Our In-House Expert - Debunking Silicones, Sulphates and Parabens

You may have been told to stay away from these three types of ingredients, but do you actually know why? Have you thought about why these ingredients may have been put into cosmetics in the first place and why many popular beauty brands still use all three in their products?

We are increasingly led to believe that natural, organic and ‘free-from’ everything products are the best, in order to be completely safe in our daily beauty routine. The reality is that ‘Clean beauty’ is a marketing technique only and really has no proper meaning. (Ask beauty guru Caroline Hirons herself).

At Hairburst we proudly include high natural percentages of ingredients in our formulas, but we are never aiming for 100% as this would impact the performance and shelf life of the product.

100% natural shampoo. What would this look like… First of all it wouldn’t last long and would become unstable, secondly it would smell pretty funky, it wouldn’t foam up or disperse through the hair, and finally the performance would be poor.

Instead, many of our formulas are 90% + natural or naturally derived, but also contain synthetic ingredients, that when combined together, help to perfect performance and provide the results that we know you want to see. Our products are made in professional labs with highly trained chemists with years of experience. The ingredient we use are premium and innovative and most importantly, completely safe.


Misconception- Coat your hair in plastic, giving a false shiny effect. Hard to remove from your hair. Bad for the environment.

Real talk- Silicone polymers are derived from quartz (SiO2 ), which is a naturally occurring mineral that makes up 25% of the earth’s crust. Scientific evidence does not suggest that hair products containing silicones have a negative impact on hair and scalp health.

The silicone we use in our hair mask has been added to aid with the performance of the product. Dimethicone smooths the cuticle, adds shine and gloss to the hair, improves texture and softness, reduces water loss, and can protect it from damage against thermal styling. The silicone in our hair mask, will also not prevent the other deeply nourishing ingredients we have added, from doing their job. This particular silicone is recognised as being non-toxic and safe for use in cosmetic, medical/​pharmaceutical and food contact applications. It is completely safe and used in cosmetics globally.


Misconception- They are drying and strip hair of natural oils, causing frizz.

Real talk- Sulphates are surfactants, they cleanse the hair, and provide foaming in the product so it can disperse easily. There are different types of sulphates, and some admittedly are harsher than others. Check your ingredients lists. SLS - Sodium Lauryl Sulphate a very commonly used sulphate in shampoos, toothpastes and cleaning products, and on the harsher side of the scale.
ALS- Ammomium Lauryl Sulphate, this is what we use in our shampoo, a sulphate but considerably less irritating than SLS due to it being a larger molecule and not being able to penetrate the hair and skin as well For example, on a scale of 0 to 10, where the potential irritancy of water is 0 and that of SLS is 10, ALS scores around 4 – clearly far less irritating than SLS.

If you are a curly hair type, we do actually recommend avoiding sulphates and going with a surfactant like Cocamidopropyl Betaine instead, which is derived from coconuts, and gently cleanses this hair type.


Misconception- Bad for you, can mimic oestrogen in the body

Real Talk- Parabens are preservatives, that prevent the growth of harmful bacteria and mould. Even in extremely large doses are deemed as safe. Sometimes parabens are replaced with other preservatives like phenoxyethanol or sodium benzoate. Hairburst products are currently paraben free.  

Our Top Tips

Stop worrying about your product needing to be ‘free-from’ everything
Clean beauty is just a marketing term
If it doesn’t work for your hair type then don’t use it, if it does then do.
Buy from brands that care for their customers and work with high standard facilities to create safe to use products
Our products are safe, the ingredients levels are safe, if you love a product and buy from a trusted brand then stop worrying about it being ‘100% clean’.

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