Protein shampoo is a type of shampoo designed to cleanse, strengthen and increase the elasticity of the hair. These type hair products typically contain several different proteins, including keratin, collagen and silk. Many also contain amino acids, which are essential in the production of protein. In addition to providing strength, protein shampoo will also contain a combination of cleansers, surfactants and moisturizing agents in order to cleanse and nourish the hair.
The most common types of protein shampoos are those that contain keratin. Keratin is a protein that makes up a large portion of the hair strand. This protein is responsible for protecting the hair and maintaining its overall condition. Keratin-enriched shampoos deliver additional keratin to the hair, which coats the strands and provides protection until the next wash. Depending on the specific product, keratin shampoo might also deposit protein into the inner layers of the hair for long-lasting strength.
Many protein shampoos also contain collagen. As with keratin, collagen is a protein naturally found in the hair. This protein provides strength and elasticity as well as protects against breakage. Collagen is commonly combined with keratin and other proteins to create a well-balanced product.
In addition to naturally-found protein, protein shampoo might also contain silk, plant proteins and proteins derived from animal products, such as milk. These substances are believed to smooth the cuticle and strengthen the hair. When used on a regular basis, protein shampoo should leave the hair with a shinier, healthier appearance.
While shopping for hair products containing protein, it is important to look for products that contain hydrolyzed protein. This means that the protein is broken into fragments small enough to penetrate the hair strand. If a protein shampoo does not contain hydrolyzed protein, the protein might not be able to permeate the cuticle of the hair. Instead, it is likely that the protein will coat the hair and create a protective, but temporary, layer. While this is helpful, it does nothing to improve the long-term health of the hair.
To further enhance the hair, many protein shampoos contain amino acids, moisturizing agents, vitamins and minerals. These ingredients help to moisturize, add shine, and improve the health of the hair. Many types of shampoo, including protein shampoo, also contain harsh surfactants and detergents. To avoid damaging the hair, it is important for consumers to choose protein shampoos that contain gentle cleansers that will not strip the hair of natural its oil.