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The Best Active Ingredients to Maximise Your Hair Goals

Wednesday 07th September 22

ingredient science
5+ min read

The term ‘active ingredient’ is one we are all too familiar with when it comes to our skincare routines. However, have you ever heard of using active ingredients in your scalp and haircare routine? An active ingredient refers to the ingredient in a specific formulation that is biologically active, and therefore, is most responsible for the effects and activity of the formulation. 

Actives are scientifically-grounded and meticulously tested ingredients that deliver the primary benefit of the product (for example, anti-ageing benefits) Inactive ingredients, on the other hand, are used to transport the active ingredient into the scalp and hair (think oil or water-based solutions).

The Importance of Active Ingredients for the Scalp

Active ingredients are just as beneficial for the hair and scalp as they are in your skincare routine. MONPURE is the first brand in the world to bridge skincare and haircare, formulating active ingredients into our scalp and haircare solutions to deliver real, scientifically-grounded results.

There are a myriad of powerful active ingredients that perform everything from providing moisture, warding off bacteria and delivering anti-ageing effects. Some of the most sought after active ingredients (found in many skincare holy grails) include acids, retinols, peptides and antioxidants, all of which are carefully selected and formulated into MONPURE’s award-winning scalp and haircare range.

4 Types of Active Ingredients You Need in Your Scalp and Hair Routine 

Plant-Derived Acids

Although our scalp goes through a natural exfoliation process, a lack of sun protection, age and build-up from heavy products can hinder that process. A little help from some exfoliating plant-derived acids is often needed to rid the scalp of nasty dead skin cells, residue and debris clogging healthy follicles. 

Lactic acid is a form of Alpha Hydroxy Acid (AHA) derived from sugar cane or other plant sources. Lactic acid targets all layers of the scalp skin: it exerts its benefits to the outer layer of the scalp (the epidermis), as well as the deeper layer (the dermis). In the epidermis. AHAs have an exfoliative effect, speeding up cell renewal and shedding dead skin cells collecting on the surface of the scalp. They do this by gently loosening the retained bonds between dead skin cells, allowing them to fall off. 

In the dermis, lactic acid helps stimulate collagen production, therefore making it an ideal active ingredient to counteract scalp and hair ageing. This powerful active ingredient works to foster the ideal environment for healthy hair to grow. 

Discover lactic acid in MONPURE’s Follicle Boost Hair Density Serum, where it works to rid of dead skin, debris and boost collagen, contributing to healthy hair growth.

Salicylic acid is a form of Beta Hydroxy Acid (BHA), an oil-soluble acid that breaks down sebum and deeply penetrates the follicles. Scalp-calming salicylic acid is renowned for its ability to fight scalp acne, bacteria, psoriasis, dandruff and seborrheic dermatitis. Salicylic acid is also keratolytic, meaning it aids in exfoliation and soothes inflammation.

Discover the benefits of the active ingredient salicylic acid in MONPURE’s Hydrate and Soothe Scalp Serum, which works to alleviate irritation, calm inflammation and deliver supreme moisture to thirsty scalps.

Retinol (Vitamin A)

Vitamin A derivative, retinol, is widely celebrated as one of the gold-standard active ingredients in anti-ageing skincare. Retinol’s unrivalled ability to smooth out fine lines, regulate oil production, minimise breakouts and promote cell renewal makes it a mainstay in every beauty lover’s skincare routine.

However, have you ever considered how this powerful active ingredient can be used to maximise scalp and hair health? Firstly, retinol is a chemical exfoliant, meaning it decongests the build-up of dead skin cells, product build-up, sweat and debris on the scalp. Exfoliating away build-up helps cultivate the health of the scalp, and in turn, the hair. 

Secondly, retinol works to regulate sebum production in the sebaceous gland, the small oil-producing gland that is attached to the hair follicle and releases a fatty substance called sebum (i.e. ‘grease’) into the follicular duct and on the surface of the scalp. So, if you’ve got greasy roots or fine hair, which can often be weighed down by excess sebum, retinol may be the answer to your concerns.

