Wednesday, 3 June 2009

Protein Conditioners for hair: part 2 of 2

So in part 1, I explored the difference between
1.Amino acids (small not very useful)
2.Proteins (large not very useful)
3. Hydrolysed/Hydrolyzed protein (good size, very useful)


The hydrolysed protein will be attracted to hair and conditioner tends to deposit better in regions of damage ( Journal of Cosmetic Science, pg 265-279, 2004). For natural hair, damage to the cuticle can come from heat, combing, washing, manipulation etc. This is likely to lead to cracked, chipped or missing cuticles. For those who colour treat their hair with permanent colour (not henna - read more on henna here) then the cuticle is likely to be damaged by the lifting process needed to get the dye into the hair shaft (Chemical and Engineering News, pg 52, 2000).

Hydrolysed protein can help patch up the cuticle. Colour treated hair does benefit the most from this treatment.

Now on to Avril's question - Aphogee 2 step treatment contains hydrolysed protein and it is quite high up on the list (second after water) which means it is probably an intense protein treatment. I don't know the exact reason why hair becomes hard during the process of treatment ( I don't work for them!). My theory is that the heat is needed to make the protein bind better to hair before the washing stage. The reason why the hair becomes so hard I would think is because of the protein binding to the hair and probably to some extent to itself (remember the hint - what happens if you apply heat to egg white? Meringue as Keisha said lol).

Why would the heat be needed? Well, most wash off products do exactly that - wash off. Therefore applying heat may make some sense to try and get 'stronger' bonds between the hydrolysed protein and the hair. The final step to moisturise the hair is necessary to restore pliability.

I have never used Aphogee but there are hundreds of reviews raving about its potency with effects from mending split ends, instant strength and stopping breakage. I can't really argue with a 5 star rating given by 113 people.

Over to you, have you ever used a protein treatment? Which one and why?

36 comments:

  1. I have started using protein weekly because my poor curls were so limp. They were very moisturized, perhaps a little too much so in retrospect. I use Mill Creek Botanicals Biotin conditioner. I picked it up at a natural hair meeting product swap, and I'm in love. The biotin conditioner contains biotin, hydrolyzed keratin, and hydrolyzed collagen as three of the first five ingredients.

    I usually leave it in my hair 2-3 minutes, rinse, then follow up with a moisturizing rinse out conditioner. I've noticed less breakage since doing this. Combined with protective, low manipulation styles this summer, I hope to reduce the number of split ends.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Interesting Keisha, tha sounds like a protein heavy conditioner. I have not heard of it before, I must look it up

    ReplyDelete
  3. I've been using eggs mixed with Coconut Oil, Olive Oil and Honey, but no more after reading this

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thanks for the info, so my leave in with amino acids is basically useless. *shakes fist*
    JC is hydrolised Collagen any good?

    ReplyDelete
  5. lol SweetStar. As a leave in product then it may not be all that bad, I would expect though that the amino acids will wash off once you wash or wet your hair.

    Collagen (sometimes called animal), Wheat and Keratin are the most common proteins which are hydrolysed for hair. IF you are looking for a protein conditioner to help reconstruct your hair, then look for any of this in the first 5 ingredients. Anything further down is just an accessory

    ReplyDelete
  6. Thanks a lot JC i think its the third ingredient in my DC. Ewww i never knew it was animal!!!1

    ReplyDelete
  7. I use megatek rebuilder (yep I know it is for horses but is supposed to be safe for human use - the ingredients look fine, I guess LOL!) It contains hydrolysed keratin and I think it is quite a heavyy protein but it says leave on for 5 mins then rinse - does this mean it gets washed out? It does not require heat either, does this make it less effective than say aphogee 2 step which requres heat and gets rock hard?
    I have (yet) another question if you do not mind- I am re-visiting coconut oil and so far so good. But i wonder if it is actually moisturising?? I know it is a hair strengthener and penetrates the cuticle but does it actually moisturize. So do I need any other product to help with that? Finally, if I mix it with my leave-in (currently using curl harmony shea butter conditioner as a leave-in) will it prevent the coconut oil from penetrating the hair shaft and doing it's work? Thanks!!
    Here are the ingredient lists for curl harmony shea butter cond and megatek.

