Let’s Talk: Waxes, Mineral Oils & Silicones

By now, you’ve probably heard about waxes, mineral oils and silicones being in the no-go zone when it comes to curly hair. But, do you know what these ingredients are and why they are bad for your hair?

All three of these ingredients act in the same way and are problematic for the following three reasons. They:

  • Cause excessive build-up,
  • Are difficult to wash off the hair,
  • Prevent moisture from penetrating the hair.

Think of it this way: when your hair is dry, it’s thirsty” and needs water. However, when the hair is coated with a layer of wax, oil or silicone, the water cannot penetrate your hair.

There is a misconception that certain oils will nourish your hair and prevent dryness when in fact, many have the opposite effect. While it may not directly cause dryness, it acts as a barrier between the hair and the nutrients your hair needs to prevent dryness and thus indirectly is the cause thereof.


Waxes cause build-up and stickiness, as dust, pollution etc. are more prone to stick to the hair not only making it dirty but also making it dull and lifeless. Because wax tends to be insoluble in water, you need to do a deep-clean to get rid of it.

If it’s not removed thoroughly it could cause:

  • Irritation and itch,
  • Dry scalp
  • Dandruff flare-ups


Mineral oil is a cheap oil that is used in many different cosmetic formulations. When used in hair treatments, mineral oil has the ability to make the hair appear shiny, but that’s all. While mineral oil works well as a glossy coating for the hair, it cannot actually penetrate the hair fibre and therefore won’t be effective at treating existing damage.

This is why all IntrinsiCurly Me products are made with plant-based oils such as coconut oil. Plant oils generally offer far more additional benefits than mineral oil and are more effective at preventing the loss of essential hair proteins.


Silicones are emollient slip agents that give the hair an instantaneous (but artificial) shine. While silicones may initially make your hair appear silky and smooth, in reality, they coat the hair shaft and stop moisture from penetrating.

Silicones are known to cause a multitude of detrimental effects including dryness, frizz, brittle hair & breakage. It also creates build-up over time, leaving your hair feeling dry so you apply more silicone which in turn dries out the hair even more as water cannot penetrate the hair shaft.

The most disastrous effect of silicone is the possibility that it can block the hair follicles and cause breakage at the roots. This means that the hair then grows back weaker. Silicones can even block follicles entirely so much so that they stop growing altogether.

If you are looking for a long-term solution to nourish your dry, damaged hair, then using a product range that is guaranteed not to contain these moisture-blocking ingredients will give you healthier, luscious locks over time.

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