Nutrafol’s newest product focuses on protecting the health of hair strands that have already grown from the scalp


The new Strand Defender conditioner protects hair strands that have already grown out of the scalp.

Nutrafol's new Strand Defender conditioner. Photo from Nutrafol.

Nutrafol's new Strand Defender conditioner. Photo from Nutrafol.

Nutrafol has launched yet another product that changes the conversation about how to keep hair healthy. Earlier this year, the company launched its Scalp Microbiome line of topical products—comprising a Build-Up Blocker exfoliating mask, Root Purifier shampoo, and Stress Reliever scalp essence—which together balance the scalp’s microbiome, resulting in a stronger scalp barrier and healthier hair growth. This August, Nutrafol is introducing a new product. But instead of focusing on optimizing the scalp’s microbiome, this new product focuses on protecting hair strands that have already grown out of the scalp.

The new Strand Defender conditioner works in tangent with the three products in the Scalp Microbiome line. The company explains that, while some haircare brands advertise products that “repair” hair damage, this concept is actually inaccurate, as “once the hair has left the scalp, the damage is done.” Instead, the company says, the goal should be to protect the hair strands that have grown from the scalp. This is what Strand Defender aims to do.

“We launched Strand Defender conditioner to complement our Scalp Microbiome Support line that we rolled out in June,” explains Sam Archer, Nutrafol’s vice president of product innovation and marketing, to Nutritional Outlook. “The Scalp Microbiome Support line is intended to balance the microbes on our scalp and create a healthy ecosystem for hair to thrive. Our Root Purifier shampoo is the best way to balance the scalp from oiliness, dryness, and pH, while Strand Defender conditioner focuses on the hair strands and uses natural, vegan ingredients to proactively protect the hair from damage, replenish moisture and elasticity, and defend against lifestyle and environmental aggressors to keep hair healthy and strong.”

She continues: “The needs of the scalp and the hair strands are very different. Balancing the scalp microbiome is important to reducing oiliness and dryness that affect the health of the hair, but once the hair has left the scalp, it is not a living organ so it can no longer repair itself; it must be protected from damage. Nutrafol’s Root Purifier shampoo and Strand Defender conditioner are formulated based on the hair biology of the scalp microbiome and hair shaft, respectively, forming a powerful duo that starts by balancing the scalp microbiome for optimal hair health and continues to defend hair as it grows.”

Strand Defender is silicone-free and includes such ingredients as ximenia oil “for silicone-free moisture”; sea buckthorn “to protect the hair cuticle”; and aspergillus and arginine, “which are fermented amino acids that protect the hair from damage,” Archer explains. The conditioner is vegan and lightweight and does not weigh hair down, she adds. Says the company: “The conditioner is formulated based on the biological makeup of the hair shaft and uses natural ingredients to proactively protect, replenish moisture and elasticity, and defend against lifestyle and environmental aggressors”—including chlorinated and salt water.

Nutrafol's Scalp Microbiome product line. Photo from Nutrafol.

Nutrafol's Scalp Microbiome product line. Photo from Nutrafol.

These ingredients work hand in hand with ingredients in the products in the Scalp Microbiome line. Archer outlines the other products’ key ingredients:

  • Build-Up Blocker: Key ingredients include alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) fruit sugars and jojoba esters to exfoliate dead scalp cells; amino acid sarcosine to remove excess sebum on the scalp; Australian wild berries for healthier looking hair and scalp protection; and chia seeds to soothe the scalp while purifying it from product build-up.
  • Root Purifier: Key ingredients include alpha-glucan oligosaccharide, a prebiotic that strengthens the scalp barrier by feeding the microbiome; Australian wild berries; vegan protein to nourish hair while gently cleansing; and biosurfactant to improve the microbiome without stripping natural oils.
  • Stress Reliever: Key ingredients include alpha-glucan oligosaccharide and Bacillus ferment, prebiotics that strengthens the scalp barrier by feeding the microbiome; and smithsonite stone, which protects the scalp while boosting collagen. Peach gum and prickly pear are also included to soothe the scalp and reduce redness.

With every product launch, Nutrafol is changing the conversation—and consumer understanding—of haircare, emphasizing its relation to overall health as well as the impact of aging and life stage.

“At Nutrafol, we continue to push ourselves to be on the forefront of cutting-edge innovation and be the leading educator in the hair health category,” says Archer. “Scalp Microbiome line + Strand Defender are examples of us pushing the hair category forward. As a leader in the hair space, it’s important that we set new scientific standards and educate our consumers on how to achieve their hair goals through hair biology.”

Nutrafol offers products to support men, women, and consumers during different life stages, such as postpartum. And the company is educating consumers about how hair health—or lack thereof—differs by gender. Says Archer: “For years, the hair growth industry believed that hair thinning was the same for women as it was for men, because it was historically studied primarily in men, and offered limited options that only addressed one part of the problem. As pioneers in the research of hair thinning, Nutrafol understands men and women have different triggers for hair thinning and that need to be researched and addressed differently.”

She continues: “Other hair growth supplements take a one-size-fits-all approach, but this does not account for varied triggers in women throughout their different life stages and lifestyles. By understanding how our biology is connected to our hair biology, Nutrafol tailors our formulas to optimize hair health for everyone with clinically effective products.”

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