17 Feb 2015

Ingredients: Keratin in hair products

Last week I’ve tried my first hair product with keratin in it, and I’m going to do a review soon. But first we should take a closer look to this special ingredient.

What is it?
Keratin is a protein and it is the key structural material making up the outer layer of human skin, also key structural component of hair and nails. In hair, keratin comprises of about 95% of the hair follicle and is a source of strength and flexibility.

How it works?
When we apply product with keratin to the hair, keratin's properties are absorbed, and they’re improving hair’s elasticity, shine, texture and strength. It also eliminates frizz, smoothes the hair cuticle and straightens the hair.

How it is labeled on ingredient list?
When you’re reading ingredient list on hair product, you should be searching for:
   oxidized keratin
   keratin amino acids
   hydrolized keratin (most common)
   capryloyl hydrolysed keratin
   cocodimonium hydroxypropyl hydrolyzed keratin
   hydroxypropyltrimonium hydrolyzed keratin.

The best ingredient is Replicine Functional Keratin protein, because it is the closest form to human hair keratin than any other material. On ingredient list it is labeled as keratin or oxidized keratin.

But most common is hydrolized keratin. The term “Hydrolyzed” simply means the protein has been broken down so that it will be able to bind to the hair shaft and penetrate into the hair fibre more easily. As a result, the protein is more concentrated and has longer lasting effects on the hair. It bonds to areas of the hair cuticle where damage has occurred. This bonding helps trap in moisture in the hair strand because the cuticle has been temporarily repaired.

So, read the ingredient list of the product: “Hydrolized keratin” should be listed among the first five ingredients of a product, than that product is OK!

How to do a treatment:

       Reapply product with high amount of hydrolyzed protein every 6 weeks. Why? Because when the hair is washed, over time, the added hydrolyzed keratin will disappear, which is why reapplying products containing this ingredient is important in maintaining your hair's health.

       But be careful, because using too much keratin protein can cause the hair to become dry and brittle. Make sure you are following up protein treatments with a great moisturizing conditioner.

*Sources for this post are: Source1, Source2, Source3, Source4

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