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By Jc of The Nat­u­ral Haven Bloom

Hair will be strongest when it is undam­aged and when formed while on a prop­er bal­anced diet with suf­fi­cient pro­tein and vit­a­mins.  How­ev­er, no mat­ter how gen­tle you are, it is nec­es­sary to han­dle hair while main­tain­ing it. This main­te­nance will dam­age hair and impact hair strength. Here are four meth­ods that are sci­en­tif­i­cal­ly known to increase the strength of hair.

1. Humectants — Glycerin/Glycerine

For nat­u­ral hair which is not bleached/treated with per­ma­nent hair colour, humec­tants such as glyc­er­in will increase the strength of hair (J Cos­met Sci, pp 39–52, 1985). This is relat­ed to the abil­i­ty of the humec­tant to hold on to water and increase the flex­i­bil­i­ty of hair allow­ing it to stretch with­out snap­ping eas­i­ly. Glyc­er­in works best in a detan­gling pro­duct as well as a leave in pro­duct. Glyc­er­in is sci­en­tif­i­cal­ly known to increase strength but oth­er humec­tants may work in a sim­i­lar man­ner includ­ing hon­ey and aloe vera.

2. Drink more water — Silicon in your diet

Sil­i­con (with­out an e) occurs nat­u­ral­ly in a form known as orthosili­cic acid. It is actu­al­ly present in almost all tis­sues of the human body includ­ing skin and nails. A recent small study found that dietary intake of orthosili­cic acid could increase elas­tic­i­ty and strength of hair ( Arch Der­ma­tol Res, pp 499–505, 2007). This is actu­al­ly one of the first stud­ies to link min­er­al sup­ple­ments with a mea­sur­able pos­i­tive result on hair. This min­er­al is present in drink­ing water and water based drinks such as beer. It can also be sold as a sup­ple­ment known as choline sta­bi­lized orthosili­cic acid. 

3. Cover your hair in the sun

UV radi­a­tion from the sun is respon­si­ble for dam­ag­ing the inter­nal pro­tein struc­ture of hair and with sus­tained expo­sure can also weak­en it. Sun­light also can intro­duce poros­i­ty at the cuti­cle sur­face (J Cos­met Sci, pp 271–281, 2003). As with skin, the lighter the colour of your hair, the more affect­ed it will be. White/grey hair is the most affect­ed and black hair the least. Melan­in in hair serves as a pro­tec­tive bar­ri­er from sun dam­age, and the dark­er your hair is, the more pro­tect­ed it will be. If you hap­pen to live in or hol­i­day at a place with strong sun­shine and you intend to be out­doors for an extend­ed peri­od, wear a hat or scarf to pro­tect your hair from UV dam­age and the asso­ci­at­ed loss in strength.  Sun­screen is just as effec­tive on skin as it is on hair too.

4. Proteins in your conditioner

Hair is pro­tein and as you can see from the UV radi­a­tion above, the more degrad­ed the pro­tein in hair is, the weak­er it will be. Pro­tein treat­ments or indeed small amounts of hydrol­ysed proteins/amino acids added into hair con­di­tion­ers and applied to hair can increase the strength of hair (J Cos­met Sci, pp 339–346, 2007). This is in part because the pro­teins can tem­porar­i­ly bind to flaws/cracks/pores in the hair and also because pro­teins do behave as humec­tants and help hair retain mois­ture. Hair that is dam­aged (bleached/colour treat­ed nat­u­ral hair) ben­e­fits the most from pro­tein treat­ment. The def­i­n­i­tion of dam­aged hair should be extend­ed to hair that eas­i­ly breaks/snaps, requires very gen­tle han­dling or eas­i­ly forms split ends. Reg­u­lar­ly using or adding pro­tein to hair will help main­tain or increase the strength of hair.

Ladies, have you tried any of the­se meth­ods? Share your results!

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51 Comments on "4 Scientifically Proven Ways to Get Stronger Hair"

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Okay

Good arti­cle, how­ev­er glyc­er­in does not real­ly work for high poros­i­ty hair. Although it retains water for a lit­tle bit, then it sucks the dry air into the strands. If peo­ple find the tips above are not work­ing, may­be check into the max hydra­tion method.

