By Jc of The Nat­ur­al Haven
Click here for part 1 of this series.

Avril asks: ‘What do pro­tein treat­ments real­ly do for your hair, in par­tic­u­lar eggs? What is it in ApHogee 2 step pro­tein treat­ment that makes the hair so hard, and how do we ben­e­fit from it?’

Kel­ly asks: ‘I thought nat­ur­al hair was undam­aged, do we real­ly need to use pro­tein con­di­tion­ers?’

Jan asks: ‘Can I add amino acids to my hair con­di­tion­er to make a pro­tein con­di­tion­er?’

____________

Let me start by describ­ing pro­teins. Pro­teins are made up from sin­gle units known as amino acids (see the dia­gram below). These amino acids (approx­i­mate­ly 20 dif­fer­ent types) are arranged joined togeth­er through pep­tide bonds. For sim­plic­i­ty I have drawn just 4. The order and num­ber of amino acids that make up a pro­tein is deter­mined genet­i­cal­ly (DNA is won­der­ful!!). Each pro­tein is made up sev­er­al hun­dred to a few thou­sand amino acids. Again for sim­plic­i­ty I have drawn just a few amino acids.

In order for a pro­tein to be use­ful for hair, it has to be bro­ken up into small­er seg­ments. This is because pro­teins such as col­la­gen, wheat pro­tein or ker­atin are TOO LARGE to be use­ful. By break­ing the pro­tein up into small­er frag­ments (known as hydrol­ysed or hydrolyzed pro­tein). Amino acids on the oth­er hand areTOO SMALL.

So why is hydrol­ysed pro­tein the cor­rect size?
This is because to be use­ful, the pro­tein has to adsorb (yep with a D) to hair. Adsorb means the pro­tein sticks to and forms tem­po­rary bonds with the hair. Very large pro­tein sim­ply can’t form these bonds reli­ably. Amino acids on the oth­er hand tend to be very sol­u­ble in water so you can expect that you will remove major­i­ty of what­ev­er you put on once you rinse your hair. With dam­aged hair, very small hydrol­ysed pro­tein (known as pep­tide frag­ments) can also be absorbed — yes this can pen­e­trate through to the cor­tex and be deposit­ed in the hair shaft (Jour­nal of Cos­met­ic Sci­ence, pg69-87, 1993).

Size Mat­ters
Just before mov­ing on, let me just say that even hydrol­ysed pro­tein has an ide­al size for use:

For col­la­gen hydro­sy­lates for exam­ple, this is a mol­e­c­u­lar weight of 2000 (Book ref­er­ence — Con­di­tion­ing agents for hair and skin By Randy Schueller, Per­ry Romanows­ki).

For wheat hydro­sy­lates this is around 5000–10000 ( Book ref­er­ence -Prin­ci­ples of Poly­mer Sci­ence and Tech­nol­o­gy in Cos­met­ics and Per­son­al Care By Errol Desmond God­dard, James V. Gru­ber).

The prob­lem is that I have not seen a sin­gle pro­tein con­di­tion­er actu­al­ly state the mol­e­c­u­lar weight. The pro­tein part of eggs (egg white/egg albu­min) has a mol­e­c­u­lar weight of approx­i­mate­ly 33000- 40000 (The Jour­nal of Bio­log­i­cal Chem­istry, pg 189–193, 1939). I can’t find a ref­er­ence for hydrol­ysed egg albu­min size but I would strong­ly sus­pect that this mol­e­c­u­lar weight is too large to be ben­e­fi­cial.

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33 Comments on "All About Protein Treatments, Part 2: Hydrolyzed Protein & the ApHogee Treatment"

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Terese

Thank you for this arti­cle! I real­ly appre­ci­ate the knowl­edge on pro­teins.
How­ev­er, I have a ques­tion. You explained that the hydrol­ysed pro­teins only TEMPORARILY patch the hair. Why is this tem­po­rary? What can we do to per­ma­nent­ly patch the hair?

