What is Irish Sea Moss and Why Is It In My Hair Products?

What is Irish Sea Moss and Why Is It In My Hair Products?

Posted by Lisa C. on

The latest ingredient that seems to be popping up everywhere is Sea Moss, or as it is also known, Irish Sea Moss or Chondrus Crispus.  There is also two other common types you might see called Genus Gracilaria and Eucheuma Cottonii.

What is Irish Sea Moss?

Irish Sea Moss is a type of red algae that is native to the Atlantic shorelines of North America, Europe, and the Caribbean islands. It is rich in amino acids, vitamins A and C, Omega 3, and minerals.  It is very sticky and thick and people are using it internally and externally for hair and skin.  Like flax seeds, you can make a gel from it: it can be boiled or soaked overnight, then you can use the water/gel leftover.  Also like homemade flaxseed gel, it has no preservatives so it should be refrigerated and will last up to about one month.

What are the benefits of Irish Sea Moss?

Sea moss is great at providing shine, keeping your hair smooth, and helping prevent tangles. It is also easy on your scalp and can help reduce breakage.

Sea Moss is a film-forming humectant.  It helps retain moisture (water) in your hair's cortex.  It works like other humectants but because it is not as simple as glycerin, propylene glycol, and sorbitol, it slows down the amount of water being drawn in and out of the hair.  This makes it ideal in high humidity climates, places with high dew points, as well as those with cold weather that may be low humidity and dry.

Similar ingredients to Irish Sea Moss

Other ingredients that are film forming humectants are listed below. These are some other things to look for in your products that are great at controlling the water in your hair.

  • Flax seed
  • Aloe Vera
  • Hydroxyethylcellulose
  • Slippery Elm
  • Okra Gel
  • Pectin
  • Xanthan gum
  • Marshmallow root
  • Protein (hydrolyzed, amino acids, peptides)

Products containing Sea Moss / Irish Sea Moss

At Curl Warehouse we have a number of products with this ingredient for you to try! It may seem like it's suddenly making its way into formulas but actually it's been used in hair care products for some time. I have included some recommendations below:

To finish, I would suggest reading this blog post from Science-y Hair Blog about film forming humectants as a reference if you'd like to go more in depth as to how they work.

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