Some may not know that keratin and hair growth are closely linked, but keratin happens to be one of the most essential components in having strong and healthy hair. For people that have problems with brittle hair or hair loss, taking supplements or eating protein-rich food may help ensure your hair is sufficiently supported, helping your body produce more Keratin and healthier hair growth.
What Is Keratin?
Keratin is a protein that is formed by the combination of eighteen different amino acids. It plays an important role in hair growth, hair regeneration, and overall hair health. Keratin is produced through the multiplication and differentiation of cells, which are present beneath the scalp skin layer.
Some of these keratinocytes move out to the edge of the hair follicles in order to make up the outer and inner root sheaths of the hair, which are the protective layers around the hair follicle. The remaining become elongated in shape to give rise to the hair shaft. During this process, the keratinocytes will be filled with a lot of keratin fibers. When they have produced enough keratin fibers they die and leave the system.
Why Keratin And Hair Growth Are Connected
Every hair on your head consists of 90% keratin. It gives your hair strength and elasticity and because it is made up of long chains, it allows the hairs to turn, bend and fold without breaking. Keratin is not just elastic in nature but also insoluble in water. This increases its strength even more and is why the hair can withstand both extremely high and low temperatures. If you have enough keratin in your hair, the hot summer rays and striking cold winds of the winter are less harmful to your hair.
This is why hair products meant to protect your strands from the heat of styling tools such as flat irons, curling irons, blow dryers or coloring tools contain keratin. Applying keratin externally acts as a protective barrier for the hair and protects it from the harmful effects of these radiations.
Be Careful In Hot Sun or Cold Weather
Although hair can tolerate environmental stressors if it is supplied with sufficient keratin, consistent exposure to them at extreme levels can damage the bonding between the keratin strings, which are majorly responsible for maintaining the shape of every hair. Once the long strings of keratin get damaged and broken, keratin loses its non water-soluble property and it’s washed away. Because of this reason, many hair care products contain keratin as a potent ingredient to prevent keratin deficiency within the hair follicles.
Keratin also plays its role in making the hair shinier, suppler, and thicker in volume. In case of dry hair, keratin-containing hair oils and shampoos are recommended since external keratin therapy provides maximum protection against loss of moisture from the hair. If you want some extra keratin from the inside, some natural hair health supplements contain a bioactive type of keratin.
What Can You Eat To Get More Keratin?
Keratin is not found in any food, but if you eat food that is rich in protein and specific vitamins, it can help your body produce more of the hair-important protein. It’s not only great for your hair, but also for your skin and nails. Here are some examples of food that can help your body produce more keratin and healthier hair growth.
Sulfur-rich amino acids make up proteins like keratin. You find them in foods with a lot of protein, meaning meat, beans and eggs, and also some vegetables like onions, kale and asparagus.
Even more protein – so red meat, chicken, eggs, fish, yogurt and dairy products. Vegetarian options for high protein foods are beans, nuts, quinoa and nut butters such as peanut or almond butter.
Biotin helps metabolize the amino acids that produce keratin. You can find it in foods like nuts, beans, whole grains, mushrooms and cauliflower. Also, many hair supplements have biotin high up on their list of ingredients. Just remember that biotin is water-soluble, so it can be lost when cooking food in water.