Tag Archive: hair treatment

Do Hair Supplements Really Work? Dermatologist Weighs In

April 15, 2021

You’ve heard of hair supplements that claim to combat hair loss, give you voluminous silky hair, or stop hair breakage, but do these products actually work? In this article, we’ll cover the supposed benefits hair supplements claim to have, and examine the science and evidence behind it. We’ll also discuss other hair loss treatments for hair growth and hair thickness as an alternative to supplements including an excerpt from Haircare Bible: A Dermatologist’s Tips on Haircare and Hair Loss by Dr. Teo Wan Lin, Dermatologist at TWL Specialist Skin & Laser Centre.

Depending on the goal of the hair supplements, they can market to achieve a number of different things. Some supplements claim to increase blood flow to the scalp, strengthen hair and prevent hair loss, decrease inflammation, prevent hair thinning. Some truly aim to fill a physician-diagnosed vitamin or mineral deficiency. 

Do hair supplements really work? What does the science say?

Dietary supplements are legally recognized as food, as opposed to drugs. This distinction means that supplement manufacturers do not need to confirm safety, efficacy, or quality before selling and marketing it to the public. In short, since vitamins and supplements are not FDA-regulated, brands can make any claims about their product.

These pills and supplements are often not backed by data, and the research you can find on them is lacking. The scientific research and evidence that is out there are often biased or too narrow. A lot of the studies in support of hair supplements you will find are funded by the brands themselves, casting a less-than-credible light on the results. 

Biotin, for example, is a popular supplement for hair thinning and hair loss. Efficacy and effectiveness has only been shown in research performed for a specific concern (nail brittleness), or in a narrow population (those with hair loss and biotin deficiencies). Successful results in limited areas are too often taken as efficacy in other situations. 

Additionally, manufacturers often rely on “deficiency-state” outcomes to support supplementation in normal populations, without evidence. For example, hair loss vitamins often contain vitamin A. While those with vitamin A deficiencies may experience hair loss, there is no evidence that it is useful in individuals with normal levels of vitamin A. In fact, vitamin A may actually trigger hair loss. 

Hence, in terms of scientific evidence, there really isn’t much to back the usefulness of these hair supplements. Instead, it is more important to find out why hair loss is happening before choosing a treatment path. Working with a dermatologist to better understand the reason behind your hair loss or thinning can help you to make a more informed decision in determining which treatments are helpful. 

What are some alternative treatments for hair growth and thickness?

Include more vitamins in your diet

Androgenetic Alopecia (AGA) and telogen effluvium are two common types of hair loss. Studies show that increasing intake of vitamin D in your diet can improve symptoms of these diseases. Dietary sources of vitamin D include fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel, tuna and certain mushrooms such as portabella. 

Deficiencies in riboflavin, biotin, folate and vitamin B12 – components of the vitamin B complex, have been associated with hair loss. The recommended daily allowances can be reached by eating a balanced diet. Incorporating dietary sources of vitamin B including leafy greens such as spinach and romaine lettuce, eggs, and certain seafoods, can be beneficial for hair loss.. 

Iron deficiency is common in women with hair loss. Foods that you can add to your diet that are rich in iron include spinach, legumes such as beans, lentils, soybeans, and red meat. 

Topical and oral treatments 

Topical and systemic drugs are often used in treating female or male pattern hair loss. The most common topical drug is minoxidil. Originally developed as an oral medication for hypertension, its common side effect of excessive hair growth has led to its use as a treatment. Minoxidil 2% or 5% solution is often used in topical application to prolong the anagen phase.

Other anti-androgen drugs include fluridil and finasteride. High levels of androgens, including DHT, can shrink hair follicles as well as shorten the hair cycle. Topical application of fluridil helps suppress androgen receptors in hair follicles. Finasteride is available as oral medication and reduces the conversion of testosterone into its active form. Finasteride has also shown to reverse the effects of follicle miniaturization.

