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09th Jul 2022

People are now using this skincare product on their hair – and the results are unreal

Trine Jensen-Burke

Wait, WHAT?

These days, we mostly have TikTok to thank for a whole list of different trends and inventions – whether it involved food, fitness, fashion or beauty.

This latest one centres on hair – and in particular, how using a certain skincare product on your hair and scalp can actually give you the best hair of your life.

Less dandruff, less breakage, stronger tresses – what’s not to like.

It all started when TikTok user @phithegoldenskin, whose real name is An Nguyen, took to the video-sharing platform to show off how great her hair looked having used The Ordinary’s Glycolic solution on it.

“I have been using glycolic acid on my hair for a month. This is what happened,” she tells her followers as she drenches the product on her long locks and scalp.

Nguyen then reveals that the reason this product works so well on hair is that the molecules are so small, it allows them to lift excess sebum and product buildup, leaving you with a clean, fresh scalp.

@phithegoldenskin Glycolic Acid on hair ? #haircareroutine #hairtok #theordinary ♬ original sound – AnNguyen (Skin,Hair,Makeup )

“Glycolic acid molecules are very small, so they can penetrate the hair. It is also a fantastic exfoliant, so I have been using it on my scalp and hair, and my scalp is less flaky, and my hair seems to be stronger and shinier.”

What exactly is glycolic acid anyway?

Glycolic acid is an alpha hydroxy acid – or AHA as they are often referred to – that chemically exfoliates the skin by breaking down skin cells to give way to the smoother, newer ones underneath.

It is derived from sugar cane, and is much used these days in a variety of skincare products.

What is unique though, is the size of the molecule:

“Of the AHAs, glycolic is the simplest in structure and the smallest; it has the lowest molecular weight,” dermatologist Kenneth Howe explains to Glamour.

“That small molecular weight means it’s easy for it to penetrate your skin and be super effective.”

And it seems effective as it is on the skin, it might be working just as well on your hair and scalp.

Turns out, Nguyen is not alone in her love of using the product on her hair.

“Literally used glycolic yesterday and no dandruff,” TikTok user @calistatee claims, while in another clip, @annaytime gushes of her “refreshed and revived” scalp following the treatment.

Use with caution

Many skincare experts agree that not only can your skin be transformed with the use of glycolic acid, but also your scalp and hair, many are keen to stress that if you are using it, you need to do so correctly.

“I would advise using glycolic acid as a quick, rinse-off treatment,” says aesthetic doctor and founder of Luxe Skin, Usman Qureshi, to Refinery29.

“Glycolic acid is very powerful, and you should be using it maximum once a week to get effective results without irritating the scalp.”