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View Full Version : What is this "cone" business....



WoolSweater
December 31st, 2013, 06:16 PM
Okay, ignorant post coming up. Warning you now.

I'm one of those people who do every single thing "all natural", but, well, half the time I don't really understand what I'm avoiding. The label says it's bad, so I say it's bad. Super genius, right? Um...
Anyway, I've always avoided silicones/anything ending with "cones", because the healthy organic stuff says "no silicones" so I always accepted that as, if they're going so far as to print on the label that it's not in there, it must be bad/cancer inducing/will kill me. But I can't really find solid information on cones, and I see some people swearing by them and some banishing them to hell. Since I've always avoided them and my hair is still a flat, dull, boring mess, maybe I could give it a go? But what are they, and since my hair has never really been introduced to them, will my hair freak out? What should I expect? Or is this just a terrible idea? Please say so. And explain your love or hate relationship with cones, please!

(If you're wondering what my hair type is for the cones/no cones debate, it's very fine, silky yet frizzy ((yes, really)), and gets oily within a day.)

ejking2
December 31st, 2013, 06:31 PM
My hair is fine/silky/frizzy like yours and I am firmly in the yes-to-cones camp. They detangle like a charm, and that prevents damage! A good coney conditioner makes tangles just fall out like magic. I don't believe the hype that they seal out moisture or cause damage in some way. I just clarify every month or so to take care of any buildup. I've not heard of anyone claiming cones cause cancer or other health problems with topical use, and I wouldn't believe it for a second if I had.

If you try them, expect slippery hair and pretty shine! Don't necessarily expect any miracles when it comes to frizz. (for me, the ends of my baby hairs curl and wave oddly which causes them to stick out)

AspenSong
December 31st, 2013, 06:37 PM
I don't use cones currently, but I don't think they're bad, by any means. To my knowledge they're just forms of silicones that sort of coat the hair and seal it sort of. I'm sure others will and can explain better. lol.

I personally say, go for it and try some!! I doubt your hair is going to freak out or anything of the like. And it's not like they're permanent or anything! It's a good thing to experiment with IMO. It's silly to say cones are bad or good I think because we ALL have different hair and things our hair likes and doesn't - doesn't mean something is "bad" because one persons hair doesn't like it and so on. My hair likes Coconut oil - some peoples hair hates it. Doesn't make it bad! Just means it works for me and my hair loves the protein right now!
For me personally, I stopped using them because I was persistently getting the "crunchies" from them and didn't like how my hair felt and I didn't know to tie that feeling in my hair to the 'cones and what was in my conditioner, so I always thought my hair was just horrible. Turns out, just did better with less stuff on it. I have very fine and thin hair and I liked the feeling Cone free gave me much better. For my hair, it made it feel softer and silkier and I loved that. I may try something coney again at some point, and if it's working for my hair I'll keep using it. :)

I say to experiment away. You won't know what reacts well with your hair if you don't give some different products a try!

ExpectoPatronum
December 31st, 2013, 06:39 PM
I use cones. They make my coarse hair nice and soft. They get an unfair rap around here. I'm a firm believer in doing what makes you and your hair happy.

walterSCAN
December 31st, 2013, 06:58 PM
Yeah, I wouldn't say cones are inherently bad in and of themselves. Me and my hair, however, hate them. I never get any slip or detangling out of them, I get sticky/ tangly hair. :( Also, they tend to weigh my very straight, fine hair down. No fun.

All of that said, some people love cones, and I've noticed quite a few of them are wavies. Give it a try! Like AspenSong said, they aren't permanent and you'll never know if your hair likes them unless you try them.

Eden Iris
December 31st, 2013, 07:22 PM
I've recently been experimenting with cones because I got a sample of Nexxus products to test at home (I do product surveys online, and once in a while I get sent something fun). My prior experience with cones was bad, but now I'm realizing it was because I used a leave-in serum on my ends every day, and it was too much for them: they got all crunchy and strawlike.

My recent experience conditioning once a week or less with a coney product has been great! So great, in fact, I'm considering buying some more and alternating with my kind natural hippie s&c. I did a lot of research on the stuff I was asked to try, and, although sulfate shampoo is not something I want to use regularly because it's harsh on my hair, the particular cones in this conditioner allegedly wash out with a mild, sulfate-free shampoo. Time will tell if I have to clarify.

