For almost as long as people have been losing their hair, innovators have sought wonder treatments to regrow it. The Ancient Egyptians tested a mixture of animal fats (drawing from hippos, serpents, and everything in between) to restore hair to a balding person’s head. And that’s one of the least revolting natural remedies their desperate minds concocted.
And even though modern science has better remedies for hair loss, a different problem has emerged: reliance upon caustic chemicals which can cause harm as well as good. Everything from parabens and petrolatum to formaldehyde can have an adverse effect on humans and the environment. Is there a middle ground that gets results and helps people regrow their vanishing follicles?
Seaweed might be the answer. It’s a natural remedy that’s been used in Japan for centuries and it holds up well in modern scientific studies. Here’s what you need to know about using seaweed extract or seaweed powder for hair growth in your products.
How Does Seaweed Boost Hair Growth
In the past, we’ve talked about the ways in which algae extract for hair had the potential to supply hair and scalp with a variety of nutrients necessary to foster thicker and healthier hair. Beyond their raw potential, how does this natural ingredient perform in real trials? Some of the research is very promising.
A study of Grateloupia elliptica, a red seaweed found in the coastal waters of Korea, demonstrated just how these types of seaweed combat hair loss. When researchers applied an extract from this red seaweed onto immortalized test cells, they generated significant reproduction of dermal papilla cells, which regulate hair growth.
While this seaweed extract strengthened hair cells, it also inhibited the activity of 5α-reductase, which in abundance can lead to androgenetic alopecia. Additionally, researchers found that the antiviral properties found in some seaweeds inhibited the activity of Pityrosporum ovale, a type of yeast that is often associated with dandruff production or even infection of hair follicles.
Though more studies and tests need to be administered, the potential of red seaweed (and even brown seaweeds) in hair regrowth treatment is exciting.
How Are Seaweed Products Being Used?
Since the pursuit of studies like the one above, some formulators throughout the haircare industry have seen enough potential to dip their toes in the water with seaweed extract. Whether originating as a powder or liquid form, there are plenty of ways that seaweed is incorporated into hair growth products.
Companies like Ubersuave are using Ascophyllum nodosum in shampoos designed to strengthen and improve the texture of hair while eliminating unfavorable microorganisms. Other brands like Wawaza are offering consumers a powder that can be used as a cleanser in the shower instead of shampoo.
However it’s used, there’s growing evidence that seaweed offers an all-natural treatment for hair strengthening and regrowth that’s as effective (and less harmful) than chemical treatments. And when consumers can name and comprehend all the ingredients in your product, they’ll be more likely to trust you with their hair regrowth.
Want to learn more about using seaweed powder for hair growth in your products? Watch our free webinar “The Secrets of Seaweed: Wellness Solutions for Food, Nutraceutical and Cosmetics Product Formulations.”