Curly Hair: Should You Be Using Amodimethicone? - The Dermatology Review

Curly Hair: Should You Be Using Amodimethicone?

ARTICLE

02.01.21 AD DISCLOSURE

What Is Amodimethicone?

Amodiemthicone is a silicone that is used in hair care products to improve the visible texture and shine of the hair. It also reduces friction between the hair shafts, preventing damage to the hair. While amodimethicone is similar to another common silicone, dimethicone, there are some significant differences.

Amodimethicone is often used in products designed for curly, textured, or wavy hair. This is because it is a lighter silicone than dimethicone so it doesn’t weigh down the hair. Amodimethicone also selectively binds to more damaged hair.

Amodimethicone

the good: Helps to improve the manageability, texture, and appearance of curly, wavy or textured hair. It is a lighter ingredient than other silicones and forms a light, durable film on the hair, protecting it from damage.

the not so good: Amodimethicone may not have a significant impact

Who is it for? All skin types except those that have an identified allergy to it.

Synergetic ingredients: Works well with most ingredients.

Keep an eye on: Nothing to keep an eye on here.

Why Is Amodimethicone Used?

The main benefits of amodimethicone are to do with the lightweight texture and protection that it provides to the hair. These benefits are why amodimethicone is so popular in curly or wavy hair products. However, amodimethicone’s consistency and protection may also help damaged hair types without weighing them down. 

Damaged hair
The structure of amodiemethicone is such that when used in a conditioner their amine groups (if you did chemistry in high school think back to those NH/NH2 groups), become positively charged. When the hair is dry or damaged either by bleaching or the natural texture of the hair, the hair loses the protective coating on the surface of the hair shaft. When this protective layer is damaged it exposes a hydrophilic or water-loving layer. This secondary layer of the hair attracts positively charged groups such as amodimethicone. In this way, amodimethicone selectively binds to damaged or dry hair. 

This prevents areas of the hair shaft that don’t need protection from being weighed down by the hair product or leaving your curls heavy or your hair limp. 

Protective barrier 
The protective coating that is created by amodimethicone is relatively long-lasting compared to other silicone products. However, unlike other silicones, amodimethicone doesn’t leave build-up on the hair. 

The light protective coating that amodimethicone provides helps to improve the visible softness and shininess of the hair by smoothing the hair shaft and locking in moisture. It also helps to reduce flyaways, decrease drying time and protect from heat styling. 

Is Amodimethicone Safe?

The safety of dimethicone and dimethicone derivatives like amodimethicone has come under question with claims that it accumulates in the body. Dimethicone and related ingredients have undergone extensive study across many countries’ regulatory authorities.

In the US, the Cosmetic Ingredient Review Expert Panel reviewed the available safety data and determined that dimethicone and dimethicone related ingredients such as amodimethicone are safe for their indicated uses.

This outcome has been echoed by the US Food and Drug Administration, the EU’s Inventory of Cosmetic Ingredients Group, and the World Health Organisation. In the US, the concentration of topical dimethicone containing products is restricted to 30%, and the World Health Organisation recommends that the oral consumption of dimethicone should be limited to 1.5mg/kg body weight. These guidelines are well below the concentration or dosage that has produced an adverse effect during research.

References:
D’Souza P, Rathi SK. Shampoo and Conditioners: What a Dermatologist Should Know?. Indian J Dermatol. 2015;60(3):248-254.

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