Saturday, October 12, 2013

Protein Types

As I mentioned in my previous protein conditioner post, the science geek in me started doing research to see what types of protein are out there.  That way, I can do a more educated job of figuring out what protein conditioners are right for my hair.  Here is what I have learned so far in my research.
Proteins have different origins.  It appears that are usually either animal derived (such as milk, silk, glycoproteinplacental, natural keratincollagen, or elastin); plant derived (such blue-green algae, corn, soy, rice, oat, coconut milk, or wheat); or synthetic (such as man-made keratin or silk).  My previous post indicated that it is best to avoid animal proteins because they can coat the hair, causing build-up.  However, on further research, I don't think that is true for all animal proteins.  Instead, I agree with Natural Maven.  I think it is more important to look at where the protein is on the ingredient list, and the size of the protein.  Hydrolyzed proteins are proteins that have been broken down into smaller proteins or individual amino acids (proteins are long chains of linked amino acids).
If your hair needs a strong protein, then keratin is a good one.  Your hair, skin and nails are all made from keratin, but you will still need keratin in a protein conditioner to be hydrolyzed for it to be properly absorbed into the hair strand.  One of my favorite protein conditioners contains both hydrolyzed keratin and keratin amino acids.  However, be very careful in reading bottles when looking for keratin so that you do not accidentally pick up a straightening system, which also contains keratin.  Look for words like "reconstructor" or "conditioner".  

Blue-green algae is another source of strong protein.  For example, aphanizomenon flos aquae and spirulina are both over 50% protein.  I've personally found this protein source is too strong for my hair.

Hydrolyzed wheat and oat proteins strengthen, increase elasticity and help your hair hold on to and retain moisture.  Silk amino acids are also a great strengthener for the hair, but they are somewhat controversial because of how natural silk amino acids are obtained.

It is also important to look out for ingredients that act like a protein.  For example, while henna and coconut oil are not proteins, some people say that these products act like protein.  They bond to the hair shaft and help the hair retain proteins.  I've never tried henna, but coconut oil seems to act like a protein for my hair.  I do not use it unless it is diluted.

, , , ,

No comments :

Post a Comment

Thank you for your comment. I love hearing from my readers!