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Why Hyaluronic Acid for Hair Is Beneficial, According to a Dermatologist

This holy grail ingredient does wonders for dry, damaged and thinning hair.
diciembre 12, 2023


You know hyaluronic acid (HA) thanks to your skin care routine and more specifically as the hydrating ingredient that boosts your serums and moisturizers. This champion hydrator helps the skin retain moisture, much like the way a sponge holds water, and its benefits extend to all skin types. Actually, the benefits don’t stop there — hyaluronic acid can also do wonders for your hair care routine.

While there’s no shortage of hydrating hair care products, hyaluronic acid is a step above the rest when it comes to helping the hair retain moisture. We talked to Joshua Zeichner, MD,  NYC-based board-certified dermatologist (and director of Cosmetic and Clinical Research at Mount Sinai Hospital) and L’Oréal Paris consultant, to learn more about the benefits of hyaluronic acid for hair. Keep reading, as we share how this winning ingredient can improve your hair and how to use it in your hair care routine.

How Does Hyaluronic Acid Benefit Your Hair?

According to Zeichner, hyaluronic acid is a humectant, which is a substance that helps the skin retain moisture, but its benefits extend far beyond your complexion. What hyaluronic acid does by helping the skin retain moisture manifests itself as plumper, more youthful and healthier-looking skin — its effect on the hair is similar.

Many of us rely on an arsenal of different hair care serums, treatments and sprays to fight frizz, boost shine and add volume, but we may just need hyaluronic acid. 

“Just as [hyaluronic acid] can plump the skin, it can do the same for the hair,” Dr. Zeichner explains. “It can also make the hair look shinier, fuller and less frizzy.” Along with that, hyaluronic acid’s natural hydrating properties can also help soften hair and create the appearance of denser-looking strands.  

According to Dr. Zeichner, those with dry, damaged, thinning and color-treated hair can see the most benefits from using hyaluronic acid in their hair care routine. But this doesn’t mean that all hair types can’t take advantage of it. All hair types can fall victim to dehydrated strands and in turn, benefit from hyaluronic acid because dehydrated hair lacks moisture and needs help to absorb it. Furthermore, hair porosity also plays a big role in how dry your hair is and for those with high-porosity hair that easily loses moisture, a humectant like hyaluronic acid can be a great solution. 

Although hyaluronic acid is great for the skin, according to Zeichner, its effects aren’t as noticeable on the scalp and that’s simply because we rinse out a majority of our hair products or concentrate them on the lengths of our hair. If you’re looking to improve your dry scalp with hyaluronic acid, look for a leave-in treatment that contains the ingredient.

Can I Use Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid on My Hair?

If you’re so excited about the benefits of hyaluronic acid for hair that you just ran to your skin care vanity and grabbed your favorite hyaluronic acid serum, you might want to wait to start dousing your strands with it. While the hydrating ingredient locks in moisture for both skin and hair, you should use formulas made specifically for those parts of your body. Think about it like this: Shea butter is a great emollient used to soften and smooth the skin, but you wouldn’t use a shea butter leave-in hair conditioner to moisturize your arms and legs would you? 

Since skin care products with hyaluronic acid have been formulated to work on the skin on your face (and body), it may be unknown how they will perform for the skin on your head, aka your scalp. What’s more, you really don’t know what they may do to your actual strands if they weren’t tested for hair. Use a formula specifically made for hair to avoid any potential adverse effects or hair damage

Should You Wet Your Hair When Putting on Hyaluronic Acid?

Whether you apply hyaluronic acid hair care products on wet or dry hair really comes down to the formula you’re using, the product you’re using and how it’s meant to be applied. For example, traditional shampoo should always be applied to wet hair, so hyaluronic acid shampoo should be massaged into wet tresses. 

But hair serum isn’t as straightforward, as some hair serums are for styling and therefore for dry hair, others are meant to work best on wet hair, and some can be used on both. At the end of the day, you should always check what your product packaging says so that you’re making the most of the hyaluronic acid in your hair product.

L’Oréal Paris Elvive Hyaluron + Plump Moisture Plump Serum, Paraben-Free is made for use on both wet and dry hair, to help revive bounce and shine to your strands. The skin care inspired formula also has a sweet fragrance that leaves hair smelling like a bouquet of fresh fruit and flowers.

What Happens If You Leave Hyaluronic Acid in Your Hair?

If a hyaluronic acid product is meant to be rinsed out, you could cause potential hair damage by  leaving it in your hair for too long. If it’s a leave-in product then it can benefit your hair, leaving it moisturized, looking shiny and feeling soft. As we already mentioned, you should always follow the directions on the product to get the best results, but overall, hyaluronic acid for hair should only have a good effect on your mane.

How to Use Hyaluronic Acid in Your Hair Care Routine

Adding hyaluronic acid to your hair care routine can do many great things for the health and appearance of your hair, especially if you have thin, dehydrated or damaged hair. Check out our tips on how to use hyaluronic acid in your routine. 

1. Choose a Shampoo and Conditioner That Contains Hyaluronic Acid

Adding hyaluronic acid to your hair care routine can be as simple as reaching for a shampoo and conditioner with the star ingredient, like L’Oréal Paris Elvive Hyaluron + Plump Hydrating Shampoo, Paraben-Free and L’Oréal Paris Elvive Hyaluron + Plump Hydrating Conditioner, Paraben-Free. This duo locks in moisture and deeply re-plumps dry strands for up to 72 hours, offering noticeable bounce, body and shine with no weigh-down.

Those with curly hair can choose L’Oréal Paris Elvive Dream Lengths Curls Moisture Push Shampoo and L’Oréal Paris Elvive Dream Lengths Curls Moisture Seal Conditioner. The paraben-free formulas include hyaluronic acid and castor oil to lock in moisture and reveal shiny, bouncy and defined curls. 

If your scalp and hair are in need of detoxifying, reach for L’Oréal Paris Elvive Hyaluron Plus Pure 72H Purifying Shampoo for Oily Hair
and L’Oréal Paris Elvive Hyaluron Pure 72H Rehydrating Conditioner for Oily Hair. It’s made with HA and salicylic acid to remove buildup and residue, while hydrating hair without weighing it down.
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2. Opt for Styling Products With Hyaluronic Acid

A hyaluronic acid serum for your hair is a great way to give your tresses a long-lasting boost of this moisture-absorbing ingredient. As Dr. Zeichner mentioned, since our shampoo and conditioners are washed out, using a serum is a great way to increase the amount of contact the ingredient has with your hair. 

The aforementioned L’Oréal Paris Elvive Hyaluron + Plump Moisture Plump Serum, Paraben-Free, is a hyaluronic acid hair serum that aims to give your style a surge of hydration, added body and enhanced shine. Spray it on wet or dry hair, and follow up with an emollient hair oil, like the L’Oréal Paris EverPure Sulfate-Free Simply Clean Sheer Oil, to lock in the added moisture.

NextHow to Get Healthy Hair No Matter Your Hair Type

Photo Courtesy of L'Oréal Paris

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