Rashonda
I have tried Aphogee Two-Step Pro­tein Treat­ment before but it made my hair stiff and dry. :( And not to men­tion, it had a ter­ri­ble smell! So I have found some­thing even bet­ter called Nutress Hair Pro­tein Pack. I’ve been search­ing for a sim­ple but good pro­tein treat­ment. It gives the hair pro­tein and mois­tur­izes at the same time (two steps in one). It was def­i­nite­ly eas­i­er to use and gave my hair a great tin­gling sen­sa­tion. After using this prod­uct, my hair felt stronger and the amount of break­age decreased. Plus it’s super afford­able even just to try. I… Read more »
arianna17
Rashon­da, I know I’m respond­ing a year late, but Aphogee Two-Step Pro­tein Treat­ment is a strong treat­ment (as you already know) so you want to fol­low-up with a very good qual­i­ty mois­tur­iz­ing con­di­tion­er (NO PROTEIN IN IT). This will give your hair the protein/moisture bal­ance it needs. Aphogee Two-Step is one of the best pro­tein Treat­ments for dam­aged hair. Don’t give up on it! Keep work­ing with it! Note: The bal­anc­ing con­di­tion­er, the one in the pur­ple bot­tle that Aphoghee rec­om­mend that you use after the pro­tein treat­ment, is hor­ri­ble in my opin­ion and didn’t do any­thing for my hair.
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[…] Is this treat­ment just a bunch of bull? Most like­ly. In order for pro­tein treat­ments to be ben­e­fi­cial to your hair (i.e. have restora­tive and restruc­tur­ing impact), they have to be hydrolyzed (bro­ken down into small­er sec­tions). Pro­teins like eggs, bull sperm, and oat flour are on a mol­e­c­u­lar lev­el, too large to have any sig­nif­i­cant impact. Maybe in the future, a hydrolyzed bull sperm…. HydroB­ull, any­one? For more infor­ma­tion on pro­tein treatments,click here. […]

Carol

I did not know much about pro­tein treatment.…thx for the info. What oth­er prod­ucts can I use besides aphogee coz I do not know where to get it? Sec­ond­ly what would be the order of events dur­ing the treat­ment?

Rashonda

I would rec­om­mend using Nutress Hair Pro­tein Con­di­tion­ing Treat­ment.:) You can find it at Sally’s or http://www.nutresshair.com

Oliver

DO, NOT, BELIEVE, THE HYPE! THIS IS ALL MARKETING BS AND HAIR, AND PROTEINS ETC DO NOT IN ANY WAY SHAPE OR FORM WORK THIS WAY (SORRY FOR THE ALL CAPS)

chanzii1

This was great! I learned a lot ! Thank you!

trackback

[…] high­light­ed the two “hydrolyzed” ingre­di­ents because I recent­ly read this BGLH post, All About Pro­tein Treat­ments, that stressed an effec­tive pro­tein treat­ment must con­tain hydrolyzed pro­teins as those are the […]

Kyndal

Aphogee works won­ders!!!

The Natural Haven

I just real­ized that many of you said thank you for the dia­grams. Please excuse my lazi­ness for today and I will just say a huge your wel­come and thank you for the com­pli­ments :)

GorgeousSmile

The mod­el on this page is so pret­ty.

Amayou

Great infor­ma­tion so Here is what I learned and hope­ful­ly this is accu­rate LOL
— Eggs sit­ting on my head are pret­ty much point­less (I’d do bet­ter eat­ing them)
— I should con­tin­ue using my Aphogee 2 Step Pro­tein peri­od­i­cal­ly
— Rinse Off con­di­tion­ers do just that RINSE OFF, and down my drain
— When I do decide to Col­or my hair I need to keep up with my Pro­tein treat­ments to keep it healthy
Thanks again.

trackback

[…] The addi­tion of pro­tein in my hair regime has beena con­tribut­ing fac­tor to my length reten­tion and growth.  Check out this arti­cle on BGLH online about hydrol­ysed pro­teins. […]

