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.