Every beauty buff has heard of hyaluronic acid, the superstar hydrator that has shown up in countless skincare products with the promise to smooth, plump and moisturize-away the visible signs of aging. But now, hyaluronic acid is proving to be a valuable addition to hair care as well. Read on for a crash course in how HA works to improve the appearance and overall health of both your hair and scalp.
What is Hyaluronic Acid?
First off, what exactly is it? Hyaluronic acid (HA) is a humectant, meaning it absorbs and retains water from the atmosphere. This heavy-lifting hydrator can hold 1000 times its weight in water and is naturally produced in certain parts of the body, like our skin, joints and eyes.
In skincare, hyaluronic acid is used to hydrate, improve radiance and visually plump fine lines and wrinkles– and it has a similar effect on hair. It grabs and holds onto any available water and uses it to deeply hydrate the hair and scalp without feeling heavy or greasy and without causing build-up, making it suitable for all types and textures.
How Does Hyaluronic Acid Benefit Your Hair & Scalp?
As we age, our bodies slowly stop producing a lot of the elements that contribute to hydrated, youthful-looking hair and skin such as collagen and, you guessed it, hyaluronic acid. Apart from this natural degradation, there are several other factors that can contribute to dehydrated hair like over-washing, using water that’s too high in temperature or using heated styling tools without a heat protector. Using HA products that are specifically formulated for the hair and scalp can greatly mitigate many of those issues.
HA Reduces Frizz
If you find that you have a small arsenal of oils and serums but are still struggling with frizzed-out flyaways, HA might be the missing link. Working like a sponge, hyaluronic acid draws in moisture from the surrounding environment, and brings it back into the hair shaft, which can help reduce and control frizz. Just the way that HA can have a plumping effect on skin and give you a more youthful appearance, it can also have a similar effect on your hair, resulting in healthier-looking strands that appear plumper and more voluminous.
HA Revs Up Dry, Brittle Strands
Folks with chemically processed or color-treated hair can especially benefit from incorporating hyaluronic acid into their routine. When hair is chemically treated, the shaft becomes more porous. This increase in porosity allows for your strands to easily absorb moisture, but with the unfortunate side effect of losing moisture just as easily. This moisture migration happens because chemical processes open up and cause cracks to form in the hair cuticle, resulting in the strands becoming dry, weak and brittle. HA can help revitalize damaged hair by filling in those cracks and decreasing each strand’s porosity.
HA Hydrates Your Scalp
Hyaluronic acid is proven to be an indispensable moisturizer for skin, which means your scalp can also benefit from HA’s hydration powers. A healthy, hydrated scalp is essential for optimal hair growth. HA acts as a moisturizer to help alleviate dry, flaky scalp issues and works to keep the scalp’s microbiome in balance.
How to Use in Your Hair Care Routine
There are plenty of hydrating hair care products out there, but hyaluronic goes one step further in that it helps hair better retain moisture. The more time that HA spends in contact with your strands, the greater the effect. Hyaluronic acid is most effective when it’s used in the form of conditioners, leave-ins and creams.
After shampooing, reach for our luxurious Chébé + HA Nourishing Conditioner. Work the product through your hair from root to tip, taking extra time to massage it into your scalp to help moisturize and soothe any dry, flaky skin. To really amplify HA’s effects, seal in all that newfound moisture with occlusive ingredients, like our Oil of Chébé and a rich emollient like our Chébé Buttercream.
Existing research doesn’t suggest any major side effects to using topical hyaluronic acid treatments on hair, so it’s considered very safe. Since hyaluronic acid is a naturally occurring substance in your body, you’re also unlikely to have an allergy or sensitivity to it.