Our hair is made up of protein, fats, and lipids (1). While protein is the lifeline of hair, lipids and fats also play a vital role in hair growth and strengthening. Cholesterol has been studied to influence hair growth (2). In fact, the now-popular cholesterol hair treatment has been around for decades. In this article, we will understand cholesterol hair treatment and why it is so good for your hair. Scroll down for more information.
Table Of Contents
What Is Cholesterol Hair Treatment?
Cholesterol treatment helps in repairing and restoring moisture to damaged and dehydrated hair. This treatment has been used by American and African communities for decades to restore softness and moisture after repeated styling processes.
How Does Cholesterol Impact Hair Care? Benefits Of Cholesterol
Cholesterol is a natural emulsifier used in hair products like hair conditioners and shampoos in concentrations of up to 5%(3). Research shows that cholesterol can affect keratinocyte proliferation and impact hair shaft formation (2).
While there is no sufficient research to show that cholesterol does definitely impact hair growth, some studies show that a change in cholesterol status in hair structure may lead to hair disorders like alopecia and hirsutism (2), (4), (5). Anecdotal evidence suggests that cholesterol can restore hair moisture, strengthen hair follicles, and enhance hair structure. It is also said to repair dryness and brittle hair. Cholesterol is also said to help in retaining moisture in natural hair.
There are several cholesterol hair treatments that help protect and strengthen the hair. They are listed in the following section.
Note: These cholesterol treatments are topical and meant to be washed away and not ingested. Ingesting excess cholesterol can cause serious health damage.
Cholesterol Hair Treatments
1. Cholesterol Hot Oil Treatment
This treatment is used to restore hair’s natural moisture. The other benefit of cholesterol hot oil treatment is that it brings back the sheen, making your hair look better and healthier than before. If you use heating tools and chemicals to style your hair frequently, apply this cholesterol hot oil treatment after shampooing your hair. Place a plastic cap over your head for a minute and wash it off. Follow up with your regular conditioner.
2. Homemade Cholesterol Hair Treatment
One of the oldest forms of cholesterol is mayonnaise. Back in the 1950s, when the heat styling tools were first made public, hair was conditioned with homemade or store-bought mayonnaise. The results of this hair treatment were good as it made the hair soft and shiny and the curls and waves voluminous. However, it did leave the hair smelling like an egg salad! Mayonnaise that is used for cholesterol hair treatment imparts softness, sheen, and luster to the hair with a pleasant fragrance. However, there is no scientific evidence to prove these effects.
3. Cholesterol Deep Conditioning Treatment
Cholesterol deep conditioning is the most widely used hair treatment by hair professionals. Here’s how to do it. Let the conditioner stay on your hair for 15 minutes. Make sure your hair is covered with a plastic cap. Later, you can wrap your head with a warm towel or sit under a hooded dryer. If your hair is severely damaged, leave the conditioner on for about an hour. While some cholesterol deep conditioning treatments contain olive oil, if you want better results, add a little amount of olive oil. It has been reported that this treatment makes the hair silky and smooth. However, there is no scientific evidence to back this claim.
Cholesterol hair treatment is meant for external use. Consuming foods that have a high amount of cholesterol will not help you achieve the same results as those when it is applied directly to the hair. In fact, your blood cholesterol level might rise if you consume such foods. It may also have adverse effects on your health and can lead to severe heart conditions. Hence, avoid consuming high-cholesterol foods. Try following the treatments discussed in this article to get beautiful, smooth, soft, shiny, and silky hair.
Expert’s Answers For Readers’ Questions
How often can I use cholesterol hair treatment?
It depends on the degree of hair damage. If you have major hair damage, using it once a week can help repair and rejuvenate your hair. After your hair reaches a healthy state, opt for cholesterol treatments once or twice a month.
Can you leave cholesterol in your hair?
Depending on the extent of damage, cholesterol can be left on the hair for 15 minutes to an hour. Keep checking your hair periodically and wash it off immediately if you experience discomfort.
How do you make homemade cholesterol for your hair?
Use ingredients that are rich in fat like egg yolk and mayonnaise.
What is the difference between protein and cholesterol hair treatments?
Protein hair treatments help to strengthen the hair follicles since hair is primarily made up of protein. Cholesterol hair treatments help to hydrate, soften, and enhance the hair structure. It also helps repair damaged hair.
What hair type suits cholesterol hair treatment?
The cholesterol hair treatment is specially used to repair dry, brittle, and damaged hair from the overuse of chemical and coloring treatments.
- Araújo, Rita, et al. “Biology of human hair: know your hair to control it.” Biofunctionalization of Polymers and their Applications. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg, 2010. 121-143.
- Palmer, Megan A., et al. “Cholesterol homeostasis: Links to hair follicle biology and hair disorders.” Experimental dermatology 29.3 (2020): 299-311.
- Elder, RL, ed. “Final report on the safety assessment of cholesterol.” J Am Coll Toxicol 5.5 (1986): 491-516.
- Panicker, Sreejith P et al. “Sterol intermediates of cholesterol biosynthesis inhibit hair growth and trigger an innate immune response in cicatricial alopecia.” PloS one vol. 7,6 (2012): e38449.
- Stenn, Kurt S, and Pratima Karnik. “Lipids to the top of hair biology.” The Journal of investigative dermatology vol. 130,5 (2010): 1205-7.