Keratin is a substance often present in hair treatments. However, few know that it is a product of animal origin. Let’s find out what it is for and the equally valid cruelty free alternatives to take care of our beauty.
Keratin is among the most used and advertised ingredients in hair care products. But what exactly lies behind this substance?
Keratin: What Is It?
It is a fibrous protein consisting of long chains of amino acids within which mineral salts and vitamins are also interspersed. Keratin is of animal origin and is found in the feathers, mane, hooves and horns of several animals. We humans also produce and use keratin especially in hair and nails.
Mainly known as an addition to some shampoos, conditioners or hair treatments, this substance is also often used by the pharmaceutical industry to cover gastro-resistant capsules.
Keratin: What Is It For?
In hair treatments and products, keratin is often included with the function of making it more smooth and silky. This happens because this protein is rich in cysteine , an amino acid composed of various sulfur atoms that allows you to create very tight chains ensuring health and solidity to the hair. Basically the keratin chains adhere to the hair and recompact the fibers that compose them, helping to volumize them and make them stronger and in shape by acting from the inside.
This substance is also often used in treatments for frizzy hair as it has a strong smoothing and softening capacity.
But why is it necessary to use keratin? The problem is that often the health of our hair is severely tested by the use of aggressive products (for example dyes and bleaches) but also by pollution, chlorine from swimming pools, the sun, etc. There may also be internal factors in the body that make our hair more fragile, for example the intake of certain drugs, the consequences of severe stress, hormonal problems and more.
In reality, even if the products loudly advertise the presence of keratin inside, they do not always contain large quantities and in some cases they are even keratin- like proteins. If you don’t want to risk it, however, we present you with cruelty free alternatives to keratin, of sure natural and vegetable origin.
Cruelty free alternatives to keratin
For hair care we can very well avoid the use of keratin by choosing other natural products instead. The most effective are:
Linseed oil is an excellent natural remedy that helps strengthen, soften and shine hair.
A very precious and beneficial oil for the hair is Argan oil with which you can make a specific pack in case your hair is dry and brittle.
Another particularly suitable oil is that of Amla. It counteracts split ends, improves dry and frizzy hair but also helps in case of dandruff. Both on the hair and on the scalp, it should be kept on for at least an hour and can be used every week.
If you want to try ready-made hair treatments look for those based on soy protein, sometimes used in combination with millet (very rich in silicon cereal useful for hair) to make anti-fall and strengthening products.
Foods that strengthen hair
In addition to acting from the outside, if you really want to strengthen your hair, you must also help the health of the body by eating well. A diet rich in fresh, seasonal and vital foods such as fruit and vegetables ensures vitamins and minerals useful for the well-being of the hair, obviously also very important proteins that stimulate the production of keratin by the body.
Include in your diet more often:
- Whole grains (especially millet)
- Seasonal fruit and vegetables
- Dried fruit
- Oil seeds
- Spinach (rich in sulfur)
It is also important to promote the detoxification of the body by taking a lot of water every day and practicing the right amount of physical activity which also contributes to the elimination of toxins. Besides a healthy lifestyle, they will also benefit from the scalp and hair.
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