Protein and its Affects on the Hair

Published: 26th January 2012
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When I first started my hair care journey, there were a lot of things I didnít know. Things that would have helped me save months of upsetting setups. This article is going to touch one of those subjects.

I wish someone had told me about protein and how hair is affected by it; How lack of it or too much of it can cause breakage.

As maybe most everyone may know by now, hair is made up mainly of proteinÖmore specifically, a special protein called keratin.

Keratin is protein made up of strings of amino acids wrapped tightly together to form hair fibers which in turn, form hair strands. It takes protein to build and maintain the protein in hair resulting hair growth and strength. Lack of protein or too much protein (protein overload) can retard hair growth and hair health.

We can usually get enough protein through our daily diet for hair growth and health, with the body taking what it needs and getting rid of the rest. If you donít get enough from your diet and you arenít adding protein to your hair through shampoos or conditioners, your hair may become weak and limp and just the stretch from a typical gentle combing, brushing or washing and you can find a sink or tub full of broken hairs.

On the other hand, too much protein when not only are you taking in enough though diet but also adding extra in like high percentage protein powders or strong protein hair masks, shampoos or conditioners and your hair will definitely let you know. It may become dry and brittle, breaking from just running your fingers through it, rubbing across your pillow at night and forget about combing it if you want to keep it on your head. Also, breakage can occur anywhere along the hair shaft (breakage is not when you see a teeny, tiny bulb attached to an end, that is normal hair shed which is okay if you and your hair are healthy).

A few years back, I went through five months of piling protein on my hair armpit length hair and drinking two eight ounce, high protein/calorie shakes a day (peanut butter, 100% whey powder, raw eggs and whole milk) because I was under the mistaken illusion that it would grow my hair faster. It didnít. All that excessive amount of protein did was make my hair brittle and dry to the touch, stop it from growing and thin my hair out in patches; you could literally see the wall through my picket-fence clumps of hair. No amount of moisturizing and conditioning did anything to counteract the breakage, I was wasting good product simply by trying because I was on protein overload. My poor body just couldnít handle it. It took over a year to not only fill in the thinning areas through constant cutting to even it out. Donít let that happen to you ladies and gentlemen.

So you see protein plays a major part in achieving healthy, long hair. Just be sure to have a good balance of it in your diet. Too much or too little can cause problems and though reversible, can hold you back even longer from the luscious, healthy, long locks you seek.

Nina Hobson is currently a trichology student (the study of the hair and scalp) and has been personally studying hair for over 25 years.
She invites you to visit her affiliate Hairbrosiaģ Hair Solutions (beta version-take a tour) where they offer you the only hair growth aids you will ever need.

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