shampoo. This chemical has been linked to reproductive issues, liver toxicity, and cancer when absorbed into the body.
The Quest for Non-Toxic Alternatives
Given these concerns surrounding silicone in shampoos, many individuals are turning to non-toxic alternatives that offer similar benefits without the potential risks. There is an increasing demand for natural and organic shampoos that use oil – all of which can help keep your hair healthy without the plant-based ingredients instead of synthetic compounds like silicones. These products often rely on nourishing oils, herbal extracts, and botanicals to enhance hair health while avoiding harmful additives.
Which is the safest shampoo to use?
Non-toxic shampoos are the safest choice as they are free from the harmful ingredients commonly found in conventional shampoos. The ingredients that are raising concerns are those categorized as carcinogens, parabens, phthalates, and fragrances. It’s important to be aware of these harmful substances and opt for safer alternatives.
When we apply topical products, they can be absorbed into our skin within just 26 seconds. Once they enter the bloodstream, they have the potential to accumulate in our bodies, overwhelming our natural detoxification processes and impacting our health. These products can contribute to various health concerns such as cancer growth, endocrine disruption, allergies, organ toxicity, and even birth defects.
Conclusion: Embrace a Toxic-Free Hair Care Routine
The dangers of silicone in your shampoos should not be overlooked when considering your overall well-being and environmental impact. While silicone may provide immediate cosmetic benefits for your hair’s appearance, it comes with potential risks of absorption, buildup, and negative long-term effects. By opting for non-toxic shampoo alternatives that exclude silicone and other harmful ingredients, you can embrace a healthier hair care routine that promotes both personal well-being and environmental sustainability. So next time you reach for a new bottle of shampoo, make sure to check the label for silicones and choose products that prioritize your hair’s health without compromising on your values.
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