The Quillaja plant, or soapbark, is extremely versatile. It has a wide range of health benefits, and you can count a healthier scalp among them.
In fact, you’ll find this ingredient in our shampoo formulation. Why is that? Well, here’s a detailed explanation of precisely what soapbark can do for your hair and scalp:
What is Soapbark (Quillaja)?
Unless you’ve spent a lot of time in the Andes of South America, you’ve probably never seen a soapbark tree in real life. These trees are native to Chile, and while their flowers may be eye-catching, the actual medicinal benefits lie in the inner bark.
There are two critical parts of the soapbark tree that make it so useful: the tannins and the saponins. Together, the tannins and saponins may be able useful for:
- Treating minor colds or coughs
- Dealing with skin ulcers
- Reducing inflammation
- Boosting the immune system
- Improving dandruff or dry scalp
This “soapbark” contains saponins which can stop fungi and bacteria in their tracks, and prevent infection from reaching healthy cells. How Can Soapbark Help Thinning Hair?
While soapbark doesn’t directly combat hair loss, indigenous peoples have traditionally used it as a gentle, natural moisturizer for their hair and a natural remedy for dandruff or a dry scalp. Both conditions have to do with oil—dandruff results from too much oil, and dry scalp occurs when you don’t have enough.
Besides fighting off bacteria, the saponins naturally produce that “frothy layer,” you find in so many face cleansers or special soaps, which is why you’ll find this ingredient in a variety of skincare products. You can apply soapbark shampoos or moisturizers to the top of your hand in order to keep your scalp from becoming too oily (or to make sure it’s producing enough oil).
Quillaja Can Fight Off Inflammation in Your Scalp
Scalp conditions like dandruff can cause a lot of irritation and itchiness. When you’re constantly scratching your scalp, you can inflame the area. Using a soapbark product, which also has anti-inflammatory properties, might be able to calm some of this inflammation.
As we mentioned, soapbark probably won’t do much for your thinning hair—unless it’s directly related to inflammation, dandruff, or a similar scalp condition. It’s also usually not the main ingredient in most shampoos or skincare products, either.
Unless you specifically purchase soapbark shampoo, you’re more likely to find this ingredient near the bottom of the list than the top.
Keep in mind that you always want to talk with a doctor before you self-diagnose a scalp condition or use soapbark as a natural remedy. If you’ve never used a soapbark shampoo or moisturizer before, you run the risk of an allergic reaction.
Why Is Soap Bark (Quillaja) Included in Hair Care Products?
We included soap bark (quillaja) in our ingredients to act as a natural surfactant. Found only in the high altitudes of Chile, this sustainable tree bark acts as a mild, natural foaming agent to offer a nutrient-packed alternative to synthetic surfactants. Not only does this ingredient help provide the right consistency to our product but it also has side benefits as an anti-viral and anti-inflammatory.