Want to make sure that you are giving your hair everything it really needs in order to look and feel healthy?
These are the top eight hair care ingredients you should be using:
You have likely seen argan oil appearing in several different hair care formulas, be it smoothing serums, shampoos, hair masks or anything else.
What exactly is argan oil?
It’s the oil that comes from the argan fruit, which grows on a tree that is native to Morocco.
Due to the fact that the oil is extremely labor-intensive to extract by hand, making the pure oil quite pricey, argan oil is often referred to as liquid gold.
So, what does argan oil actually do for the hair?
It brings with it a number of different benefits, such as:
- Moisturizes – argan oil is packed with vitamin E, which is a fantastic moisturizer. This makes it a great tool for treating a dry or flaky scalp. The essential fatty acids within the oil help with this too
- Conditions – highly conditioning, making it great for preventing frizzy hair
- Treats – the antioxidants within argan oil make it fantastic for treating dryness and brittleness
- Protects – thanks to its many nutrients, argan oil enriches and strengthens the hair, giving it extra protection from environmental damage
- Adds shine – this is all down to the many different proteins within argan oil
As you can see, this is an ingredient well worth adding into your hair care routine!
Is there anyone who shouldn’t use argan oil?
Yes, if your hair is quite fine, then you may find this oil too heavy.
The idea of using charcoal on your hair may seem a little strange at first, but this ingredient holds quite a bit of merit…
Charcoal is known for its detoxifying properties, making it a great hair and scalp cleanser.
How does it work?
Charcoal has the ability to absorb impurities from deep within the hair follicles. It is able to do this more effectively than the average shampoo, as it targets the root of follicles.
The way in which charcoal is able to provide such a deep clean to the hair follicles helps to prevent scalp issues from arising.
Does it make a difference whether you opt for regular charcoal or activated charcoal in a product?
Yes it does – activated charcoal is what you want to be using.
Activated charcoal has been processed at a high temperature, which reduces its molecular size and increases its surface area. This enables it to be so much more effective when it is applied to the hair. It also leaves it with a negative charge, meaning that the charcoal easily attracts positive molecules, which is what dirt and toxins would have.
Unlike some of the other ingredients on this list, charcoal is suitable for all hair types. However, you may find that you only need to use a charcoal product once a week or so, depending on the health of your hair.
Coconut oil is often touted as a cure-all, but it really will make a difference to the health of your hair.
To begin with, it is packed with nutrients, with many of these being proteins. Many people don’t realize that coconut oil is the only oil out there that can actually prevent protein loss in the hair.
Another key nutrient within coconut oil is lauric acid.
What does lauric acid do?
It has a low molecular weight, meaning that it can penetrate deep into your hair follicles. Once there, it nourishes and strengthens them, improving hair health and promoting hair growth.
Do you suffer from dandruff?
Coconut oil can help with this. Again, this is thanks to its lauric acid content, as well as the capric acid within the oil. Both of these natural acids contain antifungal, antimicrobial and antiviral properties, enabling it to destroy any bacteria, viruses and fungus on the scalp.
One final benefit of coconut oil is…
This ingredient boasts a natural SPF of about 8. Yes, this isn’t quite enough to provide your skin with full protection from the sun, but every extra bit of SPF helps!
Seaweed is one of the most nutrient-dense marine extracts out there.
Because of the way in which it grows…
Seaweed doesn’t have roots, which is how other plants take in nutrients and water. Instead, seaweed does this through osmosis, meaning that the leaves themselves are saturated with vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and trace elements.
With all of these nutrients backing the ingredient up, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that seaweed can provide the hair with numerous benefits, such as:
- Strengthens hair
- Hydrates the hair and scalp
- Thickens hair
- Treats dandruff
- Protects against UV damage
- Reduces the negative impact of hair pollution on hair
- Adds shine
This is another ingredient that can be used by all hair types, but there is something you need to know before you go shopping for seaweed-infused hair care products…
You need to first take a look at the ingredients list. Seaweed should be listed somewhere near the top, preferably as one of the first five ingredients. Many brands will add a small dusting of seaweed to a product in order to use the ingredient in their marketing campaigns, but you need more than a sprinkle of this botanical for your hair to really benefit from it.
If you are quite familiar with skin care ingredients, then you probably already know all about hyaluronic acid.
This ingredient has shot to fame in recent years, and for good reason too…
Hyaluronic acid is one of the best humectants out there. This means that it is able to attract moisture from the air and hold on to it, feeding this to your skin or hair as and when it’s needed. In fact, hyaluronic acid can hold up to 1000 times its weight in water – imagine what all of that extra moisture would do for your hair!