Hair cosmeceuticals

Copper peptide is another ingredient that stimulates hair regrowth. Made up of amino acids, copper peptides have regenerative properties that work to increase hair follicle size and reduce hair loss. By fighting inflammation and free radicals, copper peptides also protect the hair follicles from being damaged. [1]

The Copper Peptide Hair Regrowth Serum contains copper peptide for hair growth, hair root strenghtening, and hair shaft thickening. 

“Topical formulations like minoxidil are limited by its side effects such as irritation and scalp flaking. Minoxidil, when topically applied at concentrations between 2-5%, has the potential to irritate the scalp causing symptoms such as worsening dandruff, scalp itch and redness. The effects of minoxidil are lost once the patient stops applying the topical. It is also important to note that minoxidil is teratogenic and is not approved for use in breastfeeding and pregnant women. Hence, for my patients with hair loss and especially those with concomitant dandruff or scalp itch, I routinely recommend copper peptide as the first line hair regrowth serum as it is non-irritating and gentle on the scalp.

I have found that a combination of non-prescription hair cosmeceuticals together with prescription cosmeceuticals, in this case minoxidil and/or propecia (finasteride in men) works well in my practice. It has a much lower risk of scalp irritation and is also more sustainable in the medium to long term,” accredited dermatologist, Dr. Teo Wan Lin.

It is important to note that all treatments for female or male pattern hair loss are for long-term use, which means stopping the treatment will cause your hair loss condition to return. However, if the cause of your hair loss has not been officially diagnosed, it is recommended to consult an accredited dermatologist for professional advice. 

Laser / Light Therapy 

Hair laser (diode laser) treatments work via photobiostimulation, delivering low level laser light to your scalp. The diode laser works at the cell level to stimulate growth factors that help the scalp regenerate faster, helping your hair to grow fuller.

There are also approved diode laser devices for hair regrowth available for home use. For such devices, using a laser comb for 15 minutes, three times a week, also increases the number of hair follicles in the anagen phase, the stage in which our hair grows. 

Alternative to hair supplements: Raser comb

The Raser™ Hair Regrowth Comb is a multi-functional 5 in 1 comb that incorporates Diode Laser + Radiofrequency+ Red Photon + EMS + Massage with Ozone Sterilization. It is beneficial for hair follicle stimulation, hair regrowth, scalp serum absorption, and increases hair elasticity/anti-frizz/shine.

Light therapy in the form of yellow and red light treatment can initiate hair regrowth. Red light treatment, with wavelengths between 630 to 670 nm, stimulates an enzyme called cytochrome C. This enzyme encourages our genes to produce more hair and lowers the cell death of hair follicles.

Radiofrequency 

Fractional radiofrequency devices have been studied in the treatment of androgenetic alopecia. When used on the scalp, fractional radiofrequency has the effect of jump-starting the wound healing process, which triggers off collagen production. In order for hair growth to be activated, the roots of the hair where follicles are, have to be subjected to the same micro-climate as successful wound healing processes. Application of radiofrequency technology is possible in home use devices for the treatment of androgenetic alopecia, as well as other causes of hair loss, as it is able to promote strong and healthy hair growth.

Closing thoughts

In summary, the evidence for hair supplements is very limited. While it may be very attractive to believe that there is a best hair loss supplement for hair growth out in the market, the truth is that it very likely doesn’t work as it claims. So far the research on hair cosmeceuticals has identified primarily plant-derived antioxidants such as safflower oil that can help to stimulate the hair follicle to grow. Minoxidil is another effective option, but as mentioned above, it tends to cause scalp irritation. The promising technologies available for hair regrowth would be laser diode combs with radiofrequency. These have been proven to stimulate the same processes that trigger off hair regrowth. 

If you are looking for the best hair loss supplement for hair regrowth, it is important to understand that there is currently no robust evidence that supports the use of hair supplements in most causes of hair loss that are not related to vitamin deficiencies. It is important that if you suffer from hair loss that you seek an accredited dermatologist consultation, to ensure that important medical causes are ruled out. 

