The link between food and beauty has a long history. Recently, formulating haircare with food ingredients has appealed to persons looking for more natural, often organic-certified beauty products.
Younger buyers are demanding more transparency on what’s in their beauty products, and many of these same persons also link what they eat to their appearance. Many brands are strengthening this perception by highlighting the use of trending food ingredients that are linked to better hair and skin, and championing their specific benefits.
Using botanical/herbal extracts in anti-pollution haircare.
While the exact ingredients used for this purpose vary, antioxidant-rich botanicals are the most common. What are some of the recent trending ingredients?
- Moringa is a purifying extract that is commonly used to remove pollutants and counteract free radical damage caused by pollution.
- Indian Lotus Flower, which is known for its ability to resist dust and humidity is often used to create a barrier on the hair, locking out both city grime and frizz-inducing humidity.
- Kakadu plum, which is native to Australia. It is also known as the richest source of vitamin C, and is often used in skincare and pharmaceuticals because of its antioxidant and antiseptic properties.
- Turmeric is another trending food ingredient that can help cleanse the scalp and hair of toxins caused by pollution exposure and its antibiotic properties make it a natural exfoliator. Turmeric hair products soothe the scalp, moisturize and remove dead cells regularly to protect the skin layers. It will remove unwanted material from the skin, so it can help regulate scalp condition by treating excessively dry or oily skin. Turmeric can also be used to help prevent hair loss, as it keeps the scalp healthier and helps to prevent hair fall thanks to its active chemical curcumin.
- Pink salt, which has become popular on dining tables around the world, is a useful scalp exfoliator to help combat dandruff, while also giving hair texture and absorbing excess oil.
All of these are trending, but are they really effective at combating pollution effects on the hair? The answer is a cautionary yes. While pollution is one factor in hair damage, UV Rays, chemicals, improper brushing and even the foods we eat are larger factors in damage. Remember, the hair you see is "dead". The live part of the hair is the follicle deep within the scalp, so washing your hair thoroughly, and with sufficient frequency for your hair type, is key to curbing the scalp inflammation that contributes to hair follicle health. To protect your hair, look for leave-ins with concentrated doses of antioxidants to neutralize free radicals, and strand-coating silicones, proteins, and polymers, which “provide a physical barrier, walling off hair from pollutants.