The beauty industry has seen plenty of unconventional ingredients and treatments trending among consumers. Although it doesn’t sound half as exotic as coconut oil, the use of placenta is currently trending.

What is placenta oil?

The placenta is the organ that feeds a baby while it is still in the mother’s womb. It turns out that cosmetics companies have been using placenta extract in products for years without openly advertising it, as the notion of applying birth matter to the face and hair might not appeal to all. The secret is out, however, and product labels now conspicuously state its use. If you are a little put off, be advised that the oil is typically derived from sheep and horse placentas, and not human organs.

Why placenta oil?

Placenta is high in hormones and proteins such as oestrogen and progesterone (a hormone produced in the ovaries), which help to moisturise hair and strengthen the hair follicle (think how thick and shiny your hair is during pregnancy). Placenta oil increases blood vessel formation and blood flow to the follicles that results in positive effects on hair growth, and acts as an emollient to lock in moisture and increase shine. It is recommended for overly processed, heat damaged or otherwise lacklustre hair.

The verdict

The product needs to be applied to the hair and massaged into the scalp two to three times weekly. Like any topical treatment, you will need to use it consistently for a few months before the product can work its magic. If you still have some reservations, try approach the idea of using placenta oil the same way you approach the idea of using an egg on your hair – the egg is also essentially birth matter. If you’re brave enough, why don’t you put it the test? If the placenta has already done its natural purpose and it’s not being used any more, why not put in it your hair?