In any case, we have summed up our dermatologist advice on how to navigate the world of hair supplements marketed for hair regrowth here: 

  • Just like FDA-approved drugs, supplements have the potential of having side effects and interactions, so treat them with the same level of caution as you would a pharmaceutical drug. 
  • When reviewing a drug’s safety and effectiveness, the FDA and its panel of experts will ask questions and review the evidence. Since supplements are not FDA regulated, it is up to manufacturers to ask these questions – unfortunately, many do not. 
  • Be sure to evaluate all the ingredients in the supplements. Checking and evaluating specific brands is also necessary as quality can vary. 
  • While independent laboratory verification can attest to dosage, these do not provide information on safety, efficacy, or potential for interactions. 
References: 

Katta R, Huang S. Skin, Hair and Nail Supplements: An Evidence-Based Approach. Skin Therapy Lett. 2019;24(5):7-13.

DiMarco G, McMichael A. Hair Loss Myths. J Drugs Dermatol. 2017 Jul 1;16(7):690-694. PMID: 28697221.

Almohanna HM, Ahmed AA, Tsatalis JP, Tosti A. The Role of Vitamins and Minerals in Hair Loss: A Review. Dermatol Ther (Heidelb). 2019;9(1):51-70. doi:10.1007/s13555-018-0278-6

What to Look For in a Hair Loss Shampoo

January 11, 2021

What ingredients are in a good hair loss shampoo? How should a shampoo function? In this article we’ll go through everything you should look for in a hair loss shampoo, including 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.

How Does Shampoo Work?

What constitutes a good hair loss shampoo?

Caring for one’s hair is just as important as caring for one’s face, but often gets less attention. Understanding what constitutes a good hair loss shampoo is an important part of making sure your hair stays healthy and voluminous. To help you navigate the world of shampoo products, we introduce you to the basics you need to know.

How should a hair loss shampoo function?

A shampoo is a viscous liquid (liquid with texture that tends to be thick). Its primary purpose is cleansing the scalp and hair of dirt, sebum, sweat, dead skin cells and environmental pollutants. It does so by dissolving oil-soluble dirt, which is water-insoluble and hence, cannot be removed by solely rinsing with water. A shampoo should also remove greasy residues from hair care products such as oils, gels and sprays. The overall effect is that of cleansing to maintain a good hygiene level to reduce the chance of scalp irritation, inflammation and odour.

While most shampoos can accomplish a thorough cleanse, the real challenge lies in removing just enough sebum to allow the hair to be clean without drying it out.

This explains why most shampoo formulations have a secondary function of smoothing the hair’s surface and imparting lustre, smoothness, buoyancy and volume. Certain types of shampoos also treat the scalp with medicated ingredients, such as those targeting dandruff, a common scalp disorder caused by a yeast known as Malassezia.

Hair Loss Shampoo: Copper Peptide Deep Cleanse Hair Regrowth Shampoo

The Copper Peptide Hair Regrowth Shampoo is a hair loss shampoo formulated for hair loss and sensitive scalps. It contains amino acid surfactant that performs gentle action for sensitive scalps, is pH-Adjusted for deep-cleansing. It also includes actives such as zinc pyrithione for anti-dandruff, and copper peptide for healthy hair growth.

Ingredients In A Shampoo

Typical shampoos contain 10 to 30 ingredients. These include: cleansing agents (surfactants), conditioning agents, special care ingredients, and additives. Surfactants essentially cause a lathering effect via a process known as emulsification. For example, a surfactant emulsifies sebum and grime on the hair and scalp which can then be easily rinsed off with water. They are responsible for cleansing hair while the conditioners and other ingredients do the rest.

Types of surfactants

A surfactant is often amphiphilic, meaning its molecules contain both lipophilic (oil-attracting) and hydrophilic (water-attracting) parts. The oil-attracting parts bind to sebum while the water-loving sites parts to water. Such a mechanism allows sebum to be removed when in contact with water.

The type of surfactants used in hair loss shampoos is classified according to their hydrophilic polar group. The four common categories of shampoo surfactants are anionics, cationics, non-ionics and amphoterics. Most shampoo formulas rely on two types of surfactants.