Give cones a try! You never know.

AmyBeth
December 31st, 2013, 08:01 PM
I tried to go without cones for about a year and was never satisfied. My hair was sticky and gummy and tangly, even with vinegar rinses. I started using again 3 weeks ago. I'm so happy now that I'm using them again! I have hopes that they will help get me to some extent break through this 5 month growth stall! I'm not losing as much hair in my daily comb outs since I started using cones again, and maybe I won't lose as much growth.

GoddesJourney
December 31st, 2013, 08:02 PM
I don't like silicones because they coat my hair and make it feel like plastic. I also found through experimentation that they cause frizziness and dryness on my hair and greasy feeling and shedding from my scalp. However, when my hair was damaged from bleach, dye and abuse, silicones were a miracle cure for stringy hair, Velcro ends and tangles. My hair is much coarser than yours so you may have different results. I have never had my hair very far past waist length so I'm not sure if my ends will need or want them one day in the future.

WoolSweater
December 31st, 2013, 08:12 PM
Okay, next question...questions....

Does anyone know a good /natural/ shampoo that has cones? When I am shampoo shopping, seems all the bottles say "no silicones!".

Should I start out with a cone shampoo, or conditioner?


Thanks for the posts so far. :D

heidi w.
December 31st, 2013, 08:20 PM
I found out I often used cone products. My hair did fine with them.
heidi w.

ejking2
December 31st, 2013, 08:25 PM
Cones in shampoo don't make a big difference for me. They help keep my hair from tangling during the shampoo process but don't do much else. I'd say you should start with a coney conditioner if you really want to see the effects.

I don't know any "natural" shampoos with cones, but I suppose there are some. They typically contain many other synthetic ingredients. The "natural" label is often a misnomer/gimmick IMO.

patienceneeded
December 31st, 2013, 09:27 PM
I love my cones! Give it a try, it's worth experimenting. Maybe they'll work for you, maybe they won't. I personally will not abandon my cones anytime soon...without them my hair snarls and tangles badly...which is WAY more damaging than anything else I use on my head. So, cones for me!

I don't like them in my shampoo at all...it's in the conditioner that they have their value (for me).

Not sure about "natural," do you mean Organic? Or simply labeled as "natural?" IMO a lot of natural products are no better than their counter-parts in the regular section of the drugstore. They just have a different label and cost more. I did use "all natural" products for a while and found my hair was displeased. You'll just have to look at the labels when you shop next. I know there are some natural brands that use cones, but can't think of any offhand. I think some (or most) of the Aveda products contain cones...but they are expensive.

lapushka
January 1st, 2014, 06:17 AM
Silicones in shampoos are a no-no for me. I just can't let them touch my oily scalp, or it will get oilier faster. That's the *only* reason I avoid them in shampoos. But in conditioners, the more the merrier! :D I mean, it makes my hair silky, smooth, there's literally no detangling involved to get it tangle-free. Yes, I'm a big fan!

YamaMaya
January 1st, 2014, 06:19 AM
Cones aren't bad, they're just a bit of a hassle in my opinion, because they come with the need to clarify, which means sulphates, and my scalp does not like sulphates in the slightest. All my old sulphate shampoos are being used up cleaning my brushes and that's it.

NoRush
January 1st, 2014, 07:51 AM
You won't find cones in truly natural shampoos because they're sintethic substances and polluting so ecofriendly formulas don't contain them.

I'm a cone free head most of the time, but I have used coney products in the past and still do from time to time when my hair feels funny and I need a change for a while, my favs are Garnier Fructis and Schwarzkopf Gliss. I also like Aussie. :)

Experiment away! :)

Wildcat Diva
January 1st, 2014, 07:52 AM
I do believe that the kind of cone makes a difference. Member Piggy on here would tell you that some cones are soluble in water and can be used in a CO wash without fear of buildup. I'm sure there are threads here already on this topic. I've tried Pantene Ice Shine before, with ok results. I don't think I'm a fan of the plastic feel. I might use cones as a tangle reducing tool for the long haul though.

