Why Charcoal May Be Your Scalp Savior
When you hear charcoal you may think of a BBQ grill or even the coal you don’t want to find in a Christmas stocking, but charcoal can actually play a role in your health, too. Activated charcoal, in particular, has been deemed an antibacterial for its ability to bind and pull out toxins in poisonings; there’s also some evidence that it can treat gastrointestinal issues, high cholesterol, and bile flow issues during pregnancy (known as cholestasis).
But first, let’s define it. Charcoal is the carbon material made after heating plant matter (i.e. wood or shells). If you heat that charcoal at a super high temperature, you get activated charcoal, a fine black powder that’s highly adsorbent and porous. Each of these pores has a negative charge, which attracts the positive charge of toxins and gases—which is why activated charcoal has been considered a successful antidote for GI issues and poisonings.
There are a variety of activated charcoal types, including bamboo charcoal (from the bamboo plant) and Binchotan, named after Japanese charcoal artisan Binchoya Chozaemon and derived from the ubame oak tree. Sometimes called “white charcoal,” these are the black short sticks you may have seen in carafes to purify water.
These days, a quick scan of the beauty aisle means seeing plenty of products that incorporate charcoal into their recipes. The idea is activated charcoal has the potential to remove impurities and detoxify the skin and hair. That’s why you’ll find it in facial cleansers, masks, and even toothpaste and deodorants. Keep in mind that more research needs to be performed, but there’s anecdotal evidence that activated charcoal can help with skin ulcers and insect bites.
It can be a helpful hair tool as well. Here at Prose we use both bamboo and Binchotan forms of activated charcoal in our dry shampoo to detoxify your scalp while removing buildup and restoring balance. (We’re especially proud to use bamboo charcoal as it comes from a highly renewable resource.) Our bamboo charcoal is also used in our scalp mask to help draw out impurities and remove any excess sebum, making it ideal for anyone who is dealing with a smelly scalp (we include a natural eucalyptus oil in our formula for freshness!) or any unwanted buildup.