Keratin is a fibrous structural protein naturally found in our hair, skin, and nails. Human hair consists of keratin (up to 90%) and small amounts of lipids, water, and pigments. The middle layer of hair- the cortex- is made of keratin protein, which is responsible for hair strength and elasticity. Keratin in the cuticle layer protects the cortex from damage caused by thermal styling, chemical processing, daily maintenance, and prolonged sun exposure. The absence of keratin causes hair to become weak, brittle, and more exposed to further damage.
Damage to hair occurs when the keratin protein in the cuticle layer is disintegrated, making hair shaft thinner. The damaged cuticle is unable to provide protection for the cortex. Damaged hair loses tensile strength and elasticity and becomes porous, brittle, and prone to frizz.
Benefits of Keratin-Infused Hair Shampoos
Keratin shampoo replenishes natural keratin levels while cleansing hair making it stronger and less prone to breakage.
Keratin-enriched shampoos are formulated to infuse keratin proteins into hair cuticles and inner layers of hair during the shampooing process. The keratin in the shampoo fills the holes in the hair shaft replacing the missing keratin to repair damage and re-align the hair structure.
A keratin-infused shampoo helps repair the cuticle, restores smoothness, and improves hair’s resistance to humidity. This kind of shampoo provides a smooth finish to chemically treated hair and restores its natural shine. It leaves chemically processed hair soft, healthy-looking, and easy to manage.
Keratin is used in hair care products to help reconstruct both the inner and outer layers of the hair and to protect it from further chemical and environmental damage.
If you have received a keratin smoothing treatment, a keratin shampoo helps extend the results by replacing the keratin that washes away with each shampoo.
Do Keratin Shampoos Straighten Hair?
Keratin replenishing shampoos are made for all hair types, but they are especially suitable for individuals with chemically processed and damaged hair.
Keratin in hair shampoos doesn’t change the texture of your hair, but it fills in the cracks and ruptured areas in the hair shaft and helps inflate the outer hair layer, keeping the strands looking, fuller, smooth, and polished. It doesn’t straighten hair but it helps to soften your coarse, curly, and frizzy locks.
What Ingredients to Look for?
When buying a keratin-containing shampoo, check the label to ensure that the ingredient list includes at least one of the following terms:
- Keratin amino acids
- Hydrolyzed proteins
Hydrolyzed keratin works to rebuild disrupted bonds, repair the cuticle, and strengthen damaged and brittle hair.
Keratin amino acids penetrate the hair shaft and work to repair damaged hair, while also creating protection against further structural damage.
Avoid sulfates and other harsh chemicals which can make the keratin disappear faster from your hair. Some brands of keratin shampoo may even contain formaldehyde. You should only consider products offered by reputable companies, that are committed to selling safe personal care products.
Select a keratin shampoo formulated with natural ingredients that are gentle enough for regular use and are completely safe for your body and your hair.
There are many keratin shampoos on the market that contain harsh sulfates and there are also several “lower sulfate” formulas. If you haven’t received keratin treatment, and looking for an inexpensive keratin shampoo, you may find that some of these sulfate-containing formulas work for you. Just be aware that harsh surfactants may counteract the desired effects that could be obtained by keratin in your shampoo.
Is a Keratin Shampoo Suitable for Keratin Treated Hair?
If you’ve had a keratin treatment, it is not necessary to use a keratin-containing shampoo for your post-treatment care. However, you can benefit from using a shampoo that contains keratin protein in its formulation as long as this product is free of sulfates and sodium chloride.
To maintain freshly applied keratin treatment, you can use the corresponding shampoo and conditioner or any other sulfate and salt-free shampoo that is gentle enough and safe on your keratin-treated hair. When your treatment starts to wash away, it would be best to include keratin-containing shampoo in your hair care regimen in order to replenish missing keratin and keep your hair more resistant to humidity.
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