View Full Version : Confused about silicones and protein. Help?

July 19th, 2012, 03:25 PM
Hey everyone
I'm a little confused about silicones and proteins and what hair types that are good/bad for.

I know that the CO method is good for taming frizz (correct me if I am wrong!) and most COers use silicone free. But doesn't silicone coat the hair shaft? Wouldn't coating the hair shaft in silicone lessen frizz?

Also, what hair types is protein good/bad for? How can you tell if a product contains protein?

I have 2a/2b hair, but it's so frizzy. Especially near my crown, for some reason. I am currently using Renpure Originals Argan Oil shampoo/conditioner/leave-in, but when I run out I want to try COwashing to see if it'll help my frizz.

Thanks! :)

July 19th, 2012, 03:35 PM
CO tames frizz because it is very moisturising. My frizz is entirely due to dryness (... is that a word?), and CO fixed that for me. Silicones do help with frizz, but because some are harder to wash out without sulfates, many CO-ers avoid them. It isn't necessary to, though.

Protein can be good for any kind of hair in my opinion, but you have to dose it out. With my dry, damaged curly hair, once a month is more than enough. I can't speak for protein-hungry hair.

Silicones are not evil, and in fact they're quite good for the appearance of damaged hair. The problem with silicones is that they "coat," as you said. They don't really act on the state of the hair itself, and some people believe they can block treatments from reaching the hair.

You just have to try everything out once. :p

July 19th, 2012, 03:48 PM
It is all about finding what your hair likes best :)
Some think cones are "bad"..even myself at times but my hair LOVES cones. It cant help it haha. It is what works for me best. If I use no cones I just feel like my hair is not soft or even manageable.
Protein on the other hand...ugh my hair usually hates it although I am pretty sure that my hair desperately needs it at the moment.
Too much protein can lead to breakage.
And for cones...I hardly ever get build up from them, and if you did you could always just clarify once a month. Or when you feel you need it...with the products I use I clarify maybe every few months.
Certain products tend to build up more than others. Especially waxy products. Panteen tends to make a nasty waxy buildup.

Like I say though...you will personally find what is best for your hair. What works for some will not work for others.

July 19th, 2012, 04:10 PM
Ok. These are some jumbled up questions. Bear with me while I sort these out in my head. I'll try to make sense. Before I do that, I just want to point you to the top of your screen, there's a little header with all sorts of words on them. Click on the one that says "articles" close to the center, but slightly to the right, and pretty much all of your questions have been addressed and answered. I should add, those answers are more accurate than anything you'll find in the boards, far better than the answer I'm about to give you. Trust me. The articles will never fail you.

First, cones are neither good nor bad. They have properties that some people love, and properties that some people hate. One head of hair may flourish with cones, while another head of hair will languish. And then the third set of people (like myself, a cone-indifferent mutant, we're a fairly quiet group) whose hair will react neither good nor bad to cones.

Now, to your questions.

- Cones will coat the hair, they fill in the little gaps that make hair respond to humidity and other frizz inducing conditions. It generally masks damage and imperfections along the shaft. It's like wearing a raincoat. Strong barrier against outside conditions. However, cones have a tendency to build up, thus making the use of sulphates or other strong cleansing methods necessary.

This is one way to make hair manageable or appear smooth, because of the barrier and coating. It hides the damage. Hair that looks healthy will make people say that cones work for them. And in this instance, it does.

- CO works against frizz (in some cases) because it washes the hair, but does it gently without stripping the hair of the oils it needs to stay happy. Also, it helps add moisture to hair that has a tendency to dry out. It helps against frizz because it's retaining moisture, applying moisture, and frizzy hair is depends on moisture.

This is helpful if you have little to no damage, there's nothing to mask. The problem is, if you HAVE damage, and don't have the cones to do the covering up for you, all the damage will show. There are other reasons why some people dislike cones, I wouldn't know where to begin on that, but the basic thing is the necessity to use a harsher shampoo.

You are asking (I think), why don't CO'ers use cones?

Well, some do. I know people OUTSIDE of this site who CO with cone-y conditioners, and then shampoo occasionally with a stronger cleanser. It works for them. I think there might be some on this site who do as well, but I can't remember off the top of my head. Cones can and do help prevent frizz because of this barrier action.

One of the reasons that CO users will go cone free is because the washing is so limited in terms what kinds of buildup the CO method can actually remove. So, if your cone-free conditioner works great on your natural oils and stuff, why add something else that will make you use a harsher shampoo? It becomes a cycle. Harsh shampoo, coat with cones, cones build up, use a harsh shampoo, etc.

Another reason is, the hair is delicate. The nature of curly hair tends to make it more sensitive to harsh cleansers. So, to avoid the stripping of a harsh shampoo altogether, CO method cleans everything up just fine, and no side effects.

Other people will take issues with the chemicals that go into a harsh shampoo. Preservatives, cleansing agents, whatever. They don't want it on or near their bodies, so they want to stop using harsh shampoos. But the hair still needs to look happy. Thus, clean the hair with something that makes it look happy, but will still clean the hair. No need for a harsh shampoo, then no need for a cone-y conditioner.

I think those are the basics. Now, onto the proteins.

Proteins will work more with the building blocks of the hair. Hair is made of proteins. If the hair is weak or mush, protein will replace the missing pieces. The thing is, proteins (if a person's hair is sensitive to them, or already has enough) can make hair dry and brittle. There are ways of telling how to know if your hair needs or doesn't need protein. Good bits in the articles section. A lot of the time, it's an experimental balance game. Do something to your hair, hair doesn't like it, add either protein or moisture. If the hair hates that, then do the opposite. That's the abridged version, but yeah, that's pretty much the idea of proteins and moisture.

Proteins aren't exclusively good or bad for any specific types of hair, just that some heads already have too little or too much protein, and adding it (or not adding it) can have good or bad results.

How to tell if there are proteins in a product?

Well, most products will actually tell you they have proteins. The problem is recognizing the key words. Silk is a protein. Keratin is a protein. If the product says hydrolyzed anything, that's a protein. There are articles available that will give you better details. If you are concerned about proteins, your best bet would be to research the key words, and then you can check your ingredients. Those key words are in the articles.

I don't even know if any of that makes sense. Look at the articles.

July 19th, 2012, 04:51 PM
BENE: you totally made sense! All your information was actually quite helpful to me even though this isn't my thread :p thanks for all the advice

July 19th, 2012, 04:55 PM
You can CO with cones, but you can either only use ones that don't build up (amodimethicone, etc) like Luxepiggy, or you can just clarify occasionally like me (my hair seems to be very build-up resistant and I like to SLS off all my cones before I henna).