Too much keratin?


Everyone wants strong healthy hair.  Ever wonder why one person has healthier hair than another?  Or why blondes typically have the most damaged hair? Want to know how to achieve healthy hair? I am going to give you the answers to all of these questions and a small science lesson.  

Hair Composition

Hair is mainly comprised of protein, roughly 90%.  Hair’s protein is called keratin, which is a combination of 18 amino acids.  Keratin lives in the cortex of your hair.

Side note: The hair shaft has 3 layers.  The medulla which is the center most level and serves no real purpose.  The cortex which houses keratin and color. The outer most layer is the cuticle.  The cuticle protects the other layers and when the cuticle is laying flat your hair is typically shiny and smooth.  

Hair Color

Hair color lives in the cortex with the protein keratin, which is 90% of your hair makeup.  When you receive a color service, which goes under the cuticle and into the cortex, that color service will reduce your protein by 10%.  When the hair is lightened with a lightener the protein will reduce by 20% or more. This is the reason your stylist does not use a permanent haircolor on your ends.  Instead they refresh drab ends with a deposit only acidic Demi color that will bring down the PH of the hair and add shine. This maintains the existing protein levels, therefore maintaining the health of your hair.  

Rebuild Protein

When a dark brunette decides to go platinum blonde A LOT of protein is being pulled out of the hair along with the color.  It is very important to rebuild and replace that protein. Redken has a wonderful line called Extreme that is designed to rebuild damaged hair.  The most important product in the Extreme line is CAT (Castaic Acid Treatment). This plant based protein can be used 1-3 times per week after shampooing and prior to conditioning.  This product is strengthening your hair therefore it will make your hair feel tough and maybe a little dry. It is not a conditioning treatment it is a protein treatment and must be followed by a conditioner to make the hair feel soft.  

Keratin products

Your hair is made up of protein therefore keratin treatments, and vitamins are the way to go…..right?  WRONG!!!! Yes, hair is 90% keratin and the occasional keratin treatment is great. Unfortunately too much keratin is NOT a good thing.  Too much keratin will start to break the hair, leaving you shocked and using more keratin to try to fix it.

The amount of keratin in the hair is affected by various elements (hormones, vitamins, genetic factors and metabolism). Dietary deficiencies and/or enzyme defects may lead to irregular keratinization which results in structural defects in the hair shaft.  Any of these irregularities can cause the hair to break down, break off, slow growth or stop growth all together. If you think any of these could be causing hair breakage or hair loss, consult with your physician.

Instead of keratin products I recommend consulting with your stylist and:

  • Investing in Extreme CAT, Mega Mask, and Anti Snap.
  • Biotin, Vitamin B or Vitamin B7 or Vitamin H help support hair growth by metabolizing amino acids from food.
  • Iron vitamins will help to produce red blood cells in which delivers the correct ingredients to support hair growth.  Some hair loss is due to the lack of iron.
  • Vitamin C will help the body to absorb Iron.  It also can help to protect the hair follicles.
  • Zinc can help to balance hormones which can cause hair loss in women.  
  • Collagen peptides has numerous health/beauty benefits one of which is strengthening and promoting hair growth.

We are hair experts and will guide you in the correct direction to have beautiful, healthy hair.  We recommend and encourage you to discuss with your doctor before changing your daily vitamins and/or medications.  Vitamins can be beneficial, but if you personally do not need them, too much of a good thing can have an adverse effect (just like Keratin).

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