Proper hair care doesn't always equate to packing as many ingredients into your hair as possible. What does the term protein overload hair mean? How do I avoid it? What to do when it appears and what are the symptoms? We check.
As we say time and time again, the most important thing in hair care is PEH balance. That is the balance between proteins, emollients, and humectants. Proteins have a smoothing, regenerating and nourishing effect. But too much can weigh hair down and dry it out. Sometimes, these effects are hard to distinguish from dry hair. We, therefore, tell you how to avoid this and what to do about it when your hair has too many proteins.
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Why does hair need proteins?
Proteins, or most commonly keratin, are the natural building blocks of hair. Whether hair is healthy and elastic or dry, dull and brittle depends on its content. Proteins are one of the three main ingredients of hair care products. And together with nourishing emollients and moisturising humectants, they form the PEH balance.
When does your hair definitely need more protein than the other ingredients? When hair is damaged, frizzy, straggly, tends to break at the lengths, is greasy and weak. This usually means after chemical treatments like bleaching or colouring. And also when hair is excessively styled with thermal appliances such as a hair dryer, straightener or curling iron. Proteins, such as keratin, collagen, milk proteins or silk in a low-molecular hydrolyzed form, can be found in shampoos, conditioners, masks, as well as in heat-protective and styling preparations. The supplementation of protein deficiency makes the hair more shiny and resilient.
What are proteins?
Proteins are simply proteins or a sequence of amino acids that are the main building blocks of hair. They are responsible for its resistance to external damage, regeneration, and filling in defects. They are essential for proper hair growth.
Proteins for hair - how are they divided?
Proteins can be divided into
- amino acids having the smallest molecules,
- hydrolysed proteins - with small molecules,
- large molecule proteins.
Amino acids are mainly responsible for faster hair growth and prevent hair loss. Here are the most popular ones:
- Arginine - thanks to the stimulation of nitric oxide synthesis, it accelerates hair growth,
- Methionine - has an effect not only on hair growth but also on its condition,
- Cysteine - is produced by our body and is essential for proper hair growth,
- Taurine - is produced by our body and is necessary for proper hair growth, Taurine - when it is lacking, hair becomes thin, its proper amount inhibits hair loss
- Tyrosine - is responsible for the color of hair, because thanks to it melanin, their pigment, is produced.
Hydrolyzed proteins are characterized by small particles. This is because large proteins can be broken down into smaller ones by hydrolysis. They can penetrate into the hair and have a positive effect on the hair structure. They fill in gaps in the hair, strengthen its resistance and give it elasticity. These include hydrolyzed keratin, hydrolyzed wheat, hydrolyzed silk, hydrolyzed wheat and milk proteins, but also egg white and yolk, kefir, yogurt.
High-molecular proteins are perfect for you if you have highly porous hair. They add body, smoothness and shine to your hair. These include keratin, elastin, silk, collagen, wheat proteins and milk proteins.
Reprotecting hair what is it?
There are plenty of products on the market today that contain proteins (for example, soy, silk, oat, wheat, corn proteins) that can repair damaged hair. However, if you provide too much protein in your hair care routine, your hair have to much proteins. Instead of improving the condition of your hair, you may harm it in the process.
Over-proteins Hair Symptoms
When hair is highly porous, i.e. the cuticles are wide open, hair is particularly prone to protein overload. In the case of such hair, the proteins contained in cosmetics easily penetrate the hair structure and very quickly build up and at the same time deprive the hair of moisture.
What are the consequences and symptoms of protein overload? First of all, they become dry, brittle and dull, lose elasticity, become rough and prone to frizz.
However, owners of low-porous hair also have to be aware of the possibility of to protein overload, when they make the wrong choice of shampoo and hair care products. In their case, hair becomes sticky and looks greasy and dull.
The symptoms are usually most noticeable at the ends of the hair, which are brittle and crumbling. Sometimes there is no other way out and the ends simply have to be cut off.
When does your hair need protein?
The signs of a protein deficiency are hair that is too slippery, dull, lacks elasticity and body and split ends. This is when you need to fill in the gaps in your hair structure. If your hair is dry and frizzy it is very possible that you have overdone it with protein, as mentioned above.
When hair is frizzy and flyaway, it is probably lacking emollients. When they are brittle and dry, it may indicate a deficiency of humectants.
In reality, our hair needs proteins, humectants and emollients in different proportions, depending on many factors. That's why it's important to keep an eye on your hair. Watch how they behave after applying products and draw conclusions.
Now you know what proteins are and how to use them. Remember that you need to combine them with humectants and emollients to keep your hair balanced and strong, healthy, and shiny. It is also important not to overdo it - too much protein is not good for hair. Take good care of your hair.