Skip to contentSkip to search
pantene logo
An illustration of '0% silicone' text in one of many blue bubbles and a Pro-V pill

Is silicone bad for hair?

Ever noticed that some haircare products are labelled as being ‘silicone-free’ and wondered what silicones did wrong to be excluded from the party?

Keep reading to find out why silicones aren’t all bad, and whether they’re something your hair could actually benefit from using in your routine.

What is silicone? Why is it in hair products?

Silicones are commonly used in skincare and other cosmetic products. They’re known for being biocompatible – which means they can exist in harmony within biological materials like hair. They’re non-reactive and extremely stable, so they can continue to be effective over long periods of time.

Silicones have been used in hair products since at least as early as the 70s, because of their exceptional conditioning and multi-tasking abilities. They work to moisturise hair, repair gaps in its surface, smooth down rough edges, fight frizz and to boost shine… to name but a few!

When used in haircare products, silicones can promote smoothness and shine for ‘better behaved hair’ that’s smooth, manageable and keeps its style.

It’s well known that a few consumers have concerns when it comes to silicones as an ingredient though. Some think that they can clog pores and cause you to lose hair, which is false. It’s true that they may weigh down your hair or cause build-up, but this is only true if you’re using products that aren’t appropriate for your hair type, perhaps too heavy. It’s also true that they’re full of chemicals – but this isn’t a bad thing for your hair!

Is silicone bad for your hair?

Although many products are advertised as being silicone-free, the good news is that there are no safety issues with silicones being used in your haircare products. Published study after study continues to show that silicones are not harmful or damaging to your hair.

That said, some want to avoid silicones because they’re a chemical. This is true, however, as mentioned earlier, this does not mean that they’re bad for you. Silicones are derived from the second most abundant element in the earth’s crust – silicon, and go through a multi-step process to before becoming the oil-like silicone ingredients found in so many hair care products.

Some people fear that, over time, silicones can build-up on your hair leaving it looking a bit dull, or even weighed down in the case of particularly fine hair. And, seeing as volume is usually the end goal for fine hair that easily hangs limp, this may not be the best product match for you.

If this isn’t you, though, the good news is that silicones can really help if you want to create a smoother, shinier surface.

Does Pantene have silicone in its products?

We have a wonderful selection of products to suit all hair types, hair needs and preferences when it comes to having silicone or silicone free. So, if it’s silicone free you’re after, here are a few to try:

Silicone free Pantene products

If you’re after smooth, shiny hair, but you don’t want silicone in your products, make sure your hair’s well protected against heat damage from styling and the elements. Hair becomes coarse, dull and prone to breakage when it lacks moisture and the outer layer’s damaged, exposing the inner area of the strand. You won’t need a silicone-based product to help smooth things over if you take measures to protect your hair from damage.
Pantene products with silicone
If your hair’s very frizzy, silicone hair products can offer you a much smoother finish. Our Smooth & Sleek range makes the most of these smoothing properties to give you the sleeker finish of your dreams.

The Smooth & Sleek Shampoo contains our signature Pro-V blend of nutrients to help support your hair to be its healthy, strong and shiny best. For a two-pronged attack in the smoothness department, pair with the Smooth & Sleek Conditioner. This is a must every single time you wash your hair.

Another key to keeping frizz-prone hair is moisture – who says that conditioning can only happen in-shower? Keep our Smooth & Sleek Dry Oil with Argan Oil in your bag for on the go smoothness top-ups, particularly around the mid-lengths and ends that are prone to ‘frizzing up’.

The above hair advice should have cleared up the silicone conundrum a little, and helped you on your way to deciding if silicone-containing products are something you would benefit from, or something for you to avoid. If your hair isn’t easily weighed down and could benefit from products that help to de-frizz, we say it’s perfectly OK to make a beeline for silicone-based products.