Whether from stress, hormones, aging or illness, hair thinning, and hair loss can happen to anyone. While hair naturally goes through cycles of increased shedding, if you’re finding more than your fair share in your brush or shower basin, it may be time for a Fol-on intervention. Today we’re diving deep into Maya Chia’s approach to scalp wellness with their newest Hero product, Power Fol Advanced Multi-Correctional Scalp and Hair Treatment, a natural solution for hair loss. Power Fol is a weightless leave-in serum that nourishes the scalp and hair follicles, encourages hair density and fullness, and reduces hair thinning that can lead to significant hair loss.
So Fol Of It
Hair growth doesn’t happen overnight. (Well okay, it does, but veeery slowly.) Maya Chia’s Power Fol addresses the short term and long term needs of those who are waiting patiently to see visible results of treatment. While you’re waiting for your hair to grow, Power Fol provides immediately visible volume to the hair shaft with a nutrient-dense, clinically proven, proprietary blend of pea peptides, amino acids, vegan collagen, photo-actives and adaptogens. Not surprisingly, caffeine is included to boost cellular activity and inspire hair growth in the root of the hair follicle, increasing the appearance of thicker, fuller hair.
Through Thick and Thin
While Power Fol delivers immediate gratification by boosting volume, it’s also working under the scalp’s surface to hinder hair loss. Power Fol is uniquely formulated with three plant-based actives – Ginseng Extract, Saw Palmetto and Red Clover Flower – each chosen for their ability to inhibit 5 alpha reductases, the enzyme that converts testosterone into the hair-ravaging androgen, dihydrotestosterone.
The Skinny on the Scalp
Just like the skin, the scalp’s microbiome must be healthy, hydrated and balanced in order to grow strong, nourished hair. Maya Chia incorporates many of the same scientifically proven ingredients used in their award-winning clean skincare line into Power Fol’s innovative formula to nourish the scalp and hair follicle. Hydrolyzed lupine peptides deliver vitamins, minerals and essential nutrients, while curcumin, astaxanthin and chia seed oil deliver unrivaled antioxidant protection and strengthen skin barrier function. Ashwagandha reduces stress hormones that may lead to hair thinning.
Hair loss can be a result of hormonal fluctuations, increased stress and cortisol, is often experienced post-partum, as well as being hereditary. Until now, there hasn’t been a targeted solution that was packed with completely healthy ingredients that perform as a natural solution to hair loss. There’s a lot to learn about hair loss, so I’ve asked Maya Chia Founder Susanne Norwitz to walk us through the details. And, to offer her clinical perspective, Dr. Meryl Joerg, Assistant Clinical Professor of Dermatology at Mt. Sinai, weighs in on what makes Power Fol uniquely effective, as a non-prescription, clean natural solution for hair loss.
Jeannie Jarnot: What inspired you to formulate a scalp and hair treatment?
Susanne Norwitz: When I sit down to create a new product, it always starts with some type of personal life experience. In my case, my hair began thinning about 2 to 2 ½ and years ago. I cannot pinpoint if it was stress, hormones or due to aging – but I began to see more and more hair in my hairbrush and in the basin of my shower. That’s what inspired Power Fol.
JJ: So, why not just get prescribed a hair growth treatment?
While I don’t like using the word “toxic” per se, as it sounds so judge-y to me, there are many ingredients that we would not use to formulate what we deem a clean and natural product. Also, at the very least, many of these conventional products are highly irritating and drying to the scalp. We have taken a different approach, albeit science-based approach – but we merged that approach with ingredients that would also nourish the scalp.
JJ: What was your formulation process, and what were you trying to achieve?
SN: My process is always the same. I set out to create what I would want the ideal product to be – I may never reach it, but I sure try very hard. I scour the planet to find the best ingredients, and in this case ones with clinical trials behind them. I wanted to create a product that worked seamlessly into any regular person’s regimen, was a delight to use and that really worked – and worked exceptionally well to encourage healthy new hair fullness and density.
JJ: What makes Power Fol unique in the hair loss category and in clean beauty?
SN: I’m proud to say that Power Fol is unique in quite a few ways. First, it incorporates the most scientific advanced clean ingredients for a healthy scalp and hair complimented with time-tested ingredients such adaptogenic Ashwagandha. It is also easy to use, easy to incorporate into your existing regimen because it’s not oily – it is so lightweight. And while you are waiting for your hair to grow (as hair growth does not happen overnight) – the formulation provides visible immediate volume to the hair shaft.
