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Does silk protein really help your hair?

Ligirl217 says: I use Rusk’s smoother shampoo and calm conditioner. I would not buy my hair products at a drug store because they are loaded with stuff that makes you feel like your hair is silkier but it actually does nothing to solve the problem with keeping your hair in good condition. I use a deep conditioner by the brand Italy which makes hair dye and is sold at my salon…this thing is god sent because my hair is AMAZING after I use it (once a week). Here’s a trick: when shopping for both shampoo and conditioner, make sure to read the ingredients and look for silk or wheat proteins…it’s the key to healthy hair!

The Right Brain Responds:

We’d love to find out exactly which “Italy” deep conditioner you’re using, we’re not very familiar with that brand. However, we are very familiar with conditioner formulations so here’s the real scoop. First of all, from a scientific standpoint, there’s nothing inherently different about drug store conditioners. It is NOT true that they use ingredients that are very different than most of the salon or department store brands. There are good and bad products in drug stores and there are good and bad products in salons. Where you buy the product doesn’t tell you ANYTHING about how good it is!

Protein power

Now let’s address your second point about looking for silk or wheat proteins because they are the key to healthy hair. Although your hair is made of protein, protein doesn’t do much when added to your hair from shampoo or conditioner. That’s because to be made soluble, proteins have to be broken up into tiny pieces (called hydrolized proteins). These little protein fragments are not very effective and forming the kind of films your hair needs to more conditioned. Therefore, it’s the other conditioning agents in the formula that are really smoothing the cuticle and protecting your hair from damage.

The Beauty Brains bottom line

There’s nothing wrong with using expensive salon brands and looking for ingredients that you like. But just remember, there’s a lot of advertising hype in this industry so be careful. The more you know the truth about your products, the better shopper you’ll be!

{ 3 comments… add one }

  • slender January 2, 2014, 11:36 am

    Thanks for the clarification. I use sensai/kanebo who claims that silk is the key ingredient in making its products effective. Actually, I have never believed this for an instant. (I assumed it is just marketing nonsense.) I just like the moisturizing effects of the liquid face creams. Yet, they have become very expensive, don’t contain any sort of sun screen and constantly try to insist that has to buy the lotion as well, which looks basically like coloured water but costs almost the same as the creams. I am starting to think I ( or my bank account) may be better off using Olay or Olaz (different spelling in Europe).

  • Rebecca June 10, 2016, 3:40 pm

    Actually too much protein can make your hair so brittle it snaps, you need a good protein and moisture balance for healthy hair and especially if you have naturally curly/wavy hair moisture is a must, I’m a hairdresser and don’t recommend a lot of salon shampoos and conditioners unless I know the ingredients and the sulphates have to be derived from coconut and I never ever recommend shop ones as i personally find them to be nasty and don’t get me started on Pantene!!!!!! but I think coconut oil would be a better deep conditioning,moisturising and smoothing treatment than most well know brands, all the different products bamboozle my brain! So many chemicals!

    • Randy Schueller June 10, 2016, 10:00 pm

      Thanks Rebecca. If you can direct us to any evidence that too much protein makes your hair brittle, we’d love to share that with our readers. From a scientific perspective we’ve never seen proof of that and so we’re understandably skeptical. Thank you!

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