Valine for Hair and Scalp Health
Valine is one of several amino acids used in Divi's Scalp Serum, Shampoo & Conditioner. This amino acid was named after the Valerian plant, where it was first discovered.
Despite being one of the lesser-known amino acids, valine takes center stage in several key processes essential to hair growth. It's also an incredible hair-conditioning agent, especially when combined with other superstar amino acids like threonine and arginine, which you'll also find in Divi's scalp and hair products.
What are Amino Acids?
Amino acids are the individual components of proteins. There are many thousands of different types of proteins in the human body. They’re necessary for growth, repair, tissue maintenance and a whole host of other vital processes.
Essential amino acids – like valine – are categorized as such because they can't be produced by the human body and therefore must be obtained via the food we eat.
Amino Acids for Hair Growth
Amino acids are present in every cell in the human body, including hair cells and the hair follicles responsible for growing new hair cells. Amino acids are the building blocks essential for hair growth and the formation of healthy, strong, lustrous hair. For this reason, you'll find amino acids in many of the best hair and scalp care formulations on the market, including in our Scalp Serum, Conditioner and Shampoo.
Which Amino Acids Matter Most?
If you're wondering which amino acids are the most important for the growth and maintenance of healthy hair, there isn't a clear-cut answer. You'll find a great deal of literature hailing cysteine as the number-one hair hero. This is primarily because it's one of the main components in the protein that makes up human hair; methionine is often put on a pedestal for the same reason. Unfortunately, all this attention on cysteine and methionine can direct the spotlight away from other amino acids which are equally important to hair health (and, in some cases, could even be said to have a broader range of functions), such as valine.
How is Valine Used Throughout the Human Body?
Before we delve into valine's impressive list of hair-enhancing actions, let's look at its wider role throughout the human body.
Like all amino acids, valine plays a key role in a myriad of essential biological functions. Among its most important duties are immune system regulation, stress management, muscle building, and growth hormone production. Valine, alongside the other essential amino acids, has also been shown to support calcium absorption and healthy bone formation.
The "bottom line" is valine is vital to protein synthesis. Without it, our bodies wouldn't be able to form many of the proteins necessary to maintain overall health and sustain life.
Protein-Rich Foods Containing Valine
The best dietary sources of valine are protein-rich foods such as meat, fish, soy, dairy, nuts and whole grains. Where possible, it's important to include these foods in your diet to ensure your body has a sufficient supply of this essential amino acid. Amino acid supplements can also support your valine intake if you're concerned that you may not be getting enough through the food you eat alone.
In addition, some of valine's cosmetic benefits can be gained via topical application of the liquid amino acid as a combined supplement, or as an ingredient in professionally formulated skin and hair products, like Divi's Scalp Serum.
Liquid Amino Acids in Hair Care
Consuming amino acids in our food is not the only way to enjoy their benefits. Where skin and hair are concerned, topical application can have some fantastic benefits. Some of the best hair care products on the market contain liquid amino acids, as research shows they can have the ability to bond to hair protein and react with hair follicles when applied topically. Needless to say, this isn't going to do anything to build muscle or boost calcium absorption, but it could do a great deal to improve the condition of hair strands and support overall hair growth.
This realization has led to a trend in people creating homemade hair-strengthening treatments with liquid amino acid supplements that were originally intended for oral use. While these DIY amino acid masks could have the potential to improve hair condition, there is no evidence to demonstrate they do, and the approach itself is completely untested.
If you're hoping to introduce valine and other liquid amino acids to your hair and scalp care routine, it's best to stick with scientifically formulated products that have proven results. Divi's science-backed formulas are a great way to introduce valine (as well as other amino acids, essential oils and vitamins) to your routine.
Valine Helps Power Hair Follicles
The branched chain amino acids (BCAAs) such as L-leucine, isoleucine and valine are core components in the potassium ion channels helping to fuel hair follicles. Potassium ions carry a positive charge and, in this respect, can be thought of as the "electricity" powering activity in human cells. Like the electricity in your house, potassium ions must be carried via "wires" to the parts of the cell needing power. These "wires" are potassium ion channels, and they rely on these BCAAs.
Microscopic membranes in a hair follicle can often deplete with age and environmental damage. This can interfere with potassium ion channels and prevent parts of the cell responsible for new hair from functioning normally – just as frayed wiring could lead to power outages in a conventional electrical circuit. The result is hair growth is slowed, and the quality of new hair is reduced.
