What’s the key to growing healthy, beautiful natural hair? You probably have a top ten list of best practices for this answer, but if keratin is not in your top ten, it is time for you to re-evaluate your stance. Keratin is a vital component of the equation for healthy, natural hair.
What is Keratin?
Let’s take a closer look at this thing called Keratin. Keratin is a naturally occurring fibrous protein that contributes to the overall the structure of the outer layer of your skin, nails, and hair. Think of keratin as a magical protein that gives your hair strength and protects it from the everyday challenges that come with merely roaming the face of this earth.
How Do Our Bodies Create Keratin?
The whole process of keratin creation is somewhat convoluted, but for this discussion, we will keep it simple. Our bodies have tiny cells known as keratinocytes that drive the production of keratin. These keratinocytes produce keratin in a repetitious cycle. Keratin embeds itself in our hair and gives it the strength and vibrancy it needs to withstand our indulgences in the use of heat or chemicals that can sometimes prove harmful to our hair.
Unfortunately, there is a single culprit beyond our control that causes keratin to diminish. Age! As we navigate the sometimes treacherous path to natural hair sainthood, we do so over the course of several years. As we begin to grow a bit older with each passing year, our keratin levels decide to drop. The decrease of this protein can be utterly disastrous if you fail to address it head-on.
From dull, dingy hair to unexpected hair loss, this decrease in keratin can wreak havoc on the overall look and feel of your natural hair.
What are the Benefits of Keratin?
The good news is that there are numerous keratin-based products on the market that are capable of reviving your kinks and coils. No longer are we beholden to a future of dull, dry, brittle hair. Many people make the mistake of assuming that keratin is a hair straightening agent. Let’s face it, if you have been on YouTube University or hair care blogs in recent years, most of these fashionistas and self-prescribed hair experts promote keratin as a hair straightening agent. However, keratin is not a straightener. It is a reinforcing hair element that offers a wealth of benefits for those with kinks, coils, andbountiful curls.
Let’s take a closer look at the many benefits that you should know about keratin.
Increases Hair Thickness
If you are struggling with thinning hair, keratin may be the answer to your woes. This protein adds an extra layer of protection to hair, enabling it to sustain its overall strength. That’s right naturalistas! Flexibility is the keyword here, and you need hair that is high in elasticity if you are to have thick hair. Keratin products like keratin-based shampoos like Shinkafa’s Anti-Frizz Detangling Keratin Shampoo with Biotin and conditioners like Shinkafa’s Keratin Leave-In Conditioner with Biotin may further boost the flexibility of your hair without stripping it of its natural oils.
Keratin Reduces Frizz
Frizzy hair can feel like the Hair Gods and Goddesses are handing youa defeat in the midst of the battle to achieve the perfect twist-out or on a day that youdecide to rock a classy wash n’ go. Let’s face it, we all love our curly locks, but we can do without the frizz. Your curly tresses make you a bit more susceptible tofrizzing than those with straighter hair. The reason for this has everything to do with moisture. Curly hair contains less moisture than straight hair.This quality is the direct result of the inability of oils to travel the shaft of yourcurly hair the same way that it can navigate straight hair. This smallflaw impacts this hair’s natural ability to seal in and hold moisture.
Keratin can help to reduce frizz without disrupting the curl pattern itself. Keratin-based products like a Shinkafa’s Anti-Frizz Detangling Keratin Shampoo with Biotin and Anti-Frizz Conditioner can help to establish a natural environment for moisture.
Keratin Decreases the Risk of Breakage
Shedding, damage, split-ends…call it what youwant, but hair breakage is frustrating. With the degradation of keratin, fragile hair can appear at anytime and rapidly spread to different parts of yourhead as a result of this deterioration of the proteins on the outer cuticle of our the hair. Adding keratin into yourhair care ritual whether naturally or through the use of a keratin-based productcan lower the risk of breakage by naturally reducing the occurrence of tangles and knots that accompany brittle hair.
