The Hair Moisturizing💦 Ingredient Your Hair Care Has Been Missing: Phospholipids - SAVE ME FROM

The Hair Moisturizing💦 Ingredient Your Hair Care Has Been Missing: Phospholipids

Although lipids only make up less than ten percent of the hair's overall weight, they play a crucial role in how we keep hair healthy, improve hair shine, soften hair texture, improve manageability, and improve hair strength. Fatty acids make up 85% of the hair’s total lipid content and are essential to maintaining healthy cuticles (at the hair surface) and a proper cortical cell membrane complex. Through daily washing, exposure to the elements, and when we chemically treat our hair, lipids are lost. An important fatty acid with hair benefits is phospholipids. Phospholipids have many hair benefits we’ll discuss. But first, what are phospholipids and why is it an important ingredient for healthy hair.      

What Are Phospholipids?

Phospholipids together with proteins are the building blocks of biological membranes in both plants and animals. Phospholipids are lipids composed of fatty acids, a glycerol, a phosphate, and a polar molecule. They lipids have both a water-loving head with two water-hating tails. Phospholipid’s structure gives them the ability to form lipid bilayers that are helpful in creating micelles and liposomes. These types of active ingredient help ingredients absorb better for maximum performance and results.

Are Phospholipids Good for Hair?

Yes. In skin care and scalp care, phospholipids work as an emollient and as skin-identical ingredients. Not only are phospholipids good for the skin, including the scalp, they are one of the best ingredients for conditioners and other leave-in hair conditioning treatments. Hair conditioners are necessary to improve the appearance of the hair, especially after shampooing which can sometimes leave the hair feeling dry. Phospholipids are an excellent ingredient choice you should seek out in your hair conditioners and in your leave-in hair conditioning treatments.

7 Benefits of Phospholipids for hair and Phospholipid Benefits for Skin

  • Phospholipids can be formulated into liposomes and micelles. Phospholipids are one of the best ingredients for skin care because they can act as carrier systems that enhance active ingredient absorption.
  • Phospholipids help repair skin and help revive scalp health by having a fatty acid composition that mimics the lipids found on the skin barrier. This ability to mimic epidermal lipids has given phospholipids the reputation of being our "second skin."
  • Phospholipids are hydroscopic, meaning they have a similar action as hyaluronic acid’s ability to pull in water from the air and hold in hydration. This gives it phospholipids amazing hair moisturizing and scalp moisturizing benefits.
  • Phospholipid help support healthy hair follicles, healthy scalp fertility for hair growth and healthy hair.
  • Phospholipids help detangle, smoothen hair, add shine and strengthen hair by “linking” conditioning hair ingredients to the hair’s surface. This linking creates a fine, lightweight protective layer that make phospholipids one of the best ingredients for low porosity hair. This protective layer can help preserve hair color, repaid the hair fiber and make phospholipids an excellent ingredient for anti-frizz hair care.
  • Phospholipids help breakdown cellulite through a process called lipolysis where fats and other lipids in the body are broken down when active ingredient penetration is increased.
  • Phospholipids act as natural antioxidants by scavenging free radicals and chelating metals, but phospholipids can also work as a synergist to other antioxidant helping to regenerate antioxidants within the body.

Why Your Hair Needs Phospholipids

  • The Best Ingredients For Healthier Hair. Hair keratin protein is necessary for hair strength but don’t skimp on the hair benefits of lipids. Keratin protein provides protection for our hair inside and out. When keratin protein is damaged, hair solutions for dull, weakened hair are needed. Using hair products with keratin can help hair become healthier, stronger, and smoother. But restoring keratin requires lipids. If keratin protein is the building blocks of the hair, lipids are the cement holding the hair cuticle together. Without lipids, your hair will become brittle and weak because the lipids hold keratin together and provide protection from hair keratin damage. Phospholipids are the key to keeping hair healthy.
  • The Best Ingredients for Hair Growth and Thickness. In a 2015 study published in Biomolecules and Therapeutics, the hair growth potential of phospholipids was explored. The study found that phosphatidylcholine exhibited hair growth-promoting activities comparable to minoxidil, and even further enhance the growth-promoting potential of minoxidil when used in combination. However, the study was uncertain whether phospholipids would diminish minoxidil’s side effects when used together. It is believed that the phospholipid hair treatment for hair growth worked by stimulating the human hair follicle dermal papilla cells and by maintaining a high anagen (active growth phase) to telogen (resting phase) ratio, thus maintaining the hair growth phase.

