Why you need to use dragon’s blood extract in your hair (yes, really)


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Photo: Twenty20/@Taniramaurer

Some beautifying ingredients are just…strange. Think blood, placenta, and, well, bacteria. Well, here’s another one for the books: dragon’s blood extract.

Found in certain skin-care and hair-care products, dragon’s blood comes from the dragon blood tree (not a Game of Thrones monster) and works wonders on your strands and complexion. “It’s an indigenous tree from Mexico and Ecuador called the dragon tree,” says Lucy Vincent Marr, company director of brand Sans[ceuticals], which uses the ingredient. “The resin looks like blood—it’s a black-red sap, and it has incredible benefits for the tree.”

She notes that the dark gum-like material actually protects the plant and keeps it alive and thriving. “It’s remarkable as a highly antibacterial extract,” says Marr. “Its intense healing properties work as a defense for the tree against pathogens, viruses, diseases, and pests. So that’s why people started to look at what it can do for humans.”

“It has a thickening and plumping effect on the hair fiber.”

Turns out it can give you a good hair day and really texturize your tresses. “We use it in our volumizing formulation because it has a thickening and plumping effect on the hair fiber,” says Marr. “Dragon’s blood also has a really beautiful smoothing power for your hair without weighing it down, so it smooths and fattens the hair fiber for added body.” Yes, please.

But it’s not just for your locks—you can use dragon’s blood extract for your skin, too. “It has high anti-inflammatory properties, and since inflammation’s the accelerator of aging, you’ll probably start seeing dragon’s blood in anti-aging skin care,” she says. “It has the ability to calm inflammation and minimize free radical damage.”

Cosmetic chemist and president and CEO of Grace Kingdom Beauty Grace King agrees on dragon blood extract’s skin and hair-boosting powers, noting that it was trendy a few years ago. “It has healing properties via anti-inflammation and helps seal your skin’s barrier for quicker recovery,” says King. “It works as an antioxidant for both your skin and hair.”

Slather it on and prepare for Khaleesi locks.

For more anti-inflammatory benefits, try blue tansy or turmeric in your beauty products. 

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