Ceramides are found in skin basal epidermal cells and dermal fibroblasts, (A fibroblast is a specific type of connective tissue cell that is found in skin and tendons, and other tough tissues in the body. It secretes collagen and play a crucial role in the barrier function of the epidermis. It is well known that when the number of ceramides present in the stratum corneum decreases, the potential for trans-epidermal water loss (TEWL) increases, especially during cold months and in aged skin. Furthermore, ceramides play a major role in the antimicrobial defense of scalp skin, especially against dandruff.
Additionally, along with 18 methyl eicosanoic acids and cholesterols, ceramides are one of three types of lipids found inside the cuticle of human hair, functioning as a glue to keep the scales in place. In damaged hair, however, ceramides are often significantly decreased or missing.
Since ceramides are essential for protecting both skin and hair, the natural conclusion would be to use them as cosmetic ingredients for the skin (including scalp) and hair, to recover lost functions in these substrates. However, naturally occurring ceramides are difficult to extract and hence, can carry a high cost. This limits their potential in cosmetic products.
What is Ceramide?
Ceramide is a fatty acid located in the surface layer of the skin that acts as a barrier against anything harmful getting into the skin and limits the loss of water through the skin. (And are actually great for conditions like eczema)In short, ceramide holds all skin cells together and forms a protective layer that nourishes the skin while maintaining its moisture.
Ceramide skincare products are widely used to replenish the natural fats lost through exposure to environmental factors, used as drying products for especially oily skins, and as anti-aging products. Besides ceramides used mainly for the skin, there are ceramide products used specifically for the hair. They restore moisture to hair follicles, nourishing them and making them stronger and healthier.
Ceramide for Hair
There are three types of oils found in hair cuticles. One of those oils is ceramide. The other two are Methyl Eicosanoic Acid (MEA) and cholesterol. Ceramides act as the cement to the hair cuticles. The main role of ceramide is to keep the hair intact and the hair follicles flattened while nourishing the hair to look better and stronger.
Through constant chemical processes, harsh environmental conditions, regular washing, and other hair handling activities, a lot of ceramides get depleted from the hair cuticles. Using products that are rich in ceramide helps to restore the balance needed for stronger and healthier hair and to minimize any damage already done. Ceramide is especially great for hair that has been chemically relaxed, treated, or colored. Even though not all the above processes and conditions damage natural hair as they damage chemically processed hair, it is still wise to use ceramide products on natural hair. Besides retaining its natural look, ceramide products enhance more shine and better hair strength that is easier to manage. They also help in managing tangles that are easy to get with natural hair.
Understanding the structure of hair:
Before we can understand the value of Ceramides it’s important to understand a little bit about how hair is formed on your head:
For every hair to be strong, keep its elasticity, retain moisture and porosity, keep its shine and smoothness, and be resistant to breakages and weathering, the hair cuticles must be well flattened. Raised cuticles lose moisture very fast and this increases porosity and hair toughness. Breakage and weathering of hair is also likely to occur with raised cuticles. Even though hair goes through the usual natural weathering, raised cuticles accelerate the process of weathering. Ceramide oil products act as the cement to prevent all this from happening to the hair cuticles. Other benefits of ceramide oil products are:
– Hair retains moisture
– Restores shine and softness making the hair feel much smoother
– Improved elasticity and porosity
– Reduces hair fall, hair fragility, hair breakage and frizzing of hair from the strong heat of hair dryers.
– Can be used on hair immediately after using hair-processing chemicals without changing the expected results
– Can be used as often as you wish or as little as 1 day per week and still give lasting results
– Easy to use as they can be applied with or without massage or used together with hair steam.
In part 2 of ceramides, we will talk about what kinds of plants and foods contain the highest and best amounts of ceramides.
Here at Private label skincare Florida, we would be very happy to talk to you about adding ceramides to your products, especially if your clients are people of color. All hair can benefit from the use of ceramides, but for people of color, they are essential, as the amounts of ceramides produced are greatly reduced. Please call us today to let us make the ideal hair care bundle for all types of hair.