Somewhat Water Soluble
Not Water Soluble
Amodimethicone- Trimethylsilylamodimethicone- A non-curable amine silicone fluid for hair care products and decorative cosmetics. Provides water resistance.
Amodimethicone (&) C11-15 Pareth-7 (&) Laureth-9 (&) Glycerin (&) Trideceth-12-
An amine functional micro-emulsion for clear, aqueous-based hair products.
Amodimethicone (&) Trideceth-12 (&) Cetrimonium Chloride- Cationic emulsion for hair conditioning.
Bisamino PEG/PPG-41/3 Aminoethyl PG-Propyl Dimethicone- Provides excellent hair conditioning without build-up. Ideal for use in products designed to treat colour, perm, sun and heat-damaged hair.
Bis-Phenylpropyl Dimethicone- A colourless silicone fluid with high RI, low viscosity and volatility, shine enhancement and luxurious feel.
C30-45 Alkyl Dimethicone- Superior compatibility with both silicones and organics. Can be used as a thickening agent which gives a unique silky skin feel.
Cetearyl Methicone- A soft, waxy material; excellent lubricity and spreadability.
Cetyl Dimethicone- Occlusive film forming for skin conditioners.
Cetyl PEG/PPG-15/15 Butyl Ether Dimethicone- A silicone emulsifier for use in the preparation of water-in-oil emulsions. Also offers good emulsification of paraffin oils and vegetable triglycerides.
Cyclomethicone (&) PEG/PPG-20/15 Dimethicone- For formulating water-in-oil emulsions, particularly water-in-silicone emulsions. Excellent aesthetics.
Cyclopentasiloxane- Cyclomethicone D5- Provides improved efficacy in antiperspirants and wet combing in hair conditioners.
Cyclopentasiloxane (&) C30-45 Alkyl Cetearyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer- Provides a unique feeling during rub-in followed by a soft powdery feel for an extended period. Ideal for cream to powder formulations.
Cyclopentasiloxane (&) Cyclohexasiloxane- Available in three different proportions offering low viscosity, a relatively high volatility and a cyclic structure.
Cyclopentasiloxane (&) Dimethicone- The basis for hair serums. Conditioning without build up.
Cyclopentasiloxane (&) Dimethicone/Vinyldimethicone Crosspolymer- An elastomer dispersion resulting in a smooth, highly viscous gel with a unique silky feel on application.
Cyclopentasiloxane (&) Dimethiconol- Provides a smooth, velvety feel without greasiness. Useful for skincare and hair conditioning.
Cyclopentasiloxane (&) Trimethylsiloxysilicate- Silicone resin blended with Cyclopentasiloxane. Provides water resistance.
Cyclotetrasiloxane- Cyclomethicone D4- A volatile silicone for improving skin feel in applications such as anti-perspirants.
DEA PG-Propyl PEG/PPG-18/21 Dimethicone- Enhances the performance of shampoos and conditioners with improved gloss, manageability and moisturizing properties.
Diisostearoyl Trimethylolpropane Siloxy Silicate- Highly substantive to skin, has good lubricity and spreadability. Compatible with organic oils and waxes.
Dimethicone (&) Laureth-4 (&) Laureth-23- Non-ionic silicone emulsion for 2-in-1 shampoos.
Dimethicone (&) Trimethylsiloxysilicate- Water resistant, non-tacky film, ideal for sun screens.
Dimethicone (from 1 to 1,000,000 cs)- The original silicone 'oil'. A complete range is available from the highly mobile 1-20 cs, the popular 50-500 cs and the heavier 1,000-1,000,000 cs.
Dimethiconol (&) Sodium Dodecylbenzenesulphonate- An anionic emulsion for leave-in hair products. Disperses well in aqueous preparations and gives the hair good texture.
Diphenyl Dimethicone- A heat-resistant silicone with good film-forming properties. Used as a skin conditioning and anti foaming agent.
Disiloxane- Volatile replacement for ethanol in APs and aerosols.
Hydrolyzed wheat protein/hydroxypropyl polysiloxane and cystine/silicone co-polymers- A combination of protein and silicones that posses a complex polymeric structure which cross-links on drying to form a conditioning and protective network providing protection against blow drying and heating. They also protect the hair against environmental pollutants as well as mechanical damage and can aid temporary repair of split ends.
Lauryl Methicone Copolyol
PCA Dimethicone- Functional over a broad pH range and offers excellent smoothing, conditioning and emolliency properties in many different applications.
PEG/PPG-20/15 Dimethicone- Previously referred to as Dimethicone Copolyol. A very versatile, water soluble polyether modified silicone for use in skin and hair products.
PEG-12 Dimethicone- Previously referred to as Dimethicone Copolyol. A very versatile, water soluble polyether modified silicone for use in skin and hair products.
Phenyl Trimethicone- A very popular high gloss silicone for spray-on hair products. Also provides emolliency and water repellency in skin care products.
Polysilicone-18 Cetyl Phosphate- Color-retaining conditioner for hair products. Also offers thermal protection and a slick, soft after-feel. Excellent solubility and compatibility with most surfactants.
Silicone Resin Spheres (2, 5 & 6 micron)- Fine, white spherical particles give slip and lubricity in pressed and loose powders.
Simethicone- A mixture of Dimethicone and hydrated silica, used as an antifoaming agent. Available in two grades.
