5 Silicone free Leave-in Conditioner Brands

In an effort to achieve smooth, silky, healthy hair, women often reach for leave-in conditioner. As the name implies, these conditioners are left in the hair rather than rinsed out like typical conditioners.

Leave-in conditioners are applied to hair to help seal in moisture and shine and increase manageability. Unfortunately, many of these commercial leave-in products may be doing more harm than good due to their high silicone content.

The Drawbacks of Silicones in hair care products

Silicones are synthetic chemicals, derived from silica and oxygen, that temporarily smooth strands to create the illusion of luscious locks. They are often used in Shampoos, Conditioners but also in lipsticks and facial cosmetics. The issue is that a large majority of silicones are not water soluble. This means they can build up on hair over time and prevent strands from absorbing moisture.


When covered in silicones, beneficial conditioning agents are no long able to penetrate strands. The result is brittle, parched hair. Basically, silicones dry out strands from the inside out and can result in a waxy, stubborn build up.

In addition to being harsh to your strands, silicones can have a negative impact on the environment. Silicones end up as part of municipal wastewater and must be handled by water treatment facilities.

To avoid silicones in your hair products, it is crucial to read labels carefully. When reading ingredient lists, watch for anything with “cone” or “xane” anywhere in the name (i.e. Dimethicone, Amodimethicon, Dimethiconol, Cyclopentasiloxane, etc).

Leave-in Conditioner Brands That Do Not Use Silicones

Finding a silicone free leave-in conditioner can take some searching but there are a variety of brands that produce options that are healthier for your hair and the planet.

As opposed to commercial leave-ins, a silicone free leave-in conditioner will add moisture, nourishment, and vitamins to hair without leading to a waxy build up that suffocates your hair over time.


Alba Botanica – Rather than silicones, this plant-powered brand focuses on botanical extracts, plant-sourced keratin, and protein-rich coconut milk to nourish hair and promote shine.

Alikay Naturals – This brand utilizes a host of powerful ingredients such as silk amino acids, aloe, natural vegetable glycerin, and lemongrass oil to provide hair with moisture and boost resiliency.

Andalou Naturals – Formulated with argan oil, fruit stem cells, aloe, cocoa butter, and a special amino acid complex, this leave-in helps strengthen hair, reduce static, prevent breakage, and minimize frizz.

Shea Moisture – Shea Moisture’s leave-in helps repair over-processed hair with shea butter, keratin, peppermint, and Jamaican Black Castor Oil.

TreeActiv – With a variety of beneficial, natural ingredients such as biotin, argan oil, keratin, Vitamin B5 and coconut water, TreeActiv’s formula promotes healthier, shinier hair.

Final Thoughts

Although typical leave-in conditioners may offer instant gratification, they may actually deteriorate the health of your hair in the long run. Consider testing out one of the brands of silicone free leave-in conditioner mentioned above to see if it has a positive impact on your hair.

Picture Credits: JörgBrinckheger/pixelio.de

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