What’s the secret of soft, shiny, glossy looking hair? According to many, it’s keratin. But what is keratin, what does it do for your hair and where can you get it?
Have you used keratin hair products?
A recent survey from All Things Hair, found that 52% of people had used keratin on their hair. Keratin is a protein that occurs naturally in the human body. It can be found in the hair, nails and many other parts of the body. It is essential for healthy, shiny hair.
This is one of the reasons that keratin treatments have risen in popularity in recent years. From in-salon treatments to at-home products that include keratin, such as shampoos and conditioners, the haircare industry is awash with items promising straighter, healthier hair.
Why straighter? Because in addition to making her look soft and shiny, which it does by smoothing down the cells on the outside of the hair strands, keratin can be used as a semi-permanent straightening solution for curly and frizzy hair.
Do you need a keratin treatment or a change of diet?
Keratin treatments aren’t the only way that you can enhance the look of your locks. You can also encourage your body to produce more keratin naturally, by changing what you eat. Eating a diet rich in foods that will naturally help you to boost keratin production can do much for the state of your hair.
As such, if you just want to give your hair a little bit of TLC, rather than going for a more dramatic straightening process, following a diet rich in foods that will promote keratin production is a good starting point.
Eating your way to more keratin
So which foods do you need to eat in order to boost your body’s keratin levels? Eggs and salmon are both an excellent source of biotin, which is an essential nutrient for your body to product keratin.
For those who prefer to avoid animal products, sweet potatoes, onions and sunflower seeds can all do much to help boost your keratin levels. Onions are rich in N-acetylcysteine and folate, sweet potatoes in provitamin A and sunflower seeds in biotin and protein. All of these contribute to keratin synthesis, without the need for you to head to the salon.
Other keratin-boosting foods include mangoes, carrots, kale, garlic and beef liver.
Diet versus hair treatment
The effect that you’re trying to achieve will determine your approach to keratin. If you’re looking for a full-on straightening treatment, it’s time to book an appointment at the salon. However, if you’re simply looking for shinier, smoother hair then it could be time to head to the supermarket instead of the hairdresser’s.
You can also buy a range of supplements that claim to promote healthy hair growth and shine. Be guided by your dietician when it comes to taking supplements and bear in mind that it may be a better option to focus on getting the nutrients you need from the foods that you eat instead.