The surfactant listed first in a shampoo’s ingredient list denotes the primary cleanser and also the ingredient in the highest concentration. The surfactant listed second is the secondary cleanser; this is often added to offset the weaknesses of the first surfactant.

Anionic surfactants

Anionic surfactants are named for their negatively charged hydrophilic (water-loving) parts. Derived from fatty alcohols, they are good at removing sebum from the scalp. However, excessive cleansing with anionic surfactants leaves the hair harsh, rough, dull, frizzy and prone to tangling. Examples include sodium laureth sulfate, ammonium laureth sulfate, sodium lauryl sulfate, and ammonium lauryl sulfate.

Cationic surfactants

In contrast to anionic surfactants, cationic surfactants have a positively charged element. Cationic surfactants are poor cleansers and do not lather well. They are also not compatible with anionic surfactants. However, they are excellent at keeping chemically damaged hair soft and manageable. As a result, shampoos for damaged or coloured hair often include cationic surfactants. Examples include long-chain amino esters, ammonioesters, and cetyltrimethylammonium chloride.

Amphoteric surfactants

With both positively and negatively charged groups, amphoteric surfactants foam well and condition the hair. They help with the formation of micellar emulsion, improving the lathering ability of the shampoo, resulting in a thick liquid which is efficient to use. In addition, they do not cause stinging in the eyes and are gentle on the skin/scalp barrier, making them ideal for mild shampoos. Examples are cocamidopropyl betaine, sulfonate betaine, amphoteric acetate/diacetate.

Nonionic surfactants

Nonionic surfactants do not have a charged group and hence are compatible with any surfactant. Nonionic surfactants are the mildest type of surfactant. Such surfactants are often used in baby shampoos. Examples are fatty alcohol ethoxylates, cocamide MEA, sorbitan ether esters, and alkyl polyglucosides.

Conditioners In Shampoo

The purpose of conditioning is to increase hair manageability by smoothening and softening the hair shaft and to enable easy detangling. Shampoo formulations tend to add hair-conditioning ingredients to impart manageability, gloss and antistatic properties to the hair. Many are noted as ‘2 in 1’ to indicate the presence of both cleansing and conditioning benefits.

What are 2 in 1 shampoos?

They are conditioning shampoos that can wash off dirt and at the same time disperse conditioners onto the hair shaft. Examples of conditioning ingredients are fatty substances such as vegetable oils, wax, lecithin and lanolin derivatives, protein by-products (collagen, silk, animal proteins) and silicones.

What is the technology behind 2 in 1 shampoo?

Silicones and conditioning oils help smoothen out the hair shaft. They need to be regularly dispersed upon application to the hair shaft to condition the hair. Silicones add lubricity to the hair and reduce friction that arises from combing. They make it easier to comb through and detangle strands and prevent them from becoming frizzy.
Protein substances found in conditioners function by temporarily mending split ends and holding the hair fragments together until the next shampooing takes place.
The lathering components help to cleanse off the oil, dirt and dead skin cells of the scalp.

What is the science behind wet and dry hair conditioning?

The science behind conditioning hair while wet is based on a compound known as coacervate. It is best understood as something with positive and negative ions reacting in the presence of water.

On the other hand, the end goal of dry hair conditioning is to deposit smoothening silicones and hair conditioning oils on the hair surface. The commonest hair oils contain silicones such as dimethicone, dimethiconol, and amodimethicone.

Why should we avoid silicone-containing hair conditioners?

Scientific studies show that when the hair shaft surface is coated with silicone it becomes instantly smoother and it is covered with a protective layer. However, this is merely a temporary illusion of healthy hair. Silicone continues to build up layer by layer and eventually your hair gets weighed down. Instead of appearing smooth and shiny, hair may appear greasy and dull.

What are the other alternatives available?

In my development of the hair mask bar system for my patients with dry, brittle and unmanageable hair, I have incorporated natural proteins such as hydrolysed wheat, silk and milk proteins that directly penetrate and repair the hair shaft. These natural proteins are effective cuticle moisturizers that ensure detangled, well-nourished locks.

