When it comes to healthy hair, you’ve probably heard the word keratin mentioned and all of the haircare products that contain the ingredient. But you might not be totally sure what exactly it is and what it’s supposed to do. So, I decided to help us all out and ask the experts what it’s all about.
It turns out our skin, hair, and nails are all made up of keratin, which is a structural protein. “Hair is made up mainly of keratin, as well as some Keratin Associated Proteins or KAPs, lipids, and a few other minor constituents like minerals and water,” explains Suveen Sahib, founder of K18 Hair. “Keratin exists in a few forms. The key to hair strength and elasticity lies in alpha keratin, which forms long, helical intertwined fibers in the hair’s cortex. Think of it as a rope inside of the hair. These run along the length of hair and provide that resiliency that contributes to the hair’s tensile strength.”
Celebrity hairstylist, trichologist, and founder of Act + Acre, Helen Reavey, adds that keratin helps nourish the hair by filling in the gaps in the cuticle and is often used in haircare to help fight against frizz.