Jordan

thanks for break­ing it down, i’ve noticed some dam­age to my hair after i col­ored it & when twist­ing it. i’m going to try a pro­tein treat­ment asap and see if it helps. (i also trim my end reg­u­lar­ly, but i think i need them pro­fes­sion­al­ly done)

judyann

A gib thank you for both part 1–2.and all the diagrams,clear illus­tra­tions.

deeflyy
one last thing to note (and then i’m log­ging off- i swear!:) is that for some there can be such a thing as too much deep con­di­tion­ing which also pro­duces brit­tle hair. i learned this from a hair­dress­er when after weeks of sit­ting under the dry­er faith­ful­ly with my con­di­tion­er, i had a mix of very dry ends in my crown. before talk­ing to her, i thought that more time under the dry­er with my con­coc­tions of con­di­tion­er and essen­tial oils would save the day, but no such luck. after learn­ing that i’d been pos­si­bly spend­ing too much time under… Read more »
Alexia

Also, I think the fol­low­ing link is very help­ful, offered by a fel­low com­menter: http://radiant-brown-beauty.com/shocking-truth-about-protein-and-hair/

She debunks the myth of “pro­tein sen­si­tiv­i­ty”, describes why hair becomes hard, and gives tips about how to do a prop­er job of a pro­tein treat­ment so that your hair is mois­tur­ized and doesn’t become brit­tle.

Juliette

I love this link thanks alot

deeflyy

great link!

deeflyy
Thanks for the cita­tions as well as graph­ics to go with your expla­na­tion. I’ve picked up a lot of this knowl­edge por­ing over dif­fer­ent arti­cles over the years, but it’s always nice to see it all in one place w/ sci­en­tif­ic back­up! Re: Aphogee treat­ments, i have been using them for years and swear by them. when i had a perm it would make an instant dif­fer­ence in reduc­ing break­age (i used a LOT of heat on my hair then). hav­ing been nat­ur­al almost 8 years (main­ly so i can highlight/color my hair), i’ve found the treat­ments par­tic­u­lar­ly use­ful 2… Read more »
The Natural Haven

Thanks for the com­pli­ments on the cita­tions and graph­ics :)

Lynette

I just used egg, mayo, and olive oil and hon­ey. Some­times I add oth­er oils like coconut, jojo­ba, and any oth­er oils I have. I do this every oth­er week and my hair loves it. I have noticed a lot less shed­ding and frizz. My moth­er used to put this in my hair when I was lit­tle and it helped my hair to grow nice and healthy.

nica

but from what i was read­ing here, the parts of an egg may be too large to pen­e­trate and bond with the hair, right?

Cee

how much of each do you use? and do u use it as a pre­poo or just a deep con­di­tion­ing?

Shannon

So, could you do this as a “pre-poo” con­di­tion­er, with a con­di­tion­ing cap under a dry­er for best effects?

Chrissie

No! Pro­tein treat­ments aren’t con­di­tion­ers in the sense that they aren’t oily soft­en­ers and you shouldn’t cov­er the hair with any­thing dur­ing the pro­tein treat­ment. The pro­tein struc­ture dries in a hard cov­er over the hair.

Bianca

What are oth­er options for a pro­tein treat­ment oth­er than ApHogee?

Rashonda

Nutress Hair Pro­tein Con­di­tion­ing Treat­ment :) Love it !

Malkin

Try a gelatin pro­tein treat­ment — Sci­ence-y Hair Blog has a good recipe:

http://science-yhairblog.blogspot.com/p/recipes-and-projects.html

Alexia

I’m doing research on this myself, and both Curl Junky’s “Repair Me” and Nexxus “Emer­gencee” have been rec­om­mend­ed to me. After doing a lit­tle research, I’m going to try the Nexxus and see how it works.

The Natural Haven

Komaza I believe has a prod­uct too

anastasia

Thanks for part 1 &2! =)

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