Hyaluronic acid is naturally produced by the skin. Unfortunately, the rate at which the skin produces hyaluronic acid significantly declines with age, which is why this ingredient is now being added to so many different cosmetic products.
Wondering what hyaluronic acid actually does for the hair?
Its primary benefit is hydration. By providing the hair with plenty of moisture, hyaluronic acid is able to thicken and strengthen the hair. Research shows that hyaluronic acid increases the diameter of each hair, which also goes a long way in preventing thinning, as well as dryness on the scalp.
Other studies have found that hyaluronic acid can do everything from treat hair dullness to prevent hair loss, and the best part is that this is another ingredient that can be used by all hair types.
Jojoba oil comes from the jojoba plant, which is a shrub that grows native to the desert regions of the south-west USA, as well as Mexico.
There is something else that makes jojoba oil quite special…
The molecular structure of jojoba oil is extremely similar to that of the sebum that the skin naturally produces. This means that when you apply jojoba oil to your scalp, your skin is tricked into believing that it is has produced this oil itself. This means that it readily absorbs the oil, while also rebalancing its own sebum production to cut back on producing excess oil.
As you can imagine, this can really help those who suffer from an oily scalp, while the oil’s natural moisturizing properties can treat dryness at the same time.
Here are just a few of the other benefits that jojoba oil can have on the hair:
- Stimulates hair growth
- Helps to carry active ingredients deeper into the hair follicles
When it comes to safety, jojoba oil has been shown to be extremely mild and gentle. It rarely causes any allergic reactions, meaning that even those who are pregnant or breastfeeding can safely use the oil.
You likely already know that green tea is great for your health, and for your skin too when applied topically.
However, did you know that green tea could also seriously benefit your hair?
This is all down to the botanical’s unique nutritional profile…
One of the vitamins that can be found in green tea is vitamin B, which is also known as panthenol.
If you pay attention to hair care ingredients, you have likely heard of panthenol before. This ingredient is highly effective at strengthening the hair follicles while also softening the hair and preventing split ends.
This is aided by the theanine within green tea. This amino acid works hand-in-hand with panthenol to provide your hair with the benefits mentioned above, while also nourishing your strands with healing properties.
Some of the other nutrients within green tea are vitamin C and polyphenols. These work so well at giving the hair an added shine, while preventing dullness and roughness.
Green tea is also revered for its EGCG content.
What is EGCG?
It’s a catechin that boasts powerful anti-inflammatory properties. It is able to promote hair growth while preventing hair loss, and can treat dandruff too!
If all of that wasn’t enough to convince you that green tea is a exemplary hair care ingredient, here’s one more thing you should know about…
The caffeine within green tea, along with its antioxidant content, help to counter baldness.
By blocking DHT, which is the hormone that causes baldness.
You probably already know that aloe vera is a soothing and calming ingredient when used on the skin, and it has these same effects when applied to the hair too.
This is an ingredient that the hair readily accepts, thanks to the fact that the pH level of aloe vera is so similar to the pH level of hair.
Wondering what aloe vera does once it’s in your hair?
Well, it contains 75 active ingredients, including components such as zinc, copper and amino acids. All of these compounds have been scientifically proven to strengthen and nourish the hair, while promoting hair growth too.
The anti-inflammatory properties of aloe vera help to target scalp issues, ranging from oily to dry. Its high moisture content helps with hydrating the hair, plumping up strands and leaving the hair feeling thicker and glossier.
However, before rushing out to buy an aloe vera hair care product, there are a few things that you should know…
Many brands are incorporating aloe into a wide range of hair care formulas, due to the fact that this botanical’s benefits are instantly recognizable.
While this may be the case, you would be best off opting for aloe vera in a conditioner, rather than other types of products.
Because of the way in which the polysaccharides within aloe vera form a thin coating over each strand of hair. This helps with moisture retention as well as styling, although you will need to make sure that the aloe has been thoroughly cleansed from your hair before you actually begin styling.
Is there anyone who shouldn’t use aloe vera on their hair?
Those who have very fine hair may want to avoid aloe vera. Again, this is because of the film that aloe vera forms over strands, which can sometimes be too heavy for fine hair. Of course, this does depend on the individual, so you may find it worthwhile to still give this ingredient a try and see for yourself how it affects your hair.
There are so many different hair care ingredients out there, and new ones are constantly being introduced. If there is an ingredient on this list that you think would really benefit your hair, make sure that it is one of the top ingredients on the ingredients list of a product, as this will ensure that your hair can really make the most of it.