Ever wonder what ceramides are and why they are important to your hair's health?
Ceramides are a type of lipid and a natural component of hair, found in the cuticle, the outermost layer that protects and provides strength to the hair shaft. The cuticle is composed of a number of dead cells that overlap each other resembling roof shingles. Ceramides bind these “scales” of the cuticle together and in the case of healthy hair; result in smooth, silky strands. In damaged hair, however, the ceramides are absent, which results in dull, coarse and dry strands.
Though ceramides occur naturally in the hair, overuse of chemical treatments, excessive use of heat appliances and over-cleansing in time depletes ceramides and leads to raised cuticles. Applying ceramides, either natural or the more concentrated synthetic version, to damaged hair can improve the binding of the scales of the cuticle and restore the natural properties of the hair.
Ceramides keep the hair cuticle flat, helping to smooth hair, enhance shine and allow hair to endure wear and tear over time. They promote elasticity and moisture retention, and aid in strengthening hair.
Ceramides are most beneficial to chemically treated hair including coloring, bleaching and relaxing. Incorporating products with natural oils that contain ceramides into your regimen will help to keep the condition of your hair in check. Even if your hair looks and feels great, adding treatments with ceramides can only bolster your hair health.
Here are some of our editor's picks for cuticle-soothing ceramide solutions:
Tigi S Factor Serious Conditioner
This intense formula, containing silicon polymer and amino acids smoothes, strengthens and adds shine to dull, lifeless, damaged hair. Will aid in minimizing split ends and provide extreme shine. Tigi S Factor Serious Conditioner contains sunflower oil. It also contains hydrolyzed silk protein and amino acids.
Redken Extreme Anti-Snap Leave-In
Redken's Interbond Conditioning System delivers proteins, synthetic ceramide and lipids to help provide internal strength, cuticle reinforcement and protective resurfacing. Helps fortify hair that's prone to breaking, splitting or snapping off, gently smoothes the cuticle, reduces friction from brushing and helps prevent further damage, and leaves hair healthy, shiny and resilient.
Ouidad Omega-3 Replenishing Hair Treatment
A nourishing hair treatment that provides hydration and superior shine to rejuvenate hair. Utilizing a potent blend of omega fatty acids (Omega-3, 6 and 9), this formula helps restore the natural lipid barrier of the hair and fortifies its protective surface layer. This deeply hydrating, wash-out treatment breathes new life into hair.
L'Oreal Paris Ceramide Total Repair 5 Multi-Restorative Dry Oil
Restores smoothness and helps fight split ends. Great for normal to fine hair, this lightweight, dry oil repairs instantly and adds shine. Infused with natural extract including Olive oil, coconut oil, carrot oil, and beta-carotene.
Bioken m72 Ceramide Leave-in Treatment
Repairs, detangles, moisturizes, and rejuvenates damaged and brittle hair into a silky texture that is manageable, elastic, ultra shiny, beautiful, and healthy. Prevents split ends, provides UV and thermal styling protection, and strengthens and rejuvenates dull, lifeless hair. Using certified organic extracts, 72 essential trace minerals work together to provide a highly effective transfer of major nutrients into the hair while Ceramides restore elasticity and strengthen strands.