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.
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