Our beautiful hair strands are 91% hard protein also known as keratin, which is responsible for the strength and structure of the hair strand and very important to hair care and hair growth. As the hair grows it can gradually get weaker at the ends, as the hair shaft has been chipped away by the elements and general manipulation from hair care and styling. The ability to keep the hair strong, while maintaining moisture to the strand is a balancing act. Too much strength could make the hair hard and brittle while too much moisture can make the hair mushy, both of which are not the ideal situation for hair. According to Hilda Sustaita, wheat protein is considered a gentle protein, broken down into smaller portions to penetrate the hair shaft and adhere to cracks along the cuticle layers.
Wheat protein is often labeled as hydrolyzed keratin or hydrolyzed wheat protein. The word hydrolyzed simply means that the chemical compound has been split into smaller units through the process of hydrolysis. In fact Organic Color Systems, due to the low molecular weight of hydrolyzed wheat protein, it can be easily absorbed by the hair shaft.” This hydrolyzed wheat protein does more than just strengthen the hair. It also moisturizes, which lessens the risk of protein reactions or over strengthening the hair, resulting in breakage. Here are some benefits to using products with wheat protein:
- Strengthen the hair shaft via bits of protein that adhere to the hair and penetrate the cortex.
- Attract moisture to the hair strand and improve its ability to maintain moisture.
This in turn improves the quality of the hair and allows for greater manageability. Wheat protein is a common ingredient in products that treat thinning hair and male patterned baldness in men and excessive thinning or balding for women and enhances fullness and volume. According to naturalWellbeing.com, “It can also help repair damaged hair follicles making hair fuller and softer to the touch.”
You can find this ingredient in many products, including conditioners, stylers, and cleansers. Here are a few to get started with!
- ApHogee Two Step Protein Treatment
- Carol’s Daughter Curl Refresher Spray
- Sunny Isle Jamaican Black Castor Oil Lavender Deep Conditioner
- Elucence Extended Moisture Repair Treatment
- Curlisto Repair Styling Cream
For women who are protein sensitive, utilizing products with wheat protein may be a better selection for you, considering the moisturizing balance can help offset a reaction. If you have concerns, perform a strand test on a patch of your hair. Give it a full week to view the hair and scalp’s response before adding it to your hair care regimen.