BAMBOO EXTRACT FOR SMOOTHER, STRONGER HAIR

Bamboo extract has excellent moisturising properties and a high silica content, improving suppleness, shine and strength of the hair fibre.  Bamboo extract also contains compounds known as bamboo shoot peptide that increases blood flow and angiotensin converting enzyme that acts as an antioxidant.

Packed with nutrients such as iron, zinc, vitamin E, vitamin A, vitamin B6, thiamine, niacin, 18 amino acids, and fatty acids, bamboo extract provides a cocktail of building blocks essential for hair health.

Biomedical investigations of the benefits and toxic effects of the bamboo plant have been carried out globally since the 1960s.  There are a wide range of documented protective effects of bamboo extract such as increased blood circulation and protection against oxidative stress, inflammation.

BAMBOO EXTRACT IS AN EXCELLENT HYDRATOR

Bamboo extract is made up of around 70% silica, an essential component of hyaluronic acid.  Hyaluronic acid is a structure made up of repeating disaccharide units that uses silica as a biological cross-linking agent.

Hyaluronic acid is formed in the plasma membrane and can be very large with 20,000 disaccharide components.

High levels of hyaluronic acid help to prevent moisture loss from the dermis.  It is also critical for the collagen structure, acting as a glue to maintain strength and flexibility.

Hyaluronic acid provides an open hydrated matrix, directed migration and control of related cell mechanisms are mediated via the specific cell interaction between hyaluronic acid and cell surface hyaluronic acid receptors.

Silica functions as the only cross-linking agent that can bind units of hyaluronic acid together to form hyaluronic acid of a higher molecular weight.  High hyaluronic acid content is frequently seen in areas of proliferation and migration with hyaluronic acid opening the space for cell growth and expansion and the creation of hydrated pathways [1].

In the hair follicle, this translates to high hyaluronic acid content contributing to increased multiplication of keratin cells and the supported migration and maturation of keratin cells which keep the cell in anagen (growth) phase.

Low levels of hyaluronic acid induce premature termination of the hair growth cycle and keratin cells enter telogen (resting) phase much earlier.  When hyaluronic acid in the dermis and epidermis is low, hair will feel dry (coarse) and the hair matrix will be thin or brittle.

Hyaluronic acid, like the keratin cells of the hair follicle, is vulnerable to oxidative degradation.

BAMBOO EXTRACT CONTAINS ANTIOXIDANTS

Bamboo extract contains number of antioxidants that reduce reactive oxidative species in the hair matrix including: caffeic acid, chlorogenic acid, vitexin, homoorientin and p-coumaric acid. Caffeic acid and chlorogenic acid have the strongest total antioxidant activity.

It is well known that oxidative damage to cells caused by reactive oxygen species (or free radicals) such as superoxide, hydroxyl and proxy radicals in the human body triggers chronic diseases and accelerates the ageing process.  Reactive oxygen species are highly reactive molecules that can directly damage proteins, lipid and DNA.  Oxidative stress results in premature ageing of any cell.  In the hair this manifests as greying, slow growing hair or hair loss.

The human body has several antioxidant defence systems that can repair oxidative damage for protection against free radicals, but when cell antioxidant mechanisms are overrun, there will be a shift towards oxidative stress.  Antioxidants in bamboo extract neutralise reactive species by donating hydrogen atoms from phenolic hydroxyl groups.

In a study carried out by the National Institutes of Health, it was found that bamboo shavings provided a protective effect by preventing inflammation and oxidative stress. They found that bamboo extract could act as natural antioxidants considering their potent antioxidant activities [2].

BAMBOO EXTRACT INCREASES BLOOD CIRCULATION TO THE HAIR FOLLICLE

Bamboo extract contains angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors, this enzyme is involved in several blood pressure regulating mechanisms.  Angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors help relax blood vessels and allow greater blood flow by reducing the ability of angiotensin converting enzyme to produce angiotensin II, a substance that narrows and constricts blood vessels.

Preventing constriction of blood vessels promotes blood flow to the hair follicle. The hair follicle relies on an adequate blood supply for the exchange of nutrients and waste.  The local microcirculation delivers vital components for cell functions such as glucose and oxygen and removes substances that would cause harm to the cell.

Blood supply from the scalp originates from the subcutaneous tissues and in the scalp the hair follicles are situated in the upper part of the subcutaneous tissue.  The lower part of the hair follicle is enveloped in a rich capillary network that is responsible for the nutritive content of the keratinocytes that make up the hair fibre.   The ability of the hair follicle to remain in growing phase is reliant on an adequate blood supply and a lack of supply is significantly implicated in hair loss.

THE FINAL WORD

Bamboo extract is a powerful substance that can increase hydration and the hydrodynamic activities that keep the hair fibre smooth, strong and healthy.

REFERENCES

  1. A bound form of silicon in glycosaminoglycans and polyuronides. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 70(5), pp.1608-1612.
  2. Antioxidant capacities of fractions of bamboo shaving extract and their antioxidant components. Molecules, 21(8), p.996.