Keratin may not be on your growing list of concerns now, but if you’re trying to grow healthier, longer and stronger hair, it should be. Keratin is a strong, insoluble protein, and the primary component of hair, skin and nails. Since nearly 90 percent of hair fibers are composed of keratin, the way our bodies produce keratin has a direct effect on the way our hair grows — or doesn’t grow, as is often the case. People with thicker layers of keratin generally have healthier, stronger hair; while people with keratin deficiency often have weak, dry, frizzy and brittle hair. A lack of keratin is also a chief cause of premature graying, hair loss and breakage.
If you suffer from keratin deficiency, it’s important to increase your keratin levels if you want to repair damaged hair and prevent hair loss. The best way to do this is by eating a diet rich in healthy proteins, such as vegetables, fish, chicken and dairy. Taking vitamins, such as vitamin C, folate, zinc, and all the B-vitamins, is also helpful. As you consume more protein and amino acids, your body will produce the keratin your hair needs to grow strong and healthy. You will also notice less frizziness and breakage.
If increasing your natural keratin isn’t enough, add keratin to your hair topically by using hair care products that contain hydrolyzed keratin — a manufactured keratin protein. These products have no effect on your body’s natural keratin production, but they do help repair damaged hair. So, the next time you’re wondering why your hair is damaged or falling out, don’t forget to consider an important little protein called keratin.