Wella Professionals Mirror Finish Polish ($17.30, amazon.com) helps to smooth and shine hair. However, the formulation reveals that unlike some products, which can help improve hair health over time, this formulation is mostly a short-term solution. Overall though, it does what it’s supposed to by smoothing hair.
What Does Dimethicone Do?
Dimethicone is the heaviest of the silicones, which are incredibly useful in terms of hair products. They coat hair, reducing water loss and humidity absorption and adding shine and smoothness (Journal of the Society of Cosmetic Chemists). Silicones also help the hair’s cuticular scales flatten out, so they’re smooth and less likely to frizz (Hair Care). Silicones are widely considered safe for use in products, though some people might find that they can be irritating when they’re in contact with eyes (International Journal of Toxicology).
In fact, dimethicone was found to reduce combing force by a whopping 20,000 more than popular surfactant distearyldimonium chloride on both wet and dry hair brushing (Handbook of Cosmetic Science and Technology).
While there is some concern for buildup, not everyone has issues with that. And if you do, silicones buildup can be easily taken care of by using a surfactant. Sodium Lauryl Sulfate is the strongest and subsequently best, but less serious surfactants should be able to do the job.
[Read More: Are Silicones in Hair Products Good or Bad?]
What Does Isododecane Do?
Isododecane is a combination of carbon and hydrogen. It has low toxicity and low incidences of irritation.
This ingredient helps silicones like dimethicone work well in a formulation. Isododecone can work as a solvement for silicones (Naturally Curly). Isododecane can cause a formula to dry quickly while still leaving silicones on the skin, meaning the formula doesn’t leave your hair looking wet (Chem Europe). It also increases spreading through the hair.
Overall, this ingredient serves to improve the formulation so that the dimethicone can better coat hair and reduce friction.
Is Alcohol Denat. OK in Hair Products?
Alcohol Denat. stands for denatured alcohol. It’s added to beauty product because this particular kind of alcohol dries quickly, making formulas like this one dry almost instantly. It also adds to the products ability to spread through hair and can help dissolve other ingredients.
However, alcohol denat. can make hair’s cuticle rougher and add to the frizziness of hair by drying it out (Naturally Curly).
So does this mean it’s bad? Not necessarily. It means that in large proportions, alcohol denat. can be drying and potentially damage hair. In this particular formulation, it might not counteract the dimethicone, but I wouldn’t recommend this product to someone with dry or damaged hair.
Personal Use and Opinion
I found that Wella Professionals Mirror Finish Polish tamed my hair and made it shiny. On the one hand, I’ve been doing some serious hair hydrating with regular masques and argan oil, so my hair is quite soft and shiny to begin with. This is good for taming fly-aways and helping to smooth out hair that’s a bit tussled. I wouldn’t recommend it for someone who’s looking for long-term shine increase. Something like that is more about the health of hair, while this product is strictly styling.
Wella Professionals Mirror Finish Polish works mostly because of the power of silicones. By coating strands and being lighter than oil, silicones help to create soft, smooth, and shiny looks without weighing hair down too much. This styling product does have denatured alcohol as the third ingredient, which can be drying and cause frizz. While that isn’t necessarily counterproductive, it isn’t something that someone with very dry or damaged hair should use. Overall, I found it was helpful for quick styling, reducing some of the frizz.