Foxylocks
January 1st, 2014, 11:36 AM
My hair agrees with both cone conditioners and non cone conditioners. Silicone conditioners make my hair especially soft and a breeze to comb. I must say, I have never seen a shampoo that contains silicone derivatives. Like the others said, the effects and benefits of silicones will be more apparent in a conditioner.

bibijay
January 1st, 2014, 12:06 PM
I have the same hair - fine, silky but frizzy! After a colouring disaster (long story, see my newbie post) left it fried and snapping off I turned to this forum and have been experimenting ever since with different approaches/ products.
I've always used cones and didn't even know I was doing so till LHC enlightened me. Anyway, I have discovered, so far (early days cos only been a month) that cutting cones down drastically seems to work for my hair.
I now use sulphate free shampoo and cone free conditioner - a protein one followed by a teensy dab of moisturising conditioner - and follow up with 2 dabs of coney serum and 1 dab of coney oil to help comb through the (inevitable) tangles.
My hair looks fuller and thicker and is staying cleaner and not getting oily till day 3. My other new discoveries are Microfibre turban drying, coconut oil pre-wash every few weeks, stretching washes, and using much less shampoo - diluted with water to spread it through hair.
So I must admit, at the moment my feeling is that cutting cones down, if not out, is a great idea!

ExpectoPatronum
January 1st, 2014, 12:31 PM
Now that I've included more cones into my hair routine besides just one product, I have this to say.

I have coarse hair that no matter what I use - cone free conditioners, oils, other products - my hair NEVER feels soft. Cones are the only thing that makes my hair 'touchably soft' to quote some shampoo commercials. In addition to that, they give my hair just enough slip that makes it a breeze to put into a dutch braid after I wash it - a task that was a downright pain without cones. I have no problem with clarifying a little more often (my scalp likes it anyway) so I'm officially a regular cone-head.

catasa
January 1st, 2014, 12:33 PM
Silicones in themselves are (as far as I have read) not at all harmful to you/your hair/your skin, they are (again as far as I have read) very non-allergenic/non-irritating and non-comedogenic, and are usually very effective for sealing/smoothing etc (hence their widespread use :) ).

If they work for your hair, use them I would say! I myself do not use them anymore since they make my hair feel like plastic doll hair (probably only because I am now used to more uncoated hair... but I canīt really believe that I used them (unknowingly) for so many years before coming here and never felt this in my hair before??) Anyway, if I found some coney product that worked I would absolutely use it!

As others have said though, many cones build up and may be harder to remove than other sealing/smoothing substances (specifically needing a clarifying shampoo or at least a regular SLS-shampoo to wash out). There are different kinds of cones though, I donīt know enough but I think that there are lists on here, or out there, where cones and their properties are described.

I donīt have any product recommendations unfortunately, I normally use organic shampoo but I have never seen any with cones in it as far as I can remember.

askan
January 1st, 2014, 02:37 PM
Someone mentioned in another thread about cones, that the bad reputation might come from the way silicone products often are marketed, saying that they'll repair broken hairs and splits, which is just false marketing.

I have also believed that because I CO-washed I had to avoid cones, but as mentioned earlier there are cones that don't bulid up. Using regular shampoo too often dried my hair out completely and made it static and tangled, and when I first tried CO my hair felt a million times better so since then I've avoided cones.

Firefox7275
January 2nd, 2014, 05:21 PM
Many ingredients in so called natural products are not found in nature, for example alkaline soap which is made by chemical reaction in a factory/ lab/ someone's kitchen.

Silicones are not just suffix -cone, they are also -xane and -conol. Many other ingredients can build up including natural butters and hydrolysed proteins (natural example: gelatin). There is a series of about seven balanced, evidence based articles on the properties, pros and cons on Naturallycurly by 'curl chemist' Tonya McKay.

Are you trying to force your 2a wavy hair straight and tangle free? If so yes you probably will get frizz, unless you use a flat iron and silicones, pouf/ fluff/ tangles is the nature if the beast especially if it is brushed or combed out. One ingredient that often works for fine hair is hydrolysed protein.

WoolSweater
January 2nd, 2014, 05:28 PM
Many ingredients in so called natural products are not found in nature, for example alkaline soap which is made by chemical reaction in a factory/ lab/ someone's kitchen.

Silicones are not just suffix -cone, they are also -xane and -conol. Many other ingredients can build up including natural butters and hydrolysed proteins (natural example: gelatin). There is a series of about seven balanced, evidence based articles on the properties, pros and cons on Naturallycurly by 'curl chemist' Tonya McKay.

