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 cortex is made up of long strands of keratin protein, which give hair strength and elasticity. Keratin in the outer layer serves as an external barrier which protects the cortex from damage that can be 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 proteins in the cuticle layer are dissolved and 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.
What is Keratin Shampoo Used for?
Keratin is used in hair care products to help reconstruct both the inner and outer layer of the hair and to protect hair from further chemical and environmental damage.
Keratin-enriched shampoos are formulated to infuse keratin proteins into hair cuticles and inner layers of hair during the shampooing process. Keratin particles fill the holes in your hair strands replacing the missing keratin and re-aligning the hair structure. A keratin infused shampoo helps repair the cuticle, restores smoothness, and improves hair’s resistance to humidity. It leaves dry and frizzy hair soft, healthy-looking, and easy to manage.
Does Keratin Shampoo 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 outer hair layer, keeping the strands looking, fuller, smooth, and polished. It doesn’t straighten hair but it helps soften your coarse, curly, and frizzy locks.
What Ingredients to Look for Before Purchasing?
When buying a keratin-containing shampoo, check the label to ensure that the ingredient list includes at least one of the following terms:
- Oxidized keratin
- Keratin amino acids
- Hydrolyzed keratin
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. Consider only shampoos from reputable beauty companies committed to selling safe products.
Select a keratin shampoo formulated with natural ingredients which are gentle enough for regular use and is completely safe for you and your hair.
Is a Keratin Shampoo Safe for Your 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. You can use a shampoo that contains keratin protein in its formulation as long as it is free of sulfates and sodium chloride. To maintain a keratin treatment, you should 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.
There are many keratin shampoos on the market that contain harsh sulfates and also several “lower sulfate” formulas. If you haven’t received keratin treatment, and are 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 effects of the keratin in your shampoo formula.
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