    Shea butter conditioner Ingredients:
    Aqua, Behentrimonium Methosulphate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Butyrospermum parkii (Shea Butter), Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride (Guar Gum), Glycerine, Hydrolysed Corn and Wheat Protein, Panthenol, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol, Chlorphenesin, Fragrance, Silk Amino Acid Powder, Lactic Acid

    Megatek:
    LEADING EDGE TECHNOLOGY IN RAPID HAIR RE-GROWTH
    MegaTek is a revolutionary formula and a technological breakthrough. Strengthens without the use of synthetic polymers, oils, or petroleum based products. Contains Hydrolyzed Keratin to penetrate through all three layers of the hair shaft

    Ingredients: Deionized water, hydrolyzed keratin protein, stearalkonium chloride, glyceryl Stearate, peg 100 stearate, marine protein, peg 40, panthenal, dimethicone copolyol, magnesium citrate, Allantoin, amino acids, methylparaben, Mucopolysaccharides, propylparaben, imidazolidinyl urea, fragrance

    Incidentally Jc, what do you make of these ingredients in the above products?

    ReplyDelete
  8. Any thoughts on my questions, JC? Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Hi Didi - I should have commented to say that I've filed your questions down for me to research and answer. I am going to answer protein conditioner related questions from all the posts this week too.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Thanks Jc, looking forward to your response!!

    ReplyDelete
  11. such an important and useful post jc! i think it will really help people decide which protein to use.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Hi Everyone. I'm new to this blog but have used reconstructors/heavy protein conditioners from Aphogee, Joico, Grund and Loreal (my hair dresser just used this on my hair.) All of have taken my hair out when left on to dry or heat until dry. For your own sake NEVER - AND I DO MEAN NEVER, (ever) leave an intense reconstructing/protein heavy product in your hair until it is dry.

    You will be bald (but only in spots :)

    30 seconds to 3 minutes is all you need and probably every other week at the most. The aphogee product should probably be mixed with a moisturizer -- like a single cap to an entire jar of moisturizer. You can benefit from my trauma.

    Not sure why it took me so long to put it all together but I used to be protein crazy and simply believed everything the manufacturers said on the labels about application. Not any more.

    ReplyDelete
  13. So, would protein treatemtens be recommended for natural haired women who already use penetrating oils like olive and coconut?

    ReplyDelete
  14. Holy Toledo, you lost some of your hair!!? The more I read about this topic , the more I'm confused about protein treatments. Please, please, Jc if you could just tell us what products do have the best ingredients in them it would be so helpful. I'll be honest, I just barely squeaked by in biology in school. Please make it simple for those of us who are just looking for solutions with out all the complicated background. Until I have a clear understanding of a product and how it fits into a routine, I think I'll stay away from protein treatments for the time being.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Thank you so JC I learned so much to I went from reading your recent post on dry hair to humectante to oils to protein treatment LOLLL (i need to go back to studying i'm in nursing school!!). I'm going to try to do out the Aphogee Treatment i have been spraying my hair with a coconut oil/water mix(is this okay??) and then sealing with Elast QP's Mango Olive Butter I'm hoping teh proteirn treatment will help my hair. I joined one challenge (long hair academy LOL) on of the forums but they want you to oil your scalp...i was thinking hmmm no I shouldn't i remember reading your article on that on here a year ago. Thanks so much for this blog you're the best, Deanna

    ReplyDelete
  16. Deanna thanks for the compliments and good luck with the aphogee. My only advice on aphogee is that it will set very hard. When rinsing it out, just let the water flow over until the hair can move again.

    Coconut oil with water is mix that quite a few people like. I don't see anything wrong with it unless your hair does not like coconut oil (some people get crunch hair).

    ReplyDelete
  17. propylparaben, imidazolidinyl urea, fragrance

    carcinogens, proven

    ReplyDelete
  18. references would help knotty - also don't see the relevance of your comment to protein conditioners.

    I disagree outright with fragrance being a 'proven' carcinogen. The reason why fragrance is highlighted as a concern is that there really isn't a definition of fragrance therefore anything can be listed as fragrance. However there are plents of products which utilise real natural fragrance like esters from oranges or even actual lemon or lime. None of these are carcinogenic

    ReplyDelete
  19. Being that I use to use Eqyss shampoo on my horse with great results (it's the same line as Mega Tek Rebuilder that Didi mentioned) I'm curious to hear your thoughts on Mega Tek's ingredients.

    Also...I LOVE coconut oil. I use to massage it into my scalp and hair before showering. This way I received its benefits without it making my extra-fine hair greasy or weighted down. However, being that it's a 4 out of 5 on the comedogenic scale, it gives me bad acne. I had to quit using it. :*(
    Is there anything similar to coconut oil (something that holds proteins in) that I can try?

