Does your hair get easily tangled? Is your hair frizzy? Is the texture of your hair rough? Does your hair break when you comb? If you answered yes to any of these questions, your hair may be showing signs of damage.
In this article, we’ll walk through home hair treatments for damaged hair, the botanical ingredients you should look out for, and the science behind how it can benefit your hair shaft. We’ll also include excerpts from Haircare Bible: A Dermatologist’s Tips on Haircare and Hair Loss by Dr. Teo Wan Lin, dermatologist at TWL Specialist Skin & Laser Centre.
What is hair elasticity and how is it measured?
Hair elasticity is measured by how much the hair will stretch before it returns to a normal state. Healthy hair, when wet stretches up to 50% of its original length and returns to its normal shape without breaking. Dry hair will stretch about 20%.
How to test your hair elasticity:
After you wash your hair, try these steps to check your hair elasticity:
- Take a strand of hair, hold it at mid-length or at the roots (this will prevent pulling at the root), and gently stretch the strand of hair.
After a gentle tug, if the hair doesn’t fall back into shape or if it breaks, hair elasticity is low.
What can be used to increase hair elasticity?
Protein and oils can be incorporated into the hair shaft
What are proteins? Why are they important for healthy hair?
Proteins are large molecules consisting of amino acids, the building blocks of proteins, that our body’s cells need to function properly.
Amino acids play an integral role in the body’s processes for healthy skin and hair. Amino acid proteins are necessary for the strong and resilient growth of the hair shaft — reducing the incidence of breakage due to brittleness. It can also increase hair shine and elasticity, and features prominently in thick, healthy shiny virgin hair.
The 360° Conscious Mask Bar for Hair is developed with a focus on environmentally conscious, science-backed botanical ingredients for a deep-conditioning home hair spa treatment.
Why are topical formulations of proteins important and how do you get amino acids into your hair?
Proteins like keratin and collagen are too large to be directly used on the hair shaft for a beneficial effect. They need to be broken down via a process performed in the laboratory, known as hydrolysis in order to be absorbed by hair.
What is hydrolysis and how does it affect the ability of proteins to be absorbed by the hair shaft?
Hydrolysis is a chemical reaction involving reactants that will create at least two products via a decomposition reaction. “Hydro” is derived from water — hydrolysis means a reaction with water. The hydrolysis process means this – a larger molecule is split into two or more parts by the addition of a water molecule.
Large proteins are too large and bulky to be absorbed by the hair. What Hydrolysis does is that it allows the hair shaft, which is made of keratin material to readily “absorb” and hang on to proteins by breaking them to smaller molecules.”
What are the types of proteins that can benefit the hair shaft in home hair treatments?
Wheat, Silk, Milk, Soy, Keratin, and Collagen proteins. The hydrolysed state of these proteins have all been proven to directly penetrate the hair shaft and repair it.
How do these proteins work to help heal the hair shaft?
Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein
Hydrolysed wheat proteins are considered reparative and conditioning agents for the hair due to the active peptides that are present. While it does not prevent hair loss, wheat proteins work to bring existing hair follicles to optimal health. It functions primarily by the following methods: First of all it moisturises the hair cuticle, the part of the hair that is responsible for keeping the hair smooth and shiny looking. In addition, it forms a coating around the hair shaft hence easily doubling the volume of the hair shaft, consequently working as a hair shaft volumiser. Finally, it helps to seal up the cuticle and functions as a smoothener to enhance hair shine in home hair treatments.
Place LipiShine, LipiSilk serums and Gel Cap in Mask Bar on “HOT” 30 min for the hot oil treatment. Apply the serum on the hair shaft, and wear the Gel Cap for 5 minutes. Rinse off thoroughly with cool water. Repeat this home hair treatment monthly.
Hydrolyzed Silk Protein
Silk is one of the strongest natural fibers in the world. It offers crystalline protection, ensuring hair elasticity and resiliency against breakage. At the same time, hydrolyzed silk protein acts as a barrier to improve shine by guarding the hair against moisture loss.
Hydrolyzed Milk Protein
A perfect fix for dry, limp and tangled hair. Hair tangles are more common when there is cuticle damage. Smooth, closed cuticles are less likely to encounter snags which are the primary cause of tangles and knots. Hydrolysed milk protein acts as an effective cuticle moisturizer ensuring detangled, well-nourished locks.
Hydrolyzed Soy Protein
Derived from the soybean plant, hydrolyzed soy protein is water soluble and can strengthen hair while repairing the shaft. It increases the natural ability of hair to retain moisture while adding shine and smoothness. Soy protein also functions as a humectant to trap moisture under the hair cuticle in home hair treatments.
Hydrolyzed Keratin Protein
Keratin is a fibrous protein that makes up the structure of our hair and is part of the natural protective layer of hair. It renders strength and returns elasticity to hair strands. As a protective barrier, it greatly reduces damages to the hair from harsh chemicals.
Hydrolyzed Collagen Protein
Sourced from bovine bone and cartilage, this protein temporarily bonds to the hair and increases its resistance to breakage under tension.
The Hair Mask Vial Bundles includes 3 customized masque applicators that thicken the hair shaft after each treatment. It includes the Keratin Hair Mask for hair strengthening, the Milk Hair Mask for hair softening, and the Silk Hair Mask for smoothing frizzy hair.
Plant oils and its benefits for hair
Plant oils have been known for centuries to help improve hair conditions in home hair treatments. Bioactive substances in plant oils have functional properties such as moisturizing, conditioning, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant activity. These substances are mainly found in the non-saponifiable (non-soaping forming) lipid (NSL) of plant oils. The effectiveness of plant oils are significantly reduced after undergoing chemical refinement methods in manufacturing but are still widely used and purported to be effective in many cosmetic hair care products.
The LipiSilk™ Serum is enriched with Linoleic acid for deep repair of hair shaft and purified seed oil of Hippophae rhanoides (Sea Buckthorn Oil). It coats and penetrates hair cuticles to repair hair damage and reduce breakage.
Synthetic Sandalwood found to stimulate hair growth in studies
The interesting finding of synthetic sandalwood stimulating human hair growth was first published in the prestigious journal Nature in 2016, as it appears to bind to the scalp’s olfactory (sense of smell) receptors. This did not occur with the actual sandalwood extract, rather the synthetic version made under trade name Sandalore.
This has implications in the realm of hair cosmeceuticals for hair regrowth. Firstly, is it viable to apply this as an oil directly to the scalp? There is a single commercially available preparation at the time of publication of this book, marketed as a hair growth tonic. While this is promising, there needs to be further clinical studies performed on the safety and efficacy of a topically applied synthetic oil directly on the scalp in home hair treatments.
Based on this study, my team and I have developed an alternative method of impregnating the fully porous natural material of a wooden comb with Sandalore, as a means of exposing the oil to the scalp receptors without direct contact with the scalp. I deem this a safer method of application in the absence of clinical studies, and will be looking towards a controlled study of such an intervention.
The ORZAT4 Infusion Treatment Comb is impregnated with Sandalore® which has been scientifically proven to stimulate hair regrowth in home hair treatments.