Our hair has exceptional properties that are often ignored.
They can withstand repeated thermal and physical stress, live for several years, and be 3000 to 4000 times longer than their own diameter.
These extraordinary performances are mainly due to a very specific protein: Keratin .
We explain in more detail below the characteristics of Keratin , and the influence of micronutrition to optimize its properties.
Keratin, the constituent protein of hair
Our hair (and our nails) are mainly made up of a specific protein: Keratin .
This protein is found in all mammals, in the horns, hairs or with a slightly different composition, in the skin.
Keratin is a fiber that has the property of bonding with other Keratin fibers to create very strong but flexible spirals. It is mainly on the quality of these secondary spiral structures that the flexibility and resistance of our hair will depend.
The structure of the hair: an architectural marvel!
The hair is made up of a root, implanted in the scalp and a shaft, very long compared to the diameter of the hair (0.1mm).
This stem is itself structured as follows:
- The center: this is the medullary part, which is essentially a hollow tube,
- Intermediate part: the cortex. It is made up of keratinized cells , with an elongated shape, associated with pigments which determine the color of the hair: melanins,
- The protective outer layer : the cuticle. This highly keratinized layer is made of scales, which are flat, nucleusless, unpigmented cells.
In terms of composition, keratin is found in 95% of the hair structure.
The helical structure of keratin
In the hair, Keratin is found in the form of a fibrous molecule (alpha keratin).
This primary fiber is made up of 18 amino acids including a high proportion of alanine, leucine, arginine, and cysteine.
This primary fiber will then bind to other keratin fibers to form a secondary spiral structure which then clumps together into filaments.
And to be able to bond together, the primary fibers are connected by “bridges” of sulfur atoms from sulfur-containing amino acids ( Methionine and Cystine ).
It is the quality of these spirals and filaments and the number of these connecting bridges that determine the resistance and flexibility of the hair!
Thus, any deficiency in sulfur-containing amino acids results in less resistance and flexibility of the hair, which in this case is more brittle.
Keratin and frizzy and curly hair
The hereditary and genetic nature of curly and frizzy hair is undeniable: it is transmitted by parents and is expressed throughout life.
The strongest explanation for this characteristic is a particular configuration of the hair follicle, which creates an asymmetry in the structure of the hair when it grows. The production matrix is more developed on one side of the follicle, which naturally creates a tendency for the hair to curl.
In all cases, we observe less growth in curly hair compared to straight hair (approximately 50% less) and above all their greater mechanical fragility, with greater risks of breakage. Curly/frizzy hair needs even more respectful care!
The properties of Keratin in hair
The main characteristic of Keratin spirals is their structural stability.
In situations of mechanical stress linked to head movements, wind, styling, etc., they keep their shape.
The more connecting bridges there are between the primary fibers, the more resistant, supple and less brittle the hair is.
It should be noted that the mechanical properties of these keratin spirals are exceptional when compared to other synthetic fibers (nylon, carbon, etc.).
Keratin is not properly soluble in water but the hair (the tube whose center is hollow) has the capacity to partially retain water (hence the difference in texture between wet and dry hair).
Frequent exposure to water still reduces the resistance of keratin by weakening the connecting bridges between the fibers.
Keratin, a protein also present in nails
Keratin is also a constituent protein of nails.
Nail keratin is harder than hair keratin. This is explained by a slightly different composition, with an increased proportion of sulfur-containing amino acids (methionine/Cystine-cysteine) which increase the number of connecting bridges between the primary Keratin fibers, which creates their greater mechanical resistance.
Keratin and food supplements
Our food supplement for hair is a synthesis of the latest nutritional knowledge - notably with vegetable Biotin and extracts of Millet and Saw Palmetto - to provide all the essential micronutrients for the strength and beauty of hair and particularly for the best structure of the spirals of Keratin (Biotin, Zinc, Sulfurized Amino Acids, B vitamins, Selenium)
It includes in particular direct contributions of Methionine and Cystine, sulfur amino acids whose importance has been highlighted for the structure of keratin fibers between them and catalysts for the synthesis of Keratin: Natural Biotin, vitamin B6 from yeast and beer and Zinc.
These targeted contributions allow the best possible composition of Keratin fibers at the time of hair growth. They are stronger and more resilient.
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