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Hyaluronic acid is a powerhouse hydrator in the beauty world. Ahead, discover how to use hyaluronic acid for hair and shop our must-have products.

Using Hyaluronic Acid for Hair—Is It Really Worth the Hype?

Hyaluronic acid is a powerhouse hydrator in the beauty world. Ahead, discover how to use hyaluronic acid for hair and shop our must-have products.
Using Hyaluronic Acid for Hair—Is It Really Worth the Hype?

Hyaluronic acid is the skincare ingredient du jour making its mark on the haircare world—and the hype is real. The substance can hold up to a thousand times its weight in water, making it a go-to option for keeping skin looking plump and moisturized. And thanks to the rise of hair skinification (catering to our hair and scalp the same way we do our facial skin), it was only a matter of time before the ingredient found a home in our favorite haircare products. Ahead, we’re breaking down everything you need to know about using hyaluronic acid for hair, plus some of our favorite professional L’Oréal products that boast this star ingredient.

What Is Hyaluronic Acid?

Hyaluronic acid is a humectant (read: water-attracting substance) best known for its skin-hydrating benefits. It occurs naturally in our body but can be used topically, too. Many skincare serums, moisturizers, and foundation formulas rely on hyaluronic to help skin look glowy and hydrated while reducing visible signs of aging.

It’s worth noting that the word “acid” here can be a bit intimidating and misleading. Hyaluronic acid is an extremely gentle ingredient and does not have the exfoliation properties of other popular actives like alpha-hydroxy and beta-hydroxy acids.

Good hair day by @sumans.waves

Is Hyaluronic Acid Good For Hair?

Hyaluronic acid may be best known for its skincare benefits, but it can also be a powerful ingredient for nourishing your hair and scalp. Adding hyaluronic acid products to your haircare routine can help provide much-needed moisture to dry or damaged strands, making them stronger, smoother, shinier, and more manageable overall. Hyaluronic acid benefits for hair also include:

Hydrating the hair and scalp

Hyaluronic acid’s moisture-binding capabilities can help your hair and scalp retain the right amount of lipids and proteins required for healthy-looking hair.

Fighting frizz

Many blame humidity for frizzy hair, but it’s really just a symptom of parched hair absorbing moisture from its environment. Hyaluronic acid can help rehydrate strands, making them more resistant to soaking up external moisture that causes frizz.

Reducing shrinkage

Hair shrinkage occurs when water evaporates from strands and makes them shrivel up (like a sponge). Applying products infused with hydrating ingredients—such as hyaluronic acid—can help lock in moisture. The effect may help elongate waves, curls, and coils and also help improve their definition and bounce.

Adding fullness

Some proponents of hyaluronic acid suggest it can help make hair appear fuller, however, there isn't any definitive evidence to support its hair-plumping effect. Still, you can find this ingredient in some densifying haircare ranges (like Kérastase Densifique, which we'll cover below).

Good hair day by @lauraelenahairartist

Can Hyaluronic Acid Make Your Hair Grow?

No research suggests that hyaluronic acid for hair can improve growth—that’s entirely dependent on factors like genetics and lifestyle. Patience, getting regular trims, and reducing exposure to hair damage are all easy ways to help your mane reach longer lengths. If your hair is really going through a growth stall, you may want to consult a dermatologist or hairstylist to help you get to the root of the problem.

Good hair day by @smearcrush

Is Hyaluronic Acid Bad For Your Hair?

While there is still much to be discovered about the benefits of hyaluronic acid for hair, it is not known to be damaging to your mane. Salon-quality products often contain just the right amount of hyaluronic acid to help you reap the hydrating benefits without wreaking havoc on your hair. Topical hyaluronic acid is generally well-tolerated, too, but consider doing a patch test before using it on sensitive skin.

Good hair day by @therealmarcmendez

How Do I Use Hyaluronic Acid On My Hair?

Using hyaluronic acid for hair ultimately depends on your hair’s specific needs, your styling goals, and the type of product chosen. To determine how hyaluronic acid fits into your routine, look for products aligned with your hair’s texture, damage level, and styling habits. That will give you a better idea of what kind of products to look for and how (and when) to use them.

