Healthy and happy hair is a consistent desire among many women (and men too)! But without tenderness, love, and care, our hair often turns dull, lacking bounce and luster. Many nutrients have entered the market, promising faster hair growth. But, which ones are actually worth considering?
Keratin is among the popular buzzwords that have been popping up. But truly, what is it? And more importantly, does it really help our hair grow longer and stronger? We seek to explore that.
Does Keratin Help Hair Grow?
Yes! Keratin absolutely helps your hair grow longer and stronger because it directly improves the structure and strength of your strands. By boosting strength and resilience, keratin reduces the chances of breakage, ensuring your hair can reach new lengths without breaking or snapping.
What is Keratin, and How Does Keratin Help with Hair Growth?
By definition, Keratin is a fibrous protein that works to strengthen and support different parts of the body, including the hair. Keratin has a direct effect on our hair structure because of the way the protein operates. Because of that, it helps with hair growth from the inside out.
How Keratin Affects Hair Structure
Keratin is able to provide shine and luster thanks to its ability to smooth hair frizz. This comes from working on the hair structure itself. Cells that tend to break and become damaged tend to overlap, which creates frizz and dryness in the first place.
It’s a wonderful hair treatment because it bonds split ends and hair breakage back together to help with stronger hair structure.
The Role of Keratin in Hair Health
Keratin plays an important role in our hair health because it is the foundation of our hair strands. It is the protein that is directly responsible for how strong and elastic our hair is. Without it, we lose elasticity and strength.
That is why keratin is fantastic for hair growth! While it doesn’t cause the hair to grow at a faster rate, it does grow stronger and more resistant to breakage. Hair that snaps or breaks off easily lacks elasticity and keratin and appears to grow at a much slower rate.
The Science Behind Keratin and Hair Growth
Keratin is a main component and a contributing factor to our hair growth. From a more scientific point of view, this is because keratin is composed of amino acids, namely cysteine. These different bonds will interconnect keratin molecules that form the innermost part of the strand. Otherwise known as the framework of the hair.
Healthy molecules create healthy strands of hair. In a more simplistic explanation, keratin is the protein that makes our hair strong and healthy, just like the protein we eat helps our muscles grow strong.
Is Keratin Helpful to Stop Hair Fall?
Keratin can be incredibly helpful to stop hair fall for a few different reasons. We mentioned that it helps bond split ends, which reduces some hair fall. But sometimes, especially in the winter, we notice full-length hair coming out. This is due to scalp dryness and its inability to retain its grasp.
When a Keratin treatment is used for straightening hair, it can have the opposite effect due to other harsh chemicals. It can cause hair fall. However, a treatment solely focused on the protein itself can provide the moisture needed to nourish the hair and scalp. With excessive hair fall, it’s easy to fret over thinning hair rather than thick and dense hair.
How Does Keratin Deficiency Affect Hair Growth?
When our body struggles to produce enough amino acids related to keratin production, we can see hair growth diminish. Keratinization is a process that starts right at the hair follicle. It’s how the hair forms as the proteins form together and harden, making the hair follicle.
Without keratin, the hair growth cycle is slowed down, making it impossible to have Rapunzel-like hair. Elongating the hair shafts is a part of keratinization that isn’t possible with a keratin deficiency on your hands. That’s why supplementation with the right treatment is important.
Plant-Based Keratin vs Animal Keratin for Hair Growth
When choosing a treatment, it’s important to go with a natural source that mimics what you naturally produce in order to reap benefits.
Plant-based keratin is taken from plant sources such as corn, wheat, and soy. It’s a safe bet to say that plant-based keratin is both a sustainable practice and ethically sourced. In general, when extracting protein from a plant, we don’t have to worry about any farming issues.
It is considerably more environmentally friendly. On the contrary, animal-derived keratin is less than ethically sourced from such as feathers, horns, or hooves.
Effect and Absorption
Something that we can count on with keratin from plant sources is that their amino acids and proteins support the body's natural synthesis. With this being said, it’s more likely that our bodies will react better and have a more positive and fulfilled effect from this form.
It is not to say that animal-derived keratin does not contain essential amino acids. However, the effectiveness of these nutrients may vary. Plant-based sources lead to better absorption because their ingredients tend to be of higher quality.
Our hair care needs are different. They are unique, which is why different treatments should be formulated to meet those needs. Plant-derived Keratin makes it easier to customize formulations to cater to these needs. This means no matter whether you have straight hair, curly hair, or coarse hair, there is something out there for you.
Animal derivations of keratin are more fragile, which offers limited ability to customize and cater to needs. This is often why we don’t see effective formulas, even if a bottle or treatment claims to be a good option. Checking ingredients is key for this very reason.
Keratin vs Biotin for Hair Growth
Biotin is as popular in terms of buzzworthiness when it comes to finding a protein to support our hair growth and overall wellness. Understanding the difference between the two, however, is key. For starters, Biotin is a B Vitamin that helps support protein growth, which means they work nicely together. But there are a few more things to know.
Biotin adds to the protection of keratin rather than being the supplement that fixes any issue. Consider it the starting point in the chain, which is the building block for keratin to succeed. That is because it is the scientific process of building amino acids, which we now know helps form keratin.
One difference you will note is that Biotin is often made in the form of supplements such as powders and pills. It’s an over-the-counter product you can find in most drugstores and grocery stores. But Keratin is more formulated in gel-like structures like shampoos, conditioners, and serums.
How to Use Keratin for Hair Growth
Keratin will help anyone achieve fuller, stronger-looking hair when applied topically and with the proper nutrition and diet. It helps speed up the hair growth process when you have the right ingredients and apply them correctly. Let’s talk a little more about how to use keratin.
Keratin Hair Repair Serum
If you are looking for a quality plant-based keratin treatment, then Gisou’s Hair Repair Serum is a great choice. Their Keramatch V is a keratin that stems from pea protein and is ethically sourced. It creates a natural shield against any roughing of the hair from the environment or styling.
It’s paired with Mirsalehi honey, which is a powerful amino acid and humectant. This means all the ingredients are absorbed much better, which leaves our hair strong and hydrated. This is an important part of the haircare routine because while our bodies are hard at work to produce keratin naturally, supplementation is key. But not just any supplementation, the right one!
Optimize Your Diet
Keratin can be increased naturally through eating the right foods. Here is some food for thought on what to include in your diet.
- Fatty fish with Omega 3s
- High-protein dairy, such as cottage cheese
- Leafy green vegetables like kale and spinach
- Nuts and seeds
With a well-balanced diet full of protein and amino acids, our hair naturally strengthens and grows because our body is overall well-nourished.
Avoiding Potential Risks and Side Effects
Keratin straightening treatments often give Keratin itself a bad rep. It’s not the keratin that is the issue rather than the fact that it is used to offset the harsh chemicals that come from straightening treatments.
This often leads people to think that keratin can lead to hair fall or, worse, that it can save our hair from these harsh chemicals. The two extremes are simply not true, this is why finding the right keratin that is pure in its ingredient list is key.
Doing the Research
While we hoped to do much of the research for you, it’s still important to read labels carefully and have a full understanding of how keratin works. It’s also important to know where your product is sourced from. That’s why choosing a plant-derived option such as Gisou’s Hair Repair Serum is a great option. You know exactly what’s going into your hair and can reap the benefits without worrying about the consequences.