Abby

Honestly…the one and ONLY method that dras­ti­cal­ly helped me GROW (I mean, grow like weed lol) AAAAND main­tain the length of my hair was… *drum roll* WATER.
at least 1.8Ls of water a day. Seri­ous­ly my hair now grows like weeds. Also, I stopped sham­poo­ing my hair.. I only do it may­be 5 or 6 times a year. I co wash my hair at least once or twice a week. Seriously..my hair though lol

—-
my youtube chan­nel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCn8Be38cDN3dxKh5KfRLuEQ

Dr K

I noticed that my hair was not in the best of shape and it was split­ting after preg­nan­cy… it was very true that water is the key. I had become dehy­drat­ed from breast-feed­ing, I didn’t notice how much water I need­ed to keep up with. I increased my water intake and got a very good trim. My hair looks like it’s start­ing to bounce back!

leandra

water is the key for mi hair growth i drink water all the time ande mouis­tur­ize my hair with water and grease lol and my hair is strong than ever was i love water serius­ly water water water lol

Tri

Hi!

The hair on my sides and my tem­ple growth very, very slow. Also seems a lil weak­er. My back does well! Any advice is great­ly appre­ci­at­ed.

Thanks

Tyler

I’ve noticed that glyc­er­in makes my hair shiny. I don’t know about stronger though.

Tyler
onelittleblackdress.com

Nat

What about putting sil­i­con direct­ly on hair? I’ve been look­ing at Sil­i­con Mix Hair Treat­ment: http://www.amazon.com/Silicon-Mix-Hair-Treatment-16oz/dp/B002IT3KD0/ref=cm_cr_pr_sims_t

MissIsaMonalisa

why is glyc­er­ine not good for peo­ple with col­or treat­ed hair. and what can they use instead?

FeFe

Glyc­er­ine lifts the per­ma­nent col­or from your hair a good alter­na­tive may be to spritz with aloe vera juice and water. I had my hair per­ma­nent­ly dyed black, it allowed my hair to grow soft­er and stronger how­ev­er my black col­or start­ed to fade soon­er than I want­ed. Hope this helps =)

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[…] Source […]

Bernadette

I need­ed to know this about the glyc­er­in.

briggsy

So what is the issue with hair that has been dyed and glyc­er­in? Does it cause issues with col­or treat­ed hair?

Alton
I am cer­tain many of you have heard some­one say, “Your hair is dead, and so it does not mat­ter what you do to it”. But is it dead or alive? Actu­al­ly No and Yes. I will elab­o­rate on my answer for clar­i­fi­ca­tion. The hair out­side your scalp, phys­i­o­log­i­cal­ly speak­ing, is dead. It has no blood, nerves or mus­cles. In addi­tion, when cut you feel no pain nor does it bleed or pull a mus­cle when stretched. How­ev­er, for a dead fiber it is quite remark­able. A healthy hair strand will stretch up to 30% of its length, can absorb… Read more »
awesome

i thought sil­i­con was bad for hair.sooo con­fused :/

Tanya

Sil­i­cone (with an e) is what you’ve heard is bad for the hair. Sil­i­con (with­out an e) is not bad for the hair.

Colalover

Also good tooth health. Tak­ing care of our teeth is impor­tant. I had an infect­ed tooth removed, and hon­est­ly I saw a change in my hair.

Colalover

White tea is great for keep­ing skin smooth!

Natalie

I don’t do any of the above except drink lots of water and I would nev­er put sun­screen, full of nasty chem­i­cals, on my body or hair, coconut oil is a nat­u­ral sun­screen ladies.
I keep to a sim­ple rou­tine and have love­ly strong hair.
I think my diet which is high in raw veg­eta­bles and fruit, cuts out processed foods and tak­ing fish oil sup­ple­ments like Blue Ice Roy­al (Butter/CLO blend) Gel are what keep me and my hair healthy. I drink organ­ic raw ACV as well as using it on my hair, fab­u­lous.

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[…] This is in part because the pro­teins can tem­porar­i­ly bind to flaws/cracks/pores in the hair and also because pro­teins do behave as humec­tants and help hair retain mois­ture. Hair that is dam­aged (bleached/color treat­ed nat­u­ral hair) ben­e­fits the most from pro­tein treat­ment. The def­i­n­i­tion of dam­aged hair should be extend­ed to hair that eas­i­ly breaks/snaps, requires very gen­tle han­dling or eas­i­ly forms split ends. Reg­u­lar­ly using or adding pro­tein to hair will help main­tain or increase the strength of hair….More at 4 Sci­en­tif­i­cal­ly Proven Ways to Get Stronger Hair | Black Girl with &#… […]

mangomadness

I do #1. I use rin­se-out con­di­tion­ers, deep con­di­tion­ers, leave-in con­di­tion­ers and mois­tur­iz­ers with glyc­er­in in the ingre­di­ents. Hair care prod­ucts keeps my hair mois­tur­ized, soft and sup­ple which helps to reduce break­age.

