Friday, 31 January 2014

Ghana Hair Chick's Letters: Does your scalp absorb nutrients?

Hello beautiful Naturalistas! I hope everyone is doing great. After the last post on whether it is important to do an ACV rinse on our hair, a question was raised that I'd like to address today.

Q:Can the scalp absorb nutrients?

A:This is a very debatable issue, and even in research, is still a question that hasn't been answered. Very little work has actually been done to see if the scalp is capable of absorbing nutrients.
However, there are a few scientific research articles I cam across from years ago that were investigating the absorption of testosterone, insulin and pancreatin through some parts of the body including the scalp. These were experiments focused on other aims, but generally they all found that the scalp is capable of absorbing all three of these compounds. I have also seen a few other articles make a passing mention of the scalp's ability to absorb elements such as mercury. Unfortunately, I haven't come across any research that is attempting to see what specific nutrients may be absorbed by the scalp.
Source
Based on what has been reported with the compounds above, we can attempt to make inferences about the scalp's ability to absorb actual nutrients from the products we put on it. In order for absorption to take place, the compound to be absorbed needs to be small enough to be absorbed by the membrane of the scalp. One way to get the size of these molecules would be to look at their molecular weights. Since we already know that testosterone can be absorbed through the scalp, we can make a reasonable assumption that most molecules smaller than testosterone can be absorbed as well. Testosterone has a molecular weight of 288.42g/mol.
With a little research, the molecular weights of some of the most common nutrients we might want our hair to absorb include

1.Keratin=44-56kDa =44,000-56,000g/mol (1Da=1g/mol)
2.Biotin/Vitamin H=244.31 g/mol
3.Vitamin E=430.7g/mol
4.Vitamin A=286.45g/mol

Generally, I found that most vitamins range in molecular weight from 175-1500g/mol. I couldn't come up with much more nutrients we might want our hair to absorb so this is where I stopped. As you can
Source
already see from the list, only a few vitamins are smaller than testosterone and so could possibly be absorbed by the scalp. Keratin is much too big to be absorbed, which will generally be the case for most proteins. Even though this wasn't an actual experiment, we can still get a fair idea.
Therefore, to answer the question it is indeed possible for the scalp to absorb certain nutrients. However, the size of the molecule in question will play a very big determinant role.
I hope this post has been helpful to you.


IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT:There is currently a contest ongoing. The first person to comment on this post or any other post from today will get N500 airtime from the African Naturalistas team. This contest is open to all our readers in Nigeria and will run  until further notice. You will have to be the first to post a comment with a question or topic to be addressed in the next post in order to win the airtime. Happy commenting and see you again next time!
The Ghana Hair Chick

6 comments :

  1. Well i dont think that it does. I think that we can do things to moisturise the scalp to keep it healthy and open up the pores eg putting peppermint oil but that is about it. Everything healthwise is taken internal.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Fediben! I quite agree with you until research proves otherwise.Let's hope someone decides to study this!Thanks for reading and commenting..:)

      Delete
  2. Ha! Aĺl the grammar.
    Thanks for the info. My question is, can we apply products directly to the scalp. I dont like it much because it could cause lots of product build up.
    Thanks

    ReplyDelete
  3. Well i dont think that it does. I think that we can do things to moisturise the scalp to keep it healthy and open up the pores eg putting peppermint oil but that is about it. Everything healthwise is taken internal.
    email: fggcbenincity@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  4. Ha! Aĺl the grammar.
    Thanks for the info. My question is, can we apply products directly to the scalp. I dont like it much because it could cause lots of product build up.
    Thanks
    ekanem.idy@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Idy! Thats a very good question. Product build-up is something to be concerned about for sure, but I think that most of the products we can apply to our scalps are mainly oils and maybe water. Can't think of anything else right now, but I'm going to do some reading on that and see what I can come up with. Sorry about the grammar oo..lol..thanks for reading and commenting!

      Delete

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