are the building blocks of all proteins. Amino acids are made up of elements such as Carbon, Oxygen, Hydrogen, Nitrogen, etc. There are 21 amino acids in existence and they're responsible in building all proteins. Various arrangements of these amino acids create new and unique protein molecules.
In hair care, amino acids are able to penetrate into the cortex of the hair fiber and increase the elasticity of damaged hair. Contrary to popular belief, amino acids are NOT able to straighten or smoothen wavy hair.
Pyrus Malus (Apple) Fruit Extract:
The extract of apples in Glycerin or Propylene Glycol is able to increase fiber elasticity in combination with other fruit extracts such as Lemon extract, Sugar Cane extract, and Green Tea extract. Apple contains Vitamin A, B, C, E, and K and other micronutrients and phytochemicals helpful in human health.
Argania Spinosa Kernel Oil:
Argan oil is produced from the kernels of the Argan tree (Argania spinosa L.) that grows in southwestern Morocco. This tree has well adapted to harsh environmental conditions such as drought. This plant type once covered North Africa but is now endangered and included in under the protection of UNESCO. Argan Oil is purported to have anti-oxidant properties due to the presence of Vitamin E and phenols. It is used in Hair and Skin Care products as an emollient, for hair conditioning, and as a hair shine agent. It also helps to relieve dryness in hair and skin.
Source: Wikipedia: Argania Spinosa
Blueberry contains many nutrients such as Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and Vitamin K. The phytochemicals present in Blueberries play a potential role in reducing risks of diseases such as inflammation and cancer. Blueberries can contain Resveratrol, which helps to protect the skin from photo-aging caused by UV radiation. Instead of using artificial color in hair and skin care products; blueberry powder can be used to impart a purplish-blue color to cosmetic products.
Mauritia Flexuosa Fruit Oil:
Buriti means Life Tree in the native Amazonian native language Tupi Guarani. It is a palm tree originating from the swamped and permanently flooded areas of the Amazon River. Buriti Oil is an important source of food while possessing hair and skin care uses. It's intense orange-reddish color is due to high levels of carotenoids. It has four times more carotenoids than a palm tree. The concentration of carotenoids reaches to 300 mg per 100 g of pulp. Buriti oil is also an important source of pro-vitamin A. In hair and skin care applications, Buriti moisturizes the hair and also adds shine.
is one of the Amino Acids present in Keratin derived from the human hair fiber. When two molecules of Cysteine combine, they form Cystine, which is a disulfide cross-link between two polypeptides. The Cysteine bond is very strong and is responsible for the elasticity and strength of hair.
Two molecules of Cysteine form one molecule of Cystine, consisting of a disulfide bond depicted by the two yellow dots.
An alpha-hydroxy acid and used primarily to peel skin, in order to exfoliate dead cells from the surface. Many skin care peels contain Glycolic Acid at a pH of 3.8, which is the right level for it to be the most effective in exfoliating the skin. Glycolic Acid also reduces wrinkles, acne, acne scarring, and hyper-pigmentation. Glycolic Acid can be used in hair care products to moisturize the hair fiber.
Green Tea Extract
Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract:
Green Tea Extract has many uses in skin and hair care products. Green Tea is made from unfermented tea-leaves and contains the highest concentration of polyphenol antioxidants. Green Tea is manufactured from both the bud and the leaves of the plant and contains many polyphenols, of which the most potent polyphenol is Eigallocatechin-3-Gallate (EGCG). EDCG is sold as white caffeine-free powder. Green Tea Extract acts as a skin-conditioning agent, skin protectant and is also believed to be useful for the scalp and hair. When used with other extracts such as Apple, Lemon, and Sugar Cane extracts, it strengthens the hair fibers and increases the elasticity of the hair.
The polyphenols in Green Tea are anti-inflammatory agents. Inflammation (Latin, inflammo, "I ignite, set alight") is part of the complex biological response of vascular tissues to harmful stimuli, such as pathogens, damaged cells, or irritants. The classical signs of acute inflammation are pain, heat, redness, swelling, and loss of function. Inflammation is a protective attempt by the organism to remove the injurious stimuli and to initiate the healing process.
Hair is made up of protein known as Keratin, which is insoluble in water. All proteins are made from their basic units called Amino Acids. Amino acids are organic compounds consisting of amino groups (NH2) and acid groups (COOH) groups. There are twenty amino acids and a dimer of an amino acid that exist in this universe and they are responsible in creating all the proteins in the universe including the hair protein known as keratin. These amino acids are the alphabets of proteins and are responsible in forming millions of proteins. The chemical structure of amino acids is shown above under Amino Acids.
When two or more polypeptides align themselves in parallel with each other, and their Cysteines (amino acid) combine with each other to form Cystine or Disulfide bonds across these polypeptides, a Dimer is created, which is a basic unit of the Microfibril in the Keratin fiber. These Disulfide bonds are cross links and are responsible for the elasticity, tensile strength, long term stability, and the integrity of the hair fiber. Many chemical modifications of the hair fiber are also dependent upon the presence of Disulfide bonds between these polypeptides, such as permanent coloring, bleaching, and permanent waving of the hair fibers. The chemical changes during permanent coloring, bleaching, permanent straightening, and permanent waving are unique to each treatment process.
Many brands also utilize the Keratin protein in hair care products. These proteins are the hydrolyzed version of the Keratin protein, which is soluble in water. The hydrolyzed protein is formed when keratin fibers (hair fibers) are chemically broken down into smaller units that become water-soluble. The hydrolyzed Keratin is able to increase the elasticity of the damaged hair fibers but it cannot react with hair fibers to straighten wavy/curly fibers. There is a general misconception in the hair care industry that Keratin or Amino Acids are capable of straightening and/or smoothing hair fibers. This misperception has no scientific merit to it. The smallest units of a protein or keratin protein are called “amino acids”.
Lemon Peel Extract
Citrus Limon (Lemon) Peel Extract:
Lemon peel is the skin of the lemon fruit. When lemon peel is pressed, it delivers an extract called lemon peel extract. It benefits hair and skin, as it contains the important essential oils such as limonene along with citral, flavonoids, more than 44 different flavone glycosides, and citric and other plant acids. It's a rich source of pectins, phenols and hydroxycinnamates. Lemon Peel Extract increases the shine of hair and removes unwanted minerals such as Calcium and Magnesium, which can be deposited onto the hair from an untreated water source.
Vanilla Planifolia Fruit Extract:
Vanilla Planifolia Fruit Extract is the extract of the fruit (bean) of Vanilla planifolia. It is said to moisturize hair and impart pleasant smell to hair. It is usually mixed with other oils to enhance the fragrance of the products. Though there are many compounds present in the extracts of vanilla, the primary compound vanillin (4-hydroxy-3-methoxybenzaldehyde) is responsible for vanilla smell. Another minor component of vanilla essential oil is piperonal, an aldehyde.
A milky secretion, beige in color, that is produced by worker honey bees. It typically contains about 60 - 70% water, 12 - 15% protein, 10 - 16% sugar, 3 - 6% fat, and 2 - 3% vitamins, salts, and amino acids. Royal Jelly's composition varies depending on geography and climate. This animal product is produced by the worker bees for the queen bee; hence the name Royal Jelly. According to Uberliss research, it strengthens hair fibers and increases the elasticity of the hair when used at an appropriate level.
According to WebMd, “Royal jelly is used for asthma, hay fever, liver disease, sleep troubles, and other diseases. Some people apply royal jelly directly to the skin as a tonic or to the scalp to encourage hair growth”.