By now I’m sure you are well aware that our hair is mainly made up of protein; keratin to be exact. Our hair is about 90% protein so knowing the different protein types in products can really help manage any unruly problems you may be having with your hair. You may notice dry or dull-looking hair if you use heat on your hair daily, color process your hair, or frequently shampoo your hair. Some people can get away with these actions if they have a good amount of keratin naturally. For those who have weaker hair, protein products can add that protection back in. The amount of products on the market for hair is overwhelming, but if you know some basics about different proteins then you can begin reading labels for hair products much of the same way you would your food choices. You already know your hair type so here are some proteins that will bring the shine.
Silk Protein- silk is known for its smooth texture. When applied to hair, it coats each strand with a protective barrier and creates a brilliant shine. You will see it most often in products under the name “hydrolyzed silk protein.” Great for all hair types.
Vegetable Protein– This type of protein is derived from veggies and will penetrate into the shaft of your hair, which is great for finer hair because it doesn’t coat the hair and weigh it down and doesn’t leave build up like an animal protein would. Some key words to look for on the bottle would be “hemp seed”, “soy”, “coconut” proteins.
Collagen Protein– As in skincare products, this protein helps hair’s elasticity. Collagen products may take time to build up your hair so using a shampoo and conditioner might be best if you need some extra bounce to your hair, instead of using a serum. If you have hair that seems low in elasticity, collagen products could work for you. Here’s a previous post on elasticity.
Keratin Protein– This is what our hair is primarily made up of, so it can be for all hair types in a product form. When applied to the hair it protects against heat, strengthens weakened or damaged hair, an provides shine.
I’ve found that not all of these types of protein work for my hair type and I’m sure you may experience the same thing but with a little testing and patience, I’m sure you will find the right product for you. Of course, there are many other protein types out there but these are some of the more common ones in hair products. A good thing to keep in mind when deciding which type of protein is best for you , a good rule of thumb would be that animal proteins tend to coat the hair and can cause buildup on finer hair whereas vegetable proteins will penetrate the hair shaft and not cause build-up. Lastly, you may be one of the few who don’t even need regular protein use and that is perfectly fine.
What types of protein do you use in your hair?