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Why Pollution Doesn’t Stand a Chance Against Red Algae

August 13, 2020

1 Min read

Looking to the sea for beauty ingredients is nothing new, but the perks of red algae are more relevant than ever. It turns out that red algae is quite the multitasker and can do everything from deeply nourish locks to ward off the effects of pollution.

But first, let’s take a deep dive—pun intended—into red algae. One of the oldest groups of eukaryotic algae, red algae, or Rhodophyta, if you want to put on your science hat, is one of the largest phyla of algae with over 7,000 recognized species. The marine ingredient is famous for its health perks, including hair and skin benefits. Chock full of vitamins, minerals and amino acids to strengthen hair, algae is high in iodine, calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium, niacin and vitamins A, B1, B6, B2 and C.

Since red algae is able to easily process sunlight, it delivers antioxidant protection to hair and skin. Best of all, if sourced responsibly, it won’t take a toll on the environment. For example, Prose uses red algae that is a 100% natural origin active that’s sustainably produced in Brittany in northwestern France. The supplier taps into biotechnology to reduce the environmental footprint by using renewable raw materials.

Here’s exactly what red algae can do for your hair:

Protect it from pollution

Pollution isn’t just bad for the planet—it can also take a toll on your hair, leaving you with dull, dry and damaged strands. Your hair is exposed to pollution every time you walk out the door. Many air pollutants can provoke free radicals which are especially dangerous, since they can destroy hair color and wreak havoc on the lipids and proteins of the cuticle, which make up the hair’s natural barrier, leaving it susceptible to dehydration and damage. Free radicals are a nightmare for the scalp, since they can trigger irritation and sensitivity. They can lead to inflammation, which in turn can put sebum production in overdrive, leaving you with oily roots.

Over time, free radicals will devastate the hair follicle, slowing growth and possibly even causing hair loss. Red algae is excellent for detoxing and protecting the hair and scalp from the consequences of pollution. Plus, it guards colored hair from geo-aggressors, including air pollution, so you don’t have to worry about all that time at the salon being wasted. Red algae is loaded with peptides, carotenoids, sulfated polysaccharides and fatty acids, which help neutralize free radicals in the environment.

Promote hair strength

Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids promote hair growth and thicken strands—and red algae is rich in them. Red algae also contain iodine and when applied topically wards off microscopic fungus and bacteria that eat hair follicles, leading to hair thinning and loss.

Deliver shine

Since red algae is excellent at fighting off toxins, which can leave hair looking lifeless, it results in mirror-like shiny hair.

Deeply hydrate

Dry, thirsty locks need a lot of help in the moisture department, which is where red algae saves the day once more. In addition to delivering hydration, its natural fatty acids help hair from losing its natural moisture.

Strengthen strands

All those antioxidants naturally bulk up the hair and erase damage, boosting natural volume. Another bonus: Red algae even works to prevent future harm and breakage.

Be sure to stock up on hair care that contains red algae, especially if you live in a highly polluted area. Your stands will thank you.



Celia Shatzman is a Brooklyn-based writer who has penned stories on topics ranging from beauty to fashion, travel, celebrities, entertainment and more. A graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University, her work has appeared in Cosmopolitan, Forbes, Women’s Health, Marie Claire, New York,, and NYLON, among others. When she’s not writing, Celia enjoys traveling, learning to play tennis, and playing with her rescue dog, Watson. Check out her site at and follow her on Instagram (@celiashatzman).

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  1. I feel the shampoo that was picked for me is very harsh on my hair. It feels like straw after the shampoo and the ends remain very dry.

    I use the oil the hair mask the shampoo, conditioner and the brush that was recommened for my hair. Any suggestions?

    I am not blow drying my hair or using any product other than organic coloring.