Coating our hair with commonly restricted ingredients in our skincare routine may seem unnatural at first, but truth be told, it’s about time we did it. Developments in the beauty industry tend to focus on the face, but fortunately, scientists have begun to turn their attention to things like scalp care and hair health. After all, your mane deserves the same loving exfoliation and masking routine as your face. Right now, some of the best hair products are borrowing your favorite skin care ingredients, like moisturizing ceramides and lipids. So it makes sense that hyaluronic acid, a hydrating superhero, is starting to emerge as a notable hair care ingredient.
For more on the emerging hair care ingredient, we reached out to board-certified dermatologist, Dr. Jeannette Graf.
Featured image of Michelle Nash.
First things first: What is Hyaluronic Acid?
Classified as a humectant (a substance that reduces moisture loss), this lightweight ingredient draws moisture from the air and binds to cells like a sponge.
“Hyaluronic acid is a natural sugar found in our skin and joints,” board-certified dermatologist Elizabeth Geddes-Bruce explained to us in 2020. “It has the potential to link results in an incredible 1,000 times its weight in water. You can think of it like a gel cushion that surrounds your cells and collagen fibers.”
Benefits of Hyaluronic Acid in hair care products
Just as hyaluronic acid can be beneficial when enhancing your skin care routine, these ingredients can also work wonders for the health of your locks and scalp. Here are some of the benefits of HA in hair care products by Dr. Graf:
Strengthen damaged hair: Hyaluronic acid is an essential ingredient for anyone dealing with damaged locks. “When heat is continuously applied to the hair, it causes damage and requires products like hyaluronic acid to build strength again,” says Dr.
Comb curly hair: Shivering occurs when there is a lack of moisture. Hair cuticles become rough and seek moisture from the air, causing your strands to swell. Hyaluronic acid fights puffiness by helping hair absorb moisture more easily.
Moisturizing hair: HA not only helps hair have a shiny, moisturized look, but also has the effect of keeping the hair in place.
Growth potential: There hasn’t been adequate research on hyaluronic acid in hair care, but given the ingredient’s binding properties, fuller locks of hair could be another beneficial outcome.
Eliminate scalp flaking: Hair is not the only subject to benefit from the water-retaining effects of HA. More natural moisture also means a healthier and more hydrated scalp.
How to apply hyaluronic acid on hair
In the end, it depends on what you’re trying to deal with: the scalp or the hairs.
If you are looking for Hydrate dry scalpGaf recommends massaging hyaluronic acid into your scalp before shampooing.
For dry, damaged hair, apply HA to damp hair after shampooing and conditioning. Gaf adds that it can be used daily, but should always be applied to damp hair.
What type of hair benefits the most from hyaluronic acid
Just as the HA serum is suitable for all skin types, it is perfectly suited to practically all hair textures, although there is one type that may see more dramatic effects when hyaluronic acid (or sodium hyaluronate, v. HA version most commonly found in hair care).
Dr. Graf explains: “People with damaged and frizzy hair will see the most benefit from these products as hyaluronic acid helps lock in moisture, giving hair a shinier and softer look. “.
Regardless of your hair type, a good rule of thumb is to treat our line of hair products as similar to how we adjust our skin care routine. Namely: when winter comes, add more moisture.
Dr. Graf adds: “Hyaluronic acid is an effective ingredient to use year-round but especially during the dry, winter months. “This will help ensure your hair is protected and retains moisture.”
5 best products for hair with hyaluronic acid