Last year, retinol was the most Googled beauty ingredient by French netizens. And for good reason, this vitamin A derivative is a powerful anti-aging agent: it smooths wrinkles, stimulates collagen production and boosts cell renewal, with clinical studies supporting this. But this skin-aging deduction is now finding a new benefit: Some people also apply retinol to their hair.
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Following the trend of Skinification (or the art of caring for your skin while you pamper your skin), the active ingredient follows in the footsteps of hyaluronic acid, applied to the ends, and exfoliating masks with salicylic acid.
But is applying retinol to your scalp really a good idea? What are the virtues of this gesture and precautions to be taken? Hairstylist Gianni Cuba, from Salon R Factory Paris, gave us his professional opinion.
What are the benefits of retinol for hair and scalp?
slows down hair loss
In 2007, a study published in PubMed established that “Retinol significantly improves the condition of the scalp skin and promotes hair growth.” In the meantime, Gianni Cuba claims that it slows or even stops hair loss…provided you are patient. “You have to use retinol as a treatment for at least 3 or 4 months to see the first results, says the hairdresser. This corresponds to the duration of the hair cycle for the hair to regenerate.”
Reduces sebum secretion
Thanks to its purifying properties, retinol detoxifies the scalp and slows down sebum production. A godsend for legs that lubricate quickly and those that grow slowly. “It is necessary to remove the impurities that clog the pores of the scalp so as not to slow down hair growth.”Gianni knows Cuba.
Improves the effectiveness of other hair care products
Retinol also enhances the effectiveness of other hair ingredients. He plays the role of the dispatcher, says the hairdresser. It brings various active ingredients to the scalp or hair, making it more effective. »
What type of hair is best suited for retinol?
Retinol is especially suitable for people who suffer from hair loss, dandruff, loss of texture or hair thinning. It is also intended for scalps that tend to produce a lot of sebum.
Retinol for hair care, a good idea? Yes but…
Retinol can be annoying
Just as retinol can be very sensitive to some skin types (and should be combined with sunscreen in spring and summer), it can be irritating to the scalp. Its use in hair remains controversial. Gianni Cuba warns. Some say it is revolutionary, others say it is aggressive. Retinol remains an acid that can be irritating and drying, just as some people may not tolerate essential oils, so be careful! “.
Precautions to use it properly
Do an allergy test
Before using retinol in hair, apply a small amount to the wrist, whose skin is very thin, to see if it is well tolerated.
Choose the right product and measure its quantity
Two essentials: have a light hand and be wary of the type of retinol used, using only care specifically intended for hair and scalp.
Unfortunately, you have to be patient. “It is still a small phenomenon, not very developed, few products are sold in the hair market, The hairdresser notes. Even among professionals, there are still few proposals from brands. And when it is there, it remains excellent. »
Apply retinol to the scalp only
The goal is to stimulate growth, the liquid or serum is applied only to the base of the hair (on the scalp). There are two possible ways:
- in scalp massage : Apply the treatment, line by line, using a pipette, then use the massage brush.
- In the care of deep hair loss : We apply the care, then leave it overnight with a silk cover. This blocks the scalp heat in order to amplify the effect of the product. Remembers Gianni Cuba.