PDA

View Full Version : Back to cones?



ErinLeigh
December 31st, 2013, 01:16 AM
I am wondering if I should go back to silicones. I am reading they do not build up as much as I thought and that cationic sufacants and heavy oils are actually harder to remove from hair than the cones are.

Does anyone one have any Input? It's really hard for me to know if cones were ever an issue on hair causing lankness or dryness because I did brazillian blowouts. Considering I was using special shampoos to preserve the treatment I could have had buildup. Add in the drying I found out the keratin treatment caused over time ...Maybe I gave cones a bad rap when it was the keratin that really was the issue.

I am am trying to get to know my hair in its natural state and find out what it likes but it's really hard to know.
My hair does seem to look good with cones. Oils tend to make my hair look oily. I do like avocado and coconut for strengthening however and don't want to comes to interfere in that.

I am feeling confused. I thought my cone free hair was the way to go...but I am learning my cationic surfactants are essentially doing what cones did anyway...except being harder to remove.

Does anyone have suggestions,comments,advice or insight into this?

HintOfMint
December 31st, 2013, 01:23 AM
Hah, welcome back to the dark side, we have cake...

In all seriousness though, silicones have an unfairly bad rep in my opinion. As far as sealants and smoothing goes, silicones are the gold standard. They don't build up nearly as bad as previous conventional wisdom has said (if you're really concerned, amodimethicone is particularly resistant to buildup, so it's something to look for in conditioners), and can indeed be removed by sulfate-free shampoos.

There are still good reasons for going cone-free, such as allergies or you don't like the finish that cone-free conditioners leave. Every once in a while I'll prefer fuller and more textured hair and at times cones can make my hair feel like doll's hair, and flatter than I'd like. So I'll go cone-free for a bit. But it's really a matter of taste.

ETA: they also don't block out moisture any more than other emollients do. They're not vacuum-sealed plastic wrap, moisture can still get in and out of your hair.

ExpectoPatronum
December 31st, 2013, 02:21 AM
I believe cones get the bad rap they do because they're used in a lot of products that claim to 'repair' split ends, when in reality, they just hide the damage. As long as you understand that the they aren't going to repair anything, and your hair likes them, I see nothing wrong with using them at all. I used to use cones all the time and never once had a problem with build up - even with the heavier ones.

I prefer the look of my hair without cones at the moment, much like HintofMint says. I like the texture and the fullness my hair has without cones, but if it starts looking too much like I got struck by lightning, I reach for a coney serum to tame the beast down. So, you're not alone if you decide to follow the coney road :)

ErinLeigh
December 31st, 2013, 03:14 AM
that was my fear..the blocking. And it seems I was "blocking" some anyway with oils.
My final and last concern is will my coconut penetrate enough over the cones, or will I have to wash them out before doing my overnight oilings?

Mint I agree, I like to switch it up myself. Sometimes I want shiny sleek doll hair but other times I want some volume and texture which is why it is time to incorporate some cones back without fear. I also like how cones seem to keep hair protected in a way if that makes sense. Less mechanical damage when I use cones.

ErinLeigh
December 31st, 2013, 03:16 AM
I believe cones get the bad rap they do because they're used in a lot of products that claim to 'repair' split ends, when in reality, they just hide the damage. As long as you understand that the they aren't going to repair anything, and your hair likes them, I see nothing wrong with using them at all. I used to use cones all the time and never once had a problem with build up - even with the heavier ones.

I prefer the look of my hair without cones at the moment, much like HintofMint says. I like the texture and the fullness my hair has without cones, but if it starts looking too much like I got struck by lightning, I reach for a coney serum to tame the beast down. So, you're not alone if you decide to follow the coney road :)

HA yes I need to tame the beast sometimes. Florida humidity really effects my hair. I can walk out door with straight hair and have fully formed waves, curls and wurls within mintues.

PrincessIdril
December 31st, 2013, 07:41 AM
My coney serum is the only thing that gets my curls to look somewhat respectable! I would be lost without them. Personally I don't believe that they do hide damage as I can still see all my splits/white dots even after using 3 coney products one after the other.

Also I use cones and coconut oil together and I think the coconut is still getting through. I do a weekly overnight oiling and my hair looks the same in the morning as it did before I started using cones regularly. So I'm sure they aren't blocking it from doing it's job.

