Yes, I put placenta on my hair

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When you learn about the birds and the bees as a kid, they don’t give you all the details of what really happens when you have a baby.  Now that I do know, sometimes I wish I didn’t.  (That being said, my 2 kids are the greatest gift I could ask for, I just don’t want to think about how I actually grew them.)

Baby Making 101: Sperm + Egg = Embryo.  

The embryo implants in the uterus and as it grows into a fetus, it is supported and fed by a placenta, much like the way the roots support a plant.  Now, eating or applying root vegetable extracts to your skin is one thing; applying fetal roots – aka placenta – is another.   Placenta-containing skin and hair care products may take the cake as being one of the weirdest beauty treatments ever. (For some of the grossest I’ve seen check out Aly Walansky’s article on

When a hair conditioner rich in placenta was recommended to me, I couldn’t decide if I was more repulsed or intrigued.  The Ricky’s salesgirl told me it was “the best conditioner” in the store.  In the end, intrigue won.  And wow, I am glad that it did.

I have recently had what we can call a do-it-yourself hair coloring “adventure.”  The greys are starting to come in.  (Yes, one day you will get them too.)  I was inspired by a great article from Women’s Health Magazine.  Why go to the salon when it seems so easy.  Not. When my brown hair turned brassy, I thought I could fix it.  Take 2.  When Dr. Z. thought my coif had a purple hue in daylight, we were faced with a full-on hair emergency.  It was time to strip all the dye away.  (I do have pictures of all this, but I just cannot bring myself to share them on the internet.)  Back to normal in color, my hair was left dry and brittle.  But then along came my savior: placenta!  It was seriously the best deep-conditioner I have ever used.

So what’s the deal with placenta?  Here’s what I found:

Placenta is not uncommonly contained in both hair and skin care treatments.  In fact it has been used in Asia for decades to treat thinning and brittle hair.

Placenta is rich in proteins, vitamins, nutrients, and growth factors that normally support the growth of a fetus.  By applying it to hair and skin, we can take advantage of the benefits.  While it is difficult to find any specifics on the type of placenta used, most come from animals like cows, goats, or sheep. (Let’s just hope that there is no cruelty to the animals!)

Placenta is useful as a hair conditioner because of its high protein content that coats, strengthens, and softens your strands.  These conditioners can be found at even your local beauty stores like Ricky’s or Sally.  Surprisingly, the cost is much less than you might expect for such an “exotic” ingredient, only around $3 for a single use packet.

When it comes to skin, placenta is can be found in anti-aging creams,  or in exotic spa treatments like the pricey placenta facials being offered at high end NYC salons.  For the price tag of $450 and up, you too can have the extract of a sheep placenta rubbed onto your face as well.

The idea behind the facial is that the serum is also rich in growth factors, which are messengers that stimulate collagen production and inhibit collagen-destroying enzymes like matrix metalloproteinases.  One published study showed that placental extracts gave a similar effect on the skin as topical Vitamin C.  

Will I continue placenta for my hair? For sure.  For my face?  We will see…  

So what’s next?  Foreskin?  Well, I may have already tried that too. But that’s a story for another entry.  #CoriConfesses