The birth of a new haircare trend Placenta shampoo claims to leave hair 'shiny and bouncy' – and now it's going mainstream
22:01 GMT, 28 August 2012
Facials containing extracts of animal placenta have been one of the latest fads to hit Hollywood, but now the ingredient is starting to attract the attention of the mainstream beauty industry.
It's claimed the structure, also known as afterbirth, which forms around the fetus in the first stage of all mammalian pregnancies, can help rejuvenate body cells and ward off signs of aging.
While the ingredient has been widely used by A-listers such as Victoria
Beckham during 320-a-time cosmetic treatments, it is now becoming
increasingly popular in products including face creams and shampoos.
An increasing amount of beauty products are featuring placenta extract
La Bella shampoo and conditioner, stocked at several retailers including Amazon.com and Walgreens claims to contain a 'special placenta enzyme', which will help restore 'shine and bounce' to hair.
While Hask Placenta No Rinse Hair Repair Treatment promises to 'nourish your dull, frizzy hair' and 'restore life and luster'.
Both products use extracts of cow and sheep placenta in their formulations and it only in traditional Chinese medicines that the human equivalent has been used.
Beauty trend: La Bella Placenta & Vitamin E Moisturizing Shampoo (left) and
Hask 'n' Placenta intensive treatment (right)
Describing how her mother first introduced her to the natural extract as a child Huffington Post's Erica Cheung said:'My mother would take me to the kitchen,
sit me on a bar stool and prepare a beauty concoction for my hair in a
'She would heat it over a flame (usually on the stove)
and when the liquid was hot, but not boiling, she would distribute it
over my chocolate brown hair, concentrating on the scalp.
'The concoction consisted of almond oil, tomato juice and placenta. Yes, placenta — like afterbirth.
Packed with nutrients: The placenta is rich in proteins and zinc
PLACENTA: WHAT IS IT
placenta is an organ that connects the developing fetus to the uterine
wall to allow nutrient uptake, waste elimination, and gas exchange via
the mother's blood supplyThe word placenta comes from the Latin word for cakeThe placenta often plays an important role in various cultures, with many societies conducting rituals regarding its disposalIn
the Western world, the placenta is most often incinerated, however in
some cultures, the placenta is eaten – a practice known as placentophagy
'At the time, I didn't realize that what my mom was putting in my hair came from a living thing's uterus.
'In all honesty, the placenta smelled
really good and looked like vegetable oil. The bi-weekly event became a
beauty ritual and I've used placenta my whole life because of it.
'The memory of my mother lathering
afterbirth all over my head is akin to other memories of her teaching me
how to braid my hair or going to buy my first bra. It was all very
normal to me!'
Cheung recommends US stores such as Ricky's or Sally's for hair treatments made from placenta.
One of her favourite products is Hask Placenta No-Rise Instant Hair Repair Treatment and after use she describes that her hair 'feels soft and smells really good for days'.
The practice of using placenta on the hair and skin is believed to have been popular in ancient Egypt, while Marie Antoinette is believed to have consumed it as a nutritious drink.