Arashi
December 31st, 2013, 08:14 AM
I still avoid dimethicone but I am a returned conehead too. My favorite conditioner right now has cones (Renpure Argan Oil) and honestly I find the results no different (in terms of buildup or lack of it) from a good cone-free one.

Also I just ordered one of the BPAL hair glosses to try in all its coney glory. :D

sarahthegemini
December 31st, 2013, 09:03 AM
Personally I dislike cones because they conceal damage and prevent you from seeing the actual state of your hair. I do so much better without them, I also discovered my fine and thin hair has more body without cones weighing it down. I get incredible softness, smoothness, slippyness and shine without having to use cones though so for me it's a no-brainer

Kaelee
December 31st, 2013, 09:19 AM
I use a ton of silicones, of just about every variety they make. :laugh:

sourgrl
December 31st, 2013, 09:26 AM
Up until winter hit I was cone free. Cones weigh my waves down and make my hair feel 'skinny'. But, in my experience they seal in moisture better than oils. When we have the occasional warm day I clarify and then do a SMT. My clarified hair feels great so the cones seem to be doing what I need them to do: keeping moisture in.

On another note, I was born and raised in the Sunshine state. No amount of cones ever helped my poof! But, going humectant free did. Something you may want to consider if using cones doesn't work.

schnibbles
December 31st, 2013, 09:29 AM
Since it's winter and the air is really dry, I was guilty of over-oiling, I think. My hair was starting to look and feel unusually straw-like. I was cone-free and basically just oiling. When I noticed my hair wasn't happy, I went out and got a coney conditioner (I went with Aussie Moist) been using it for over a week and my hair is happy again. I have never felt cones are "bad" but I do think you just have to pay attention to what your hair needs. (and it's changing needs.) I have hard water and need to clarify once in awhile anyhow so build up doesn't concern me too much. @ ErinLeigh - you could try introducing something coney back into your routine and see how it goes. I would almost bet it was the keratin treatment and the special shampoos you were using after the treatment that were giving you problems. (?) I honestly have never heard anything good coming out of keratin treatments, but I will admit that I'm unfamiliar with them anyway.

Firefox7275
December 31st, 2013, 09:30 AM
I am wondering if I should go back to silicones. I am reading they do not build up as much as I thought and that cationic sufacants and heavy oils are actually harder to remove from hair than the cones are.

Does anyone one have any Input? It's really hard for me to know if cones were ever an issue on hair causing lankness or dryness because I did brazillian blowouts. Considering I was using special shampoos to preserve the treatment I could have had buildup. Add in the drying I found out the keratin treatment caused over time ...Maybe I gave cones a bad rap when it was the keratin that really was the issue.

I am am trying to get to know my hair in its natural state and find out what it likes but it's really hard to know.
My hair does seem to look good with cones. Oils tend to make my hair look oily. I do like avocado and coconut for strengthening however and don't want to comes to interfere in that.

I am feeling confused. I thought my cone free hair was the way to go...but I am learning my cationic surfactants are essentially doing what cones did anyway...except being harder to remove.

Does anyone have suggestions,comments,advice or insight into this?

Most cationic surfactants and liquid oils do not build up. Are you getting confused with specific cationic compounds such as certain polyquats and natural butters? Silicones are a broad family, some build up horrendously whilst others resist it. Someone over on NC just posted about a silicone laden serum they tipped down the sink .... Cannot shift the residue even with dish soap.

Neat oils can be tough to distribute, I only use them as minor ingredients in leave in conditioners or as a pre-wash to avoid stringy or greasy hair.

I think silicones are most valuable for detangling/ slip and for disguising damage on straight hair. They do not strengthen or improve the condition of hair but neither do they damage it. I don't regret going cold turkey and seeing old damage grow out, however I did replace the properties of silicones with other proven ingredients. I would introduce certain silicones again if I experience tangling with longer lengths but for now I don't need them. I like the volume I have without, the realistic instead of plastic-y shine, I like that skin and hair are happier without harsh shampoos.

DweamGoiL
December 31st, 2013, 09:51 AM
Most cationic surfactants and liquid oils do not build up. Are you getting confused with specific cationic compounds such as certain polyquats and natural butters? Silicones are a broad family, some build up horrendously whilst others resist it. Someone over on NC just posted about a silicone laden serum they tipped down the sink .... Cannot shift the residue even with dish soap.

