Hydration, shine, volume… The benefits of hyaluronic acid for the hair

Hydration, shine, volume... The benefits of hyaluronic acid for the hair

Hydration, shine, volume… The benefits of hyaluronic acid for the hair Getty Images

This star cosmetic active ingredient in “anti-aging” products can also be used in the hair routine. As a daily ritual in the shower or as a deep treatment in the hairdressing salon, the polymer is also beneficial for the hair.

It’s not a hair revolution, but the craze accelerated after a quirky beauty tutorial went viral on TikTok last summer. In a video that has surpassed 3 million views on social media, professional makeup artist Katilyn Boyer (@katilynroundtree) applies a hyaluronic acid facial serum to the ends of her hair, showing results before/after two weeks of daily use that have amazed Internet users.

If we are to believe her trick, her lengths actually become more supple and shiny under the simple effect of this facial treatment formulated with three different types of hyaluronic acids (high, medium and low molecular weight). If it is not really wise (nor very ecological) to apply a face serum to this place, the benefits for the hair of this popular cosmetic active ingredient in anti-aging care have nevertheless been clearly demonstrated.

The ally of dehydrated hair

“We know its moisturizing effects on the skin. Each molecule of hyaluronic acid can retain more than a thousand times its weight in water”, explains Elisabeth Bouhadana, international scientific director of L’Oréal Paris. Injected into hair care, this active ingredient “prevents dehydration of the fiber by coating it thanks to its natural affinity for water. The fiber is thus thickened, sheathed, more supple and shiny, as if revitalized”.

It is therefore an ingredient to favor in the hair routine for dry hair: “When it is dehydrated, the hair is thin and less supple. The hair then lacks tone and bounce. This loss of vitality induces the dreaded hair effect dishes”, continues the expert. Luckily for manes that lack moisture, more and more brands are launching their own hyaluronic acid products for all budgets, from shampoo and conditioner to scalp serum, mask or night care (such as Kérastase, Bumble & Bumble, Coco & Eve, L’Oréal Paris…).

Fine hair lacking volume also has every interest in adopting it: “Hyaluronic acid-based treatments can plump them up. They have an immediate effect”, confirms Véronique Majoros, Director of the René Furterer Institute (Paris VIII). “Once you have washed your hair, you immediately have the feeling of thicker, denser hair.”

Our selection of hair care with hyaluronic acid

Deep care

In hair salons, professional treatments based on hyaluronic acid are already well established. The best known remains the famous hair botox, which consists of leaving the active ingredient (often associated with keratin) in place under heat for several minutes before blow-drying in order to make the treatment penetrate well inside the fiber. It is important to note that this practice is controversial because of the possible presence of formaldehyde, classified as a “proven carcinogen for humans” by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC).

Conversely, a new, increasingly popular (and less dangerous) method exploits the benefits of cold: cryolipolysis. Hyaluronic acid is propelled into the hair using a straightening iron at very low temperature (down to -16°C) which will freeze it in the hair and prolong its effects. In any case, these techniques will not “slow down” the signs of aging of the hair, as their names might suggest, but they will help to give a silkier appearance.

This article originally published on January 11, 2022 was updated on February 10, 2022.


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