PHOTOS – Hair care: these active ingredients with extraordinary virtues offered by the forest

PHOTOS – Hair care: these active ingredients with extraordinary virtues offered by the forest

“Like all plant formations, forests are conditioned by a number of factors: climate, soil composition, latitude, altitude and also the nature and action of wildlife”, emphasizes in futura-sciences .com Claire König, natural science teacher. If the therapeutic virtues of active ingredients from trees (including leaves, flowers, bark, sap, roots, etc.) and their fruits, seeds or flowers have always been known, this biodiversity continues to interest current scientific research. Cosmetics sources its ingredients from all over the world.

Between exotic ingredients and local harvests, moisturizing butters and purifying lotions, the latest formulas respond to the call of the forest to offer hair the best of nature. An argument that attracts more and more consumers who, pruning overly chemical compositions, want to put plants in their hair routine. The key to healthy young shoots and toned stems!

>> Discover here our shopping of 20 hair products with active ingredients sourced in the forest

The Taiga Resistance

Where ? These extreme cold forests are located on the Siberian plateaus, in Canada, America and northern Europe, where winter temperatures can exceed -40°C. “Forming a peat bog, a mixture of moss and other decomposing organic matter, their soils are conducive to a dense and particularly resistant biotope”, remarks Jean-Pierre Nicolas, Ethnobotanist and partner of Clarins Research. What ? There are conifers, deciduous trees (poplars, birches, willows, etc.), ferns, lichens and particularly adaptogenic mosses. Hair action? “These plants that defy frost and retain a maximum of water inspire formulators who, by extracting their active ingredients, reproduce their natural self-defense system,” he adds. Aveda’s Sap Moss line, for example, uses two botanical ingredients that acclimatize to the most extreme conditions: Iceland moss and larch sap. Both have the ability to capture moisture to cope with the long northern winters. Results: treatments that tame frizz by deeply and durably moisturizing the hair. The birch also inhabits these regions. Composed of flavonoids, tannins and vitamin C, its leaves and sap have a strong lipid-replenishing and antioxidant action. A “magic tree” we are told at Santé Naturokosmetik, for the flexibility of the lengths, the drainage of the scalp and the shine of the hair. As for willow, the basis of the famous salicylic acid (the first form of aspirin!), it is an excellent sanitizer. The exfoliating active ingredient from its bark eliminates dandruff, reduces itching and regulates sebum production. Interesting therefore in case of dandruff or oily hair, as a cure for 3 to 6 months or all year round for a perfect balance.

Shopping bags: Sap Moss Conditioner, Aveda, €28,; Organic Birch Shine Mask, Santé Naturkosmetik, €11.90***; Anti-dandruff shampoo, Apivita, €11.90,; Willow Anti-Dandruff Shampoo, Eugène Perma, €14.50****; Willow Anti-Dandruff Shampoo, Nat & Nove Bio, €5.50,

>> Discover here our shopping of 20 hair products with active ingredients sourced in the forest

The strength of the jungle

Where ? Between wooded savannahs, groves and mangroves stands on nearly 3 million km2 the Central African massif. “Despite massive deforestation, this area is home to a multitude of plant species and still remains an immense area for research to explore,” remarks Jean-Pierre Nicolas. What ? In these equatorial zones, a large number of broad-leaved trees have always held a sacred dimension. Baobabs, banana trees, chébés… indeed accompany ancestral traditions, including in beauty recipes. Hair action? “Nourishers” thanks to their roots, fruits, bark, gums, leaves… trees are notably transformed into hair care to coat the fiber, make it shine and nourish it. With her Chébé Hair Cream from Chad, Salwa Peterson was inspired by the rituals of her mother country – where the women of the nomadic tribes sport incredibly long hair – which boost hair growth with powdered chebe seeds. Quite similar properties with the baobab which, tree of strength, gives body to thinning and brittle hair. If its bark is thick and protective, it is the oil of its fruits which is rich in trace elements and fatty acids and which is used in the composition of the care. With the same nutritious ingredients—plus vitamins A, B6, and C!—banana pulp makes a great weekly mask to repair and protect lengths and ends. Another must-have for hydration: shea. For more than 30 years, René Furterer has mastered the lipid-replenishing virtues of the butter and oil of this “sacred tree” from West Africa. Top for dry and weakened hair. On the scalp treatment side, the Madame La Présidente brand uses an extract of Kigelia Africana (the sausage tree) in its Anti-Hair Loss Serum. With a combination of flavonoids and saponins, its formula anchors the hair bulb, acting on the volume and tone of the hair. To be applied daily to the scalp with a light massage using the fingertips.

