If you keep a close watch on the ingredients you put on your face, it's time to turn your attention to your hair-care products. While ingredients that can compromise your hair's health aren't always as obvious as an ingredient that doesn't agree with your face, it doesn't mean you aren't potentially causing damage in the long run. In addition to cutting back on shampoos that contain sulfates, using one of the best silicone-free conditioners can also help you achieve healthier hair. Despite the instantaneous benefits of detangling and smoothing, silicones can cause buildup on the hair shaft over time, causing dryness and dull-looking hair that feels heavy and weighed down.
To remedy damage that's already been done, it's a good idea to invest in a clarifying shampoo to thoroughly remove silicone buildup from previous conditioners and styling products you might have used. Then, start looking for a conditioner that's silicone-free — starting with this guide below. According to Self, the most common silicones you'll find in your conditioner include dimethicone (and any variation of the word), cyclomethicone, cyclopentasiloxane, and phenyl trimethicone. Basically, if the ingredient in question ends in "-cone," it's a silicone.
But you don't even have to worry about all that, because the work has already been done for you. Scroll on for five of the best silicone-free conditioners you can buy for any budget.
1. Best Budget Silicone-Free Conditioner
For a $5 pick, the Garnier Fructis Pure Clean Fortifying Conditioner is a solid drugstore choice. Garnier has been making serious efforts to make quality hair products affordable with their Pure Clean and Whole Blends lines. This formula is, of course, silicone-free, using ingredients like aloe extract and vitamin E to condition hair instead. Aloe extract naturally contains vitamins A, B, C, and E, and because of its moisturizing and soothing properties, it helps give your hair the same shine and smoothness as silicones, but without the buildup. Garnier also developed their own Active Fruit Protein complex that's made with a blend of citrus protein, plant-derived and fruit-derived extracts, and vitamins B3 and B6, which work to help strengthen hair and improve its overall health.
2. Best Silicone-Free Conditioner For Generally Dry Hair
If you have hair that tends to feel dry, the Klorane Nourishing Conditioner is a decadent moisturizing choice. The brand, which is a staple in French pharmacies, is all about using plant-based ingredients and developing eco-friendly packaging whenever possible, hence this formula that's biodegradable and vegan. This silicone-free conditioner uses mango butter is its star ingredient to moisturize, soften, and protect hair, thanks to the fatty acids and vitamins mango kernels naturally contain. For even more nourishing benefits, leave this conditioner on your hair a little longer, like you would a mask.
3. Best Silicone-Free Conditioner For Curly Hair
It goes without saying that generally, the curlier your hair, the more moisturizing ingredients you need to lock out frizz and keep your curls soft, which is why Maui Moisture developed its Curl Quench + Coconut Oil Conditioner. You'll find the moisturizing ingredients in this conditioner towards the top of the list, which is how you can tell it uses a higher concentration of the ingredients your hair really needs. Maui Moisture's formula starts with aloe vera, which is followed by other heavy-duty hydrators like coconut oil, papaya butter, and plumeria extract. Expect less tangles and knots, reduced frizz, and bouncier, more defined-looking curls.
4. Best Silicone-Free Conditioner For Fine Hair
For fine or limp-looking hair in need of a boost, this Acure Vivacious Volume Conditioner is a customer favorite. The vegan and cruelty-free formula is loaded with fruit and plant extracts like aloe, açaí, blackberry, and pomegranate, as well as argan, pumpkin seed, and sea buckthorn oils, to moisturize and strengthen hair without weighing it down. Meanwhile, to boost volume, Acure included echinacea cell culture extract and quinoa protein extract in the formula. Last, peppermint and rooibos extract give the shampoo an invigorating feel and minty scent.
5. Best Silicone-Free Shampoo & Conditioner Set
If you want to completely remove silicones from your in-shower routine and save money in the process, try this Pantene Charcoal shampoo and conditioner set. The duo comes in two jumbo 17.9-ounce bottles, and both formulas are free of silicones, of course. The shampoo and conditioner are lightweight, with the shampoo using activated charcoal to clean hair by drawing out dirt and impurities, plus pro-vitamin B5 to moisturize. The conditioner works similarly, using pro-vitamin B5 and white charcoal to create a creamy formula that leaves hair silky and shiny.
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