What Is Dimethiconol?

blue hair colourant. Dimethiconol.
Image by Mabel Amber pixabay

Dimethiconol is a hydroxylated synthetic silicone oil. It is similar to dimethicone in that it confers on a cosmetic or personal care product, the property of a non-greasy lubricant by adding both shine and softness. It is a skin and hair-conditioning agent.

Many silicones are used as anti-foaming agents which means that they operate as a protective barrier.

Dimethiconol is supplied as an emulsion that is usually applied to treated or coloured hair to help lock in colour or other treatments. The reason for its conditioning properties is based on the hydrophobic interactions between it and hair. Unlike silicone fluids, these materials polymerize further for added durability.

Main functions:

  • Emollient – helps soften the skin when used in skin lotions.
  • Antifoaming agent – helps reduce foam formation in a manufacturing process and in shampoos as well as other finished products.
  • Moisturising agent 

CAS Number: 31692-79-2 / 70131-67-8


Chem/IUPAC Name:Poly[oxy(dimethylsilylane)], .alpha.-hydro-.omega.-hydroxy-

The Differences Between Dimethiconol and Dimethicone

Dimethicone and dimethiconol are both silicone-based ingredients commonly used in personal care products and cosmetics. While they have similar names and belong to the same family of compounds, there are some differences between the two.

Dimethicone, also known as polydimethylsiloxane, is a type of silicone oil. It is a clear, odorless, and inert ingredient that is widely used in skincare, haircare, and cosmetics. Dimethicone is primarily used as an emollient, which means it helps to moisturize and soften the skin by forming a protective barrier on its surface. This barrier helps to reduce moisture loss, keeping the skin hydrated and preventing dryness. Dimethicone is also valued for its ability to create a smooth and silky texture in products, making it a common ingredient in foundations, primers, and other cosmetic formulations.

In summary, dimethicone and dimethiconol are silicone-based ingredients used in personal care products. Dimethicone is a silicone oil primarily used as an emollient and moisturizer for the skin. It helps to create a smooth texture in products and forms a protective barrier on the skin to prevent moisture loss. Dimethiconol, on the other hand, is a modified form of dimethicone that has enhanced properties for haircare. It is used as an emollient and moisturizer for the skin but is particularly valued for its ability to reduce frizz, improve manageability, add shine, and provide heat protection to the hair.

On the other hand, dimethiconol is a silicone copolyol, which means it is a modified form of dimethicone. It is derived from dimethicone through a chemical process called ethoxylation. Dimethiconol has a slightly different chemical structure compared to dimethicone, which results in some distinct properties. Like dimethicone, dimethiconol is also used as an emollient and moisturizer in personal care products. However, it has additional characteristics that make it particularly beneficial in haircare products. Dimethiconol has a higher affinity for hair, allowing it to coat the strands more effectively. This property helps to reduce frizz, improve manageability, and add shine to the hair. It also provides heat protection, making it a valuable ingredient in heat styling products.


The safety of dimethiconol has been assessed by the Cosmetic Ingredient Review (CIR) Expert Panel. It has a very low risk rating according to the CIR. 

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