Stacy says…I believe silicones just coat your hair to give the appearance of smooth, moisturized hair. Hair is dead so you can’t really do too much to actually moisturize it within each strand.
The Beauty Brains respond:
Actually, Stacy, just because hair is dead doesn’t mean you can’t moisturize it. No, we’re not talking about some kind of risen-from-the -dead-zombie hair, we’re just talking about the true meaning of moisturization.
Three reasons dead hair can be moisturized
1. Even dead hair contains water
Hair contains about 8 to 12%water on a weight basis. Dry hair has less, damp hair (obviously) has more. And in our previous jobs at cosmetic companies we actually tested hair care products and proved that you can increase the amount of water that hair contains. Without revealing any industry secrets we can tell you that the test involves weighing the hair, treating it with a moisturizing product, drying it to remove moisture and then weighing it again. A test like this shows that you can lock more water into the hair.
2. “Moisturize” doesn’t necessarily mean more water
While the term “moisture” does specifically refer to water, the term “moisturize” has a broader meaning. In essence it means “fighting the effects of dryness.” The effects of dryness that hair experiences include roughness, dullness and loss of manageability. If you counteract these effects you are moisturizing hair. And that brings us to our third point…
3. SIlicones and oils that coat your hair ARE moisturizing.
In fact, these materials moisturize by points one and two: they can lock in moisture (water) and they can make dry hair more smooth, soft, and shiny (i.e. they fight the effects of dryness). So even though they contain no water and even though they’re only coating the hair, these ingredients can moisturize.
The bottom line
We frequently hear that conditioners just “coat” hair and don’t really moisturize. But by understanding the true nature of moisturization as it relates to hair you can see that these products REALLY do provide a moisturization benefit.