Retinol's ability to regulate oil production also has an effect on DHT production, the androgen hormone responsible for hair thinning. Sebum is a known carrier of the androgen hormone DHT, and minimising its presence on the scalp can help minimise hormonal hair loss and thinning.

One of the most significant benefits of active ingredient retinol is how it maximises the effects of other hair growth ingredients and solutions by improving the absorption of these ingredients. 

Retinol increases skin cell renewal, improves scalp condition and addresses the outer layer of the skin called the stratum corneum, allowing other ingredients to effectively penetrate the scalp. Discover retinol is the Follicle Boost Hair Density Serum, which is a natural solution for hair loss and thinning. Retinol works to maximise the effects of its hair-growth ingredients, while supporting overall scalp health.


You’ve probably heard of peptides in skincare for their anti-ageing benefits, but did you know that these power proteins can also transform the thickness, length and strength of your hair? Peptides are amino acids that are the building blocks of certain proteins needed by the scalp and hair. In fact, more than 90% of hair is protein.

Peptides are highly effective due to their small molecular size, allowing them to easily penetrate the hair follicle and deliver powerful benefits. Peptides prevent breakage by increasing moisture retention, restore the inner bonding of the hair and enhance cuticle health. Peptides contribute to hair growth, while also increasing the diameter and elasticity of individual hairs.

The MONPURE range features two innovative peptide active ingredients, vegan keratin and vegan silk peptides. Vegan keratin is an essential active ingredient that reinforces the structural integrity of damaged hair. Keratin is the protein naturally found in hair, forming the building-blocks of its structure. Vegan keratin is a moisturising humectant that conditions and hydrates the scalp, while also holding anti-irritant benefits. This vegan alternative also protects, strengthens and repairs fragile strands, as well as boosting shine, smoothness and elasticity.

Discover the benefits of vegan keratin in the Strengthening Silk Protein Shampoo and the Ultralight Healthy Hair Oil.

Vegan silk peptides are a powerhouse protein that fortifies hair from the root. They deliver a protective barrier to the hair and scalp, shielding it against harmful environmental irritants and stressors. They cultivate a stronger, healthier and more resilient scalp and hair environment, while improving the hair’s smoothness and shine, leaving it silky to the touch.

Indulge in the benefits of vegan silk peptides with the Strengthening Silk Protein Shampoo, Strengthening Essence-Conditioner and Nourish and Stimulate Scalp Mask, all of which are formulated with a high percentage of the groundbreaking active ingredient.


Antioxidants are active substances that work as the first line of defence against oxidative stress, protecting the body and cells from aggressors such as pollution, UV damage and carcinogens. MONPURE’s results-driven range features an array of pioneering active ingredients brimming with antioxidants that have been scientifically proven to offset the effects of oxidative stress.

Oxidative stress can significantly speed up the ageing process of the scalp and hair, and is strongly associated with dermatological scalp conditions as well as androgenic alopecia, the effects of which can wreak havoc on the health of the hair and scalp. MONPURE’s central focus on cultivating scalp health as an incubator of hair health is fundamental to creating a protective barrier against the effects of oxidative stress.

MONPURE’s Nourish and Stimulate Scalp Mask delivers an instant dose of antioxidants and essential vitamins to the scalp and follicles, working to neutralise the unstable molecules associated with oxidative stress. The mask’s hero ingredient, Camellia Tea oil, is rich in Vitamins A, B, D and E is a remarkable active antioxidant that prevents scalp and hair damage.

The MONPURE range is also rich in the active ingredients Vitamin C and Vitamin E, which have been shown to hold antioxidant properties that counteract the effects of oxidative stress.

Discover Vitamin C in…

Strengthening Silk Protein Shampoo

Hydrate and Soothe Scalp Serum

Follicle Boost Hair Density Serum

Discover Vitamin E in…

Strengthening Essence-Conditioner

Nourish and Stimulate Scalp Mask

Clarifying Scalp Scrub

Follicle Boost Hair Density Serum

Hydrate and Soothe Scalp Serum


Discover award-winning, scientifically proven solutions that maximise hair and scalp health.

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