Spreading Clean Beauty

Strengthen hair roots: strategies and natural ingredients

The focus on how to strengthen hair roots has become increasingly important as awareness around hair and scalp health grows among consumers. 

Underlying hair root issues can be behind a number of complications, and strengthening hair from the root is essential to prevent breakage and promote growth while avoiding hair loss. 

As explored below in this article, not one single strategy can be credited with the capacity to strengthen hair roots, as this is often a multi-faceted issue that can have diverse origins: from subjecting hair fibers to damaging processes to exposure to environmental agents or unbalanced diets and stress. 

As these issues become more prevalent in modern society, exciting advancements act as powerful counterbalances. This is precisely the context where innovative ingredients for hair strength have been thriving, but also other more global trends such as blending eco-friendly hair products with hair cycle awareness or the developments in the more holistic understanding of hair care, all of them promising trends that provide a more nuanced vision of hair care and health.

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While a broader cultural shift towards prioritizing self-care and wellness takes place in the hair care segment, increasingly sophisticated knowledge about hair care routines and products to strengthen hair roots are expected to prosper in the hair care segment.

Why are my hair roots weak? Going to the root of the problem

As mentioned above, there are many factors that can cause root damage and thus translate into thin and brittle hair, including:

  • Hormonal changes: fluctuations in androgens and estrogens during puberty, pregnancy, and menopause can all trigger follicle contraction, leading to thinning of strands that are more prone to breakage.
  • Nutritional deficiencies: these include a lack of proteins, iron, zinc, vitamin B12, and other essential nutrients for robust hair growth.
  • Stress: elevated stress levels alter hormones and nutrients essential for strong hair. More specifically, they interfere with hair growth cycles so that more hairs are prematurely pushed into the “resting” phase of the growth cycle before reaching full length and thickness.
  • Heat styling: frequent use of hot tools like dryers, straighteners, and curlers can damage hair proteins, leading to dry, weak strands that break easily.
  • Harsh chemicals: excessive hair processing with bleaches, relaxers, perms, and dyes can strip natural oils and weaken hair shaft integrity over time.
  • Environmental factors: pollution, hard water minerals, chlorine, and sun exposure can cause dryness, damage, and wear that decrease hair strength.

Understanding hair morphology to strengthen hair roots

The process to strengthen hair roots effectively must take into account hair morphology and hair structure issues. To begin with, hair must be understood at its very basic definition: an epidermal structure composed of obliquely arranged flexible cylindrical filaments mainly made of proteins, water, lipids and pigments. 

Within this structure, the hair follicle is the internal part and the shaft is the external visible part. While the hair bulb is the proliferative area from which the hair emerges (thus is key for hair growth), there are two key indicators of hair strength that can be traced down to hair shafts: 

  • Hair shaft diameter: the thickness of the hair shaft and its cortex can affect its strength, so that products aimed at strengthening hair roots may need to address the needs of different hair diameters, from fine to coarse. The cortex is mainly composed mainly of keratinized cells, which leads to the focus on hair care treatments on proteins and keratin and keratin alternatives.
  • Cuticle health: the cuticle is the outermost layer of the hair shaft, and it protects internal structures and covers the shaft. Consisting of overlapping scales, the healthy and smooth appearance of hair is often related to the cuticle, so its damage can lead to weakened hair strands and breakage. Keratin in cuticular cells is harder than epidermal cells, meaning they are more stable and resistant.

When considering treatments to strengthen hair roots, formulas must take into account that the amino acids found in the hair cuticle and cortex are similar and mostly neutral (>70%), although the overall hair charge is negative due to the side chains of acidic amino acids present. Additionally, it’s necessary to take into account 80% of human hair is formed by keratin. 

Additionally, looking at hair structure also helps understand how certain processes might have caused damage in key areas such as hair permeability, elasticity and tensile strength. 

For instance, certain alkaline substances present in hair dye can alter hair cuticles and their protective action, making hair more porous and allowing an easier passage for certain damaging substances. 

Thus, to strengthen hair roots, treatments must target issues such as cuticle and scalp health and directly address protein structure, thus helping reinforce the hair shaft and strengthen the roots. 

How to strengthen hair roots naturally

Understanding the root cause of potential hair damage remains a key aspect. As such, avoiding certain processes such as damaging hair dye and making dietary changes or addressing stress represent key movements to strengthen hair roots from a holistic perspective.

When it comes to hair treatments in particular, there are some key strategies that can be implemented.

Applying deep moisturizing treatments has been hailed as effective, including deep conditioning masks or  natural oils like coconut oil, argan oil, or olive oil.

Addressing scalp health through the right products and routines is also valuable, such as avoiding excessive hair washes or hot water during these.

Additionally, treatments and products aiming at repairing hair from its roots stand out as a crucial strategy.

This is where natural ingredients such as Keratrix™ stand out. An active ingredient by Provital, it increases hair strength and elasticity, improving dry and weak hair, and repairing damage caused by mechanical, thermal and chemical processes. 

Derived from carob tree hydrolyzate, it contains biofunctional peptides and amino acids all central to strengthen hair roots, acting directly at the level of the cuticle and cortex.

Additionally, the active has been located in Provital’s exclusive controlled release cationic matrix (Matrix Plus), which promotes the active’s sustained release thus allowing it to remain on the hair fiber for a prolonged action.

The effects of Keratrix™ address hair structure and composition directly. Due to the fact that it is positively charged, Keratrix™ is able to create bonds with the negatively-charged amino acids of keratin, thus contributing to the stabilization of the peptide chains of the fibers.

Keratrix™ thus acts as a protective film-forming layer, facilitating tissue repair at root level, while also having an isolating effect against external aggressions and improving the elastic properties of hair. All in all, a winning natural ingredient for formulas looking to strengthen hair roots.

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