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1. 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?’
2. 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.

aminoacids

Whole Pro­teins are gen­er­al­ly 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 are TOO SMALL. 

hydrolysed protein

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 the mol­e­c­u­lar weight of the whole egg pro­tein may be too large to be ben­e­fi­cial.

Ladies, have you tried an egg con­di­tion­er? What was your expe­ri­ence?

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3 Comments on "Why Egg Conditioners Won’t Add Protein to Your Hair"

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Reina Benoir

I don’t mess with eggs in my hair because I keep imag­in­ing the dis­as­ter of try­ing to get egg bits out of my hair should the water be too warm for it. I just add Hydrolyzed wheat to a reg­u­lar con­di­tion­er and sit under heat for half an hour once a mon­th.

Cindy Joseph

i add eggs in my deep con­di­tion­er and leave it on for two hours or eggs with olive oil for two hours and it gives it vol­ume .i nev­er had vol­ume till i tried it plus it made my hair grow alot .just beat the eggs first then add every­thing else and mix it.

Imani Clark

What deep con­di­tion­er do you use? Also How many eggs? I have heard mixed reviews about using eggs for pro­tein but I def­i­nite­ly need pro­tein in my hair, and would still like to go the more inex­pen­sive route.

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