Getting hair to grow can be a struggle. While there are in-office procedures, prescriptions, and vitamins (shout-out to biotin!) that can certainly help, Nutrafol shook up the over-the-counter selection in 2016 when they launched their four-pill-a-day supplement. But the brand is no longer just fostering healthy hair from the outside-in. As of today, they’ve expanded their topical selection to include a system that balances the scalp’s microbiome, which is essentially a community of good and bad bacteria on your scalp that keep the skin and hair healthy. We promise, it’s not as gross as it sounds.
Nutrafol has launched three products: The Build-Up Blocker, an exfoliating mask, the Root Purifier, a cleansing shampoo, and the Stress Reliever, which is basically an essence for your scalp. They range in price from $49 to $59. Now, don’t get it twisted: having a healthy scalp microbiome does not cause hair growth. But, it will create a happy place for new hair to thrive and help alleviate itching, flakiness, redness, and irritation on the scalp.
“Nutrafol has spent years studying and researching the impact of our scalp microbiomes on our hair health. Similarly to the gut microbiome, the scalp microbiome shields hair follicles and protects the scalp from infection, toxins, irritation, hair damage, and more,” Nutrafol’s Vice President of Product Marketing and Innovation Sam Archer (opens in new tab) exclusively tells Marie Claire. “Overall, a balanced microbiome is essential for optimal hair health.”
While the brand’s launch is certainly exciting, there’s obviously no shortage of scalp scrubs and hair thickening shampoos that promise all the fabulous, life-changing, and amazing things. That in mind, the dermatologist-backed brand did make sure they produced a high-functioning trio that met the highest standards—and worked with all hair types. In fact, they’re the first scalp care system to earn The Microbiome Friendly Seal, which indicates that the products are *actually* beneficial to the scalp’s microbiome and have passed diversity and quality testing.
Here, Archer breaks down the benefits of each item in the Scalp Microbiome collection.
This shampoo is designed for daily use and works to get rid of buildup (looking at you, dry shampoo) and balance oil production, whether there’s too much or too little. “Styling products, pollution, dirt, and dust particles can clog pores and throw off the balance of your scalp microbiome,” explains Archer. With just one use of this shampoo, she says you can expect changes in hair volume, strength, and texture.
“This immediately dissolves excess build-up, balances oil production and makes the scalp feel less congested,” explains Archer. “The mask visibly improves a flaky and itchy scalp after two weeks. Nutrafol recommends using Build-Up Blocker one to two times a week for those with oily hair and two to three times a week for those experiencing dry hair.”
Think of this serum-like product like the great neutralizer for your scalp. In fact, Archer says that 97 percent of clinical trial participants reported a soothed scalp after four weeks of daily use.
Samantha Holender is the Beauty Editor at Marie Claire, where she reports on the best new launches, dives into the science behind skincare, and keeps up with the latest trends in the beauty space. She has previously written for Us Weekly, Popsugar, Makeup.com, Skincare.com, and Philadelphia Wedding. Follow her on Instagram @samholender.
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