Benefits of Micelles for Hair
Micelles are oil-in-water suspensions that act as surfactants when applied to the hair and scalp. Surfactants are cleaning agents that substitute soap, and they work by weakening the physicochemical binding between impurities and the hair.
Surfactants dissolve these impurities, preventing them from binding to the hair shaft or the scalp. Micelles are molecules composed of charged atoms called ions, which are often made up of hydrophilic ends (water-loving) and hydrophobic ends (oil-loving). Micellar cleansers provide gentle cleansing of impurities like dirt, excess oil, and hair products without stripping the hair.
Gently cleanses the scalp and hair:
Both experts agree that micelles provide gentle cleansing to the scalp and hair that does not strip them of their natural oils. "Micelles are used as a super gentle method of cleansing; micelles are oil-in-water suspensions, essentially surfactants, that attract dirt and bacteria, but gently, without stripping moisture from your hair or skin," Nazarian says.
Prevents excess oil production:
While micelles help to cleanse the scalp and hair of excess oil, they can also prevent the production of these oils. Bird says micelles are great for people with oily hair, as oil overproduction can happen if you strip the scalp of its oils, and micellar shampoo gently removes the oil without causing too much drying.
Cleans curls without sulfates:
Curly and wavy hair types often avoid or infrequently use products that contain sulfates, as they can be drying and disruptive to their curl pattern. Bird says micellar shampoos are safe for all hair types, including color-treated hair, as they are sulfate-free.
Removes pollutants from hair:
Micelles are useful for cleansing the scalp and hair because the hydrophobic ends attract and remove sebum (excess oil) and product buildup (including dry shampoo), and the hydrophilic ends attract and remove harsh minerals, dirt, and pollution. Pollutants can leave lingering scents on the hair, so micelles work to remove these odors, as well.
Boosts overall scalp health:
Excess oil production and buildup can lead to an oily scalp and other issues. Micellar cleansers work to remove these impurities and maintain the integrity of the scalp's skin barrier.