Without further ado, we’ve rounded up some of our favorite hyaluronic acid-infused products from L’Oréal’s portfolio of professional brands. Keep scrolling to find your new hydrating hero.

Editor’s Tip: Hyaluronic acid is often listed as “sodium hyaluronate” on skin and haircare labels, which is just a derivative of the naturally occurring compound in the body.

Our Favorite Products With Hyaluronic Acid To Try Now

Kérastase Blond Absolu 2% Pure Hyaluronic Acid Serum and Sérum Cicanuit

Achieving blonde hair may sometimes require multiple rounds of bleach. And, even when applied by a pro, this chemical can dry out your strands and scalp. If you’re a devoted bottle blonde, pick up Kérastase’s Blond Absolu 2% Pure Hyaluronic Acid Serum. This hyaluronic acid serum for hair instantly hydrates hair and helps repair surface damage in just one use. You can also use it to soothe a dry scalp and preserve its moisture barrier, which may be compromised after a bleaching session.

Work a few pumps of the serum through towel-dried hair and onto your scalp, massaging it in gently. For ultimate repair and hydration, layer the Blond Absolu Sérum Cicanuit onto your hair before bedtime. The formula helps recover sensitized hair fibers overnight while delivering deep hydration. Head to Ké to fill your virtual cart with more Blond Absolu goodness.

Good hair day by @bellabanos

Matrix Food For Soft

When you envision healthy-feeling hair, it likely involves having soft, silky strands. Matrix’s Food For Soft collection can get you one step closer to that goal. Each item in the lineup (four total) contains hyaluronic acid and avocado oil to give you seriously soft hair. When used as a system of Food For Soft Shampoo, Conditioner or Mask, and Oil, you can experience seven times more moisturized hair for up to 72 hours.* But don’t just take our word for it—check out one editor’s Matrix Food for Soft review for more details on the line and to see some pretty impressive results.

*v.s non-conditioning shampoo

Kérastase Densifique

Help make thin hair appear thicker and more plentiful with a little help from Kérastase Densifique. The range, which is made with hydrating hyaluronic acid and hair-filling Intra-Cylane,® helps texturize and strengthen hair while increasing its density. Start your routine with the Bain Densité Shampoo, followed by the Fondant Densité Conditioner, to cleanse your hair and add long-lasting fullness and bounce. Then, supplement their effects with the corresponding mousse, mask, or serum to complete the hair-thickening regimen.

Redken All Soft Moisture Restore Leave-In Treatment

Bid farewell to brittle hair with Redken’s All Soft Moisture Restore Leave-In Treatment. This acidic, pH-balanced leave-in treatment locks in moisture and seals hair’s cuticle for a healthier look and feel. But that’s far from all this hyaluronic acid-powered formula can do. You can also use it as a heat protectant, a split-end mender, a shine enhancer, and a frizz fighter.

Shu Uemura Art of Hair Yūbi Blonde Anti-Brass Purple Shampoo

Purple shampoos are everywhere these days, and for good reason. These color-depositing products help correct brassy undertones in lightened hair, restoring hair to a cooler, more desirable shade. We love how Shu Uemura Art of Hair Yūbi Blonde Anti-Brass Purple Shampoo can kill two (hair color) birds with one stone: neutralize brass and restore hydration. Violet pigments reduce the appearance of brass while hydrating ingredients (hyaluronic acid, included) help restore the moisture that can be lost during the hair coloring process. Use it up to twice a week or as needed for visibly cooler color and smoother-looking hair.

Biolage Professional Hydra Source Blow Dry Shaping Lotion

If you’ve been eyeing the fluffy hair trend but know your strands struggle with volume, consider prepping them with Biolage Professional’s Hydra Source Blow Dry Shaping Lotion. Featuring a blend of hyaluronic acid and aloe, the lotion provides the perfect combination of heat protection, weightless hydration, and shape memory. It can also help cut drying time to streamline your routine and reduce your hair’s exposure to excessive heat damage.

Next Up: 15 Hair-Strengthening Products for Dry, Brittle Hair

Header photo credit (left): @lauraelenahairartist

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