Silicone vs. Water Based Leave-in Conditioners

Leave-in Conditioners

Protecting your hair from the elements and everyday wear and tear is important. When you use styling products, and especially heat styling tools such as hair straightening irons, you are putting stress on your hair. Even the climate can stress your hair, drying it out and making it brittle. Brittle hair breaks split, and hangs, looking dull and lifeless. Leave in conditioners are hair products applied to your clean hair after normal washing and conditioning and left in until your next washing. Leave in conditioners give your hair that little bit of something extra to keep it looking healthy and shiny.

Silicone in Hair

Silicone has many uses. It protects from heat, it forms a thorough coating over whatever it touches. This includes hair. If you are a consistent user of hair straightening irons or other hair irons, you might want to consider silicone conditioner for its ability to protect your hair from the constant heat of styling tools. Silicone is also invaluable for detangling sessions and coating thin hair to make it look fuller. Some users of silicone conditioning products claim that they hold in moisture better and prevent splits and breakage. The strength of silicon could definitely play a part in those features.

Is Silicone the Answer?

One of the cons of using silicone is that it tends to build up on the hair and scalp. Buildup can eventually weigh your hair down, make it appear dull, and prevent nutrients from getting to your hair shafts and scalp. This is why, if you choose to use silicone based conditioning products for your hair, that you incorporate clarifying into your routine. You will need to look into chelating or clarifying shampoos. Some people swear by adding baking soda to their normal shampoo. Be sure to use something like apple cider vinegar after such treatments to restore the pH balance of your hair!

What About Water Based

Some believe that water based leave in conditioners are best simply because the base is a natural element versus the chemical compound silicone. Leave-in conditioners act as moisturizers and contain humectants which will draw moisture into your hair, keeping your hair moisturized for longer. That’s why it is important to incorporate water based conditioners in your hair regimen. Without them, you are prone to dryness. A lot of water based conditioners and other naturally occurring elements to their formula, herbs for specific hair types, natural oils, and other nutrients.

So Why Not Water

As mentioned before, if you do a lot of heat damage to your hair, live in a stark, dry climate, or using a lot of styling tools such as flat irons for hair, silicone might be a better choice for you. However, if you prefer a more natural, organic treatment for your hair, a water based conditioner might be best for you. If you do not have time for stripping build up from your hair or chelating your hair, a water based conditioner might be the choice for you. With water based leave in conditioner, you do not have to worry about adding additional steps to your hair grooming routine. If you do not tend to expose your hair to a lot of heat, and heat based styling tools like flat irons for hair straightening, then a water based leave in hair conditioner is an excellent choice for your hair care routine.

And the Verdict Is

Like most things to do with beauty regimen, the choice between Silicone and Water based leave in conditioners is an individual choice. It is entirely to do with your hair type, your habits, your environment, all the things that weigh down on your hair from day to day. A leave in conditioner can transform your hair, nourishing it and leaving it healthy in between washings. There are many products, for every type of hair, the choice is entirely yours. What is important is that you keep your hair moisturized and nourished in accordance with the weather and your lifestyle.


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