One of the strangest things for me in Japan beauty-wise is understanding haircare products here. It’s quite a departure from how things are in Singapore where you can easily find a solution to your scalp/hair type. Here, there is “shiny” ï¼ˆã•ã‚‰ã•ã‚‰ï¼‰and “moisturizing” ï¼ˆã—ã£ã¨ã‚Šï¼‰which confounds me no end but I usually choose “shiny” for shampoos and “moisturizing” for conditioners, thinking that “shiny” is not as moisturizing as “moisturizing” and thus by deduction not for those with dry hair.
But to be honest, shampoos for “shiny” hair types are still pretty rich for my tropical scalp which needs heavy-duty action most days. Though in non-summer weather, it’s not so bad.
Then my fave magazine, Biteki, came to the rescue with this AWESOME article on non-silicone shampoos in its November issue, that gave the low down on what silicone does to your hair and a list of non-silicone haircare products on the market.
What does it have to do with my oily scalp, pray tell? Well, to my own logic, using a non-silicone shampoo can prevent build up and thus leaves the scalp/hair less bogged down and shinier as a result. And it opened my eyes up to brands I wouldn’t even have looked at twice.
Actually, non-silicone shampoo has made an appearance on drugstore shelves last year with Nudy Aura which I wrote about here. I loved it when I started using it and have been loving it ever since â€” it is truly a great brand. But, I still sort of didn’t believe it was that great (the shampoo is non-silicone but the conditioner still has silicones like dimethicone etc.) because it didn’t make sense that the conditioner has a chock-full of silicones so it felt like a bit gimmicky and I stopped purchasing the conditioner and continued with the shampoo (but I didn’t know much about this so on hindsight this was unnecessary; more on this later in the post).
Since then there has been a slew of non-silicone haircare products filling up the shelves in Japanese drugstores.
The advice given by some hair and beauty experts in the article is pretty much the same as what I’ve read elsewhere â€” you can only have healthy hair if you have a healthy scalp, i.e. unclogged, well-hydrated, and clean; silicones leave a coating on your hair which prevents much-needed moisture from being absorbed even if you use a moisturizing shampoo/conditioner to subsequently combat dull-looking hair.
Other tips I gleaned from the article: if your scalp has redness, it also means your hair is damaged, so ideally your scalp should be white, which means it’s healthy; you should rinse your hair for three minutes (that’s a really long time!) before you shampoo your hair and you should also take the time to massage the shampoo into your scalp; thus non-silicone shampoos will promote healthy hair and scalp.
So let me list the non-silicone haircare brands and I’ll link them to their official websites here (starting clockwise from left):
In the end, I bought the green Playback set because it is the cheapest among all these brands but only by 300JPY per product. Generally, most of these non-silicone shampoos are around the 1900JPY price range which is really not bad though higher than the below 1,000JPY range for silicone shampoos.
I didn’t like the scent of La Pudeur because it had a really sickly sweet fragrance though the packaging looks quite pretty. I haven’t seen Gift or Difresca in my part of town. I’ve tried Nudy Aura and it smells amazing so this would remain a repeat in my shower stall. For the rest, I am curious about Salon DeaprÃ¨s (which is also around the 1600-1700JPY price point) and especially the Playback Mineral Moist as it has 32 types of herbs and sea minerals like coral, pearl, collagen, keratin, amino acids etc.
As part of my non-silicone obsession, I also bought the non-silicone Honeysuckle Rose conditioner from Aubrey Organics for dry hair. I just want to try it out to see if it really makes a difference to my hair.
I have read that water-soluble silicones in conditioners are better than insoluble ones and I do spy silicones in the conditioners from the Japanese brands above. From my limited understanding, I would assume the ones they put in these products are water soluble silicones and though you can see insoluble silicones like dimethicone, they become soluble if tagged together with a soluble silicone or PEGs (comprehensive list on the Beauty Brains here). And I found a great list of non-silicone conditioners here if you are interested to try one.
I haven’t really used these products I bought and wouldn’t be fair to write a review now so will report back if these really are the bomb or not. But I will leave you with one last nugget: Reveur (offical site here) is also an excellent non-silicone haircare brand. Last year, I bought a bunch of their products in sample packs because I was off travelling as they are much easier to pack than even travel-sized bottles. Little did I know they were going to be so good. I remember thinking I had to get a full-sized set when I got back to Japan but I forgot about this brand. Biteki also has a short write-up on their website here â€” and it smells even better than Nudy Aura!
Do you care if your shampoo and conditioner have silicones? If you do, what brand are you using?