CHAR­COAL 101

ELLE (Canada) - - Beauty -

This is not your bar­be­cue’s char­coal. Ac­ti­vated char­coal is car­bon sourced from cer­tain types of bam­boo and wood. Known for its gen­tle but deep cleans­ing, this super-buzzy in­gre­di­ent can be found in ev­ery­thing from tooth­paste to de­odor­ant and now hair care.

HOW IT WORKS

Ac­ti­vated char­coal acts like a mag­net, gen­tly pulling oil and dirt from sur­faces so that they are washed away when rinsed. That’s why you’ll find char­coal in many of your favourite fa­cial cleansers and ex­fo­lia­tors. What does this mean for hair? Well, skin and hair share many of the same ge­netic build­ing blocks, so ac­ti­vated char­coal can help rid strands of im­pu­ri­ties like prod­uct buildup, scalp oil and pol­lu­tion—with­out dam­ag­ing them. “It works along the sur­face of the hair, cleans­ing with­out dis­rupt­ing the fi­bre,” says Dr. Jeni Thomas, Pan­tene prin­ci­pal sci­en­tist.

WHO CAN USE IT?

Any­one, re­ally. But be­cause char­coal is a deep cleanser, it’s a great op­tion for women who go a few days be­tween washes. (Guilty.) This is im­por­tant not only for hair health— char­coal can help re­set scalp’s oil bal­ance—it can also make the dif­fer­ence be­tween a good hair day and a bad hair day. Stud­ies show that hair can take on weight from buildup in just three days, chang­ing the way it be­haves and the way it moves, ac­cord­ing to Thomas.

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