Natural hair demands a balance of moisture and protein. Our hair is made up of tough fibrous proteins called keratin. In today’s post I wanted to cover how different proteins in hair products can help maintain healthy hair. All proteins are strengthening proteins. Each protein can have it’s own characteristics. Here is a test I found as well on Ehow.com to help you figure out whether or not your hair is lacking in protein. Wet your hair; they recommend doing it after you have shampooed. Grab about an inch of your hair between your fingers. Based on how your hair reacts to stretching, determines whether your hair needs moisture or protein. You hair needs moisture if it doesn’t stretch at all and then breaks, or if it feels extremely rough and brittle. You hair needs protein if it stretches a long way and then breaks (or doesn’t break at all), or if it is limp and feels gummy. If your hair stretches just a little, then returns to its normal length without breaking, the amount of protein and moisture in your hair is well balanced.

What does hydrolyzed mean?
It means that a chemical compound is split into smaller units. So if you see the word  “hydrolyzed” in front of any of the protein names, it just means that protein has been broken down into smaller units.

Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein: Water soluble protein derived from wheat, it penetrates the cortex of each strand. It strengthens and moisturizes hair, increases it’s ability to receive and maintain moisture.

Hydrolyzed Silk Protein: Derived from one of the strongest natural fibers in the world. Forms a cystalline protective barrier on strands. Improves hair’s elasticity, resiliency, increases shine (silk is known for it’s ability to hold 10,000 times it’s weight in water.).

GlycoProtein: Derived from oyster shells, contains sugar and amino acids that help strengthen and smooth hair.

Milk Protein (Lactabumin): Derived from milk, high in lactic acid containing 8 essential amino acids. Has been labeled the most perfect protein. Great for dry or damaged hair.

Hydrolyzed Soy Protein: Water soluble protein derived from soy. Strengthens and mends hair fiber. Increases the ability for hair to hold moisture. Adds shine and smoothes hair.

Collagen Protein: Increases elasticity in hair.

Vegetable Protein: Hydrates hair. Great for porous or damaged hair and split ends. Absorbs more easily into hair shaft than animal protein. Leaves no build up.

Animal Protein: Breaks down into fatty acids and coats the hair. Leaves build up on the hair.

Keratin Protein: Every ones hair is made up of keratin protein. This is the strongest of the hair product proteins.  When used in product form, it strengthens the hair shaft preventing breakage. Smoothes the hairs cuticle reducing frizz and making it softer and shinier.