Niacinamide is known by several names: vitamin B3, nicotinamide or vitamin PP. Essential to the body, it is involved in the functioning of the nervous system and in the breakdown of glucose. Niacinamide has antioxidant, soothing and sebum-regulating properties; it is therefore used in skin and hair care products.
What Is Niacinamide?
Niacinamide is a water-soluble form of vitamin B3. It plays an essential role in the body: it is involved in the metabolization of proteins, lipids, and carbohydrates. It also stimulates cellular energy. To stay healthy, it is essential to provide it to the body through an adequate diet (white meat, fatty fish, certain cereals …).
Niacinamide, like most vitamins, is essential for skin and hair, as it has antioxidant properties. Less known than vitamin A or vitamin C, vitamin B3 is nevertheless an ally of choice to take care of mature skin because it stimulates collagen synthesis and restores the hydrolipidic film. Oily skin with imperfections can also use this active ingredient because it has excellent sebum regulating properties and soothes imperfections. In capillary application, niacinamide also has many virtues detailed below.
What Are the Benefits of Niacinamide for Hair?
The vitamin is used in serums for the scalp and there also exist niacinamide shampoos and hair masks. Here is a summary of the main benefits of niacinamide for hair and scalp:
Niacinamide stimulates the production of keratin.
As a reminder, keratin is the main constituent of the hair fiber. A keratin deficiency is characterized by flat, dry hair that breaks easily. By stimulating the synthesis of this protein, niacinamide brings shine to the hair, flexibility, and texture.
Niacinamide regulates the production of sebum in the scalp.
It thus decreases the possible itching and regulates the appearance of fatty films. It helps to prevent the obstruction of the hair follicles and to maintain a healthy scalp.
Niacinamide protects the hair from external aggressions (pollution, heat…).
Its antioxidant properties protect hair from the harmful effects of UV rays. The latter weaken the hydrolipidic film leading to long-term loss of keratin and drying of the hair fiber.
Niacinamide could increase hair growth.
TRANCIK R.J. & al. A randomized clinical trial of 5% topical minoxidil versus 2% topical minoxidil and placebo in the treatment of androgenetic alopecia in men. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. (2002).
JACOBSON M.K. & al. A pilot study evaluating the efficacy of topically applied niacin derivatives for treatment of female pattern alopecia. Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology (2005).
TAJIMA M. & al. Topical adenosine increases thick hair ratio in Japanese men with androgenetic alopecia. International Journal of Cosmetic Science (2015).