Neat oils can be tough to distribute, I only use them as minor ingredients in leave in conditioners or as a pre-wash to avoid stringy or greasy hair.

I think silicones are most valuable for detangling/ slip and for disguising damage on straight hair. They do not strengthen or improve the condition of hair but neither do they damage it. I don't regret going cold turkey and seeing old damage grow out, however I did replace the properties of silicones with other proven ingredients. I would introduce certain silicones again if I experience tangling with longer lengths but for now I don't need them. I like the volume I have without, the realistic instead of plastic-y shine, I like that skin and hair are happier without harsh shampoos.

Seems like today I am just following Firefox around agreeing with her, but yes, big nods. Mostly, I think of silicones as make-up for hair; even in the sense that some make-up is harder to remove than other formulations. There is nothing wrong with using it as long as you understand what you are dealing with and how to remove it when needed.

lapushka
December 31st, 2013, 10:01 AM
Wondering if they don't get the bad wrap because products that use them are cheap. Usually *much* cheaper than a thick, moisturizing cone-free conditioner (natural brands and such).

Firefox7275
December 31st, 2013, 10:03 AM
Seems like today I am just following Firefox around agreeing with her, but yes, big nods. Mostly, I think of silicones as make-up for hair; even in the sense that some make-up is harder to remove than other formulations. There is nothing wrong with using it as long as you understand what you are dealing with and how to remove it when needed.

Ha ha we are a mutual appreciation society, LOVE your analogy about make up!!

patienceneeded
December 31st, 2013, 11:37 AM
I also use cones, my hair just is better with them than without! I've been here 3 years (forgot to mark my own anniverary...oops. Must remedy that later) and have tried most of the washing techniques employed here during that time. I've done CO, CWC, WO, Oil Shampoo, No Cones/No Sulfates, Diluted Shampoo, pre-wash oil treatments, natural/organic only, and probably some others I've forgotten about.

In my 3 years I have managed to remove all the damage from years of heat styling and chemical dyes. My hair is 100% virgin now, with no splits, white dots, or visible damage. All natural. I recently (a few months ago) tried to go cone-free/sulfate free again, thinking that my no-longer-damaged-hair maybe wouldn't "need" cones anymore. Wrong! My hair simply likes cones! Without cones my hair tangles and feels dry and is difficult to manage. With cones I can comb it easily, it looks nicer, and is more manageable. I wash every 3-4 days with plain ol' shampoo and conditioner (my current fav is Herbal Essences, the 90's throw-back in the pink bottle) and I LOVE it.

I do avoid Dimethicone as a silicone, I've never liked the results when it's been used in the washing/conditioning process. I also avoid cones in my shampoo, mainly just because I don't get good results when cones are in my shampoo either. For me, I will use cones because they work. For me. Everyone is different, you need to find what works for you and not worry about the "right way" to deal with your hair.

HintOfMint
December 31st, 2013, 06:05 PM
that was my fear..the blocking. And it seems I was "blocking" some anyway with oils.
My final and last concern is will my coconut penetrate enough over the cones, or will I have to wash them out before doing my overnight oilings?

Mint I agree, I like to switch it up myself. Sometimes I want shiny sleek doll hair but other times I want some volume and texture which is why it is time to incorporate some cones back without fear. I also like how cones seem to keep hair protected in a way if that makes sense. Less mechanical damage when I use cones.

I've had very good results with overnight coconut oilings even after using a coney conditioner from my previous wash. I can't get down to a molecular level and say that the lauric acid definitely penetrated my hair cortex at least to the extent it would on clarified and unconditioned hair, but like I said, cones don't coat every hair and they don't form an impenetrable seal, at least no more than any other cone-free conditioner. Remember that all conditioners function by coating. All of them, coney and non-coney alike. I think you'll be fine. Good luck!

stringy
December 31st, 2013, 06:22 PM
I like using cones. When they build up I just clarify. (For me, build up just causes my hair to be dry and tangled.)

Pre-wash oiling is good. I put olive oil on the length, and this keeps the shampoo from being too harsh on my ends.

You mentioned you're in Florida, I am too and the water here sucks. Citric acid rinses have made a big difference. They remove the hard water deposits from the hair.

