what is hemisqualane

Hemisqualane is the lightweight silicone alternative that leaves hair shiny, repaired and protected

Posted by for Hair

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Similar in consistency to water, hemisqualane haircare is not to be slept on.

There are certain ingredients that really have their 15 minutes in the skincare world. First, it was hyaluronic acid, a powerhouse hydrator that attracts moisture and transforms thirsty skin. Then, vitamin C, so beloved for the way it brightens and evens out uneven skin tone. More recently, we’ve seen tranexamic acid, glycolic acid, vitamin A (also known as retinol), salicylic acid and ceramides breach the fringe and become mainstream skincare ingredients. 

In the haircare world, there’s one ingredient making hair healthier and happier, which is just on the cusp of blowing up. Enter hemisqualane. 

What is hemisqualane?

A silicone alternative, hemisqualane is a frizz-fighting lightweight oil, that’s suitable for all hair types. It coats the hair much like a silicone would, smoothing, repairing and adding shine, without causing the associated difficult-to-remove build-up that comes with it.

If you’re thinking hemisqualane sounds an awful lot like the popular skincare ingredient squalane, you’re on the money. Like squalane, hemisqualane is a sugarcane derivative. However, hemisqualane is a lighter molecule – meaning it won’t cause excess grease or heaviness in the hair when used correctly. 

While hemisqualane can be used daily, it’s best to be conservative with how much you apply to the hair. It works hard, so don’t glob too much on and then be stuck on the wrong side of greasy. 

Fortunately, haircare brands such as JVN Hair, Dr Barbara Sturm and The Ordinary are already creating innovative products that incorporate hemisqualane into their formulas. Here are five to try.

  • JVN Hair Air Dry Cream

    Hemisqualane Hair

    One of JVN’s staple products, the Air Dry Cream keeps hair in a gentle hold and protects against humidity and UV damage. Hemisqualane works to strengthen and repair the hair, reducing damage, while moringa seed oil adds softness and shine. 

    Shop JVN Hair Air Dry Cream at Space NK, £21

  • JVN Hair Pre-Wash Scalp Oil

    Hemisqualane Hair

    One to use before your normal wash routine, this pre-shampoo oil treatment smooths the hair, while also adding strength, reducing hair loss and soothing the scalp.

    Shop JVN Hair Pre-Wash Scalp Oil at Space NK, £24

  • Beautifully Bamboo Hemisqualane

    Hemisqualane Hair

    Another pure hemisqualane option, the lightweight (it has a water-like consistency) oil can be used on your skin or in your hair. It’s easily absorbable and adds beautiful shine and lustre. 

    Shop Beautifully Bamboo Hemisqualane, £6.12

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