Something I come across in wavy/curly groups fairly often is a comment similar to this one.
“I tried the curly girl method in the past and it just does not work for my hair. What does that mean? Does my hair need silicones?”
Some people conclude that their hair does need silicones. I am not someone who believes that silicones are the devil, personally. At the same time, it doesn’t make sense to me that anyone’s hair could need silicones.
Silicones are emollients, and emollients are ingredients in products that help create a protective barrier or film on the hair. This helps seal your hair. So if used on their own, emollients are not moisturizing. However, if you use moisturizing products and then also use an emollient, the emollient helps your hair stay moisturized by basically sealing the moisturizing ingredients into your hair.
Silicones are “manmade” emollients, but there are many other types, too. For example, fatty alcohols are emollients, as are some oils and butters, proteins and hydrolyzed proteins and more.
Dimethicone is often listed as the “worst” silicone, and it is an emollient, but shea butter and argan oil are two examples of emollients that are not seen as “bad” by those who follow the curly girl method, basically just because they’re more natural. The function is the same, though. That’s not to say that all emollients work exactly the same, as they do vary some. So…