ta ney-ney

What a great arti­cle! I love infor­ma­tive blogs! Keep up the good work! going to ama­zon to buy me a big bot­tle of Glyc­er­in! thats the one thing i used con­sis­tent­ly with my hair my first year after BC and not in my sec­ond year and my hair is seri­ous­ly strug­gling! thanks for the reminder

Anita
My hair has been real­ly dam­aged from heat and from my for­mer styl­ist not using the prop­er hair prod­ucts. My hair was very wiry, dry, and brit­tle the past few weeks and I recent­ly changed to anoth­er styl­ist who is more famil­iar with nat­u­ral hair and uses heat pro­tec­tants when blow dry­ing and flat iron­ing (my last styl­ist didn’t, she just used hair grease.) I got a deep con­di­tion­ing last week using the macadamia nut oil deep hair mask and she also used a pro­duct called It’s a 10 ker­at­in heat pro­tec­tant and a lit­tle mor­roc­can oil styling cream. My… Read more »
Tasneem

It very well may be the rea­son but you might also need pro­tein treat­ments

merry

don’t take a sil­i­con sup­ple­ment.

eat­ing a diet rich in veg­eta­bles will help you. cucum­ber and leafy greens have sil­i­con.

Irisnaturelle
Thanks Ill google it. We dont have tre­sem­me in France. We have gar­nier, gar­nier ultra doux, l’oreal but not much of the new branch­es you have in the US, the Ever**** of Lore­al are not found in super­mar­kets but more spe­cial­ist shops. to detan­gle I use gar­nier ultra doux with avo­cado and shea but­ter, but I think you dont have this branch in the US. we dont have suave, v05 etc as well.  Anoth­er thing, I heard bak­ing soda was­nt good (Kimay­tube) because it was very basic, it had a very high pH of 12 as high as that of the… Read more »
meowmeow

Lol super late but I use bak­ing soda because it’s the only thing that removes my pro­duct build up and my dan­druff. But I make sure to rin­se with Apple cider vine­gar to neu­tral­ize the basic pH plus acv is excel­lent for keep­ing away dan­druff and keep­ing the shiny and able to retain mois­ture

kiyla
Hey, I used to live in Lille so I know how hard it can be to get prod­ucts. You can buy glyc­er­in from almost every phar­ma­cy and most chi­ne­se stores sell coconut oil too which is great to add to your con­di­tion­er to get stronger hair.  My rou­tine in France for stronger hair was the fol­low­ing: co-wash with car­refour con­di­tion­er (cher­ry) to wash and Gar­nier Fruc­tis anti-frisot­tis to con­di­tion. The Gar­nier Fruc­tis is absolute­ly amaz­ing — it con­tains Ker­at­in so it real­ly makes your hair strong and soft. Last­ly, I would fill a spray bot­tle with one part hon­ey, one… Read more »
Flairelle
I live in France also and for the past 2 years can­not find what i need for my hair. Infact my fast grow­ing hair does not want to grow here. I also use the Gar­nier Ultra and I look at Kim­may­tube. Yes Bak­ing soda has a high PH but if you are only use nat­u­ral NON SULFATE sham­poos a lit­tle bit of bak­ing soda with that is good to use when your hair is very dirty, has gel or oth­er pro­duct buildup. I just pur­chased many nat­u­ral prod­ucts to make my own sham­poo and con­di­tion­er you can check the parapharmacie(HUGE DIFFERENCE).… Read more »
Dananana

I’ve heard it before, and per­son­al­ly, I don’t like what bak­ing soda/ACV treat­ments do to my type 4 hair…I real­ly feel like it dries it out by strip­ping it, and it broke off a tonnn when I tried it a few years ago. I get my pro­tein from my diet, and when I want to strength­en, I henna/use home­made deep con­di­tion­ers with hon­ey.

Irisnaturelle

Hel­lo ladies,

I’m a French nat­u­ral and I’d like to do pro­tein treat­ments when I cant find my pro­duct near me and I cant go to the African dis­trict in Paris. 

Do you have any sug­ges­tions of ingre­di­ents that con­tains those pro­teins that are good for pro­tein treat­ment?
You men­tion sev­er­al options in the humec­tant cat­e­go­ry but for the pro­tein there are none. Any­one can help me out? 

Thanks

Lexi J

avo­cado
may­on­aise
yogurt

Tiff Dizzle

try the cher­ry lola method… Google it… but its easy at home prod­ucts you can use… Brag­gs Amino Acids Bak­ing Soda and Yogurt.…

IDK what brands you guys have there but I use Tre­sem­me nour­ish­ing rit­u­als pro­tein renewal cre­me as a con­di­tion­er once a mon­th

Abiola

lol@ hair isnt alive

Binti

I believe hair is alive. Why will hair con­tin­ue to grow if its not alive?

