Here’s an asset whose potential hasn’t stopped us bluffing! We already knew the fabulous power of retinol – a chemical in the retinoid family – in fighting the signs of aging. Also known as vitamin A, it is one of the key molecules of the moment in cosmetic care to fight wrinkles, discoloration, loss of firmness, and even restore the glow of the epidermis. The acidic form of vitamin A – tretinoin – is also used to treat acne, but it’s only available from prescription pharmacies. However, less is known that this active ingredient promises promising results when it comes to caring for the scalp and hair.
Retinol, a unique anti-aging molecule
We asked Gianni Coppa, hairdresser and creator of R’Factory *, to tell us more about retinol for hair, its uses and limitations.
From face to hair, retinol diverts to TikTok
It is not unusual fora beneficial cosmetic that works on the skin can also benefit the hair. This is the case with niacinamide, vitamin C, salicylic acid and even hyaluronic acid. For example, in recent weeks, the mythical care of The Ordinary, the Hyaluronic Acid Serum 2% + B5, originally intended for the skin of the face, has been used by many TikTokeuses to provide gloss and soften the ends of the hair. Since then, retinol has probably been spoken of because of its ability to be used on both the face and hair. “While the phenomenon is still marginal and few products are available on the hair market today, the ones that do exist are quite premium,” explains Gianni Coppa.
- Niacinamide, a beautiful and active skin care product
- Hyaluronic acid, a star molecule for plump skin
Can retinol help hair grow?
“Retinol acts as both a cleaner and a conductor. It will both clear everything in its path and increase the efficiency of other assets acting as a “relay” by delivering ingredients where they are most needed, making them more effective “- explains the expert.
The molecule would have two main advantages in terms of hair care. First of all, it is especially interesting for cleansing the scalp, thanks to its keratolytic effect. It eliminates dead cells present on the surface of the skull, unblocks its pores and supports cell renewal. It also has the effect of accelerating hair growth as nothing is blocking the development of the hair follicle at the root. Cleansing retinol also helps to inhibit the work of the sebaceous glands and thus the production of sebum.
Retinol does as well real effect on hair growth. Recent studies have shown that when combined with Minoxidil *, the effectiveness was even greater, and scientists are working on effective solutions, particularly in the fight against severe hair loss. To do this, adds Gianni Coppa, “it would be necessary to undergo treatments of 3 to 4 months – the cycle time of the hair – to see the first results.”
- How to take care of the scalp?
- Female baldness: what treatments against hair loss?
Retinol in hair: what are the side effects?
“Since retinol is a powerful and potentially irritating skin active ingredient, it will be recommended for people with insensitivity to the skin (because it affects the scalp) or already badly damaged hair like this one. This is the case with very dry and / or discolored hair. Hair retinol has its opponents in the hairdressing world, ”concludes Gianni Coppa. It is better to use it, for example, on oily hair, or with greasy dandruff, but also flaky, thinning hair, falling out of the material …
At last, Experts agree that retinol-based hair care increases sun sensitivity, as does facial care. Therefore, it is better to use them during periods when you will not be exposed, or always use additional protection with an SPF filter.
3 retinol hair treatments to try
This British brand serum promises to exfoliate and stimulate cell renewal, and can also help boost the effects of other ingredients in the formula, such as pumpkin seed extract – which stimulates the hair follicles.
Based on retinyl palmitate, it reduces thinning of the hair fibers as well as their loss, restoring the phase of hair growth.
It stimulates the growth of new hair in the hair follicle.
* Salon R’Factory – 3 rue des Favorites, 75015 Paris ** Additive effects of minoxidil and retinol on human hair growth in vitro, KYU HAN K. et al. (Biological and Pharmaceutical Bulletin – 2007).