A natural pigment, astaxanthin belongs to the carotenoid family.A potent antioxidant, it is a favored active ingredient in skincare to take advantage of its multiple effects, butit is still relatively unknown in hair care. Let's explore its potential benefits for hair.
Astaxanthin, an ingredient for hair care?
- What are the benefits of astaxanthin on the scalp?
- Astaxanthin: How to use it to reap its benefits for hair?
What are the benefits of astaxanthin on the scalp?
Of a reddish-orange hue, astaxanthin is a pigment naturally found in certain marine plants and some fish. It is found in krill, crustaceans, plankton, lobster, trout, and salmon. The color of astaxanthin, in fact, explains their pink and reddish hues. However, the primary natural source of this pigment is a micro-algae: the Haematococcus pluvialis. Just like the skin, hair and the scalp can also benefit from the numerous virtues of astaxanthin.
Astaxanthin combats scalp inflammation.
Astaxanthin has proven anti-inflammatory activity that can soothe the scalp. It has been demonstrated that astaxanthin is capable of reducing levels of MMP and pro-inflammatory cytokines by inhibiting the activity of IκB kinase, a complex responsible for controlling the activation of NF-κB. This keeps NF-κB, a pro-inflammatory signaling pathway, inactive in the cellular cytoplasm, allowing it to reduce inflammation. As an integral part of the epidermis, the scalp can also benefit from this property. Therefore, astaxanthin helps to prevent irritation and itching associated with scalp inflammation.
Astaxanthin combats baldness.
Astaxanthin may be a solution to hair loss associated with androgenetic alopecia. Indeed, it is a natural inhibitor of the 5-alpha-reductase enzyme. It acts on this enzyme to lower the level of DHT (dihydrotestosterone). This latter is an androgen hormone, the main source of baldness.
The primary cause of hair loss is triggered by the presence of free radicals. Therefore, the antioxidant aspect of astaxanthin also helps to counter these free radicals and limit hair loss. However, no scientific study has been conducted on this subject.
Astaxanthin delays the onset of the first gray hairs.
The premature appearance of gray hair is promoted by oxidative stress, which produces an excess of free radicals. These trigger chain reactions that damage the cells that make up the scalp. Thanks to its antioxidant action, theastaxanthin traps free radicals and can thus potentially delay the onset of the first gray hairs.
Astaxanthin: How to use it to reap its benefits for hair?
Currently, it is possible to reap the benefits of astaxanthin for hair through oral intake. There are numerous dietary supplements based on astaxanthin. We advise you to favor those made from natural astaxanthin, which has a superior antioxidant activity compared to synthetic astaxanthin. For topical application, additional studies on the effect of astaxanthin application on the scalp need to be conducted to promote and encourage its use in hair care products.
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NAME J. J. & al. Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory mechanisms of action of astaxanthin in cardiovascular diseases (Review). International Journal of Molecular Medicine (2020).