Benefits Of Vanilla Beans In Hair Products
When searching for common ingredients in hair products, one that frequently shows up, especially in products of a higher quality, is vanilla beans
(or some form of them, whether it is the bean itself or an extract made from them).
contain a large range of vitamins, minerals and essential oils, all of which work together to keep hair healthy. The main chemical ingredient, vanillin, is a powerful anti-oxidant and vanilla beans contain many other vitamins such as B-complexes in addition to trace amounts of certain minerals. When looked at in detail, many of these ingredients provide specific benefits.
Vanillin is an anti-oxidant and critical for healthy locks. Antioxidants work to fight free radicals, which form both during normal everyday body processes and from exposure to harmful environmental factors (such as tobacco smoke).
These free radicals can hurt the cells all over your body, including hair cells effectively causing growth to slow down. Antioxidants, such as vanillin, will work against free radicals, inhibiting them and therefore reducing the effects on the body.
Antioxidants also prevent damage to the follicles. Because of this, antioxidants such as vanillin have been linked to an increase in growth and assistance in reversing loss.
One large set of vitamins that can be found in vanilla beans is the B-complex vitamins. Although they are only present in trace amounts, they still play a role. Vanilla bean contains niacin (B3), pantothenic acid (B5), thiamin (B1), riboflavin (B2) and B6 and several of these vitamins play crucial roles in the health of your hair.
Riboflavin (vitamin B2), for example, helps with the metabolism of carbs, fats and proteins, all of which are essential for healthy hair. Adequate protein intake in particular plays a key role and lack of protein can actually cause hair loss. Because of this, when riboflavin is present in hair products, it serves to help prevent this problem.
The other B vitamin found in vanilla beans is pantothenic acid (vitamin B5). Similar to riboflavin, a deficiency in pantothenic acid can cause hair loss, but it can also lead to scalp irritation. Therefore, by including it in hair products in the form of vanilla bean, you are able to decrease your risk of both hair loss and scalp irritation.
In addition, despite the lack of specific research, some experts feel that pantothenic acid can make the hair stronger and shinier, giving even more benefits associated with the inclusion of vanilla beans in hair products. This makes the vanilla bean a welcome ingredient, especially in deep treatments (see Nourish® Root Food to the right) used for dry or damaged hair.
Vitamin B6 which is also present in vanilla beans can help growth by keeping your scalp healthy. In fact, people who have a vitamin B6 deficiency may develop dermatitis, a skin condition that can slow down growth.
Another natural component of vanilla beans that make it ideal for use in hair products is iron. That is because iron is necessary for the production of red blood cells and in fact helps these cells bring oxygen to other cells in the body. In order to maintain healthy hair, your follicles must receive oxygen as well as other nutrients and because of the role with red blood cells, exposing your hair to iron is an excellent way to accomplish this.
Copper is a co-factor that helps superoxide dismutase, which is an antioxidant enzyme. Therefore it has the same benefits as vanillin, the antioxidant in terms of eliminating free radicals and therefore preventing loss.
Copper also helps with the body’s production of melanin, the compound that is responsible for giving our hair its pigment. Because of this, copper (and therefore vanilla beans) are useful in products designed to fight the development of gray strands.
Vanilla beans have many benefits in hair products. Vanilla beans and extract are rich in B-complex vitamins and nutrients. Though not a panacea for damage or breaking, these nutrients aid reduction of effects due oxidization and poor keratin and protein development - both key elements in follicle cycle growth. These benefits make vanilla (vanillin) especially useful for helping protect and strengthen with deep hair treatments.