If you suffer from product 'build-up' quite often it is worth checking your shampoo & conditioner label to see whether the product contains silicones. You can recognise these substances on the list of ingredients ending with "-cone", for example, "dimethicone". The reason silicones are used in haircare is because they can make hair that is dry and damaged look and feel as if it is healthy and shiny. Silicone is almost like plastic that coats, sort of "waterproofs" the hair giving an illusion of shine. However, it is that coating that over time creates build-up that prevents moisture from penetrating the hair shaft, causing hair to dry out, and become prone to breakage.
It is worth mentioning that not all silicones are equal. For example, cyclomethicone is lighter and washes off easier from the hair, while dimethicone is much thicker and can take a couple of washes with sulfate-based clarifying shampoo to remove the build-up. The healthy shine is only possible when the cuticle layer is sealed, and light reflects off the hair. This happens when hair is properly hydrated and kept as healthy as possible. A great alternative to silicones is plant-based oils and other natural ingredients that provide moisture, nourishment, and shine. Below are the tips for adding more shine to your hair naturally:
1. Wash your hair with warm water, but always finish with cool/cold water. Warm water opens pores and cuticles which allows to remove dirt and excess sebum but makes hair frizzy and prone to damage (due to open cuticles). On the contrary, cold water closes pores and cuticles in the scalp. Closed cuticles make the hair appear lustrous and shinier. 2. Same goes with the hairdryer! If you can, let your hair dry naturally. 3. Use haircare products that contain Panthenol (Provitamin B-5). It protects hair from styling and environmental damage by locking in moisture, adds volume, and shine, and improves hair texture while preventing tangles. 4. Some essential oils, such as bergamot, chamomile, and lavender can help increase hair shine. Add a few drops to your shampoo while washing your hair or use a shampoo that contains these oils already. Happy washing!