Many products out there promise to help you treat dry and brittle hair, but only a few of them deliver the results. Luckily, this might change soon. That’s because scientists have discovered that wheat gluten can help repair damaged hair. This protein could thus also help make treatments for split ends more effective.
What Causes Split Ends?
Split ends usually occur in people who have dry and damaged hair.
A fiber-rich protein called keratin gives your hair its strength and health. There are also many chemical bonds that connect these proteins and allow them to achieve their effect. But when you have brittle hair, these bonds become weaker and often break. As a result, the proteins can no longer help maintain your hair’s proper structure.
To repair damaged hair, you have to fix the broken bonds between the proteins. Many products out there use other plant and animal proteins to achieve that. But for this method to be effective, the pH value of these proteins would have to match the pH value of the hair. And that’s the reason why most of these products fail to have a visible effect.
How Can Wheat Gluten Help?
The authors of this recent study took wheat gluten proteins and broke them into peptides. Peptides are short amino acid chains that give proteins their structure. They then used chemicals to get the pH of these peptides to match the pH of hair keratin. After that, they added the pH-balanced peptides to a shampoo and tested it.
As expected, their wheat gluten shampoo showed great promise in helping repair damaged hair. According to the results, it helped reduce the friction in dry hair by 21%. For wet hair, the reduction was as high as 50%. This is particularly important because wet hair is more prone to damage.
The researchers are now investigating how wheat gluten works on different types of hair. If their findings hold up, they could serve as the basis of new evidence-based hair care products. This, in turn, would ensure that you don’t fall victim to false advertising that is common in today’s market.