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Think Piece, Think Please: No 'Cone Hair Care Routine


Think Piece, Think Please is a tag in my blog where I tackle public misinformation, personal confusions or reflections on divisive beauty issues.

Last time we left off on a TPTP article, I dismissively ranted about the great public misinformation on parabens. I took on a very combative and frustrated tone because I knew exactly what I was talking about.

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This time, I'd like to take everyone through a discussion where I'm not so sure of myself. Has anyone ever heard of a No 'Cone hair routine? A few days ago I wrote about my secret weapon, Vitress Cuticle Coats, and promised to write about no 'cone because those little magic potions are basically melting pots of various silicones. 



Why No 'Cone?

I first read about No 'Cone through Helga of blog.ditz-revolution.net when she had this really crazy hair experimentation phase about 2 years agoThe idea of this practice is that silicone, in its many different forms, is highly pervasive in commercial haircare products i.e. shampoos, conditioners and treatments. I initially rolled my eyes because the common arguments I've found online goes along the lines of chemical, bad for you, unnatural, blablabla. Cheesus.

First of all, silicones are not bad toxic chemicals that can kill you. People have been leaving chunks of silicone inside their noses, cheeks and breasts because it's one of the safer materials that your body won't try to freak out on.

There are, however, two valid arguments I keep in mind. The first is that silicones block natural moisture once they coat the hair. I'm not sure if this means that hair sponges up environmental humidity because you're kinda fucked up anyway if your hair needs what little moisture there is in air to prevent it from having a total meltdown. It could mean that silicones block off natural oil from interacting with your hair strands, but I can't exactly imagine how silicone would be less preferable to your scalp's oil if they'll both have the end result of moisturizing your hair. Unless natural oil penetrates the hair shaft while silicone only hangs out on the surface... then I get the point.

But if you have a dry scalp, don't you kind of need that artificial moisture to fill in? I have dry skin on my face and leaving it alone never balanced my natural oil production. See: flakes ala horreure whenever I skip skincare.

The other point I keep in mind is that silicones are essentially a heavy kind of oil and they can build up and chunk along on your hairshaft until you take some specially formulated clarifying shampoos to break them down. Yet one must also remember that there are a lot of water soluble and lightweight silicones which don't need special aftercare. I feel like as long as you know your silicones, this second point shouldn't really be an issue.


Why Bother?

Personally, I haven't made a commitment to avoid silicones, light nor heavy, oil-based nor water-soluble. I feel like this issue is highly dependent on hair texture, length, shape and all of those personal genetic issues and I've always observed that my hair does benefit from silicone products like Vitress.

I think it's because my hair is a bit brittle, so silicone reinforces my hair strands and I get less split ends, hair fall and breakage. Hair that's too dry and not smoothed down by silicone gets easily tangled up and in effect, snaps off with the same fragility as your broken heart after watching Titanic. Wake up, Jack!!!

ANYWAY, it's so hard to assume that everyone will have the same experience because hair comes in so many textures, thickness and forms. I'm not sure if silicones are actually good for my hair or if I'm just choosing to believe so because I don't want to go through the hassle of avoiding 'cone laden products. As for now, I'm sticking to my 'cones pending further information.


Short Reading List:

HairBoutique.com - A balanced and informative article about silicones in your hair care. This is a great primer for those who want to get further briefing on the no 'cone philosophy.

(Additional, Sept. 20, 3:40PM) PaulasChoice.com - This link leads to Silicone in the Cosmetic Ingredients Dictionary page. Paula's Choice carries a good reference for common cosmetic ingredients. She often debunks misconceptions and ranks ingredients as Best, Good, Poor, etc.


How do you feel about silicones on your hair? Do share and if you have any informative links or forums I can read up on, I'd love to see them!


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