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WEB EXCLUSIVE: The Other Skin—Introducing the Scalp to Esthetics

By: Rhonda Allison
Posted: June 6, 2013, from the June 2013 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.
Scalp treatments

page 4 of 8

Keratin and mitochondria are two primary components of skin and hair. Keratin is the fibrous protein that forms the essential structural material of the outer layer of the skin, hair and nails. These chains of polypeptides are also a major component of the hair’s inner and outer root sheaths and shaft.

The mitochondria, the cell’s powerhouse, serve as a digestive system of sorts, regulating the intake and breakdown of nutrients to create energy for the cells. Supporting the mitochondria and keratin is vital in maintaining skin and hair health.

Excess damage to the mitochondria can result in apoptosis, or cell death, a characteristic of aging. When mitochondrial damage occurs, the skin loses tone and may become thin, and abnormal collagen accumulation can occur. This also applies to the scalp, which, in turn, impacts the hair. Similarly, keratin damage can occur through the intrinsic and extrinsic factors discussed earlier, as well as a lack of proteins and amino acids.

This is where skin care professionals come in. It is now known that many of the ingredients traditionally used in the treatment room also have the power to inhibit the progression of hair damage and loss by stimulating mitochondria, supporting keratin and fighting free radicals. Some of these ingredients include the following.

  • Enzymes and proteins. Specialized complexes of panthenyl ethyl ether, milk protein, lactose, inositol, acetylcysteine and methionine will work to stimulate protein biosynthesis and cell vitality, increase energy production in scalp tissue and anchor hair to the root. Hydrolyzed lupine protein also works to slow hair loss and encourage nutrient assimilation to help hair growth.
  • Peptides and amino acids. Ingredients, such as kino bark (Pterocarpus marsupium) improve hair density, increase the number of follicles, help prevent scalp disorders, and stimulate the cells that improve root anchoring and strength.
  • Antioxidants. Thioctic is a powerful dual antioxidant that maintains protection of extracellular proteins, fights free radicals and limits lipid oxidative degradation.
  • Vitamin B. Inositol, part of a complex that stimulates protein biosynthesis and cell vitality, proliferates cell growth and increases energy production.
  • Organic plant stem cells.The portion of the plant responsible for development and life is also extremely effective in human cell regeneration and maintaining healthy hair.

Other beneficial ingredients in treating the scalp and hair include spin trap, coenzyme Q10, thiotic acid, adenine and acetylcarnitine. When used in combination, these have the ability to increase mitochondria function and longevity in both the skin and hair, as well as promote stronger, thicker and fuller hair.

Treating the scalp

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