Scalp Care + Hair Repair Inspired by Ayurveda, Proven By Science with the Chemist
Krissie Gerrard formulates cosmetic products (skincare and haircare) for contract manufacturers, brands, celebrities, and influencers. Formulating a product involves a lot of research on ingredients along with emerging trends, and involves a lot of experimenting and reformulating to develop a stable, efficacious, and results driven hair care formulation + product.
Hair Care Trends
In the past, beauty trends involved superfoods and nutrition that Krissie mentions now we are starting to see making its way into hair care. Many of these superfoods have phytonutrients like flavonoids and polyphenols that benefit the hair and scalp. Another trend we are seeing in hair care is how consumers are starting to take into account the scalp health in their hair care regimen + routine. Since the scalp is viable or living tissue like our skin, imbalances with the scalp can cause problems with the hair since the hair grows out of the scalp. Krissie also mentions that scalp scrubs, whether it's a traditional salt or sugar scrubs or newer AHA or acid treatments, are emerging products in hair care to help exfoliate and treat the scalp.
This “skin-ification” is really driving innovation in haircare, "I feel a lot of skincare companies are also developing haircare like Drunk Elephant and Inkey List because they see a cross over into hair" Krissie says, sharing how The Inkey List has an Hyaluronic Acid skin serum and also a Hyaluronic Acid hair serum. Krissie mentions that Save Me From is ahead of the scalp care + hair repair game with Thermal Obsession’s multiple weights of Hyaluronic Acid which provides for a moisture barrier smoothing, flattening, and tightening of the hair cuticle.
In addition to these emerging beauty trends, consumers are becoming more aware of sustainability and are looking for more biodegradable options, replacements for silicones, and ingredients that they see as more “clean”. Krissie mentions that Save Me From uses botanical alternatives to silicones such as fermented sugar cane, which we are starting to see fermented ingredients are becoming a huge buzzword in the world of skin and hair.
Formulating Clean Scalp Care + Hair Repair
In formulating Save Me From, our founder April Peck worked alongside Krissie to include natural ingredients where possible along with ethical sourcing, traceability during supply chain, having less of a carbon footprint, and a reduced water content into each and every one of Save Me From's concentrated + effective formulas. In addition to looking for more botanical alternatives to silicones, April and Krissie upcycled materials, selecting food biomass that would otherwise be wasted, and upcycled oat and orange peel to provide soothing antioxidants for the hair and scalp.
When working alongside April in formulating Save Me From, Krissie mentions she loved how thick, rich, and active ingredient packed the formulas are, “When I was taking a hair care science class in graduate school, I remember how surprised I was learning about conditioners. My professor used to work at P&G and was well known in the industry and he said that for haircare, brands made the bulk of their money from conditioners because they were primarily water around 80% up to 90% water” Krissie says, “When I was formulating the Save Me From Products, I loved how concentrated they were...This means less water is being shipped around and with how concentrated the formulas are you can dilute them yourself but putting a little in your hand and adding water to emulsify then work it through the hair”.
Krissie also mentions that since each product addresses a specific hair concern, each product has multiple active ingredients to address a hair concern “this is important because something like pollution damages the hair cuticle as well as irritating the scalp and penetrating hair follicles which can cause hair loss. It is best to use ingredients that target various mechanisms. The trend in skincare looking at The Inkey List or The Ordinary is focusing on one star ingredient in a product. I don’t exactly agree with that because some ingredients work together synergistically enhancing results and it’s best to target a concern than highlight an ingredient”.
Sources of Hair Damage
It's important to think about how the various sources of damage impacts all parts of the hair which includes the cuticle, cortex, hair follicle, and scalp. There are many signs of hair damage that happens to the hair when it is damaged that we often don’t think about like hair breakage, a reduction in shine, dullness, loss of hair color, increase in frizz, and dry, coarse-feeling hair are all a result of some type of stress put on the hair that are going on at a molecular level effecting the structure, strength, color, growth of your hair.