JJ: Can you tell us more about the ingredients?
SN: Yes, I like to think of it in two parts; first there is preventing hair thinning. The primary mode of action of these ingredients is through inhibiting DHT production by inhibiting 5 alpha reductases, the enzyme responsible for converting testosterone into dihydrotestosterone. These three actives – Ginseng Extract, Saw Palmetto and Red Clover Flower – all inhibit 5 alpha reductase, they each have their own unique characteristics with studies to support them:
- Red Clover Flower has been shown in studies to inhibit 5 alpha reductases by 64%, help to decrease inflammation by decreasing cytokine production, and help to create a stronger anchor for the hair follicle by increasing the production of the anchor proteins.
- Saw Palmetto, also known as Serenoa Repens, has been studied in males with Androgenetic Alopecia and has been shown in studies to inhibit 5 alpha reductase – leading to the reduction of hair thinning with minimal side effects.
- Ginseng Extract, “The root of life,” contains a group of compounds known as ginsenosides that studies have shown target the dermal papilla – the root of a hair follicle – in a number of ways to help decrease hair thinning while simultaneously helping promote hair density and fullness. Studies show that ginsenosides actively work to inhibit DHT production and encourage hair density and fullness.
Now let’s touch on some of Power Fol’s actives that work to encourage hair density and fullness via different and complementary modes of action. This group of powerhouse ingredients includes Multiple Peptides, Chinese Skullcap, Vegetable Collagen, and Caffeine:
- Pea Peptides are a legume rich in proteins and have one of the highest concentrations of fiber and protein per gram. They have been studied for the ability to help encourage hair density and fullness. The Pea Peptides should also provide immediate visible lift to the hair in addition to long-term benefits. A third-party study showed Pea Peptide Proteins helped to increase the production of vital genes responsible for signaling new hair growth – FGF7 and Noggin which showed a 56% and 85% increase, respectively.
- Chinese Skullcap has been shown in studies to promote hair density and fullness by activating TERT expression, helping to promote dormant stem cells in the dermal papilla to enter the anagen hair growing phase sooner. In a study, 60.6% reduction in hair thinning was seen after 90 days of daily use.
- Collagen, derived from a vegetable source, comprises several amino acids, some of which are also used by the body to create keratin, the protein that forms hair. It has antioxidant properties and has been evidenced in studies to help fight free radicals in the body and help re-generate dormant hair follicles, which aids in the promotion of hair density and fullness and prevention of hair thinning.
- Acetyl Tetrapeptide-3 is a biomimetic peptide made up of 4 main amino acids that help to stimulate tissue regeneration. Acetyl Tetrapeptide-3 has been shown in clinical studies to stimulate the dermal papilla proteins which directly affects the area surrounding hair follicles, helping to anchor the hair into the scalp. When combined with Red Clover Extract, the benefits can be accelerated helping to improve blood circulation to the roots, helping to increase visible thickness and hair volume.
- Research studies have shown Caffeine can provide energy to the cells to help stimulate new hair growth in the root of the hair follicle, increase the growing phase of a hair follicle and promote a longer hair shaft – all leading to the appearance of healthier, thicker hair.
And then, there’s overall Hair Wellness, which is also so important. Keeping your scalp and hair follicles healthy is essential for growing strong, nourished hair, which is why Power Fol incorporates ingredients that provide a wide array of benefits to the scalp and hair follicle. Just to name a few – Hydrolyzed Lupine Peptides, Ashwagandha, Fermented minerals, Astaxanthin, and of course, Chia Seed Oil.
- Hydrolyzed Lupine Peptides, the hydrolyzed protein from white lupine seeds, acts as an excellent source of vitamins, minerals and peptides that help to provide the essential nutrients needed to keep the scalp healthy.
- The super nutrients in Power Fol are delivered in an ultra-lightweight Ashwagandha infusion base designed to be light enough to be worn on the scalp during the day or night. Ashwagandha extract is a plant used in Ayurveda for over 3,000 years. It has been proven to reduce the stress hormone cortisol, by up to 30.5%. High stress levels are one of many reasons for hair thinning.
