Hyaluronic Acid for Scalp Health, Is it Too Good to be True?
By now, you’re likely pretty familiar with hyaluronic acid. This viral skincare ingredient keeps making an appearance in all kinds of beauty products, and we are definitely here for it! This seemingly magical ingredient is perfect for keeping your skin hydrated, healthy, and glowing for days. Our skin is our body’s largest organ, so it is necessary to take time to pamper it with the perfect skincare ritual, and hyaluronic acid is the perfect way to do so. But what about the skin on our heads? It’s easy to forget that under all of your luscious locks, we’ve got our scalps that deserve a little TLC too. So what about using hyaluronic acid for scalp health, is it too good to be true?
- Hyaluronic acid is a substance produced naturally in the body and retains water to keep moisture locked in.
- When used on the scalp, hyaluronic acid moisturizes the scalp, fixes frizzy hair, adds volume, and hydrates your hair.
- Utilizing hyaluronic acid-based products is ideal for all hair moods, but how to use it and when to use it can vary depending on hair textures and moods.
What is hyaluronic acid?
Hyaluronic acid (also known as hyaluronan) is a gooey, clear substance that is produced naturally in the body and is mostly found in the eyes, skin, and connective tissues throughout the body including in our bones, cartilage, fat, and lymphatic tissues. Its main role is to hold onto water in the body to keep tissues moist and flexible.
Because of that, it’s used religiously in serums, supplements, eye drops, and injections to be included in the widest variety of skincare products under the sun. As a humectant, it moisturizes the skin and reduces signs of aging, as hydrated and firm skin keeps fine lines and wrinkles to a minimum.
As we age, our body’s natural storage of hyaluronic acid starts to decline, and the process is accelerated by environmental factors such as air pollution and smoking. The depletion of hyaluronic acid is what largely contributes to the appearance of wrinkles as the skin loses hydration and volume.
How is it beneficial for the scalp?
It’s important to note that taking care of your skin doesn’t need to stop at your face; our scalps deserve that glorious skincare ritual too! Just because we can’t see it doesn’t mean it isn’t there– it’s extremely common to find typical skincare ingredients in hair care products as well.
Just like on your face, hyaluronic acid for the scalp can retain moisture to boost hydration. When applied to damp hair (on your roots) it traps the water and hydrates the hair follicle. As a result, it has been shown to help fix frizzy hair and bring a little bit of volume to your locks. People most likely to reap the benefits from hyaluronic acid on the scalp are those with damaged, dry hair. So if you’ve bleached your hair once or twice (or more– no shame!) this one could be for you!
It isn’t just those of us with dry hair that will benefit from hyaluronic acid; however, even Rapunzel could benefit from applying a nice layer on her scalp. With that being said, let’s recap some of the benefits of adding hyaluronic acid to your haircare (or scalp care?) ritual:
- Hydrates your hair. As a humectant, it works the same as it does on your scalp as it does on your skin. Your hair follicles will retain all the moisture possible and keep your hair healthy and shining.
- Hydrates the scalp. The hyaluronic acid allows for a boost of collagen production, binding the water to the skin and keeping dandruff to a minimum.
- Reduces frizziness and adds volume. The hyaluronic acid seals our cuticles, preventing undesired moisture that causes frizzy hair and curls to shorten up.
As far as risks go, current research doesn’t point to any major concerns with incorporating hyaluronic acid into your hair care ritual. Since it’s au naturale, it’s considered safe for your hair and skin.
How can you incorporate it into your hair care ritual?
Fortunately, hyaluronic acid is a universal ingredient for each and every hair mood, but the way you go about using it can depend on mood and texture.
Here are some ways to incorporate hyaluronic acid into your hair care ritual:
- Apply it to your scalp pre-shampoo.
Apply a serum liberally and massage it into your scalp in a circular motion (a bonus by giving yourself a little head massage!) Make sure to apply it extra liberally in your problem areas.
- Use it post-shower on damp hair.
Water is the key ingredient to perfecting your hyaluronic acid usage. It traps the moisture in the hair and absorbs it up, creating the perfect voluminous, hydrated, shiny hair look.
- Use it as a leave-in conditioner or styling product.
Use it on damp hair from root to end, combing through for even distribution. Afterward, follow up with your favorite styling products and oils to repair damaged hair. Jojoba oils, argan oils, and keratin products are all great products for strengthening and further hydrating the hair.
Hair mood and texture can also determine how often you use hyaluronic acid. For fine, straight hair, it’s recommended to apply once or twice a week after washing your hair. For medium to coarse wavy or curly hair, the world is your oyster! Go ahead and use it however often you need or want, especially if you have damaged hair. Depending on how you use the product, you can either leave it in for a few minutes before washing it out or leave it in for good.
Additionally, it is critical to use hyaluronic acid products that are meant for your hair specifically. Using products that are meant for your face can often contain other ingredients such as AHA acids or retinoids that can ultimately irritate your scalp and drag your hair down.
Incorporating hyaluronic acid could be the simple fix you need to give life to your luscious locks. Here are some highly-rated products to get you started on your hyaluronic acid hunt:
- The INKEY List Hyaluronic Acid Hydrating Hair Treatment– $9.99
- The Ordinary Natural Moisturizing Factors + Hyaluronic Acid Scalp Serum– $12.80
- NOAH YAL Restore Hair Mask– $19.90
- ORIBE Power Drops– $58
- NatureLab Perfect Shine Oil– $17
Written by Morgan Taylor