Sabotaging waves with product

We all have days where our hair stages a revolt, but sometimes wavy hair is greasy, lank and flat. You could be sabotaging your wave pattern, and you might not even realize it. Instead chalking it up to user error, take a look at your product use instead.

Silicones, often added as dimethicone, silicone, or cetearyl methicone, are a family of synthesized lubricants that can tame your wave pattern by relaxing your hair. They work by coating the surface of each strand , bridging and sealing the layers of keratin so that instead of "drying tight" (shrinking of the hair shaft during drying, creating a wave shape) the hair relaxes, retaining  more moisture.

Silicones can lock in moisture, relax and smooth when used correctly, but too much silicone, and your waves straighten out in some spots, and frizz in others.

Silicones are seemingly in just about every product on the market ; read the labels of every product you put on your hair, whether it's your regular shampoo, curl definition cream or a leave-in conditioner. Keep your silicone use to one product--either your conditioner or a leave-in treatment after washing. In lieu of a silicone-heavy serum, try an oil for the dry ends of your hair, which absorb into the shaft for long-term moisture protection without the grease.

Replace a silicone-laden cream shampoo with a gentle, clarifying shampoo--it should be clear, and there are moisturizing formulas available for severely damaged or dry hair. A good clarifying shampoo will remove silicone residue so it doesn't build up over time.