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CBD products have infiltrated the beauty industry ever since the 2018 Farm Bill removed legal restrictions on CBD derived from hemp plants containing less than 0.3% THC. And when we say CBD is everywhere in the beauty world, we mean it's everywhere. From pain lotions and creams, to moisturizing skin care, to facial serums, acne tinctures, and everything in between, there are a myriad of products that boast CBD-linked benefits. And that includes products within the world of haircare, as well. In fact, some medical professionals and CBD advocates alike believe that the presence of CBD oil in hair products can not only strengthen hair and relieve a dry, itchy scalp, but it can also promote overall hair growth.
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a common compound, or cannabinoid, found alongside tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in the cannabis plant (Cannabis sativa). Unlike THC, CBD does not cause a psychoactive reaction, which results in a user feeling "high." Rather, it works with the body's endocannabinoid system (ECS) to block pain receptors, reduce anxiety, and help those who suffer with insomnia. CBD oil is extracted from the leaves and stalks of the cannabis plant (often of the hemp variety), and is often sold in full-spectrum oils, in which its mixed with other cannabinoids in a carrier oil like hemp seed oil or coconut oil.
According to Self.com, research into what CBD oil can do when topically applied has shown that CBD can reduce skin inflammation, and help calm and manage skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis, and rosacea. One study even found that a 3% topical cannabis cream, which included CBD as an ingredient, worked to combat acne. Furthermore, CBD oil is extremely moisturizing, and when mixed with the omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acid-rich hemp oil, the full-spectrum mixture could even prove to be beneficial as an anti-aging serum, as one expert told Practice Update in 2018.
Because CBD oil and its offshoot products have shown promise in the skincare world, it only makes sense that those working in the haircare industry have begun to add it to shampoos and conditioners to provide hydration for dry scalps and help those who suffer with dandruff. Its anti-inflammatory properties calm upset skin and allow for the scalp to produce stronger, healthier hair.
But wait — there's more. “CBD oil contains all 21 known amino acids, which are the building blocks of protein,” Kevin Wachs, of the CBD hair products company EMERA, told The Zoe Report in November 2018. “Because of that, it helps to build up collagen and elastin, which are essential to hair strength.”
Plus, CBD oil contains antioxidants including vitamins A, C, and E, which are "the best studied of all the antioxidants — they protect us from pollution-induced free radicals,” dermatologist Dr. Loretta Ciraldo, added. These vitamins protect hair against dryness, split ends, and frizz caused by breakage, which is also essential for hair growth.
And what's the deal with CBD helping those suffering from hair loss?
CBD hair care products can supposedly substantially improve the quality of your hair and scalp health, meaning that you may see more hair growth with continued use of CBD products. Nourishing CBD shampoos, conditioners, and scalp treatments can help to stimulate blood flow in the scalp, thus encouraging hair growth and an improvement in hair fullness. Furthermore, as Vegamour.com points out, ingesting CBD oil, or a full-spectrum CBD oil, can cut back on stress and anxiety, which often leads to hair loss.
Although there's not much scientific evidence directly linking CBD oil to reduced hair loss, introducing both topical and ingestible CBD into your daily routine may result in noticeable hair growth, a healthy scalp, and less overall stress.
Sounds great. So, how often should we be using CBD hair products?
Mollie Twining, Founding Partner and Director of Sales at CBD for Life, told NaturallyCurly.com that she recommends incorporating CBD hair products into your hair-washing routine and only use them as often as you regularly wash your hair. Depending on your hair type and scalp condition, you're going to want to refrain from washing your hair everyday. This can be extremely drying and cause more harm than good.
Rather, wash your hair only when you absolutely need to. For those with dry hair and scalp, stick to hydrating CBD shampoos and conditioners, and to combat split ends, invest in a leave-in conditioner or hair oil such as argan oil, coconut oil, or a blend of several different types of oils. And when it comes to choosing high-quality CBD hair products, make sure you're choosing one with natural ingredients and products that use hemp seed oil or hemp oil rather than "hemp extract" or simply "hemp." Products using the latter ingredients may dilute the concentration of and thwart the benefits of CBD altogether.
Many companies offer vegan and paraben-free products that are scented with various essential oils. Make sure you consult your doctor or dermatologist before starting on a CBD hair product regimen, especially if essential oils are involved. Some with sensitive skin may find they're allergic to specific essential oils, and should therefore go through a patch test to see if your scalp will react to a certain product.
Though there are still studies to be done on the benefits of CBD for mental health, skin health, and hair health, completed research shows that CBD has the potential to change one's quality of life, if used correctly. The best way to find out if CBD hair products can turn your hair around for the better is to test them out for yourself. Pick up a family of products with nourishing, moisturizing, and oil-rich properties to gain back lost hydration. Research and choose a leave-in hair oil to maintain smooth hair follicles and keep split ends at bay. And choose a CBD shampoo that will leave your scalp feeling refreshed and dandruff free to improve blood flow and promote healthier hair growth.
CBD hair products may just be the missing link in your haircare and styling routine you've been looking for.