Read This Before Investing In CBD Hair Products

Photographed by Caroline Tompkins.
It's official: CBD is everywhere — including our beauty routines. Thanks to the 2018 Farm Bill, consumers have had a whirlwind year experimenting with a variety of CBD-infused skin and body products, from acne treatments to lotions to sunscreens. Now, the trendy ingredient is beginning to pop up in a whole new beauty category: hair.
CBD shampoos, conditioners, and serums are here, but do they actually work? Although few studies have been conducted, the same theory behind popular skin-care products is believed to apply to formulas applied to the scalp. Research and anecdotal evidence support CBD's purported anti-inflammatory properties, thus suggesting it could solve topical irritation.
To understand exactly how this works for our scalp, New York dermatologist Matthew Lin, MD, points to the endocannabinoid system. Phytocompounds from the hemp plant, including CBD and THC, have the ability to molecularly connect to receptors inside our bodies, specifically the CB1 and CB2 receptors. "By acting on the cannabindoid receptors, CBD reduces inflammatory cytokines on the scalp," Dr. Lin explains. Translation? "Doing this has the potential to improve dandruff, seborrheic dermatitis, eczema and itchy, flaky scalp." Research has yet to imply that CBD can enhance hair growth, but considering its abundance in fatty acids, there's potential for the claim to possibly be substantiated eventually.
However, Dr. Lin warns consumers to be conscious shoppers when looking to invest in a CBD hair product because there's always the possibility of being scammed into something that can't offer real benefits. "Many products want to be marketed under the cannabis umbrella, including those that are based on hemp seed oil, so you may see a cannabis plant on the label, but this does not necessarily mean it contains CBD," he says. "These products do not possess the same anti-inflammatory benefits of CBD, but they do contain essential fatty acids which can nourish and hydrate the hair and scalp."
Ready to explore the world of CBD hair care? Check out the shampoos and serums your scalp never knew it needed, ahead.
At Refinery29, we’re here to help you navigate this overwhelming world of stuff. All of our market picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team. If you buy something we link to on our site, Refinery29 may earn commission.
1 of 7

Raincry Rebuild Bond Repair

This peptide-infused, bond-building treatment has 300mg of CBD to strengthen hair and prevent breakage and pesky split ends.
2 of 7

Outré Hair Oil + CBD

Quench dry strands with this nourishing oil, which is infused with CBD to help smooth frizz, lessen damage, and protect color-treated hair.
3 of 7

Nomad Transcend Serum

Dr. Lin tells us that CBD oil contains omega-3, 6, and 9 fatty acids, which are intensely hydrating for hair — and this serum has it all. It's also formulated with white tea extract, chamomile, and rose water to soothe irritation, as well as lactic acid, which is said to boost cell turnover to promote hair growth.
4 of 7

Emera Nourishing CBD Shampoo

Besides its hero ingredient — CBD oil — this prestige shampoo is made with some of the most hydrating oils on the market, including avocado and hemp seed (not to be confused with CBD oil, hemp seed oil is extracted directly from the plant's seed and is a natural conditioning agent). You'll also find antioxidants, like chamomile and green tea extract, inside this bottle to protect your hair from free radical damage.
5 of 7

CBD Daily Shampoo

CBD Daily's shampoo formula contains 10 mg of CBD to nourish your scalp. Not only that, but it uses a heavy dose of argan oil plus essentials oils to smooth and condition as it cleans.
6 of 7

Prose Shampoo

Looking for a custom shampoo to meet your individual hair needs? Opt in for Prose's online consultation. Depending on the results of your consultation, CBD could be recommended for you because, according to Prose Research & Development Director Marie Mignon, CBD is ideal for achieving a healthy scalp, especially when combined with other synergistic ingredients, like pro-vitamin B (to moisturize and restore barrier function) and licorice root (another anti-inflammatory ingredient).
7 of 7

Fekkai CBD Scalp Calming Shampoo For Medium-to-Coarse Hair

Think of this as the ultimate chill pill for a pissed-off scalp. In addition to calming CBD, the formula is also mixed with aloe vera to soothe irritation caused by itchiness or product buildup. If your strands are on the thicker side, you don't have to worry about them feeling wiry or dry, thanks to avocado and coconut oil, which will leave your hair smooth and shiny.

More from Hair

R29 Original Series