- Fermented minerals such as Magnesium, Iron, Zinc and Copper. Minerals are not synthesized in the body but play a key role in many of its functions including stronger, denser, healthier hair.
- Astaxanthin is one of nature’s strongest antioxidants – 65x stronger than Vitamin C in combating free radicals. Therefore, it assists in preventing follicle-damaging oxidative stress.
- Curcumin is a powerful antioxidant found in turmeric that has been studied for its anti-inflammatory properties as well as its ability to inhibit 5 alpha reductases, the enzyme responsible for converting testosterone into dihydrotestosterone. In a third-party, study daily application of curcumin led to the appearance of denser and fuller hair.
- Chia Seed Oil has been clinically proven to significantly increase skin hydration, reduce trans epidermal water thinning and increase the skin barrier function.
JJ: How did you first meet Dr. Joerg? What were her first impressions about Power Fol when you shared it with her?
SN: I met Dr. Joerg through a family friend. She has a stellar reputation as a Clinical Professor at Mount Sinai and is one of the leading dermatologists in New York City. When I first told her about the idea – and more importantly the ingredients – she was genuinely excited. Meryl is predisposed to an organic lifestyle and reducing your toxic load when necessary, so she was very intrigued. She also was familiar with many of the ingredients we were using – and was wowed by how comprehensive the formulation of Power Fol is, now that it’s come to life.
Jeannie Jarnot: How often do patients come to you for support for thinning hair or hair loss?
Dr. Meryl Joerg: Literally every day in my practice in New York City, I see patients come into my office concerned about hair thinning – and hair loss. Some days I see multiple patients. Hair thinning and shedding have so much to do with stress, and I think most people can relate to feeling increased stress during the past couple of years. Also, another condition I see a lot of, and one we don’t talk enough about, is post-partum hair thinning and hair loss. This is very disconcerting but there are very effective things we can do to speed the hair re-growth.
JJ: What is the root cause of hair loss?
DMJ: There are many factors that influence hair loss – hormonal fluctuations, aging, stress, illness, genetics. Each person is different and oftentimes it is caused by a combination of these triggers.
JJ: Is it the same in men and women?
DMJ: I would not say it’s the same, but there are some similarities. One of the most common causes of hair loss in both men and women is a genetic condition called androgenic alopecia. Androgenic alopecia is a hair loss condition due to shifts in male hormones called androgens— or dihydrotestosterone (DHT). Men and women both have these hormones, which help regulate hair growth among other functions in the body. High levels of androgens can lead to androgenic alopecia.
JJ: What are the traditional treatments and prescriptions for these conditions?
DMJ: Minoxidil (Rogaine), Propecia, retinoids and topical steroids are the go-tos for dermatologists.
JJ: What are some ingredients in traditional prescriptions that might be problematic?
DMJ: Agents in Minoxidil can be irritating to the scalp, for example. Also, steroids can thin the skin on the scalp.
JJ: What results can people expect to see when using Power Fol, and how long should they wait to expect to see results?
DMJ: Power Fol is very interesting as the ingredients are known to help to stimulate the hair follicle to go from the resting phase to the growth phase of the hair cycle. A decrease in hair shedding can be seen as early as 3 months (if not sooner) and fuller, denser hair in 6-9 months (if not sooner).
JJ: What do you think Susanne and Maya Chia have achieved with this product?
DMJ: Power Fol’s ingredients work similarly to medications prescribed by dermatologists to both stimulate hair growth and prevent hair loss. Power Fol uses active ingredients such as peptides, botanicals, vitamins, and minerals that together promote hair growth similarly to prescription medications. The formula approaches hair loss in a similar manner as dermatologists yet uses natural ingredients to achieve the same effect. I’m a firm believer that when it makes sense, and efficacy is not compromised, one should reduce your toxic load incrementally and go with the more natural option. Power Fol’s comprehensive set of botanical ingredients are nutrient-rich and have strong pro-growth, anti-androgen, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, properties similar to prescription and OTC meds recommended by dermatologists and I think it’s an amazing natural solution to hair loss.
JJ: Would you recommend Power Fol to someone who has lost their hair as result of chemotherapy?
DMJ: I would always suggest the patient consult with their physicians, but overall, I would say this is an excellent natural alternative to traditional hair growth treatments recommended by dermatologists.