By Erma W.
Proteins are the foundation of hair. Approximately 70% of hair is composed of keratin protein. We also receive protein from the foods we eat (nuts, eggs, salmon, etc.), but our bodies take the necessary nutrients and allot the leftovers to the hair. The use of topical conditioners and treatments help us to maintain the strength and structure that protein gives our hair. However, protein’s structural and strengthening properties have caused somewhat of a fear factor concerning its effects. If you are confused about protein or wonder how it can benefit your hair, read our beginner’s guide to sort it all out.
Animal protein: Animal protein strengthens the hair. This type of protein is good if you are experiencing excessive breakage. Products with animal protein include Giovanni Hair Reconstructor and Aphogee Treatment for Damaged Hair--Step 2.
Wheat protein: Wheat protein is a moisturizing and strengthening protein. It helps the hair to keep and receive moisture, and it is a great choice for thin and fine hair. Products with wheat protein include Tigi Catwalk’s Oatmeal and Honey Conditioner and Ion’s Moisturizing Treatment.
Silk protein: Silk protein is a great choice for those who are protein sensitive because it softens the hair without making it feel heavy. Additionally, silk penetrates the hair shaft deeper than other molecules. Motions Naturally You Deep Conditioning Masque and Silk Elements Megasilk Moisturizing Treatment are two popular silk protein products.
Collagen protein: Collagen protein is best known for increasing elasticity in the hair. Elasticity is the hair’s ability to return to its original shape. A lack of elasticity in the hair is usually an indication that a protein treatment is needed. Aphogee 2-Minute Keratin Reconstructor, Aphogee Balancing Moisturizer, LeKair Cholesterol, and Organics Roots Stimulator Hair Mayonnaise are a few examples of easy-to-find products with collagen protein.
Keratin Protein: Keratin protein is the strongest hair protein. It restructures damaged hair that has been broken down by chemicals. Hydrolized keratin protein or keratin amino acids are proteins that are small enough to penetrate the hair shaft. Hydrolized human hair keratin is an exact match for the keratin in your hair. Some keratin products are Mill Creek Biotin Conditioner, Joico K-Pak Deep Penetrating Reconstructor, and Kenra Platinum Shea Butter Reconstructor.
If you are just starting on your protein journey, start with a moisturizing protein and work your way up as (or if) necessary.
Most importantly, approach protein fearlessly!