Are you trying to force your 2a wavy hair straight and tangle free? If so yes you probably will get frizz, unless you use a flat iron and silicones, pouf/ fluff/ tangles is the nature if the beast especially if it is brushed or combed out. One ingredient that often works for fine hair is hydrolysed protein.

No I am not trying to straighten, I do brush it before a shower otherwise it turns into a rat's nest! I just hate frizzy hair. 8( I'll look in to that ingredient, thank you!!

Firefox7275
January 2nd, 2014, 05:36 PM
No I am not trying to straighten, I do brush it before a shower otherwise it turns into a rat's nest! I just hate frizzy hair. 8( I'll look in to that ingredient, thank you!!

Many wavies and curlies find the less they brush/ comb the less they need to brush/ comb. Have you tried the Curly Girl method? That advocates finger detangling in the shower only when hair is slathered in conditioner.

I find conditioner only washing makes a huge difference in level of pouf and tangles, as does how you massage the scalp when washing. I now detangle during the wash stage, which I couldn't dream of doing without damage when I used shampoo. If that would weigh your fine hair down, you might try a super gentle low-poo (sulphate free ideally anionic surfactant free) at pH ~4.5 which helps the cuticle lay flat and thus aids slip.

WoolSweater
January 2nd, 2014, 05:52 PM
Many wavies and curlies find the less they brush/ comb the less they need to brush/ comb. Have you tried the Curly Girl method? That advocates finger detangling in the shower only when hair is slathered in conditioner.

I find conditioner only washing makes a huge difference in level of pouf and tangles, as does how you massage the scalp when washing. I now detangle during the wash stage, which I couldn't dream of doing without damage when I used shampoo. If that would weigh your fine hair down, you might try a super gentle low-poo (sulphate free ideally anionic surfactant free) at pH ~4.5 which helps the cuticle lay flat and thus aids slip.


I was trying the Curly Girl method, but only for three washes as my hair was getting really oily despite me washing all the conditioner out. Maybe it was an adjustment period? My hair is greasy enough on its own, so being even more greasy, all the way down to the length, eek :( ! I think I will do the low poo next, I am still searching for the perfect shampoo to water down to try this with. Also I don't think my conditioner is what I need, so I'm on the hunt for that, too, maybe with cones!

Firefox7275
January 2nd, 2014, 09:24 PM
I was trying the Curly Girl method, but only for three washes as my hair was getting really oily despite me washing all the conditioner out. Maybe it was an adjustment period? My hair is greasy enough on its own, so being even more greasy, all the way down to the length, eek :( ! I think I will do the low poo next, I am still searching for the perfect shampoo to water down to try this with. Also I don't think my conditioner is what I need, so I'm on the hunt for that, too, maybe with cones!

The Curly Girl method does not require you to conditioner only wash that is a myth, gentle sulphate free shampoos are permitted.

May have been poor product choice, poor technique, not right amount of product used, adjustment period. Did you clarify before you started, build up a light lather with the conditioner, rinse with massage until roots felt literally squeaky clean?

Check out Komaza Care Moja shampoo, they use a lot of natural hair and scalp friendly ingredients.

MaryO
January 3rd, 2014, 11:59 AM
I have always used cones as I am happy with my hair's condition (it is extremely tangly when wet so I'm not brave enough to leave them!) I am, however, looking into sulphate free shampoos but just for interest's sake. ;-)

DelynofRhondda
January 3rd, 2014, 01:40 PM
I'm beginning to wonder if avoiding silicon based conditioner &/or styling products is what causes my hair to split & break at anything longer than MBL. Every time it gets to Elbow Length I end up having to get it cut back because it looks horrid. Very tattered & torn.

The "Curly Girl" protocol works great for me otherwise; soft, shiney, manageable hair. I do want to let it grow to maybe terminal length...someday. If it means switching to silicon based products, so be it. I use a silicon based make-up primer. I use a silicon based hand & foot salve. So, why not give it a go on the hair...

Akville
July 30th, 2014, 03:14 PM
I love cones i conditioner but I don't like them in serums and oils that your using afterwards... after washing...
I've tried moroccanoil on my straight course hair and next day my hair felt more like a hay... so I do prefer a good nice DIY leave in with natural oil and no cones...
but its just me... :)