Irish Moss (Sea Moss) Hair Benefits: Moisturize Your Scalp Naturally
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Hair health is important on many levels. We tend to take a lot of pride in our hair, or at least want it to look presentable when we go out in public. Over time, or even after a bad hairstyling experience at the salon, our hair can suffer great damage. Hair that was once glossy, thick, and bright, turns brittle, develops split ends, and becomes dull usually at some point in our lives. Whether you have used chemicals on your hair that have turned it frizzy, you find it is damaged from all the time you spent in the sun, or maybe swimming in chlorine-rich pools is frying it, there are steps you can take to help heal your damaged hair. While there are many products on the market that claim to be able to revive the health of your hair, many of these fall short of their claims, and they are full of harsh chemicals that may end up doing you more harm than good in the long-run. Irish sea moss is a naturally occurring plant that actually has properties that can help with your hair ailments.
What is Irish Sea Moss?
Irish Sea Moss is the name given to a species of plant known as Chondrus crispus. This plant is a member of the red algae species and is found mainly in coastal regions that border the Atlantic Ocean in Europe and North America. It grows both in and out of water, and takes on a salty, seaweed odor when grown in salt water. It has been known to grow in between bricks on buildings, or in cracks on sidewalks, as well as in swaths of patches in fields and on rocky parts of the coast. It is a quaint and unassuming plant with colors that vary fairly significantly, ranging from a yellow-green all the way through to a maroon or purple color.
The body of this plant is quite cartilaginous, as it is largely composed of a substance called carrageenan, and it is rich in protein, iodine, and sulfur. While the plant itself is not all that impressive, it has an abundance of uses both medicinally and in various products sold around the world today. It is an edible plant and actually helped to stave some hunger for the Irish during the famine that occurred in the 1800s.
When boiled in water, Irish sea moss forms a jelly, a property that is used by the food industry to specifically make jellies or binders used in food products. Foods that often contain derivatives of Irish sea moss include ice cream, syrups, whipped cream, candy bars, and alternative milks. In vegan cuisine, it can be used as an alternative to the animal-based gelatin when making desserts. It is also used in many cosmetic items and miscellaneous products, such as in products that help soften the skin, air fresheners, and toothpastes. It is particularly beneficial for skin because it contains many fat-soluble vitamins, including vitamins A and D.
Irish Sea Moss for Hair
There exist many patents for hair products utilizing Irish moss and its extract, carrageenan. These products cite the ability of Irish moss to manage hair, give it a nice sheen, and to make it feel more full. It has also been cited to help hair grow more quickly and to relieve an irritated scalp. Containing amino acids, calcium, magnesium, zinc, and iron, in addition to the elements such as protein and fat soluble vitamins mentioned above, Irish moss can be an amazing source of nourishment for your hair. The extract carrageenan that is derived from Irish moss is specifically known to imbibe these benefits on hair and is known to be able to help heal damaged hair, whether it was damaged by physical or chemical means. It appears to have a refreshing and moisturizing effect on hair, with some people claiming that it can help with dry scalp, dandruff, and itching as well.
If you are suffering with hair problems, whether they be dried-out hair, frizziness, dry scalp, dandruff, or general itchiness, consider using or keep an eye out for products that contain Irish moss. You might be surprised the next time you look at the ingredients label on products you already use. Check out those labels and look for the phrases ‘Irish moss,’ ‘Chondrus crispus,’ or ‘carageenan,’ as each indicate that the plant was involved in the product’s production. The versatile plant and its derivatives are found in many products used in the modern world today, and for good reason. With applications as a thickening agent in food or in healthcare products such as toothpaste, Irish moss is all around us in some form or another. Whether you are using the plant to make your own products yourself, or you are seeking products that contain it, it can be incredibly helpful in your pursuit of healthier, stronger, and shinier hair.