    ReplyDelete
  20. JC is meringue powder hydrolyzed protein or just dried egg whites?Wondering if I can add that to my conditioner, but I also read that whites have the opposite effect on hair as egg yolks..Oh and since the protein in egg r to karge of a molecules to bind to damaged hair why does hair get so hard after? Jus egg on egg idk.-PK

    ReplyDelete
  21. Hi JC,
    I notice you said amino acids are too small to be useful, but since there are so small, does that mean they could reach the cortex and help the hair retain moisture (rules of osmosis)?
    Hope that makes sense!

    ReplyDelete
  22. Whoops! This article is 2 years old! I thought it was new! Maybe you've already answered the question since...

    ReplyDelete
  23. My hair is dyed and fine and I'm looking for a protein treatment. I not interested in using alphogee because am afraid that it my be too strong. I'm looking to use more natural products like avocado, amla, coconut milk and yogart. Are these considered hydrolysed proteins.
    Kelly

    ReplyDelete
  24. No they are not Kelly. hydrolysed proteins have to be processed (i.e enzymes used to break them down)

    ReplyDelete
  25. Thanks JC
    So I'm trying to get the true understanding of proteins that penetrate the hair shaft.

    So natural ingredients that contain protein only provide nutrients to the outer layer of hair, since they may too large for the penetration?

    ReplyDelete
  26. I guess my questions should be the only way to get protein to penetrate to the cortex is through hydrolysed proteins, which are mainly commerical products.

    ReplyDelete
  27. In order for the protein to stick to the outer surface and repair small cracks, chips or tears on te surface, they have to be hydrolysed. In order for them to penetrate into the cortex (and some do!) they also have to be hydrolysed even further.

    Proteins (unprocessed) are generally extremely large and while they will bind somewhat to the surface of hair, they will not be as specific and effective in find and sealing cracks like hydrolysed proteins would.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Now I understand - Thank you

    ReplyDelete
  29. I have a question JC. I have seen hydrolysed silk proteins and hydrolysed amino acids. Would those amino acids still not be effective even though they are hydrolysed?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Naya - I'm not an expert but I believe that all proteins, whether large or small, are beneficial to hair... SAA's are helpful because their very small size allows them to penetrate through to the cortex, but on the negative side their small size means they are easily washed away.

      Delete
  30. I realize this is a old post, however I haven't seen the answer to this question "So, would protein treatemtens be recommended for natural haired women who already use penetrating oils like olive and coconut?" For a natural who does not use dye or heat would proteins still be necessary or should we eliminate them from our ingredient list/routines to avoid making the hair brittle/straw like?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Any hair that is easy to break or requires a lot of gentle treatment to handle is at risk of damage. Coconut oil does not take the place of proteins, its work is to help to keep moisture in hair and prevent expansion. Proteins mitigate damage to hair and so yes even naturals who do not use dye or heat can benefit from proteins to help patch flaws in the cuticle and increase moisture to the hair

      Delete
  31. Thank you so much for this blog! I'm starting to introduce protein conditioner so my regimen because I have fine,colored treated hair. The past few weeks I have seen less breakage but still it is a problem even after using Aphogee. My thought is to wait a few months before applying the Aphogee again and in the meantime keep using regular protein conditioner during every wash day. At least they will help the outer structure of my hair strands until my next protein treatment. Besides hot water and AVC rinses will protein conditioners in anyway help my hair absorb product more effectively? Product just sits ontop of my low porous hair. Thank you again for sharing your knowledge.

    ReplyDelete
  32. I love this post, so informative, .... just wondering if there is an order of potency for hydrolyzed proteins. Such as, keratin being the strongest, and silk being the least effective.

    ReplyDelete
  33. I use Aphogee two step treatment when my hair needs a heavy protein treatment (especially if it is breaking). I follow the instructions, using heat until it becomes hard and rinse as instructed. I follow it up with a moisturising steam. This is the only treatment I have used which stops breakage after one use and makes the hair stronger. I am not sure why Anonymous of 13 December 2009, had such a problem. Maybe her hair did not need such a strong protein treatment or she did not follow it up with the right products. This treatment works every time I use it (which is not that often, maybe two or three times a year as needed).

    ReplyDelete

I love comments! All comments are moderated so they will only appear on the blog once I approve them.