Too much keratin damages hair?

Dear Beauty Brains,

Keratin is everywhere on the market now, so it's hard to avoid. And I didn't until I heard that overuse of keratin-infused products can actually break your hair instead of repairing. I digged a little and found this Allure article
Now, is it a real thing? How does this even work from science perspective? I thought that only keratin straightning is dangerous as one of your podcasts cleverly noted. But simple topical application of sprays and masks... I don't know, sounds strange to me. And also does it depend on what kind of keratin is in the product? And what about other proteins like silk, vegetable, milk etc.? Do they also have same overdose effect on hair?


  • With all due respect to the chemist they consulted, there is no evidence that a keratin infused product will cause your hair to break more no matter how much you use.

    The bottom line is that you do not have to worry about overdosing your hair with protein. At best hair protein is a humectant / moisturizer on hair. It doesn't actually strengthen hair either.

    Putting protein on your hair is a bit like randomly dropping tiny pieces of cotton on a t-shirt hoping to fix a hole. It's mostly a marketing gimmick.
  • Thanks a lot, Perry, that's just what I thought!
    I notice occasionally that some of my super "restoring" products with keratin or other proteins do actially get heavy on hair and make it kinda dry, stiff and less manageable. But it could as well just be a buildup of cones and other polymers which are also inevitably there. However, good sls shampoo and an oil mask fix this just fine.
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