Hyaluronic acid is a substance that is naturally occurring in the body, mainly as a fluid in the eyes and joints, but it is also a frequently used ingredient in skin products. And it can also be used to promote a healthy scalp and increased hair growth.
The Joints’ Natural Lubricant
Hyaluronic acid works as a kind of cushion or lubricant, making the joints move smoother and other tissues in the body work properly. In skin products, it is known for its moisturizing properties. Therefore it can be used to treat skin burns or wounds. In the U.S., the FDA has approved use of it during eye surgeries, mouth sores and joint pain. It is even used as a lip filler during plastic surgery.
The acid, also known as HA, works together with collagen to keep our skin moisturized and elastic. When we age, our bodies produce less of these substances, which is what causes our skin to look aged and starting to wrinkle.
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What Hyaluronic Acid Does For Your Hair
The skin on our scalp has two main layers – epidermis, which is the outer layer, and the dermal layer, which is deeper. That is where the hair follicle sits, and this tissue contains a gel-like fluid that is partially comprised of hyaluronic acid. It moisturizes the scalp from within and prevents hair from falling out prematurely from the hair follicles. If you have a dry scalp, using a shampoo and conditioner containing HA could be a good idea. According to dermatologist Dr. Paradi Mirmirani, HA definitely benefits the hair as it works like a fertilizer. Not only can it increase hair growth, but also increases the diameter of each hair, giving your hair more volume. It can be ingested but also injected or applied topically. It is unclear which method is the most effective.
How Do I Get HA?
Dr. Ron Moy, a dermatologist and Senior Vice President of the Skin Cancer Foundation, says that HA molecules are too big to penetrate the skin. That means creams containing HA are great for moisturizing the surface of the skin, but not to penetrate it to fight actual wrinkles. That is when an injection may have better effect.
But if you want to avoid needles, save money, and use a way that doesn’t require regular maintenance, taking HA orally or topically is a better option. Many targeted supplements contain HA.
There is HA in some foods; like leafy greens, root vegetables and soy products. Scientists still do not know how, or whether, much of HA our bodies take up when we eat it. But it never hurts to eat some extra vegetables anyway. A healthy diet will benefit all aspects of our health.
Text by Emma von Zeipel