18th CENTURY APPLE STEM CELLS
It hit the press a good few years ago that the secret to the youthful looks of celebrities such as Michelle Obama and Helen Mirren may have something to do with their use of an expensive facial serum that harvests the stem cells of a rare Swiss apple called the UttwillerSpätlauber. While this may sound like something from a sci-fi movie, the science behind the apple itself is very real. When cut or split the UttwillerSpätlauber, an apple discovered in Thurgau in northern Switzerland in the 18th Century, has a remarkable way of growing a protective layer that shelters it from harmful UV rays and keeps it looking fresh.
While using embryonic stem cells directly in cosmetics is illegal, researchers have been able to use the stem cell extract (PhytoCellTecMalusDomestica) in anti-ageing facial serums and are now looking at ways to use it in hair products, with the hope that it could eventually be used to regenerate hair follicles. Many are sceptical about how the use of fruit acids and cells could possibly help rejuvenate human hair but it hasn’t stopped a number of hair care companies from including PhytoCellTec shampoos in their respective product ranges. The majority of these products are only available in the US but Boots currently stocks the long-windedly titled Salon Science Celluluxe Shampoo PhytoCellTec Swiss Apple for around £15.
When L’Oréal announced that its new breakthrough ElviveFibrology Thickening Shampoo would contain filloxane, which works in the same way as silica gel in sealing windscreens, many believed it was a marketing gimmick. The filloxane is said to get inside individual hair strands, bond with the tiny proteins present there and expand; making the strands rigid and thicker. With many consumers reporting an improvement in hair thickness,it would seem that L’Oreal may be on to something here.However, they have also announced, of course, that the shampoo works much better when used alongside their Fibrology Thickening Conditioner as well as the more expensive ElviveFibrology Booster and the ElviveFibrology Masque.
John Friedaoffers a similar product on the market called John Frieda Luxurious Volume 7-Day Volume In-Shower Treatment, which also builds up polymers against proteins on your hair strands.Whether either of these treatments are more effective than the original protein hair treatment of massaging eggs into one’s head is yet to be seen but, regardless, it leads on nicely to the next category.
EGGS, AVOCADO, ORANGE JUICE AND VINEGAR
While the above would make a very nice breakfast, they have also been known as natural ways to improve the health and volume of hair. Washing your hair with eggs has long been used as a hair thickening treatment, and olive oil, coconut oil, orange juice, aloe vera and avocados are all also said to hold properties that can similarly improve the health of the scalp, reduce dandruff and thicken hair. Aside from rubbing perfectly good food into your scalp, avoiding heavy brushing, aggressive towel drying, heated styling tools and regular hot blow-drying can be an equally effective natural way to restore hair to a healthy and handsome state. An increase of intake of omega 3 fatty acids, fish oils, proteins and vitamin B are also thought to help boost the health and production of the hair, skin and nails as well.
If you do love rubbing stuff into your hair then don’t forget that product build up can weigh down your hair and make it look limp and thinner than it actually is. Washing your hair through with a mixture of 50% apple cider vinegar and 50% water can clear out weighty build ups in your hair and also act as a lovely natural conditioner. For those who don’t like the smell of vinegar, a weekly wash with a decent clarifying shampoo can have a very similar effect.
A great product for flat or thinning hair is dry shampoo. Not only does it add instant volume and texture to limp hair, but it also allows your essential hair oils to remain in contact with your hair for longer. We know that hair oils nourish and strengthen hair, but the greasy effect that a build-up of oils provides can make your hair look unclean and flat. Dry shampoos keep the oils working their magicon the hair whilst covering up that unwanted shine, as well as adding texture and volume. Brands like Batiste and John Frieda now offer extra volume dry shampoos that are also very effective. If you are concerned about the thickness of your hair then the best place to ask for advice is your local hair salon.
ASK AN EXPERT
The above hair thickening tips will vary in effectiveness, depending on your hair and scalp type and daily hair care routine. A good hairdresser should be able to offer bespoke advice on the products and techniques that are right for you. Award winning salons such as The Chapelin Tunbridge Wells have some of the best hair stylists in the industry to offer advice on hair care and recommend the products that are right for your hair.