This hyaluronic acid hair trick is all the rage, but should you try it?
Split ends are the bane of our existence during those long weeks between hairstyles. They happen when our strands get dry and frayed from things like heat styling, weather changes, and even hair care products. In a recent viral video, TikTok user Kaitlyn Roundtree shared a skincare tip to get her extremities back on track, and that involves the $ 7 Hyaluronic Acid 2% + Hydrating Serum. B5 from The Ordinary.
In her video, Roundtree says she applied the skin care serum to her ends every night for two weeks and now has soft, manageable hair. To find out if our HA serums are the new split ends repairers, we asked hair experts to explain how hyaluronic acid works on damaged hair and if it’s a TikTok trend worth trying. .
What HA does for hair
“Hyaluronic acid is a humectant,” says Wayne, NJ, facial plastic surgeon and hair restoration specialist Jeffrey B. Wise, MD. “This means it draws water from its surroundings to hydrate anything it comes in contact with. HA works great at retaining water and when you use it on your skin, you prevent moisture from evaporating from your skin’s barrier, keeping it hydrated and plumped throughout the day.
HA works the same for hair, drawing water to the hair shaft. “Hair cuticles are keratin proteins, not HA,” says Spokane, dermatologist WA Wm. Philip Werschler, MD. “The hair shaft is like a shingle on the roof of a house. Over time and environmental stress, the cuticle breaks down and the hair shaft becomes frizzy or split. There are many repair methods, of course, and HA is a great lubricant that holds water.
Should you use your face serum?
According to Bloomfield Hills, MI dermatologist Linda C. Honet, MD, yes and no. “The hyaluronic acids in hair care products certainly work by drawing water molecules into the hair shaft, just like in skin care products and dermal fillers, but it’s just about of a temporizing effect when applied to the hair. The hydration will eventually evaporate and can even do so quite quickly depending on the ambient humidity.
“Unless the formulation is very simple and has few ingredients, I wouldn’t recommend using the same hyaluronic acid created for the skin on the hair itself,” New York-based trichologist Shab adds. Reslan.
How to register
If you’re going to be applying hyaluronic acid to your strands, Reslan says to do it on towel-dried hair and enough sponges so that there aren’t any excess water drops. “Start by applying to the hair in your crown, which is known to be more frizzy and unmanageable,” she says. “Comb through your ends with a soft detangling brush like Tangle Teezer’s The Ultimate Detangler ($ 14) so you can evenly distribute your product and remove tangles without damaging your hair when it’s wet and super sensitive.”
Try this instead
While TikTok videos are great for sharing DIY ideas, our hair experts say it’s a video you can skip because there are better options available for protecting and repairing hair. “I think it’s important to mention oil treatments for damaged hair, especially argan oil, because they last longer than HA treatments and do pretty much the same thing,” explains the Dr Werschler.
Dr Honet agrees that argan oil is a better alternative. “I am a big fan of argan oils, especially the cold pressed version. Oils seal moisture in the dry hair shaft and prevent moisture from evaporating, much like moisturizers seal moisture in the skin.
“Keep in mind that really healthy hair starts from the inside out,” notes Dr. Wise. “If your hair is dry and brittle, or even falling out due to underlying conditions, it might be more important to treat it first to get your hair back healthy.”
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