Ceramides – Healthy Skin and Hair

I have been researching ceramides and how they help damaged hair and skin. I looked at patents by various companies, tried to read professional articles and gleaned some information from them all on what to use that is naturally in oils and plants.

Research by commercial hair companies found that damaged hair lacked ceramide. Hair that is naturally curly, wavy or has thin follicles has less ceramide in it also, so the odds are stacked against people with these hair types autmomatically. The hair follicle cuticles on all hair become damaged or more damaged as it grows out from the enviroment, sun damage, wind damage, any heat processing such as curling irons and blowdrying, chemical processes such as permanents, relaxing and coloring also damage your hair. Add in styling products which can dry some hair types from long term use and leave a buildup on our hair and those little cuticles starts suffering even more and stand up at attention trying to tell you that you need to do something to help them.

Photo of healthy hair shaft vs. damaged hair shaft.
Healthy hair cuticles and damaged hair cuticles.

Closed cuticles or cuticles that lay down on the outer hair shaft equals shine, elasticity, easier to manage hair that doesn’t break as easily. Ceramides and protein are what hold the cuticles down. Now of course it is best to eat well and give our hair and skin support from the inside. You can also get ceramides to take in pill form also, to help from the inside out.

Aloe Vera juice helps hair cuticles lay down as does apple cider vinegar. These can be used diluted in cool water (hot water raises the cuticles) in an after wash rinse of the hair.

Here is a list of the oils with the highest amount of ceramide (at the top) in them:
Safflower oil 78%
Grape seed oil 73%
Poppyseed oil 70%
Sunflower oil 68%
Hemp oil 60%
Corn oil 59%
Wheat germ oil 55% – also contains protein which is important
Cottonseed oil 54%
Soybean oil 51%
Walnut oil 51%
Sesame oil 45%
Rice bran oil 39%
Pistachio oil 32.7%
Peanut oil 32% [17]
Canola oil 21%
Egg yolk 16%
Linseed oil 15%
Lard 10%
Olive oil 10%
Palm oil 10%
Cocoa butter 3%
Macadamia oil 2%
Butter 2%

So today I hope to make a hair conditioner that knocks your hair cuticles closed. Grapeseed oil, Sunflower oil, Hemp seed oil and Wheatgerm oil are my choices. Aloe Vera juice is a must. I will also be adding some other goodies listed below.

Other things that help with ceramide production.
Niacinamide USP or Vitamin B3 stimulates collagen synthesis and the production of ceramide in hair and skin and why so many commercial brand hair products now contain Niacinamide.

Ascorbic acid (Vitamin C) also stimulates collagen and ceramide production in hair and skin but is unstable in its base form as it starts to oxidise the minute it hits water. We use Ascorbyl Palminate Powder (derived from palm oil) which is stable because it is oil based so it does not break down like L Ascorbic Acid powders do.

Botanicals that are listed in patents that help stimulate ceramide production when applied to the skin:
NOTE: I have not fully researched these as of yet.
Eucalyptus and ceramide production
Hops
Ginger
http://www.google.com/patents/US6878378

Off to the my favorite part of the Hamp Hill to start the measuring, melting, and heating of ingredients!

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