The Hair Mask Vials Bundle includes the Keratin Hair Mask for hair strengthening, the Silk Hair Mask for hair smoothness and frizz, and the Milk Hair Mask for hair softness.

Another important way to smoothen and condition your hair is through the use of plant oils. The bioactive substances present in plant oils contribute to their moisturizing, conditioning, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

The LipiGro Serum is enriched with 5a-reductase inhibitor to reverse hormonal hair loss, and the purified seed oil of ethanolic extract of Carthamus tinctorius.

The LipiShine Serum should be used with the CutisCool™ Biological Gel Hair Cap in the Hot Oil Treatment. Enriched with Oleic acid that acts as a cuticle softener, Linoleic acid that smooths hair, and the Purified seed oil of ethanolic extract of Carthamus tinctorius.

The LipiSilk Serum is used to treat damaged hair, chemically treated hair, and split ends. It contains actives such as Linoleic acid for deep repair of the hair shaft, Vitamin E, a bioactive antioxidant, and purified seed oil of Hippophae rhanoides (Sea Buckthorn Oil).

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Hair Loss Shampoo

Hair Loss Shampoo for the Scalp Microbiome

December 10, 2020

Hair loss (alopecia) can be a major source of distress and is a common problem.

In this article, we’ll go through common causes of hair loss, including facts about the hair cycle, what constitutes a good hair loss shampoo, and all about the scalp microbiome. We will also share an excerpt from Haircare Bible: A Dermatologist’s Tips on Haircare and Hair Loss by Dr. Teo Wan Lin, Dermatologist at TWL Specialist Skin & Laser Centre

The Hair Cycle

Normal hair grows through a hair cycle that has three stages. The growth phase, or anagen phase, is the longest phase of the hair cycle, with 80 to 90% of the hair on our scalp in this phase. In the next stage called the catagen phase, the hair bulb detaches from the blood supply and is pushed from the scalp. In the last stage, the telogen phase, shedding occurs as the hair is released, leaving behind an empty follicle.

Each hair follicle is independent, going through the cycle at different stages as the other hairs. Hair problems occur when there is a disruption in the hair cycle.

What are the causes of hair loss?

Hair loss can be caused either by an isolated problem or a combination of factors including genetics, chronic medical diseases such as a thyroid problem or underlying anemia (low blood count), poor nutrition, etc.
Chemical treatments performed in hair salons, such as hair dyes, bleaching, perming and rebonding hair, can cause a form of hair loss from breakage of the hair shaft.

In the hospital setting, patients undergoing chemotherapy usually suffer from a form of temporary hair loss, caused by the hair follicles entering into the resting phase whereby they are shed.

Namely, as our hair growth cycle goes through 3 main phases — active growth caused by anagen, transitional growth caused by catagen and inactive growth and shedding caused by telogen — an impact in any of these stages caused by the abovementioned factors can lead to loss in hair density due to less hair on the scalp present in the growth or anagen phase.

Hair loss shampoo

What constitutes a good shampoo?

Caring for one’s hair is just as important as caring for one’s face, but often gets less attention. Understanding what constitutes a good hair loss shampoo is an important part of making sure your hair stays healthy and voluminous.

To help you navigate the world of shampoo products, we introduce you to the basics you need to know.

How should a shampoo function?

A shampoo is a viscous liquid (liquid with texture that tends to be thick). Its primary purpose is cleansing the scalp and hair of dirt, sebum, sweat, dead skin cells and environmental pollutants. It does so by dissolving oil-soluble dirt, which is water-insoluble and hence, cannot be removed by solely rinsing with water. A hair loss shampoo should also remove greasy residues from hair care products such as oils, gels and sprays. The overall effect is that of cleansing to maintain a good hygiene level to reduce the chance of scalp irritation, inflammation and odour.

While most shampoos can accomplish a thorough cleanse, the real challenge lies in removing just enough sebum to allow the hair to be clean without drying it out.

This explains why most shampoo formulations have a secondary function of smoothing the hair’s surface and imparting lustre, smoothness, buoyancy and volume.