One hair loss study shows how this problem could be reversed, and hair growth can be stimulated if potassium ion channels in a hair follicle are reopened. This is where valine comes in: reinforcing potassium channels with valine and other core components has the potential to improve cell function and thus kickstart the production of new, healthy hair.
Valine in Keratin Synthesis
Keratin is the protein making up around 95% of human hair (it's also a key component in skin and nails). There are 18 different amino acids combining to form keratin. You guessed it – valine is one of them. That’s not all, either! Valine is also necessary for collagen production.
If your body is deficient in one of these 18 keratin-forming amino acids, you may not be able to produce enough keratin to support scalp health along with promoting normal healthy hair growth. This is why consuming protein-rich food is considered necessary for hair growth.
As with keratin-containing treatments, scalp products containing the amino acids that form keratin could strengthen hair by reinforcing the protein strands in the hair shaft. The advantage to choosing amino acid products over keratin treatments is the former tends to be a gentler approach since keratin treatments often contain harsh chemicals.
Amino Acid Deficiency
Amino acid deficiency is quite common and often impacts your hair more noticeably than any other part of the body. This is because, if you are lacking, the limited amino acid resources your body does have will be reserved for life-sustaining functions like muscle growth and hormone signaling, which leaves hair to suffer.
A valine deficiency could lead to telogen effluvium, a condition in which hair loss can increase as the growth phase of new hair shortens.
Valine Supports Blood Flow
Valine is fundamental to the formation of red blood cells, which are responsible for transporting nutrients and oxygen around the body. In this respect, valine absorbed via food or a dietary supplement could improve hair follicle health by ensuring these cells receive the fuel they need to function.
Boosting Antioxidant Activity
Antioxidants help combat damage to living cells caused by the rogue cells known as free radicals. These free radicals can build up in the body due to age and damage. Once active, free radicals can damage healthy cells, accelerating the aging process. As far as your hair is concerned, free radicals can lead to premature graying, thinning hair and reduced hair growth.
Valine is a potent antioxidant agent, as are most amino acids). Therefore, hair and scalp care products containing valine may help decrease free radical damage and keep hair follicles youthful for longer.
Valine as a Conditioning Agent
Valine is a highly effective conditioning agent, which makes it an important ingredient in our products. When used regularly, valine in products such as Divi's Scalp Serum, Shampoo & Conditioner can improve the condition and appearance of hair.
Like threonine, valine is an uncharged amino acid. This means it can help combat frizz and flyaway hair caused by the build-up of static. Antistatic agents like valine can help hair appear sleeker and smoother, while making it easier to style.
Repairing Damaged Hair
Our hair goes through a lot! Every-day wear and tear caused by sun damage, pollution, styling products, and heated styling equipment can create gaps in the hair's outer surface, leaving it brittle, porous and dull. Valine could help restore damaged hair shafts when applied topically as part of Divi's products, as the amino acid molecules can bind to the hair shaft and repair these gaps.
Damage to your hair fibers can leave hair struggling to retain moisture. This is a common problem with heavily color-treated hair. Valine can boost hydration by repairing this damage, leaving hair stronger, silkier and more resilient.
Valine for Healthy Hair Growth
Valine promotes healthy hair growth by supporting keratin production and hair follicle function. If you think you are suffering from limited hair growth due to an amino acid deficiency, using products that contain valine could help to speed things up.
By improving the condition and strength of the hair, valine in products like Divi's can give the impression of hair growing faster simply because it doesn't break so easily.
Do Amino Acids Help With Hair Loss?
Amino acids such as valine could help mitigate hair loss, particularly when caused by damage to hair follicles or due to a dietary imbalance.
Valine is often mentioned in relation to androgenic alopecia (also known as male-pattern baldness). No amino acid can cure male-pattern baldness, or any other form of hormone-related hair loss for that matter. However, this doesn't mean proteins and amino acids have absolutely no use in this department. Amino acids, such as valine, can help maintain hair health, strength and shine.
There is plenty of evidence suggesting how topical application of valine can support hair regrowth when used in conjunction with targeting hair loss treatments.
Valine is just one of the science-backed, synthetic fragrance-free ingredients in Divi's innovative formula, which can help nourish your scalp and manage the symptoms of hair loss. Using Divi's Scalp Serum, Shampoo & Conditioner as part of your scalp care routine can cultivate the best environment for your hair to flourish, and give it a great smell along with a thicker, fuller, and smoother look.