Tired of dry, damaged, brittle hair? Looking for a natural way to strengthen it?
Irish moss may be just what you need.
Contrary to what it sounds like, sea moss is actually an algae. It specifically belongs to a red algae species predominantly found in Europe along the Atlantic coast.
Although it’s only grown popular in the last 2-3 decades, reports indicate that people used and/or consumed Irish sea moss as far back as the 1800s.
Today, you can find it in many patented hair products. And that begs the question - why?
Virtually all of the nutrients found in Irish moss carry the potential to help you grow thicker, fuller, and healthier hair.
Anecdotal evidence suggests that Irish moss is especially helpful for damaged hair following a bad hair styling experience. You know the ones that leave you with brittle, broken strands?
Irish sea moss may be able to help - largely thanks to its nutrient profile.
Perhaps the most impressive thing about Irish moss for hair is its unique compounds. The most abundant of which is a polysaccharide called carrageenan.
This polysaccharide constitutes up to 55% of sea moss’ dry weight. It is this compound that gives it a jelly-like appearance when boiled.
Studies have also shown that Irish moss contains about 15 essential elements.
At face value, that may seem insignificant until you realize that the human body needs 18 essential elements to thrive, and 15 of these are found in Irish moss.
On top of that, the scientific community now considers Irish moss as the plant with the highest nutritive profile of all known seaweeds.
Some of its more noteworthy nutrients include:
Irish moss is also rich in vitamins A, C, D, E, and K with an abundance of B vitamins.
Nutrients such as these - especially the amino acids, magnesium, calcium, zinc, and proteins - are known to nourish and support healthy hair growth.
The carrageenan that forms 55% of the moss’ dry weight, though, is believed to provide the most benefit.
It can target hair follicles and help restore them when damaged. And this repair process occurs whether the cause of damage was physical or chemical.
The carrageenan polysaccharide also moisturizes individual hair strands all the way down to the scalp. It is for this reason that many people report it relieves their scalp itchiness, dryness, and even dandruff.
We tend to think collagen only comes from animals, but sea moss contains it too.
This is great news for vegans who want to reap the benefits of collagen but need to get it from non-animal sources.
It’s important to note, however, that collagen content varies from one seaweed species to another.
But of all the sea moss analyzed to date, Irish sea moss is the go-to for hair care for its collagen and nutritional content.
The reason why collagen is so great for hair is because it’s the primary building block of hair strands.
The amino acids in collagen help strengthen hair roots and nourish surrounding skin in the scalp.
What’s more, collagen is synthesized in the body from vitamin C. As previously mentioned, sea moss has an abundance of vitamin C among other vitamins and minerals.
This means that the moss not only provides vegan collagen but also the raw material required by your body to synthesize collagen.
It’s this holistic approach to collagen utilization that makes Irish moss so helpful in natural hair care.
There are two popular ways:
Most people like to consume Irish moss within recipes, usually smoothies. Cooked sea moss is also beneficial but not as potent as raw versions.
The idea is that cooking involves heating, which may denature certain fragile nutrients.
The other way is to supplement with an Irish sea moss extract. Check out a vegan, organic option here.
The reason why internal supplementation works so well is because hair grows under the influence of nutrients delivered to the scalp via blood vessels.
Sea moss appears jelly-like when boiled or softened due to the presence of the polysaccharide carrageenan. This property makes it ideal for use as a topical hair product.
Topical application may be better for treating a dry and itchy scalp. However, you can do both simultaneously - supplement internally and apply a gel topically.