Amodimethicone Use In Shampoo
Amodimethicone is derived from silicone, a widely used class of ingredients used in the cosmetics field. Later on, we’ll do a longer post about silicones and their effectiveness and safety in cosmetics. We could write many posts on the topic of silicones alone. For this post, we’ll just focus on this single ingredient, amodimethicone and its use in shampoo. Before we start, I’m going to admit I love these products. They do things that you just can’t substitute like the look and feel of your hair and skin. I try to use them as much as I can to excellent results. I know there are some companies that are staying away from silicone based products, but their reasons are often suspect.
The Drawbacks of Amodimethicone
A lot of people are no longer using silicones in their products because they have been told that they build up in the hair. There are a lot of blogs out there talking about how they build up. This is true to a certain degree, but if you’re using a good shampoo (like Phique), it will be able to remove previous residue and not cause build up.
The other problem has been around the environmental persistence of certain silicone products. Amodimethicone doesn’t have this problem and readily biodegrades in the environment. As mentioned earlier, I will be doing a longer post on silicones to talk about which ones are currently at issue with certain regulatory bodies.
The Benefits of Amodimethicone
Amodimethicone works kind of like a quat such as PQ-10. It doesn’t have a charge, but when used at a pH less than 7 (typically shampoos are around 6), it has a positive charge and an affinity to the damaged parts of the hair. Having several ingredients like this make sure that they fill the voids in the hair, making it smooth and easier to comb.
The other benefit of amodimethicone is shine. Nothing makes the hair shine bettter than silicones. They do it in two ways. First, they form films that are uniform, and a smoother surface of the hair doesn’t scatter the light everywhere, so you see it as shinier. Second, the silicones themselves have a high refractive index. I don’t expect everyone to understand refractive index, but basically what it translates into is the light reflects more intensely off its surface. If you want to check out a little more about what refractive index is, check here.
Safety of Amodimethicone
There was a CIR report in 2012 on dimethicone based products. Amodimethicone is based on dimethicone. They didn’t specifically call out this product, but they cleared many variations of dimethicone (and similar to amodimethicone) “safe as used”. You can find the full report here.