While most people are blessed with full heads of healthy hair, this is not the case for some other people. Those that are looking for stronger, healthier hair should know that keratin is their best ally in getting the hair they want. Keratin is a hair building block and while you may have heard of it quite often, the role of keratin in hair care may not be as familiar as it should be. In this blog, you will find more information about keratin and what it can do for your hair.
90 percent of every hair is made up of keratin, and 5–10 percent of keratin is made up of water. Minor hair constituents consist of lipids, pigments, and minerals.
Keratin is a fibrous protein, containing long peptide chains. It forms strong filaments which give strength and flexibility to the hair. Some strands may turn around their axis in some places, others may bend. The structure of individual filaments is made up of the composition of the peptide chains.
The structure of hair consists of keratin, which is at once both pliable and insoluble in water. Thanks to keratin, hair is able to tolerate extreme temperatures on both the high and low sides. Hair is also well equipped to withstand the onslaught of environmental stressors. However, if hair is dealt enough stress, it will eventually become damaged. Once the structure of hair becomes damaged, it is more susceptible to damage from environmental stressors. In the presence of water, these damaged proteins lose their structure and dissolve.
Hair with sufficient intact keratin is well equipped to withstand the onslaught of environmental stressors. Still, persistent exposure to stress will finally do some damage to the long strings of keratin, which are responsible for keeping the shape of every hair intact. Once it is broken down into small enough strings, it becomes water soluble and will be washed away.
Hair strengthening effects
If you have damaged hair, want to straighten and strengthen your hair or make it more resilient to stress, there is no reason not to enjoy the advantages of one of the many hair care and styling products with keratin.
Keratin is added as an intensely potent ingredient to hair care products because it strengthens hair by improving the hair structure from the inside out. As a result, your hair will regain its healthy natural structure as it fills gaps and breaks in the hair shaft to make hair shinier and easier to style.
Moreover, keratin is not only an ingredient in hair care products but also in styling products like mousse and hair sprays. The liquid form of keratin added to these products is identical to the natural keratin in human hair. Products that contain keratin as a main ingredient provide hair with optimal protection against losing its moisture, and makes it easier to style your hair the way you wish.
However, keratin hair treatments are not intended for fine, straight or thin hair. Though, this hair type can enjoy its benefits by using keratin products rather than undergoing hair treatment.
The good news is Keratin is found in a range of hair shampoos, conditioners, treatments for damaged and colored hair; but you’ll have to do some careful ‘label checking’ next time you’re shopping.
What is the best type I can find?
The purest type of keratin is the one we discussed in the last blog post – grown right in the country of the Lord of the Rings’ ‘Middle Earth’ – yep little old New Zealand from their most common wooly mammals – sheep!
So wherever you shop, whether in the supermarket, drug store or at the hairdresser – what you want to look for is products that contain (the purest stuff) Replicine Functional Keratin technology. This sometimes appears on the label as Keratin or oxidized keratin.
Some products sound like they contain Keratin (they use it in their product name to falsely mislead you, the consumer) but they don’t actually list it in their ingredients, or may only have hydrolyzed keratin, which is so far from being real keratin that it doesn’t do much.
So why is it used? And what are the benefits?
Replicine Functional Keratin technology contains a purified form of keratin intermediate filament protein manufactured purely, as mentioned before, from New Zealand sheep wool. The intermediate filament protein is the protein that gives natural hair fibers their strength.
This protein is really clever in how it works:
- It coats the outside of the hair shaft in a shield which protects from nasty pollutants.
- It penetrates the hair fibers and starts working to heal hair from the inside out.
- The combined action makes it so effective – it’s basically a liquid form of hair!
It does not only heal the damage in your hair from the inside out, but it also takes on the damage itself so your hair stays healthy!
The nasty environmental pollutants that damage hair include cigarette smoke, UV radiation, and sulfur dioxide gas (from car and truck exhaust fumes).
It’s especially important to use Replicine Functional Keratin technology after chemically straightening hair, because the straightening agent formaldehyde destroys the hair structure in the straightening process and the keratin is what ‘heals’ it again.
Do Shampoos and conditioners really work?
Others believe the shampoos do work—just not as instantaneously as an expensive salon hair treatment. The consistent use of keratin shampoo builds up protein levels on the hair to give it a more sleek look. It will take time to see the results, but they will be worth it when you feel the softness of your hair and less split ends.
Yet, be cautious of leaving the products more than its recommended time, as it may make your hair brittle and more prone to breakage. Providing your hair with excessive protein is as harmful as depriving your hair of it.
How to choose the suitable product?
- Don’t decide based on price
- Avoid products with sulfates as it does the opposite of what the product should be providing you with.
- Find what works best for you, this will take some trial and error, but bear in mind that what works for others does not necessarily work for you.