Certain types of hair loss shampoos also treat the scalp with medicated ingredients, such as those targeting dandruff, a common scalp disorder caused by a yeast known as Malassezia.

Hair loss shampoo: Copper Peptide Hair regrowth deep cleanse shampoo

The Copper Peptide Hair Regrowth Deep Cleanse Shampoo is formulated for hair loss and sensitive scalps. It has degreasing, soothing, and anti-hairloss effects. It also contains amino acid surfactant for sensitive scalps, zinc pyrithione for anti-dandruff action, and copper peptide for healthy hair growth.

Types of surfactants

A surfactant is often amphiphilic, meaning its molecules contain both lipophilic (oil-attracting) and hydrophilic (water-attracting) parts. The oil-attracting parts bind to sebum while the water-loving sites parts to water. Such a mechanism allows sebum to be removed when in contact with water.

The type of surfactants used in hair loss shampoos is classified according to their hydrophilic polar group. The four common categories of shampoo surfactants are anionics, cationics, non-ionics and amphoterics. Most shampoo formulas rely on two types of surfactants.

The surfactant listed first in a shampoo’s ingredient list denotes the primary cleanser and also the ingredient in the highest concentration. The surfactant listed second is the secondary cleanser; this is often added to offset the weaknesses of the first surfactant.

Anionic surfactants
Anionic surfactants are named for their negatively charged hydrophilic (water-loving) parts. Derived from fatty alcohols, they are good at removing sebum from the scalp. However, excessive cleansing with anionic surfactants leaves the hair harsh, rough, dull, frizzy and prone to tangling. Examples include sodium laureth sulfate, ammonium laureth sulfate, sodium lauryl sulfate, and ammonium lauryl sulfate.

Cationic surfactants
In contrast to anionic surfactants, cationic surfactants have a positively charged element. Cationic surfactants are poor cleansers and do not lather well. They are also not compatible with anionic surfactants. However, they are excellent at keeping chemically damaged hair soft and manageable. As a result, shampoos for damaged or coloured hair often include cationic surfactants. Examples include long-chain amino esters, ammonioesters, and cetyltrimethylammonium chloride.

Amphoteric surfactants
With both positively and negatively charged groups, amphoteric surfactants foam well and condition the hair. They help with the formation of micellar emulsion, improving the lathering ability of the shampoo, resulting in a thick liquid which is efficient to use. In addition, they do not cause stinging in the eyes and are gentle on the skin/scalp barrier, making them ideal for mild shampoos. Examples are cocamidopropyl betaine, sulfonate betaine, amphoteric acetate/diacetate.

Nonionic surfactants
Nonionic surfactants do not have a charged group and hence are compatible with any surfactant. Nonionic surfactants are the mildest type of surfactant. Such surfactants are often used in baby shampoos. Examples are fatty alcohol ethoxylates, cocamide MEA, sorbitan ether esters, and alkyl polyglucosides.

The Scalp Microbiome

The scalp is one of the thickest parts of the skin on the body, with on average about 100,000 hairs growing on it at a given time. It high production of vitamin-rich sebum (oil) and an unusually humid environment, which gives rise to microbes and microorganisms that aren’t found on any other part of the body. 

The scalp microbiome is the balance of healthy microorganisms that work together and contribute to our scalp health. Just like our skin microbiome, if the delicate microbiome is thrown off balance, skin conditions can develop, causing symptoms of flaking, itching, and irritation.

Keeping the scalp microbiome health: Shampoo 

Research has shown that zinc pyrithione medicated shampoo is a safe and effective way to treat dandruff. By fighting off Malassezia, it is a beneficial way to restore the health of your scalp microbiome. 

The Copper Peptide Deep Cleanse Shampoo contains amino acid surfactant for gentle cleansing of sensitive scalps,  zinc pyrithione that has anti-dandruff properties, and copper peptide that helps to promote healthy hair growth.

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Home Hair Treatments for Damaged Hair

December 1, 2020

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.

Hair Mask bar as home hair treatments for damaged 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.

Hair Mask Vial bundle for at home hair treatment of damaged hair

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.