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Phospholipid Rich Foods

  • Lecithin contains a blend of different phospholipids, including phosphatidylcholine, phosphatidylethanolamine, phosphatidylserine, phosphatidylinositol and phospholipid-phosphatic acid. Lecithin rich foods include:
    • Organ and red meats
    • Seafood
    • Eggs
    • Legumes and seeds, such as sunflower seeds, soybeans, and kidney beans.
  • Fenugreek Seeds: A Phospholipid Source for Hair Care

    • Fenugreek seeds (AKA Methi Seeds and Trigonella foenum-graecum) are made up of 7.5% total lipids. Of this total, 10.5% of fenugreek seed possess 7 different phospholipids. These phospholipids consist of phosphatidylcholine, phosphatidylethanolamine, phosphatidylserine, lysophosphatidylcholine, phosphatidylinositol, phosphatidylglycerol and phosphatidic acid.
    • The main phospholipid found in fenugreek seeds is phosphatidylcholine. Phosphatidylcholine’s structure makes it a unique phospholipid. It has a choline head and an essential fatty acid chain that make up a tail. This structure gives phosphatidylcholine the ability to assist in communication and repair of cell membranes throughout the body, including within the skin and scalp.

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Fenugen, The Fenugreek Rich Hair Treatment for Healthier Hair

It's worth mentioning the hair reparative benefits of Fenugen. Inspired by Ayurvedic medicine, we've captured the most active parts of fenugreek benefits for hair and unleashed its rich phytonutrients into a concentrated and purified active ingredient. Fenugreek phytonutrients include medium and long chain fatty acids, terpenoids, polyphenols, phospholipids and vitamins A, C and B variety vitamins (including vitamin B3 for hair benefits) and paired these with bio-boosters like ubiquinone (also known as Coenzyme Q10 for hair), organic Karanja (also known as Pongamia for hair benefits) and medium chain triglycerides (MCT’s derived from coconut for hair). As you age, hair losses important moisture and nutrition that causes your hair to become dry, porous, easily tangled and look dull. Fenugen is a rich source for phospholipids such as phosphatidylcholine, conditioning mucilage & vitamins A, C & several B that replenish your hair’s hydration, restores healthy porosity & lightly condition so your hair can be frizz-free & shiny. Through a patented eco extraction process, we've magnified fenugreek’s phytonutrients and phospholipid content into our clinically proven technology. Fenugen possesses the rich nutrients of fenugreek seeds in a complex 5x more potent in its phytonutrients. These nutrients include Vitamin A, B Vitamins, Vitamin C and more. With consistent, long-term use, hair bonds are rebuilt, hydration is restored helping to reduce frizz, the scalp is energized and nourished from within allowing hair that's more resistant to damage to emerge. Rooted in Ayurveda, our Fenugen is the best ingredient for healthy hair - clinically proven to transform hair from tip to root, inside and out.

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Bingcan Chen, Minwei Xu. Natural Antioxidants in Foods. Encyclopedia of Food Chemistry. 2019, Pages 180-188. https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-08-100596-5.21599-0.

Choi SH, Moon JS, Jeon BS, Jeon YJ, Yoon BI, Lim CJ. Hair growth promoting potential of phospholipids purified from porcine lung tissues. Biomol Ther (Seoul). 2015 Mar;23(2):174-9. doi: 10.4062/biomolther.2014.108. Epub 2015 Mar 1. PMID: 25767686; PMCID: PMC4354319.

Eric J. Singh, Leon L. Gershbein. Phospholipids of human hair lipids. Journal of Chromatography A. Volume 31, 1967, Pages 20-27.

Hemavathy, J.V. Prabhakar. Lipid composition of fenugreek (Trigonella foenumgraecum L.) seeds. Food Chemistry. Volume 31, Issue 1, 1989, Pages 1-7.

Stenn KS, Karnik P. Lipids to the top of hair biology. J Invest Dermatol. 2010 May;130(5):1205-7. doi: 10.1038/jid.2010.52. PMID: 20393475; PMCID: PMC2923384.

About the author

  • April Peck

    April Peck is a health, wellness & beauty professional from Washington state where she's spent 19 years in skin & hair care product development, educator & founder after earning her BS degree in Life Sciences: Health & Wellness Management. April strives to stay up-to-date & share the latest ways to biohack the body, skin & hair with you. She's passionate about wellness, family, self-empowerment, fitness, & entrepreneurship.

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