Trimethylsiloxysilicate- A solid silicone resin for decorative cosmetics. Provides water resistance.
Trisiloxane- Anti foaming and skin conditioning agent
One of the first things an aspiring longhair learns is that s/he is using cones. "Huh What? What are cones?" might be one of the first question the (wannabe) longhair asks.
Cone is short for silicone - not to be confused with silicon (esp. important for our foreign members)! Silicones actually consist of silicon, but I'm not going to get more chemical than that.
Silicone refers to a group of chemicals which are very commonly used in beauty products, be it your face cream or your hair conditioner. They are hydrophobic, are used as sealants and to provide slip. Those of you who have tried a drugstore face cream (usually with silicones) and an organic cream in comparison know the difference.
Silicones come in different types and their names reflect the different chemical structures they can have. In the ingredient list, one can identify silicones usually rather easily. They are called "Amodimethicone", "Dimethicone", etc. and now you can see why they are often abbreviated with "cone". But a "Cyclopenthasiloxane" or a "Dimethiconol" can be a cone too. Those are the cones most commonly used and if a product doesn't contain one of them, it is likely that it doesn't contain any cones at all. There are other cones which, unfortunately, don't have as easy names, but since I can't find reliable sources I won't add them here. There is also a claim that says that there are "water soluble" and "non water soluble" cones but again, since I don't have reliable sources and since I wonder how "water soluble cones" are supposed to work, I omit that too.
Different cones have different qualities I'm not going into here either, but I wanted to mention that.
Guess you have to ask a chemist for all that...
The second thing an aspirant longhair learns is that cones are teh evil. Usually, the advice goes along the lines of: "You are using [insert popular drugstore brand here], which is full of cones - you should switch to products without them".
Aspirant longhairs do that and their results usually are pretty good with their new routine. The tale about the cone-devil is therefore true.
Usually the people do change more than just their products, so the good results they see afterwards are not necessarily caused by the fact that they now stopped using cones but because of many different factors which all benefit the health of the hair. Still, many many people believe in the evil of the cones and it causes quite a bit confusion among wannabe longhairs which is why I write this article in the first place.
To understand the thing with the cones, one has to know what cones are designed for and what they do.
Cones are widely popular and can be found in a very large selection of hair care products. They have many different purposes. In shampoos, they help provide slip, so it gets easier to massage the shampoo in. In conditioners, they help with detangling the hair, keeping static down and preventing breakage by smoothing down the surface of the hair which also provides shine.
It is also said that cones are able to glue split ends (temporarily!) back together.
Sounds good, doesn't it? Where's the catch?
The problem with silicones is the fact that they aren't water soluble. It varies a bit from cone to cone, but as far as I know, all require a detergent of some kind to get removed from the hair. Some cones might require a sulfate shampoo for that, other can get removed with milder cleansers as well. It seems that this is depends on the hair itself a bit, but as you surely know, when you want to grow your hair long, it is recommended that you stop using shampoo on the length of your hair. Therefore the silicones don't get removed anymore, since only water or conditioner aren't strong enough. If you now keep applying cones to the hair, you'll inevitably get "build-up". The cones build up (hence the name) on the hair and will lock out moisture from the hair shaft. The hair will dry out, gets tangly and dull - just what you didn't want! Some people also claim that silicones "hide" the damage you are doing to your locks, so you don't know how bad it actually is until it is too late. I don't believe that, but I don't want to conceal that I'm in a minority with that.
So cones are evil after all!?
Well, the answer isn't quite as easy.
The speed in which the cones will build up on the hair varies greatly from person to person and from the products used (amount of silicones in them / type of silicone - -remember, the higher an ingredient stands on the ingredient list, the more of it it contains). For me, it takes ages - I think about 6 months or so. For other people, one application is enough and their hair is gunky.
Also, if you get build up it doesn't mean that you have to stop using cones for good - you can usually clarify the hair (for instructions how to do this look through the forums) and all is well again.
The direct opponent of the silicones are (vegetable) oils. Oils are very popular among long haired people because they adress the disadvantages of the silicones. Oils can build up on the hair too, but 1) you'll notice that right away (because your hair is greasy ) and 2) oils are very easy to remove. Depending on the kind of oil (lighter oils are easier, heavier oils are harder to remove) all it takes is a good CO and the build up is gone, which is much easier on the hair than clarifying it.
Still, some people report problems when using oils. The hair gets crunchy and dry instead of soft and silky. I suspect that the application on dry hair is the problem here - the hair itself doesn't have enough moisture in it and the oil locks further moisture out. In contrast to that, silicones are usually applied on wet hair, so it is ensured that there is plenty of moisture which is locked in. Still, on some people's hair, even the application on damp/wet hair does no good.
To sum it up - the pros and cons of cones, which might or might not be true for everyone:
- provides slip
- prevents tangles and breakage as a result
- makes the hair shiny
- locks moisture into the hair
- is likely to build up on the hair
- cannot be removed without detergents
- can lock moisture out of the hair (obviously...)
- might not work for everyone
To use cones or not frequently ends up in heated discussions (not here of course!) where one side wins and the other loses. But, as is everything in hair care, it is completely up to you and what your hair likes - there is no ultimate answer which is true for everyone!
Maybe you prefer oils, maybe you prefer cones and maybe you like to use both, alternating or together. Don't be scared away from either one by people who don't like oils/cones for various reasons.