Hyaluronic acid is a special skin care ingredient that has been praised for its ability to retain skin moisture and produce healthy, dewy skin. Previous research even suggests that hyaluronic acid from the inside can help reverse premature skin aging caused by ultraviolet (UV) exposure.
Recently, some TikTok users have started raving about hyaluronic acid for another reason: its supposed ability to transform hair from dry and brittle to healthy and shiny.
“I saw a TikTok that said hair oil doesn’t moisturize hair, only water does. So I tried hyaluronic acid!” wrote TikTok influencer Kaitlyn Boyer in August 2021 in a video that has been viewed more than 3.7 million times. Starting with the damaged strands, she says that she wet her hair and applied the hyaluronic acid-based product The Ordinary’s Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 at night. After one night her hair looks noticeably healthier and after two nights she notices a “big difference”. After two weeks, she claims her hair is “much more manageable”, revealing that her stylist also asked what products she was using.
Muneeb Shah, DO, a fourth-year physician at Campbell University in Buies Creek, North Carolina and a social influencer who calls himself “Derm Doctor” on TikTok backed up Boyer’s claims with a viral video that has more than 10 million views. “Hyaluronic acid is a powerful humectant, meaning it holds about 1,000 times its weight in water,” she said, calling it “an excellent moisturizer for hair and skin.”
Should you also be using hyaluronic acid on your hair?
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How does hyaluronic acid serum work?
Daniel Belkin MD, a New York-based dermatologist and board-certified dermatologic surgeon with the New York Dermatology Group, echoes Dr. Shah, saying that the hyaluronic acid molecule can bind up to 1,000 times its weight in water, making it a highly effective humectant, a molecule that absorbs or retains hydration.” .
Board-certified dermatologist Joshua Zeichner, assistant professor and director of cosmetic and clinical dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York, says hyaluronic acid is a staple in skin care, but he’s seen it become more common. recently in hair care products.
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Is the effect of hyaluronic acid on the hair the same as on the skin?
Each hair strand is made up of layered proteins, including a keratin strand, as well as structural components such as matrix macrofibrils, cortex, and finally cuticle scales, arranged in a sequence, says Ava Shamban, board certified medical doctor. a dermatologist in Los Angeles.
Healthy, vibrant, shiny hair has smooth, flat cuticles and moisture is tight, says Dr. shambaani. On the other hand, in the case of damaged or dull-looking supports, the hair shaft is dried and the scales on top are lifted, causing the hair to become brittle. Hair is porous and exposed to excessive washing, repeated heat treatment such as blow-drying and environmental factors can cause damage.
When hyaluronic acid is applied to the hair, it “draws moisture from the environment and pulls it into the hair and holds it — like soaking water in a sponge, it expands,” Shamban explains.
And since hyaluronic acid is already established as an excellent skin care agent, hyaluronic acid is also good for the scalp, Shamban points out. The main difference between the scalp and the rest of the skin is that the scalp has thousands of terminal hair follicles that grow hair strands. The scalp also has a larger sebum network than the rest of the skin. Shamban says this network is similar to a subway system, working in stages that release and collect oil, which is used to nourish the skin to coat, hydrate, soften and protect.