Keratin ’s hairthickening and hydrating properties permitit to repairhair, restoring vibrancy and the flexibility of hair which reduces the chance of breakage.
Are your curls, kinks, and coils crunchy to your fingertips? Afraid to let anyone get too close to those locks? Keratin can softenand loosen curl patterns. Keratin smooths out the surface of follicles, giving your curlsa look of vibrancy, yet leaving them manageable enough to pass a comb.
Ways to Increase Keratin Levels in Healthy Hair Naturally
The cliché remains accurate in that you are what you eat. If you want more keratin wrapped around those follicles or you are simply looking to improve a keratin deficiency, the good news is that you can begin to replace those losses by modifying the foods you eat. Remember those keratinocytes? There are basic ways to change your eating habits in a way that helps those tiny cells to boost keratin production in your body.
Protein, Healthy Fats and Oils
Make sure that you are eating plenty of proteins, healthy fats and oils. Each of these can help those keratinocytes get moving with keratin production. Protein-rich meals that consist of fish, lean meats, and poultry can be an excellent source of keratin production. For all of you vegans and plant-based enthusiasts, foods such as almonds, beans, quinoa, nut butter, and walnuts can be an alternative path to acquiring adequate levels of protein to increase keratin.
Protein-rich foods like meats, beans, and eggs all offer access to dietary sulfur. Sulfur-rich amino acids help to form healthychains of amino acids that serve as a building block for keratin
Biotin-Rich Foods for Keratin Creation
Natural hair mavens everywhere sing the praises of biotin for a reason. If you want long, healthy natural hair, boost your biotin intake. Biotin-rich foods are yet another way to get those keratinocytes active. Avocados, sweet potatoes, beans, cauliflower, walnuts, pecans, whole grains, eggs with the egg yolk, salmon, and mushrooms are fantastic sources of biotin.
Get a Good Multivitamin
Make sure you have a good multi-vitamin on hand. There are several vitamins that play a role in keratin production and regulation.
Vitamin A intake can help you activate those keratin genes which help to trigger keratin protein production. Foods such as butternut squash, carrots, and pumpkins and leafy green vegetables such as kale, spinach, and collards are wonderful sources of vitamin A.
Vitamin C is not only good for boosting immunity and fighting colds but this powerhouse vitamin also helps to increase keratinocyte production generates the production of more keratin! Citrus fruits such as oranges and kiwis are rich in vitamin C. Strawberries are another excellent source of vitamin C.
Not ready to modify your diet just yet? Prefer to take an easier route? Not so fast. Try to avoid taking those keratin supplements. Most experts recommend for you to increase your keratin levels naturally through diet or keratin products that help to improve the structure of hair. Unfortunately, there are reports of hair loss as a result of having too much of these supplements in your body.
Keratin Treatments vs Keratin-based Products
Take note. Keratin treatments and keratin-based products are not the same things. Although the treatments are capable of keeping hair straight for an extended period, these straightening treatments are costly, time-consuming, and they can be damaging to one’s hair if not done correctly. Also, some studies demonstrate that they may still be toxic to the human body.
Keratin-based products, on the other hand are affordable, can reinforce hair elasticity and improve manageability without the side effects and risks associated with keratin treatments.
There you have it! Understanding the importance of keratin and how it impacts your hair is critical to the power of your natural tresses. Take the time to establish a consistent hair care regimen and implement a healthy, well-balanced diet that supports adequate levels of keratin.
When purchasing keratin-based products, look for products that will not damage yourhair or scalp. Choose items that do not contain ingredients such as sulfates, paraphenylenediamine (PPD) or formaldehyde. These are ingredients that can negatively affect your hair follicles or scalp by causing a sensation of burning, dandruff or contact dermatitis.
Finally, beware of products that contain ingredients or chemicals that are banned or known to be harmful. Look for those that contain natural ingredients such as soy, protein, olive oil or hydrolyzed keratin. The clock is ticking. It is time to take control.