Hydrolyzed proteins in curl products..what does this mean?

This tip will help you to identify useful proteins in curly hair products.

Homemade Protein Treatments?

Homemade Protein treatments for hair. Off the top of my head I’m thinking:




All ingredients you could pop into a homemade hair mask, right?

Well, you could, but would they have any real effect on your hair?

These ingredients are all great sources of protein. 


egg mask as protein hair treatment

What’s The Problem?

The problem is that in their natural state, these sources of protein can’t actually penetrate your hair.

In order to add protein to your hair, the protein has to be able to get inside your hair. It has to be small enough to penetrate the hair itself. 

Protein molecules in their natural state are too large to do this. 

Milk, eggs and milk proteins are fine to digest (unless you have intolerances) because our stomach and small intestine gradually break them down into amino acids that we can absorb.

Our hair cannot break the protein down so the yoghurt (for example) simply sits on the surface until it is washed away.

Haircare’s Answer: Hydrolysis.

Hydrolysis breaks down the protein into amino acids. 

These amino acids are small enough to penetrate into our hair.

You will see proteins that have undergone this process listed on ingredients labels as ‘HYDROLYZED’

This is how we can identify proteins that will be beneficial to our hair.

Common Examples of Hydrolyzed Proteins in Curl Products

Here are some common examples that you’ll see

Hydrolyzed Rice Protein

Hydrolyzed Quinoa Protein

Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein

Hydrolyzed Pea Protein

do your hair products contain hydrolyzed proteins?

The higher up these are on a list of ingredients, the better. If they are within the first 5 or 6 ingredients they will have the most impact on your hair. 

Here’s why a homemade gelatin treatment is a little different.

Here’s my favourite product for adding regular protein into my routine

Curlsmith Feather-Light Protein Cream

It’s a lightweight styling cream that contains hydrolyzed rice protein. It has a medium level of hold and I use it on its own (instead of leave-in conditioner) or layered under mousse or gel. Fantastic stuff.

Speak soon.

Lauren xx

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