Niacinamide is a popular ingredient found in skin care products that promise to prevent signs of ageing and treat skin conditions such as acne. It is also a star ingredient in hair care products such as hair serum and shampoo. In the context of hair care, it is recognised for its potential to promote healthy hair and scalp. We tell you what makes niacinamide good for your hair.
What is niacinamide?
A type of vitamin B3, niacinamide is a water-soluble vitamin that belongs to the B-complex family, says dermatologist and cosmetologist Dr Monica Bambroo. It plays a key role in various cellular processes, and is known for its skin health benefits such as reducing wrinkles and fine lines, and getting rid of acne.
What are the benefits of niacinamide for hair?
Many people see niacinamide as a way to get back voluminous hair. But it is not a direct stimulator of hair growth even though it contributes to overall hair health, says the expert. By improving the condition of the scalp, supporting moisture retention and enhancing the structure of hair strands, niacinamide indirectly helps in creating an environment that is conducive to healthy hair growth. Here are some benefits:
1. Niacinamide is good for scalp health
Niacinamide helps to maintain a healthy scalp by promoting better blood circulation and reducing inflammation.
2. Niacinamide helps with moisture retention
Niacinamide improves the moisture content of hair strands, preventing dryness and minimising breakage. Well-hydrated hair is more resilient and less prone to damage.
3. Niacinamide strengthens hair
By enhancing the protein structure of hair, niacinamide contributes to stronger, more resilient strands, reducing the risk of breakage and split ends.
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4. Niacinamide helps with DHT regulation
Niacinamide may help to regulate dihydrotestosterone (DHT), a hormone associated with hair loss, thereby potentially minimising hair thinning and loss.
5. Niacinamide reduces inflammation
Its anti-inflammatory properties can soothe an irritated scalp, reducing redness and itchiness often associated with dandruff or other scalp conditions.
6. Niacinamide enhances texture
Niacinamide can improve the overall texture of hair, leaving it smoother, shinier and more manageable for you.
7. Niacinamide is good for hair colour protection
For women who colour their hair, niacinamide can help to maintain the vibrancy by protecting it against any environmental damage.
Side effects of using niacinamide for hair
Niacinamide is generally well-tolerated, and side effects are rare, says Dr Bambroo. However, in some cases, people with sensitive skin may experience mild irritation. It is best to perform a patch test before making niacinamide a part of your hair care routine to ensure there is a compatibility.
Also read: Know how to use niacinamide correctly
Niacinamide can be included in a hair care routine through various products such as shampoos, conditioners, serums or masks. All you have to do is look for products that are specifically formulated with niacinamide. Apply niacinamide-containing products to your scalp and hair, focusing on massaging it into the roots. Incorporate it into your routine two to three times a week for optimal results, suggests the expert.
In case of a serum, which provides a concentrated dose of niacinamide,
apply it directly to the scalp.
You can also enjoy the benefits of niacinamide through oral supplements, which provide a systemic approach. It ensures that the body gets an adequate amount of niacinamide for hair health. But check with your doctor before starting any new supplement regimen.
Also, choosing a balanced diet rich in B-vitamins can also support healthy hair from within.
To further enhance the effectiveness of niacinamide in promoting healthy hair, make sure to regularly wash and condition your hair, and avoid excessive heat styling.