Lexi J

Once hair breech­es the scalp it is bio­log­i­cal­ly dead. That’s a fact love, not an opin­ion.

Gina

Inter­est­ing. I would like to know more about #1. I col­or treat my hair, jet black and use prod­ucts with glyc­er­in. What would be the adverse reac­tion?

The Natural Haven

There is no adverse reac­tion, you can use glyc­er­in on colour treat­ed hair. The strength­en­ing effect of glyc­er­in is not seen on bleached hair/ hair that has per­ma­nent hair colour.

Tiffiney

I have a ques­tion I per­ma­nent­ly col­or treat­ed my hair (went lighter) and I use glyc­er­in prod­ucts all the time and they tend to work way bet­ter than prod­ucts for col­or treat­ed hair am I miss­ing some­thing? Or has it just not been proven?

Martini
I would like to add it has also been sci­en­tif­i­cal­ly proven that con­tract­ing the cuti­cle on the hair is one of the best way to cre­ate strength AND flex­i­bil­i­ty which is very impor­tant to the integri­ty of the the hair. Stay away from pro­teins and oils that cause buildup on the hair because the mol­e­cules are too big to actu­al­ly pen­e­trate the hair shaft. This ulti­mate­ly can encour­age inter­nal dry­ing as the hair cant breathe under the­se coat­ings. We at our salon spent some years devel­op­ing a pro­duct line the helps to con­tract the cuti­cle of the hair. If your… Read more »
I got sense!

Hair isn’t alive so it doesn’t need to breath. Coat­ing ingre­di­ents, when used prop­er­ly i.e. to seal in mois­ture, are good for your hair.

The Natural Haven

lol this was such a fun­ny reply and a great name too, I got sense too

The Natural Haven

Actu­al­ly hydrol­ysed pro­tein is made of a string of amino acids, so it is larg­er and more sub­stan­tial (sticks bet­ter on to hair, resists wash­ing off eas­i­ly) com­pared to amino acids. 

Hydrol­ysed pro­tein prod­ucts — aphogee 2 step, komaza pro­tein strenght­en­er. You do not need to fol­low the instruc­tions on the bot­tle and can just add a few drops to your hair con­di­tion­er instead.

Yes some amino acids are known to pen­e­trate and adsorb bet­ter on bleached/severely dam­aged hair. The list is here http://www.thenaturalhavenbloom.com/2012/10/deep-conditioning-what-ingredients-in.html

Kator

Hi Jc,
Please when you say add a few drops of Aphogee/KomazaProtein Strength­en­er to a con­di­tion­er, do you mean we could use for a reg­u­lar deep con­di­tion­ing?

Jojuana

You once said you added some drops of liq­uid pro­tein too your hair prod­ucts. I have looked for hydrolyzed pro­teins to pur­chase and add a lit­tle to my prod­ucts but no luck. Can you tell me where I can pur­chase this liq­uid pro­tein? Thanks so much.

Jo Somebody

Hydrol­ysed pro­tein is just liq­uid amino acids (which is what pro­tein is made from), which can be found in many health food stores/muscle build­ing depart­ments. Brand does not mat­ter although I guess if you get a brand with all 20 amino acids, you can add it to your diet too.

Hmm, I won­der if there are par­tic­u­lar amino acids that are good for hair or if ker­at­in (hair pro­tein) is made of a com­bo of all of them…? JC? Any­one??

robin

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Why

Why?

OHR

^I do #1, #3 and #4. Bet­ter at #2. I always cov­er my hair in the sum­mer­time, and use humec­tants EVEN dur­ing the win­ter months. The trick is to seal effec­tive­ly. When I do my deep con­di­tion­ing treat­ments, I do use Vatika oil mixed with my favorite con­di­tion­er, then leave in and rin­se. Even my hair­dresser tells me I don’t need any stronger treat­ments.

african sun :)

i stay in Gaborone, Botswana (Africa) and this coun­try has the sun out 90% of the year. i nat­u­ral­ly drink lots of water and use glyc­er­ine (my grand­ma taught me :)) but the sun pro­tec­tion is my dif­fi­cul­ty. not sure how to keep it from the sun, and not always cov­ered all the time

Beatrice

Hel­lo dear,
you might want to try seal­ing with shea but­ter, it is a very good sun­screen for skin and hair. At least that is what my research has showed me

selah

I use 3 out of the 4, but now that I have locs, I am unsure how to do pro­tein treat­ments with­out caus­ing buildup…

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