When I was contemplating using products with cones years ago I decided to do some research. I wanted to really know in scientific terms why cones were bad for my hair.
Non-scientifically, cones can build up on the hair and block other products from penetrating the hair shaft. As a result you have to frequently use a clarifier that is strong enough to stop this cone build-up, thus allowing moisturizing and strengthening products to penetrate the hair shaft. But that is not really scientific.
The real scientific thing that I learned about why cones do not just soak into the hair like your leave-in’s, deep conditioners and other non-cone products is simple. It has everything to do with water solubility.
To explain this I am going to use a vitamin analogy: Water-Soluble vitamins are not stored in the body and must be replaced. Which is why we have to constantly eat foods that replenish those vitamins.
Well, its the same with hair. Water soluble products are not stored in the hair, so every week we replenish the “vitamins” in our hair with products. Cones are not water soluble, and at the same time not blocking “vitamins.” So, they make the hair feel great for awhile, but they do not provide the necessary nutrients that the hair needs to remain healthy. Instead they block out these nutrients over time.
So, if you do use cones, make sure you use water soluble cones. That way they are still contributing to the health of your hair and at the same time are not blocking out the other “vitamins” that other products give your hair.
You may be asking, how am I supposed to know which cones are water soluble? Well, I found a list a couple years ago telling this exact thing.
Amodimethicone – not soluble in water by itself
Amodimethicone (and) Trideceth-12 (and) Cetrimonium Chloride – mixture that is soluble in water in the bottle*
Behenoxy Dimethicone – sparingly soluble in water
Cetearyl methicone – not soluble in water
Cetyl Dimethicone – not soluble in water
Cyclomethicone – not soluble in water
Cyclopentasiloxane – not soluble in water
Dimethicone- not soluble in water
Dimethicone Copolyol- water soluble**
Dimethiconol- not soluble in water
Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein Hydroxypropyl Polysiloxane – water soluble
Stearoxy Dimethicone – sparingly soluble in water
Stearyl Dimethicone – not soluble in water
Trimethylsilylamodimethicone – not soluble in water
Lauryl methicone copolyol – water soluble
PEG-12 dimethicone – Water soluble silicone, transient conditioning
PEG-8 dimethicone – Water soluble silicone, high molecular weight
Phenyl Trimethicone – not soluble in water
PEG-modified dimethicone – water soluble
*”Amodimethicone is never water soluble after being applied to your hair. It clings like any other silicone that is not water soluble.”
** Dimethicone Copolyol is a general term used for a group of polymers made from dimethicone and polyoxyethylene and/or polyoxypropylene. The following specific names for these polymers may be found on product labels: Dimethicone PEG-8 Adipate, Dimethicone PEG-8 Benzoate, Dimethicone PEG-7 Phosphate, Dimethicone PEG-10 Phosphate, Dimethicone PEG/PPG-20/23 Benzoate, Dimethicone PEG/PPG-7/4 Phosphate, Dimethicone PEG/PPG-12/4 Phosphate, PEG-3 Dimethicone, PEG-7 Dimethicone, PEG-8 Dimethicone, PEG-9 Dimethicone, PEG-10 Dimethicone, PEG-12 Dimethicone, PEG-14 Dimethicone, PEG-17 Dimethicone, PEG/PPG-3/10 Dimethicone, PEG/PPG-4/12 Dimethicone, PEG/PPG-6/11 Dimethicone, PEG/PPG-8/14 Dimethicone, PEG/PPG-14/4 Dimethicone, PEG/PPG-15/15 Dimethicone, PEG/PPG-16/2 Dimethicone, PEG/PPG-17/18 Dimethicone, PEG/PPG-18/18 Dimethicone, PEG/PPG-19/19 Dimethicone, PEG/PPG-20/6 Dimethicone, PEG/PPG-20/15 Dimethicone, PEG/PPG-20/20 Dimethicone, PEG/PPG-20/23 Dimethicone, PEG/PPG-20/29 Dimethicone, PEG/PPG-22/23 Dimethicone, PEG/PPG-22/24 Dimethicone, PEG/PPG-23/6 Dimethicone, PEG/PPG-25/25 Dimethicone and PEG/PPG-27/27 Dimethicone.
Drawn from: Long Hair Community
I truly hope this post made since. Please feel free to ask me to clarify anything and I will do my best to explain.