Irish sea moss or Irish moss is an edible seaweed (red algae) that has been used commercially in many cosmetic formulations. However, of late, it is touted to promote hair growth and maintain your overall hair health. Little evidence is available to support such claims. However, there are specific ways that the Irish sea moss may support hair health. This article explores the logic behind such claims. Scroll down to learn more.
Table Of Contents
What Is Irish Sea Moss?
Irish sea moss or Chondrus crispus is a red edible seaweed (red algae) primarily found in the North Atlantic ocean. Its cell walls contain carrageenan, an additive used as a thickening, emulsifying, and stabilizing agent in the food industry(1).
Seaweed extract is widely used in skin care and hair care products for its nourishing and moisturizing benefits. However, Irish sea moss is also claimed to promote hair growth. While there is no evidence to support this claim, Irish sea moss may help promote scalp health, thus improving your overall hair health. Let’s find out how.
Irish sea moss has several benefits that may affect your scalp health (2):
1. Wound Healing
Animal studies found that carrageenan could minimize the skin’s inflammatory process, improve extracellular matrix deposition (a 3D network consisting of collagen and other macromolecules), and promote wound healing (3). This property may also help keep your scalp healthy and maintain hair health.
2. May Prevent UV Damage
Irish sea moss contains mycosporine-like amino acids (MAA) that protect marine organisms from UV exposure. MAAs are used in cosmetic products to shield the skin from UV rays and promote cell proliferation(2). When used in hair care products, the ingredients may help protect your scalp and hair from UV damage.
3. May Hydrate The Scalp
Hydration is crucial for maintaining the overall scalp and hair health. Dehydrated hair can be brittle and breakage-prone. Red algae (Chondrus) can nourish and rehydrate the skin when used topically and improve cell elasticity (2).
4. May Promote Hair Growth
An animal study revealed that a hair tonic made of seaweed extract might promote hair regrowth (4). However, the study did not specify the type of seaweed used for the experiment.
5. May Improve Hair Shine
Fucoidan is a component found in all seaweeds, including Irish sea moss. This component can eliminate harmful free radicals, reduce inflammation, improve hair health, and make your tresses glossy (2). Oxidative stress (caused by free radicals) can affect scalp health and cause hair loss. Fucoidan may help reduce hair loss.
Irish sea moss may not directly promote hair growth but may support and influence scalp-related factors to boost your hair health and regrowth. It is a common ingredient in many hair care products and is widely available in gel form. Here is how you may use Irish sea moss gel for your hair.
How To Use Irish Sea Moss
1. As Pre-Poo
- Detangle your tresses with a wide-toothed comb.
- Divide your hair into multiple sections and clip them.
- Apply a generous amount of the Irish sea moss hair gel to the sections. Coat each strand evenly from root to tip.
- Apply the gel to the scalp.
- Leave it on for 30 minutes to an hour.
- Rinse the gel and follow your regular hair wash routine.
2. As Post-Wash Mask
- Shampoo and condition your hair. Rinse thoroughly.
- Squeeze the excess water and section your hair.
- Apply a dollop of the gel to the damp hair section and scalp.
- Leave it on for at least 30 minutes and wash off with regular water.
Note: For the best results, use the gel as a deep conditioner at least once a week.
3. As A Styling Product Or Leave-In Conditioner
- Shampoo and condition your hair.
- Squeeze the excess water and detangle with a wide-toothed comb.
- Apply the Irish sea moss gel to your hair from mid-length to the ends. Avoid the scalp.
- Blow dry and style your hair as per your preference.
Instead of buying Irish sea moss gel, you can prepare it easily at home. DIY recipes do not contain preservatives and are less damaging. Check out the recipe below.
Home Made Irish Sea Moss Gel Recipe
- 1 cup of dried sea moss
- 2 teaspoons of avocado oil
- 2 teaspoons of olive oil
- 2 cups of water
There are two parts to the recipe. First, you have to prepare the seaweed gel and then prepare the hair gel.
For Preparing Seaweed Gel
- Soak the dried sea moss in water. Let it rest overnight.
- The next morning, strain the water and set the soaked sea moss aside.
- Boil the seaweed in a cup of water. Keep stirring until the texture turns creamy.
- Blend the creamy seaweed with half a cup of water for a minute. Add another half cup of water and blend again.
- Transfer the seaweed gel to a glass jar and refrigerate for 3-4 hours.
For The Seaweed Hair Gel
- Scoop out 2-3 tablespoons of the seaweed gel and boil it with half a cup of water for 2-3 minutes.
- Transfer the melted gel to a container and add the oils. Mix it well.
- You may add a few drops of essential oils for fragrance. However, it is optional.
- Store the sea moss gel in the fridge and use it to style your hair and tame flyaways.
Seaweed or sea moss is a common ingredient in skin and hair care products. Irish sea moss can soothe scalp irritation, fortify the strands, curb hair fall, and improve hair shine. It may also promote hair growth but requires further studies to prove the claim. If you want to give it a try, follow the recipe to prepare the hair gel.
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