When it comes to 2021 beauty trends, power ingredients usually reserved for our face are popping up in haircare, because your scalp and locks need as much TLC as the rest of you. These are the ingredients to look out for…

Salicylic acid

So, what is it? You’ve likely spotted this in your, erm, spot-concealing cosmetics or on the ingredients list for your blemish-soothing serum. Salicylic acid is known for its gentle exfoliating and pore-clearing powers.

How can it help my hair? Well, just like the skin on your face, your scalp needs cleansing. Salicylic acid exfoliates and clears away any build-up of oil, product and dead skin cells. Consider it a welcome refresh.

Where can I find it? The Inkey List Salicylic Acid Exfoliating Scalp Treatment. Once or twice a week, simply apply this lightweight formula before you shampoo, leave on for 10 minutes (the perfect gap to shave your legs?), then wash your hair as usual. In addition to salicylic acid, this also contains soothing and moisturising ingredients. Hello, great hair day!

Vitamin C

So, what is it? It doesn’t need much introduction, of course. But, just in case: vitamin C is one of the most popular skincare stars, thanks to its impressive CV, which includes smoothing fine lines and brightening. Chances are you’ve clocked it in everything from moisturisers to cleansers.

How can it help my hair? This vitamin is used to put some pep back in your hair’s step. It works to repair and deliver radiance to lacklustre strands.

Where can I find it? Charles Worthington ShinePlex Vitamin C Serum. Run this through towel-dried hair or use it to smooth down flyaways. It’s designed to reinvigorate locks that are feeling a bit ‘meh’.

Hyaluronic acid

So, what is it? The word ‘acid’ can be daunting, but this one is actually hailed for its skin-hydrating skills – one drop can hold up to 1,000 times its weight in water. It’s a winner for locking in moisture, supporting your complexion’s protective barrier, plumping and basically showing it some love.

How can it help my hair? Hyaluronic acid (or HA to its friends) can help to moisturise your scalp. This supports the function of your hair follicles and, in turn, improves strand condition. Happy days!

Where can I find it? Great for all hair types, Rhyme & Reason Nourish & Gloss Shampoo teams HA with hydrating coconut water and soothing wild rosella flower. The brand is also vegan- and eco-friendly.


So, what is it? A stimulant found in the likes of tea, energy drinks and – of course – your beloved espresso. In the skincare world, caffeine is often used to soothe puffiness. You’ll spy it in products that target the under-eye area (the giveaway zone when you’ve had a bad night’s sleep).

How can it help my hair? This buzzy ingredient is thought to stimulate blood flow to the scalp (which is crucial for its health), as well as promote hair growth and stronger strands.

Where can I find it? Spritz Pantene Roots Awakener Hair Fortifier Biotin + Bamboo + Caffeine Hair Fortifier directly and liberally on your scalp via a few different parting lines, then massage in. This caffeine-spiked treatment is all about strengthening hair roots, supporting growth and giving the scalp a boost. Yep, just like the one you need on a Monday morning.

Collagen & biotin

So, what are they? Collagen is a type of protein found throughout the body. It hustles to keep your complexion strong and firm, but our supplies deplete as we age – that’s why this ingredient has gone mainstream in skincare. Meanwhile, biotin is a B vitamin, which may play a role in supporting healthy skin, nails… and, yep, hair.

How can they help my hair? We’ve just touched on biotin. As for collagen, brands are loving this ingredient for its strengthen-and-protect potential.

Where can I find them? If it’s volume you’re after, OGX Thick & Full+ Biotin & Collagen Shampoo has you (and your hair) well and truly covered. Ideal if you want to give fine strands some ‘oomph’.


So, what is it? Hemp seeds come from the hemp plant and are considered a nutritious source of healthy fats, plant-based protein, vitamins and minerals. As for skincare, hempseed oil has strong beauty cred, thanks to its ability to moisturise without clogging pores. Plus, it’s soothing. Check it out in calming products, such as moisturisers, serums, masks and even lip balms.

How can it help my hair? Those moisturising powers we mentioned could benefit your scalp like the rest of your skin. Hempseed oil may also play a role in protecting and boosting lacklustre or damaged strands.

Where can I find it? Give Aussie Blonde 3 Minute Miracle Deep Treatment a go if your bleached locks are crying out for a spa day. This nourishing mask stars Australian hemp seed and wild plum extracts – just smooth it through wet hair and rinse after a few minutes. You’re welcome!