ExpectoPatronum
December 31st, 2013, 06:52 PM
Seems like today I am just following Firefox around agreeing with her, but yes, big nods. Mostly, I think of silicones as make-up for hair; even in the sense that some make-up is harder to remove than other formulations. There is nothing wrong with using it as long as you understand what you are dealing with and how to remove it when needed.

Wow...That's a great analogy for cone use. I wish I had thought of it!

AmyBeth
December 31st, 2013, 08:05 PM
I've decided that my hair can't do without cones. I've started using the ShiKai line of shampoos and conditioners which contain amodimethicone, a supposedly more soluble form of silicone which does not build up as easily, although I've never had that problem with any silicones. They always feel wonderful in my hair.

DweamGoiL
December 31st, 2013, 09:22 PM
Wow...That's a great analogy for cone use. I wish I had thought of it!


Thank you *blush*. Feel free to use it moving forward :)

ErinLeigh
January 1st, 2014, 03:57 PM
Most cationic surfactants and liquid oils do not build up. Are you getting confused with specific cationic compounds such as certain polyquats and natural butters? Silicones are a broad family, some build up horrendously whilst others resist it. Someone over on NC just posted about a silicone laden serum they tipped down the sink .... Cannot shift the residue even with dish soap.

Neat oils can be tough to distribute, I only use them as minor ingredients in leave in conditioners or as a pre-wash to avoid stringy or greasy hair.

I think silicones are most valuable for detangling/ slip and for disguising damage on straight hair. They do not strengthen or improve the condition of hair but neither do they damage it. I don't regret going cold turkey and seeing old damage grow out, however I did replace the properties of silicones with other proven ingredients. I would introduce certain silicones again if I experience tangling with longer lengths but for now I don't need them. I like the volume I have without, the realistic instead of plastic-y shine, I like that skin and hair are happier without harsh shampoos.

I don't what I am gettting confused about. Thats kinda the issue. I am trying to make sense of things.
As I mentioned before I have a ton of products I have aquired over the years. I started organizing them based on certain ingredients and catergories and now just trying to determine some info on them. What stirred my curiosity on it all was seeing such a dramatic transformation in my hair on such a short time buy tweaking how I used my products plus adding certain oils and honey to my routine. I really what to know which of the products or combinations really transformed my hair. Only thing that has changed in my routine were
adding oils (coconut, hemp, avocado)
honey cowashes or SMTs
using cones a lot less so I could watch my hair and see if it was true transformation.

Since I was considering giving away a lot of my stash I really want to make sure I am keeping the products that did work. SOMETHING worked. BUt since I alternate routine so much....what was it and why?! This is why I have all the questions.
What sparked this particular thread was reading this.

Cationic quaternary compounds like BTMS or cetrimonium bromide can potentially build-up on our hair if we are using too much, for instance, intense conditioners as every day or leave in conditioners, and this is increased by the usage of cetyl alcohol in said conditioners, because cetyl alcohol can increase substantivity

We use cationic quaternary compounds because they offer conditioning properties - reduced friction, static, and impact of combing forces, and improved lubricity. The problem arises when we can't remove the conditioner from our hair when we wash it, generally because we aren't using a well formulated, mild, surfactant based cleanser.

Cationic polymers can build up on our hair over time, but if we use a good surfactant based cleanser, they'll be rinsed out during the next washing. If we're using the cationic polymers in a shampoo, they can form a negatively charged complex with excess surfactant that will resist removal. This is one of the reasons we use the surfactant levels we do in a conditioning shampoo - too much excess surfactant can cause this problem - and the reason we don't use a ton of cationic polymers! This negatively charged complex increases with SLS, for some reason, which is another reason to formulate with more gentle surfactants. (Polyquats 6, 7, 10, 11, and 16 are more likely to resist removal than the other polyquats.)

Silicones can build up on your hair if you are using a lot - for instance, in your shampoo, conditioner, leave in conditioner, anti-frizz spray, and heat styling product. The worst culprit is amodimethicone as it is more substantive to your hair than dimethicone or cyclomethicone. Using 2% in a shampoo, then 2% in a conditioner is unlikely to cause build-up, and you really have to be using a lot to get any sort of true build-up from silicones. (And remember, 2% cetrimonium chloride gets rid of silicones - even a lot of them!)

