Across the haircare industry, more consumers are trending toward products that rely on natural ingredients rather than conventional synthetic compounds in shampoos and conditioners — natural ingredients like cannabidiol, or CBD.
A major driving factor in this market shift is, according to new research, that numerous hair and scalp conditions can be aggravated or even caused by common shampoo ingredients like sulfates (which are added for lather) and parabens (which extend shelf life).
Excessive hair fall or hair loss is a common concern in hair care. Hair growth can slow or stop for a number of reasons, including environmental and hormonal changes, stress and shrinking hair follicles.
Shopping for a shampoo that can control hair loss usually involves a grueling amount of trial and error, but recent studies have shown that shampoos containing CBD may be an effective solution to many root (pun intended) causes of hair loss.
In this article, we’ll go over the basics of CBD and how CBD shampoos may help mitigate hair loss — as well as some easy ways to maximize the beneficial effects of CBD shampoos.
What is CBD?
CBD is a naturally-derived cannabinoid that can be found in cannabis plants like hemp and marijuana. It’s currently available in a wide range of user-friendly formats like unflavored drops, creams, and roll-ons.
CBD’s medicinal and therapeutic potential comes from its influence on the endocannabinoid system (ECS); specifically the CB1 and CB2 receptor groups within the ECS. These receptors control and regulate essential bodily functions like sleeping, hormone production and immune response. It’s a non-psychoactive cannabinoid that has been shown to have a variety of therapeutic properties including antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.
What Are The Benefits Of CBD Shampoos?
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CBD may be able to effectively minimize hair loss and thinning in two ways: by helping mitigate hair loss and encouraging regrowth. Below, we’ll go over some of the research into the mechanisms that make this possible.
Diminishing Hair Loss
A 2007 study done by the University of Debrecen in Hungary shows that “human scalp HF, intriguingly, are both targets and sources of endocannabinoid.” Their study strongly suggests that exploiting CB1 antagonists may work to counteract hair loss.
CBD has been found to be a potent CB1 antagonist in a study done by the Institute of Medical Sciences in Aberdeen, UK.
Multiple studies have shown CBD to be a beneficial anti-inflammatory agent. Scalp inflammation is a leading cause of conditions such as scalp folliculitis. The moderate to severe hair follicle irritation inflammation causes is what’s most responsible for the accompanying hair loss.
Inflammation-driven damage generally interferes with the scalp’s ability to nourish hair roots because of the itchiness, burning sensations, flaking, or sensitivity it causes. This irritation can disrupt normal hair growth, causing follicles to weaken and die prematurely.
Amplifying Hair Growth
Recent studies suggest that the ECS may play a key role in the growth of hair follicles. A case study published by the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery found that topical application of CBD caused a “93.5% increase in nonvellus hair after 6 months of daily use.”
How to Maximize the Benefits of CBD Shampoo
The purpose of using shampoo isn’t simply to get rid of dirt and excess oils, but also to infuse its key ingredients into your hair and scalp for improved hair health. Let’s close out the article with a few key tips to help you get the most out of your CBD shampoo.
- Use warm water for the initial rinse. This helps to open the cuticles and the pores in your scalp, which greatly improves CBD absorption.
- Take your time gently massaging the shampoo into your scalp and hair. It’s important to avoid rushing, since it can cause you to use excessive pressure and greatly diminish the amount of exposure your scalp and hair get to beneficial ingredients like CBD in shampoos.
- Only use your finger pads, not your fingertips, when massaging the scalp. This helps prevent unnecessary friction which could irritate sensitive hair follicles.
- Use lukewarm or cool water for your final rinse. This causes both the hair cuticle and pores in your scalp to close, locking in moisture and resulting in fewer stray hairs.
Washing your hair correctly not only helps to strengthen your roots and eradicate germs and dirt from the scalp, but also allows you to reap the benefits of CBD shampoos.
If you’re unsure whether CBD products are right for you, consult your physician to avoid potential conflicts with your existing medication or supplementation regimen.
Have you tried using CBD shampoos, and if so, did you see the benefits? Tell us about your experience in the comments!