Pollution oxidizes the disulfide bonds and degrades the lipids in hair causing both structural damage and damage to the surface. This oxidative stress caused by free radicals can damage the hair follicles and the scalp, impacting the structure and hair growth. Save Me From Pollution Assault utilizes a blend of polysaccharides (super trendy in skin care right now!) from green tea and xylitol in combination with panthenol (vitamin B5) and chia seed prevents pollution particles from sticking to the hair.
Excessive sun exposure and damage caused by UV rays can make hair stiff, faded, and prone to breakage. The hair like skin is primarily keratin protein so photodegradation is a concern, so we utilize peptides, amino acids, soy and rice proteins in different molecular weights in Save Me From Sun + Sweat that act almost like a vegetable keratin replacement, penetrating into the hair while also protecting the hair from copper induced damage.
As we age we may start to notice a chance in our hair texture and color. Gray hairs are structurally different than the average pigmented hair and tend to be stiffer, resist movement or hair dynamics, and have larger diameter with impeded bounce and flexibility. This friction means the hair is more susceptible to hair breakage, knotting, and frizz, and is resistant to heat styling or movement in the same fashion as pigmented hair. Save Me From Age Acceleration uses antioxidant rich ingredients such as Tara Fruit + Organic Sunflower Sprouts that is rich in tannins, very powerful antioxidants that also chelate heavy metals and reduce lipid peroxidation, restoring the resilience of hair, provides thermal protection, reduces oxidative stress from pollution and UV, repairs chemically treated hair, and prevents color fading by neutralizing free radicals
Thermal damage and stress from heat styling can crack, lift, fuse, or remove the protective cuticles scales of hair. Blow trying the hair decreases hair luster over time by creating very small splits in the cuticle. In Save Me From Thermal Obsession, we utilize a ratio of low and high molecular weight hyaluronic acids to create a moisture barrier smoothing, flattening, and tightening the cuticle. This high-tech blend increases hair hydration, shine, and suppleness while buffering against frizz and pollution.
Damage caused by chemically treating the hair removes the 18-MEA lipid found on the surface of the cuticle responsible for water repellency. Chemical treatments break the disulfide bonds between the keratin filaments within the hair cortex resulting in decreased hair strength leading to hair breakage and the dreaded split end. Chemical damage from these treatments cause cuticles to lift, crack, or break off exposing the vulnerable cortex. Our Save Me From Chemical Conflict treatment replenishes lost protein with hydrolyzed proteins, repairing the hair with the same building blocks for natural and healthy hair. Hydrolyzed proteins are highly substantive repairing ingredients that can diffuse into the cortex and reestablish broken hair bonds restoring hair strength. This is the basis of “bond-building technology.”
Buildup on the scalp is also a valid concern that not only impacts the appearance and texture of hair but also its growth. These substances that can buildup include excess sebum, particulate matter from pollution, dead skin cells, and residue from hair products. inflammation damages the scalp and can impact the growth of your hair. In Save Me From Product Overload, the Brazilian black clay removes excess oil, dead skin cells, and impurities on the scalp through capillary action, the same way paper towels work cleaning up a wet mess. In addition, we also added European bioactive silt and peat to enhance the purifying process and is clinically proven to reverse damage caused by chemical treatments and thermal stress by promoting hair softness and hydration, reducing hair breakage, and reducing scalp flaking.
Watch the live stream to learn more about what goes on at the molecular level when hair is exposed to damage in our Live Q&A with our cosmetic chemist, Krissie Gerrard.
Krissie Gerrard is a biochemist and cosmetic formulator with a background in both research and development and product development. She partnered with leading contract manufacturers to develop skin and hair care brands including Bliss Color and Orlando Pita Play, directing both formulation and clinical testing. She worked as the senior formulation chemist at a contract manufacturer developing formulas for prestige brands found at Sephora and Ulta. She studied hair biology through the University of Cincinnati’s James L. Winkle College of Pharmacy and writes newsletter articles for the Society of Cosmetic Chemists. Save Me From pushed her knowledge and expertise to the limit to formulate products with unique textures, specific hair concerns, new technology, and great clinical results.
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