The natural hair care segment has been on the rise in recent years, focusing on finding innovative solutions that align with consumers’ preferences.
As the search for multi-functional benefits, healthy options and well-known ingredients that prevent damage rather than correct it continues to be prominent, brands have adjusted their long-term vision to ensure a sustainable focus. This desire for both natural and functional solutions has led to increasingly sophisticated formulas in the natural hair care segment that integrate health and beauty.
This is precisely the context where enzymatic extraction has materialized, an innovative technique blending cosmetic science and nature that goes above and beyond in guaranteeing natural hair care is effective.
The context: what natural hair care looks like today
The term natural hair care evokes a holistic approach to hair care where natural, minimally processed, and often organic ingredients are prioritized.
The concept has gained unprecedented traction in recent years due to many factors, including concerns about the potentially harmful chemicals found in many conventional hair care products and a growing desire for healthier, more sustainable alternatives.
Over the years, the natural hair care segment has fully evolved to become a crucial aspect of the industry in its own right. Today, it can be described through the following characteristics:
- Consumer trust is everything: this is reflected in brands’ efforts to ensure ingredient transparency and acquire plant-based, organic, or cruelty-free certifications. It’s also related to the ‘Food Beauty’ trend, which promotes the use of ingredients derived from food (since they convey a sense of safety), or developing hair care lines featuring ingredients that have been used successfully in the past in skincare products.
- Beauty is synonymous with health: consumers aligned with the natural hair care segment understand the concept of beauty as inextricably linked to their health. This is the context in which cosmetic solutions that work ‘from the inside out’ are gaining momentum, as they are associated with care that is effective deep down.
- A more mature understanding of sustainability: responsible consumerism is motivated by a growing awareness of the climate crisis. As such, eco-conscious consumers demand solutions that go beyond the superficial and innovate to open the door to truly sustainable natural hair care. Concerns about supply chain ethics, such as committing to responsible sourcing of ingredients, represent an instance of this.
- Effectiveness equals multi-purpose formulas and preventive care: today’s consumers are interested in the added simplicity and cost savings that multi-purpose formulas can provide. At the same time, a more sophisticated understanding of hair health has meant winning formulas invoke a preventative approach to hair care where potential issues are taken care of before they appear. This attitude allows consumers to guarantee they won’t need to employ drastic measures to correct problems, but can use natural hair care formulas that inhibit any serious occurrences.
Enzymatic extraction: an innovation to revolutionize natural hair care ingredients
The context described above is the background to understand why a technique such as enzymatic extraction has come to revolutionize the natural hair care segment.
Briefly put, enzymatic extraction can be described as the process that uses enzymes to break down and release specific compounds or substances from raw materials. Known as a particularly gentle and selective extraction of specific components, it’s been hailed as a potential alternative to traditional solvent-based extraction methods.
A relatively new advancement, it has now been exclusively optimized by Provital in an effort to increase the effectiveness and minimize the environmental impact of sourcing ingredients for the natural hair care segment.
This achievement has been part of the development of Provital’s active ingredient Densinaria™. The result is a process that increases the quantity of extracted biomolecules (such as proteins and peptides) by optimizing extraction yield, which in turn means the use of fewer natural resources. In fact, the process guarantees the biomolecule content in peptides and proteins reaches 55% when compared to conventional methods. In other words, more biomolecules can be obtained from the same quantity of raw material.
Additionally, all used seaweed and any potential waste is then turned into compost, generating a circular economy process.
At a time where care for marine ecosystems and resource depletion in the seas represent growing preoccupations, enzymatic extraction opens the door to a more sustainable naturally-sourced hair care.
Densinaria™: the active ingredient for a truly efficient natural hair care
The active ingredient Densinaria™ is an extract derived from Palmaria palmata algae, which grows wild in the oceans off various northern coasts. A COSMOS-approved active ingredient, the Palmaria palmata used in Densinaria™ is harvested responsibly, with respect for biodiversity and the ocean floor.
This species is considered a source of high-quality protein content (21.9% ± 3.5%) and essential amino acids and is, thus, highly valued as a nutritional ingredient. In fact, it contains 100% of the trace elements the human body needs, as it is rich in mineral salts (particularly iron, potassium and iodine), antioxidants and vitamins A, B and C.
When it comes to natural hair care, this extraordinary chemical composition in the active ingredient Densinaria™ is able to internally repair hair, thereby reducing hair breakage.
This action is pushed by an extra content of arginine, a key amino acid for hair health as 90% of our hair is composed of alpha-keratin (containing high levels of alanine, leucine, arginine and cysteine). As such, arginine is able to penetrate both the cuticle and the cortex of the hair fiber, presenting a strong affinity towards hair and hair strength.
This development turns Provital into the first to offer an active ingredient for hair based on an extract from the Palmaria palmata algae to strengthen the hair fiber in a similar manner than keratin, acting on both the cuticle and the cortex.
In fact, the ingredient has shown ex vivo efficacy in multiple areas:
- +25% increase in hair fiber diameter
- Hair 3.3 times more resistant to hair breakage
- Prevents the appearance of split ends by more than half, compared with placebo.
All in all, Densinaria™ represents a responsibly sourced ingredient for the natural hair care segment that responds directly to consumers’ demands for multi-purpose, preventive hair care formulas, guaranteeing hair is taken care of from within so that hair strength issues are taken care of before they take place.