The more damaged your hair, the more potential build-up of the conditioning agents - damaged hair has a higher negative charge, and we know the more negatively charged your hair, the more conditioner is deposited. You want more deposition, but you also need to remove the conditioning agents when cleansing your hair the next time. So if you're using intense conditioners or tons of styling products regularly, make sure you also use a clarifying shampoo (no conditioning agents or silicone) and include some cetrimonium chloride in your creations!

Firefox7275
January 2nd, 2014, 04:34 PM
I don't what I am gettting confused about. Thats kinda the issue. I am trying to make sense of things.
As I mentioned before I have a ton of products I have aquired over the years. I started organizing them based on certain ingredients and catergories and now just trying to determine some info on them. What stirred my curiosity on it all was seeing such a dramatic transformation in my hair on such a short time buy tweaking how I used my products plus adding certain oils and honey to my routine. I really what to know which of the products or combinations really transformed my hair. Only thing that has changed in my routine were
adding oils (coconut, hemp, avocado)
honey cowashes or SMTs
using cones a lot less so I could watch my hair and see if it was true transformation.

Since I was considering giving away a lot of my stash I really want to make sure I am keeping the products that did work. SOMETHING worked. BUt since I alternate routine so much....what was it and why?! This is why I have all the questions.
What sparked this particular thread was reading this.

Cationic quaternary compounds like BTMS or cetrimonium bromide can potentially build-up on our hair if we are using too much, for instance, intense conditioners as every day or leave in conditioners, and this is increased by the usage of cetyl alcohol in said conditioners, because cetyl alcohol can increase substantivity

We use cationic quaternary compounds because they offer conditioning properties - reduced friction, static, and impact of combing forces, and improved lubricity. The problem arises when we can't remove the conditioner from our hair when we wash it, generally because we aren't using a well formulated, mild, surfactant based cleanser.

Cationic polymers can build up on our hair over time, but if we use a good surfactant based cleanser, they'll be rinsed out during the next washing. If we're using the cationic polymers in a shampoo, they can form a negatively charged complex with excess surfactant that will resist removal. This is one of the reasons we use the surfactant levels we do in a conditioning shampoo - too much excess surfactant can cause this problem - and the reason we don't use a ton of cationic polymers! This negatively charged complex increases with SLS, for some reason, which is another reason to formulate with more gentle surfactants. (Polyquats 6, 7, 10, 11, and 16 are more likely to resist removal than the other polyquats.)

Silicones can build up on your hair if you are using a lot - for instance, in your shampoo, conditioner, leave in conditioner, anti-frizz spray, and heat styling product. The worst culprit is amodimethicone as it is more substantive to your hair than dimethicone or cyclomethicone. Using 2% in a shampoo, then 2% in a conditioner is unlikely to cause build-up, and you really have to be using a lot to get any sort of true build-up from silicones. (And remember, 2% cetrimonium chloride gets rid of silicones - even a lot of them!)

The more damaged your hair, the more potential build-up of the conditioning agents - damaged hair has a higher negative charge, and we know the more negatively charged your hair, the more conditioner is deposited. You want more deposition, but you also need to remove the conditioning agents when cleansing your hair the next time. So if you're using intense conditioners or tons of styling products regularly, make sure you also use a clarifying shampoo (no conditioning agents or silicone) and include some cetrimonium chloride in your creations!



You appeared to be using the term cationic surfactants when you meant specific cationic compounds, the most substantive of which are not surfactants. That is indeed borne out by the article you copied and pasted.

You haven't referenced your source. What are the qualifications of the author? 'Curl chemist' Tonya McKay says amodimethicone resists building up - IIRC she has post graduate qualifications in her subject (polymer science) and does read the published research in cosmetic science. I believe she is soon to do an article on polyquats and build up, as requested on the Naturallycurly forums. Apologies for not linking to the specific article on amodimethicone and other amine functionalised silicones, I am on my phone but you should be able to find it via Google.

Yes cationics plus anionics can form a complex which is one reason condition-wash-conditioned does not work for some. Yes some polyquats can build up but most cationic surfactants are unlikely to do so, each compound has a different solubility and substantivity. There is currently a discussion over on NC about whether porosity affects the risk of build up, no idea if that has ever been specifically studied.

The problem you mention with not knowing what worked (what ingredient you added or what ingredient you dropped) is precisely why it is often recommended to make one change to your routine at a time and give that a few weeks,before making another change.