The Superfood Supplement That Stars In Your New Favorite Shampoo


The word “spirulina” first hit my ears while I was working for the Kardashians as an editor for their Official Apps ™. Kourtney emailed in her recipe for Spirulina Popcorn, a “healthy snack” she makes for her kids (spoiler alert: the recipe is literally just sprinkling spirulina powder on top of popcorn). I rolled my eyes and moved onto the next very important thing on my desk: ranking Khloé’s most prominent red carpet camel toes.

Then “spirulina” became one of those words that, after hearing it for the first time, started popping up everywhere. I read it in Instagram captions detailing the contents of a picture-perfect smoothie, heard about it on wellness podcasts, and saw it on the shelves of Sprouts. 

Back up: Spirulina is a superfood, a blue-green algae that can be taken in powder or capsule form. It’s an antioxidant with anti-inflammatory properties, and studies have shown that it can lower cholesterol, reduce blood pressure, control blood sugar, detoxify the body from heavy metals–and it even has anti-cancer properties. On top of that, a spoonful of spirulina delivers heaping helpings of protein, Vitamins B1, B2, and B3, copper, iron, and more. 

But the reason I actually started taking spirulina is a lot more vain: it’s also supposed to give you longer, stronger hair.

In addition to adding it to my morning smoothie, I started looking for hair products with added spirulina to help grow out my hair before my wedding, and discovered John Allan’s Ocean (which sounds like a Netflix stoner documentary but is actually a shampoo). 


With spirulina, sea kelp, and aloe vera, JA’s O (as I lovingly refer to it) is a perfect everyday shampoo–I alternate between this and my custom formula from Function of Beauty. I love this shampoo because:

  • I’ve definitely noticed a difference in my hair since adding it to my routine
  • It smells exactly like Dep hair gel, which my dad used in the late ‘90s/early 2000s, and every time I use it I get all nostalgic and young-feeling, and
  • Spirulina shampoo is so much healthier and less expensive than those Sugar Bear Hair gummies that I was almost tempted to try after seeing them in approximately 1,000,000 sponsored Instagram posts

On that spirulina tip, I’m also dying to try this formula from Living Libations.


Do you take spirulina as a supplement? Would you use it in your hair?