Limited Edition: Cleansing Balm with Organic Camellia Oil

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Bienfaits safran cheveux.

Saffron: an ally for the hair.

Originating from Crete, saffron is harvested from the stigmas of the Crocus sativus flower. Rich in benefits for the skin, saffron extract can also be used in hair applications. Discover in this article the properties of this ingredient for hair and scalp.

An overview of saffron.

The saffron is a spice extracted from the Crocus sativus, plants that possess beautiful purple flowers and bloom from October to November. It is estimated that around 150 flowers are needed to obtain one gram of saffron. This is the most expensive spice in the world, with a price that is roughly equivalent to that of gold (≈ £30 per gram).

Beyond its culinary qualities, saffron is also valued for its cosmetic and therapeutic properties. It is generally incorporated into skincare products, due to its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and hydrating virtues, but these can also prove beneficial for hair.

Saffron possesses soothing properties.

The application of a treatment based on saffron extract can reduce scalp irritations and feelings of discomfort. Indeed, this ingredient contains several molecules with anti-inflammatory properties. Saffron extract is particularly rich in crocetin and crocins. Studies have suggested that these molecules can target the Toll-like receptors (TLR), which are involved in the regulation of various transcription factors, such as the nuclear factor (NF-κB), but also in the triggering of pro-inflammatory signalling pathways.

Furthermore, NF-κB plays a crucial role in the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines such as interleukins-1 and 2 (IL-1 and IL-2) and interferon-gamma (IFN-γ) in T lymphocytes. Researchers have shown that saffron is capable of suppressing the activity of NF-κB via the inhibition of IκB kinase phosphorylation. Thus, the application of saffron extract on the scalp can alleviate itching.

Saffron for hydrating the hair and preventing its breakage.

Providing daily adequate hydration to one's hair is necessary. Indeed, if not properly or sufficiently hydrated, hair tends to become dry and break easily. This increases the likelihood of split ends appearing.

Saffron extract is rich in polysaccharides (mannan, glucomannan, and galactomannan). These long-chain sugar molecules contain hydroxyl groups (-OH) that create a hydrophilic environment. They thus retain water molecules, limiting their natural evaporation. Furthermore, it has been shown that these molecules also act by forming a protective film on the surface of hair fibres to maintain hydration and combat dryness.

Please note : no study has been conducted on the moisturising properties of saffron extract itself on hair. Only the effects of polysaccharides have been studied. By indirect evidence, we can assume that saffron extract also possesses this action since it contains polysaccharides.

Saffron to slow down the appearance of white hair?

The application of a treatment enriched with saffron extract on the hair fibre could potentially slow down the greying of hair. This assumption is due to the presence of crocins, crocetin, and safranal in its composition. These are recognised antioxidants capable of combating free radicals, reactive species that can weaken the hair bulb, and promote hair loss and split ends. Its application to the hair thus helps to protect the hair from certain aggressions such as exposure to UV radiation or pollution.

Furthermore, antioxidants slow down the onset of grey hair, which a study has shown to be correlated with the presence of free radicals. Indeed, although the mechanism by which these operate at the level of hair fibres remains poorly understood, it appears that free radicals may trigger a chain reaction leading to the degradation of melanin, the pigment that gives hair its colour.

Note : While the action of antioxidants in slowing down the onset of white hair has been scientifically demonstrated, no study has been conducted on saffron extract itself. Therefore, we can only assume that this ingredient possesses this property, due to the antioxidants it contains.

Sources

  • SHOJAOSADATI S. & al. Evaluation of antioxidant activities of bioactive compounds and various extracts obtained from saffron (Crocus sativus L.): a review. Journal of Food Science and Technology (2015).

  • HOSSEINZADEH H. & al. Immunoregulatory and anti-inflammatory properties of Crocus sativus (Saffron) and its main active constituents: A review. Iranian Journal of Basic Medical Sciences (2019).

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