BY KIMBERLY TRUONG
Given the massive, constantly growing buzz around CBD, it makes sense that a wide range of industries are eager to add the cannabinoid to anything they can sell. Lattes, gummies, and hair products are just a few of the many items across multiple consumer categories that are starting to feature CBD in their ingredient lists.
Let’s start with hair products. Liam Byrne, a trichologist and spokesperson for the Institute of Trichologists, says that while he hasn’t personally noticed any of his clients asking about CBD products, he’s aware that the trend is something that has taken hold, especially in various corners of the internet. “It was the same thing a few years ago with argan oil,” Byrne says. “It only took one product, Moroccanoil, to take off, and then other manufacturers included it in their products.”
Many hair care products that contain CBD oil claim they promote healthier, stronger hair, help nourish the scalp, and even prevent hair loss. But how much of that is true? To a certain extent, Byrne says, it’s possible that CBD really can hydrate your hair because it contains nutrient-rich omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. “CBD oil, like many oils such as argan, jojoba, and avocado, is rich in vitamin E and fatty acids,” Byrne says. “Oils have many benefits for the hair: They moisturize the hair strands, and have a film effect on the surface of the cuticle, enhancing shine. They also diminish friction and help avoid hair damage.”
But while there is research and evidence out there that shows the effect of mineral and vegetable oils on human hair, Byrne says there haven’t been many conclusive studies to date on what CBD can do for your hair. That doesn’t mean that CBD oil isn’tgood for your hair — only that research on the topic is still in its infancy, and the specific benefits haven’t been identified quite yet.
However, Byrne says it’s worth noting that CBD’s anti-inflammatory qualities could potentially have positive effects on scalp conditions like dermatitis and psoriasis. A study from last year published in the Dermatology Online Journalfound that “cannabinoids have shown some initial promise as therapy for a variety of skin diseases,” though researchers hedged that further study would need to be done before cannabinoids can be ruled an effective and safe treatment for those conditions.
The bottom line? CBD hair care products may not wind up being a magic potion for healthier hair—not yet, at least—but it likely won’t hurt you to test-drive some coif-focused CBD goods. And considering how many researchers are currently studying the possible benefits of CBD, we’re hopefully not too far away from some conclusive evidence.
“I would never rule anything in or out until it’s properly researched,” Byrne says. “However, there is ongoing research into potential hair growth treatments in areas such as photobiomodulation that didn’t exist a few years ago, so I am sure researchers will look at CBD and its potential to promote hair growth.” Until then, we’ll just have to try not to preemptively go overboard with claims of CBD’s hair benefits. “I do think it will be important not to overhype [CBD’s] unproven benefits at the moment, or otherwise its potential benefits in the future may not be taken seriously,” Byrne says.
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