Silk is a natural protein created by silk-producing insects such as worms and spiders. Silk fibers are known for their incredible strength and glossy shine. In the past silk was commonly used to create fabrics, but also to heal the skin and to produce body make-up powder.
In recent years silk protein has gained importance in cosmetic applications. It has excellent moisture binding properties, and the ability to strengthen damaged hair. Additionally, silk protein adds a softness and a velvety feel when incorporated into hair care products.
What is Hydrolyzed Silk Protein?
Silk Protein needs to be hydrolyzed to make it more readily absorbable by the hair. Molecular hydrolysis is the breakdown of a chemical into smaller pieces when it reacts to water. The hydrolysis breaks down proteins into very small molecules called amino acids. Thanks to their low molecular weight the silk amino acids are able to penetrate the hair shaft, thus nourishing and strengthening the hair from within.
Hydrolyzed Silk Protein can be purchased in beauty stores and then mixed with your shampoo, conditioner, leave-in conditioner, or hair serum. The product may come in either liquid or powder form. Both forms can be easily mixed with liquid hair care products.
Benefits of Hydrolyzed Silk Protein
When used as an additive in hair care products Hydrolyzed Silk can improve the health and appearance of your hair in several ways:
1. Because of its low molecular weight silk amino acids can penetrate the hair shaft, rather than simply adhering to the hair surface. They moisturize the hair from within, making it less prone to frizz and more manageable.
2. Hydrolyzed silk protein forms a protective film on the hair strands, allowing for greater reflection. This protective barrier makes the hair smooth and soft and enhances its natural luster.
3. Products containing Silk Protein keep the hair color looking vibrant for longer. A Silk Protein-enriched conditioner is able to block harmful UV rays and decrease color fading.
4. Silk fibers are the strongest natural fibers known to man. Silk amino acids lock in moisture inside the hair shaft and improve elasticity to make the hair more resistant to breakage.
5. Hydrolyzed Silk has great water-attracting properties. It improves the softness of dry and damaged hair, making it feel silky, soft, and nourished. If you have a problem with dry, unruly hair, Hydrolyzed Silk will add more softness and silkiness than any other form of protein.
6. Hydrolyzed silk reduces porosity which makes detangling easier. It tames flyaway hair and creates a silky-smooth feel.
How to Add Hydrolyzed Silk to Your Hair Products
You can dissolve Hydrolyzed Silk Protein in distilled water and combine with other proteins to form a protein mist. Use this mist to nourish and smooth damaged strands, and to protect your hair from further damage. It will also tame frizz and keep your ends from splitting apart.
Spray it on dry hair from about 5 inches away and let it absorb. Use once a week. Keep it stored in the refrigerator.
You can add Hydrolyzed Silk Protein to ready-made hair care products such as shampoos, conditioners, hair balms, pomades, lotions, and creams. It will enhance the conditioning and softening properties of your hair products.
Hydrolyzed Silk should be added to hair products at a concentration level between 0.5 and 10%. Keep in mind that too much protein can lead to brittleness, and so will make your hair difficult to style. The daily use of protein-enriched products may not be the best for your hair.
Hair Care Products Enriched with Silk Protein
The following products contain hydrolyzed silk as one of the active ingredients.
Silk Amino Acid Shampoos and Conditioners
This silk protein-enriched shampoo is ideal for dry, damaged, or unmanageable hair. Used in combination with accompanying conditioner it tames wild strands and leaves the hair with a brilliant shine. Gentle, non-sulfate cleansers remove all impurities without stripping the color.
This sulfate-free shampoo nourishes hair to restore natural moisture balance, protects against heat damage, and increases strength and elasticity. This shampoo works great for dry, damaged, and over-processed hair. It makes combing and styling easier, improves softness, and seals the cuticle for instant silkiness and shine.
Miracle Silk Conditioner adds a weightless body, loosens tangles, and gives your hair silkiness and shine. It helps cut down your blow-dry time and enhances the vibrancy of your hair color.
This ultra-hydrating formula contains a special silk amino acid complex that penetrates hair strands to build stronger, more flexible, and softer hair. This helps prevent further breakage and split ends. Silk 18 Conditioner also replenishes hair with moisture, tames frizz, and adds a glossy shine.
Silk Leave-In Treatments
1. Goldwell Kerasilk Control Smoothing Fluid (Walmart)
This leave-in fluid is designed to tame unruly, frizzy, and unmanageable hair. The formula uses Keratin, Glyoxylic Acid, and Hydrolyzed Silk to protect hair against heat, calm down the frizz, and increase manageability. It helps align the cuticles, creating a silky feel, and a brilliant shine.
Use it on damp prior to blow-drying.
This leave-in reconstructing treatment is infused with hydrolyzed silk along with hydrolyzed wheat and soy proteins to easily penetrate the hair shaft and help repair and strengthen damaged hair.
The treatment makes thick, coarse hair softer and easier to straighten. It protects the hair from heat damage, helps tame frizz, and adds lustrous shine.
Apply to damp hair for easy detangling, heat protection, and silky-smooth results. Use this leave-in product on dry hair to eliminate frizz and fly-a-ways and boost shine.
This lightweight leave-in treatment helps repair split ends and seal the cuticle to impart smoothness and shine.
Works great before blow-drying and makes the hair easy to style. Biosilk Silk Therapy helps to control static and keeps hair from getting frizzy. It can be applied to either wet or dry hair.
Unfortunately, this popular hair care product is not paraben-free.
Silk Hair Serums
ECRU New York Silk Nectar Serum is a lightweight anti-frizz & shine serum that strengthens hair and makes it sleeker and more resistant to humidity. The formula uses Hydrolyzed Silk and emollients to seal the cuticles, improve manageability, and reveal natural shine.
Apply to towel-dried hair, focusing on the ends and comb through to prevent moisture loss, mend split ends, and add shine. Apply to dry hair to tame frizzies and flyaways.
This lightweight serum protects your hair against thermal damage and eliminates frizz, making your hair feel silky smooth.
Apply to damp hair prior to styling to protect your hair from heat, take the frizz away, and create sleek, smooth styles. Apply to dry hair to seal split ends, keep fly-aways under control, and add shine.
DESIGNLINE Silk Drops Repair and Silk Shine Serum uses a blend of proteins and silk amino acids to revitalize dry, frizzy, and brittle hair and transform it into smooth, manageable, and shiny locks.
Apply a small amount of the serum to damp hair and work through mid-lengths, and ends to smooth the frizz and create a sleek and glossy finish. When applying on dry hair, focus on the ends to avoid a greasy look.
Silk Amino Acids for Smoothing Hair
Brocato formula uses Silk Amino Acid Complex, with the key ingredient Sericin to offer a safer straightening method than traditional keratin straightening formulas. The processing time depends on the condition of your hair. The treatment is advertised to make hair smooth, shiny, and manageable for up to 12 weeks.