What is Keratin and how do the cells form it?

Keratin is a protein made by keratinocytes which is an important part of your skin, hair and nails. This is the component that ensures that fluid loss through are skin is kept on a check and provides the water proof quality to the skin. The keratin that is formed is pushed outwards and on reaching the upper layer dries up forming a protective layer. The keratin layer thus formed is arranged in bundles packed in parallel channels that provide the necessary strength and flexibility. These layers have their own life cycle and at the end of it, it is shed whether it is skin, hair or nails.

Structure of Keratin

Keratin is made up of filament proteins each of which contain a central domain which can be divided into 4 segments which form a helical shape. These are separated by shorter links which provide the turn in the keratin. Normally keratin molecules remain coiled to provide stability. Keratin can be classified based on the structure and the most important form of Keratin for hair nourishment in β Keratin.

Keratin Production By The Body

Keratin production happens naturally in the body. However it can be monitored by having certain food items that instigate keratin production. Food rich in dietary protein, vitamins A and D are very important for Keratin production by the body. Your daily food must contain about 46-56 gms of protein intake daily along with 700-900 micro grams of Vitamin A and up to 15 micro grams of vitamin D every day. To ensure that all of these are brought to your plate, include milk, yogurt, eggs, nuts, legumes, lentils, lean meat, carrots and pumpkins. Also include moderate exposure to sun which will helps in the manufacture of Vitamin D from the ultra violet rays. When you find that you start shedding more hair than normal or your skin has become brittle and skin flaky then it’s time to make dietary changes to include some of the stuff mentioned above.

Keratin is not only required by the body to nourish your skin, hair and nails but also to re-grow the same when repaired. Having said that, Keratin levels must be within the limit for if they reach abnormally high levels they begin to break out as acne and may end up clogging the pores of your skin. Hence it is very important to keep the levels checked. Quit smoking, try as much to stay away from air pollution for both of these will increase the level of keratin in your body and end up in hair fall and acne.

Above all it is better to get all these sources through natural agents which help keep the keratin at recommended levels. Anything that is obtained through synthetic means may not last long and that is why it is better to take corrective measures wherever necessary through the harmless, natural methods.

Keratin Hair Treatment

The commonly available Keratin hair treatments are done in beauty parlors/salons. This treatment is done to smoothen ones hair if it is frizzy and unmanageable. The stylist actually mixes the synthetically available keratin with formaldehyde which is a preservative which can be very harsh on the skin and hair. Once this is applied, hot iron is used to seal this combination that has been applied. The process is a very long one that takes almost 5 hours which includes several washing sessions. However, once you are through with the entire process, your hair may look flat. In a couple of days your hair will start looking smooth like satin and will be free from frizz and you will love it. However a word of caution, formaldehyde which is used in the process is known to cause several health hazards. Hence think well before opting for this treatment.

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