Shopping bags: Chébé Hair Cream from Chad, Salwa Petersen, €55,; Baobab shampoo, Dessange Professionnel, €25.50****; Banana Conditioner, The Body Shop, €8,; Shea Hydra, Day Cream Hydration Ritual, René Furterer, €****; Nourishing Repairing Mask with Shea Butter and Argan Oil, €35,; My Anti-Hair Loss Serum, Madam President, €38.90,

>> Discover here our shopping of 20 hair products with active ingredients sourced in the forest

The All-Terrain Temperate Forest

Where ? This mixed plant formation covers much of Central Europe, East Asia and North America and is characterized by fertile and rich soil. What ? The species differ according to the climate. In the continental zone, there are many hardwoods (chestnuts, limes, etc.), while the oceanic regions are mainly populated by conifers (cedar, pine, cypress, etc.). Hair action? Widespread in France, deciduous trees allow local sourcing. “Enough to offer consumers green and eco-friendly products”, we claim at Floressance. With Drôme linden, the brand uses its flowers in its shampoo/conditioner duo. Naturally soothing, they make daily washing a very gentle gesture. Well established in Ardèche, the chestnut tree is prized for its fruit. Antioxidant, full of minerals, B vitamins and trace elements (potassium, calcium, selenium, etc.), chestnut restores pep to limp, dull hair. It is often found in energizing lotions to be sprayed after each wash on dry or damp hair. Same synergy of actions with hazelnut which, in the form of dry vegetable oil, nourishes the hair fiber without weighing it down and without greasy effect. Leave on for 15 minutes before or after shampooing from root to tip. For softwoods (pine, cedar, etc.), their bark or seeds are also transformed into oil. Rich in unsaturated fatty acids and polyphenols, it protects the hair from oxidative attacks and gives volume. Note: the fresh and purifying side in addition for the formulas with pine.

Shopping bags: Normal to fine hair shampoo, Linden Flowers from Drôme, Floressance Bio, €5.20,; Dew of Beauty, Protein Lotion, Biguine, €18****; My Huilette Hair, Les Huilettes, €39,; Ultra-Volumizing Shampoo, Forvil, €28,; Organic Oily Hair Shampoo, Pine Burdock Green Clay, Dermaclay, €10.45,, Extra Gentle Body & Hair Cleansing Gel, Océopin, €24,; Roll-On Phytopolléine, Phyto, €20.90,

>> Discover here our shopping of 20 hair products with active ingredients sourced in the forest

High protection in the tropics

Where ? Lung of the planet, the Amazonian forest is the largest tropical massif, after the Congo and Indonesia. “Its humid undergrowth, where the dense canopy lets little sunlight through, presents a fascinating botanical heritage,” observes Jean-Pierre Nicolas. What ? “With its 390 billion trees and 16,000 plant species, the Amazon is as much threatened by drought as by intensive farming and deforestation,” we are told at Klorane. That’s why many beauty brands are opting for sensible harvesting, helping with replanting, and prioritizing agroforestry. Hair action? The flora, so variegated, gives rise to harvests of fruits with exotic names (capuaçu, murumuru, tucumã…). The pulp of these endemic trees is most often transformed into butter, balm or wax and is used in the composition of masks or hair conditioners. Textures rich in omega 3 and 9 which, applied between 5 to 15 minutes after shampooing, deeply repair the hair shaft, tighten its scales and restore the hydrolipidic film. Finally, better known, coconut and macadamia, whose pulpit – armored with lauric and palmitic acid – worked in oil, promotes the repair of keratin (natural component of the hair). To be used especially when you use straightening plates or when you have colored hair.

Shopping bags: Nutrition & Repair, Conditioner Balm with Organic Capuaçu Butter, Klorane, €11.50**; Hair Repair Treatment, Triple Brazilian Butter, Sol de Janeiro Hair, €35,; Nutri+ Moisturizing Mask, Ans Brasil, €60****; Nourishing Restructuring Balm, Hair Rituel by Sisley, €95, and; Organic Coconut Vegetable Oil, Puressentiel, €12.90**.

>> Discover here our shopping of 20 hair products with active ingredients sourced in the forest

Text Sonia Peyrieux, Slideshow Isabelle Lafond.

*In perfumeries and department stores.**In pharmacies and parapharmacies. ***In large distribution. ****In hair salons.

Photo credits: Pablo Merchán Montes / Unsplash

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