Nutrafol Just Added a New Conditioner to Its Scalp Care Line—Here's Everything to Know

·4 min read
Photo credit: Images courtesy of Nutrafol
Photo credit: Images courtesy of Nutrafol


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When it comes to getting healthier hair at home, there are a number of brands that prioritize the use of topical treatments to fortify weak or damaged hair, and encourage its growth. For years, Nutrafol, primarily known for its popular, dermatologist-approved range of hair growth supplements for men and women, has aimed to treat the internal causes of loss and thinning instead.

"Nutrafol was really at the forefront of hair wellness from within," Sam Archer, VP of product marketing and innovation at Nutrafol, tells BAZAAR.com. "When we introduced our line five-plus years ago, it was really brand-new in terms of how people looked at hair. It wasn't just about producing vitamins and things like that for hair and its growth, but really about getting to its root causes, specifically through different biological life stages for men and women."

Photo credit: Nutrafol
Photo credit: Nutrafol

To complement the efforts of its recently released vegan, sulfate-, and paraben-free Scalp Microbiome collection, Nutrafol has launched a new addition to its topical product line: introducing the brand's featherweight Strand Defender conditioner. "Strand Defender is a clinically effective conditioner that strengthens the hair cortex and improves elasticity so it stays strong, smooth, and healthy," explains board-certified dermatologist Chesahna Kindred. "The conditioner protects hair strands at multiple levels of the cuticle and the cortex to strengthen hair from the inside out, so that hair can stay strong, smooth and healthy once it leaves the scalp. Strand Defender works to ensure hair is protected before it becomes dry and damaged."

The Strand Defender is designed to rinse out after two minutes, but for a deeper conditioning experience can be left on the hair for up to 10. It features ingredients like ximenia oil, which powers its overall hydration, sea buckthorn, to protect the hair cuticle, plus aspergillus and arginine, fermented amino acids that support damaged bonds and minimize the appearance of damage.

The initial Scalp Microbiome collection consists of three key care essentials powered by natural ingredients: the Root Purifier Shampoo, Stress Reliever Essence, and exfoliating Build-Up Blocker Mask. While the Growth Activator works directly on the scalp to boost cell renewal for thicker and stronger hair, the Scalp Microbiome collection is designed to fortify the actual ecosystem living on the scalp barrier, which ultimately is what keeps the area protected and healthy for hair to thrive.

"Our scalps and strands have independent biological makeup and daily stressors, requiring an individualized approach," says Kindred. "Nutrafol’s Root Purifier shampoo and Strand Defender conditioner were developed based solely on the biological needs of the scalp and hair strands for an individualized approach. When paired together, the powerful duo balances the scalp microbiome for optimal hair health and continues to defend hair once it leaves the scalp."

Photo credit: Nutrafol
Photo credit: Nutrafol

Archer adds that when there are too many unhealthy microbes, or not enough diversity in the microbiome, the scalp becomes vulnerable to excess sebum, dryness, flakiness, and irritation, which can ultimately increase damage. "Microbiome has been a buzzword over the last five to 10 years; the gut microbiome probably is most commonly understood thanks to the development of probiotics. But our entire body is an ecosystem, and each person's individual microbiome is as unique as their fingerprints." As for the scalp specifically, Archer says, "Diving into the latest scientific knowledge on the scalp microbiome and what healthy diversity looks like there—how it affects hair concerns we're seeing so many people have and are reaching out to us about—is how we started out with this product line."

The Scalp Microbiome collection has gone through a number of professional clinical trials and has been in process for more than six years. The line not only aims to correct visual signs of scalp imbalance, but also serves as a continuation of the brand's philosophy to treat some of the root causes of hair loss. The Root Purifier Shampoo and Build-Up Blocker Mask optimize the scalp microbiome's pH levels and balance sebum production and product buildup, while the Stress Reliever Essence also balances oil while soothing dry, flaky scalps. Each of these products works in tandem to create a more optimal environment for new hair growth, which also helps take Nutrafol's already effective hair growth supplements to the next level.

"I'm excited about changing the [hair growth] conversation again, because there are so many misconceptions and so much out there that just doesn't work," Nutrafol founder Giorgos Tsetis says. "Women and men put all this stuff in their hair thinking that it's going to do something, but it doesn't. And now, being able to address the microbiome and raise awareness there—we're so evolved with everything related to skin health and care, but when it comes to hair, its growth environment is rarely taken into consideration. So this whole angle of bringing the scalp microbiome to this beautiful state of balance and allowing hair to thrive is something that's super exciting."

Nutrafol's Scalp Microbiome collection is available individually starting at $44 at nutrafol.com.

This story has been updated since publication.

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