Gelatin Protein Recipes For Hair Strength, Recovery and Retention

Your hair is brittle and dry or limp and lifeless.  No body. No spring to your curls. You look down as you style and gasp. Tips of your hair are falling like autumn leaves lightly dusting your sink. Breakage. Ugh!!

The answer: protein.

Because hair is roughly 65% to 95% keratin depending on your genes and porosity, your hair needs protein for hair growth, health and length retention. Protein fortifies weakened parts of the hair shaft and follicle.

Gelatin Protein

Photo courtesy of homegrownandhealthy.com, http://homegrownandhealthy.com/gelatin-hair-mask/

Photo courtesy of homegrownandhealthy.com, http://homegrownandhealthy.com/gelatin-hair-mask/

When I say ‘gelatin’,  I mean the powdered unflavored kind such as Knox Gelatin. It’s the same stuff that thickens beef, chicken and pork soups and stews.

For instance, when you boil or simmer, say, a large beef bone to make an unstrained beef stock, the collagen, proteins and peptides from the connective tissue, skin and bones is released. Ever notice how the broth congeals as it cools? That’s gelatin. The powdery stuff we find in the cake aisle is hydrolyzed gelatin. And yes, it’s the primary ingredient in Jell-O and marshmallows.

There’s a vegetarian alternative called agar agar. It’s a gelatin derived from seaweed, according to Livestrong. It’s often used in yogurts and candies.

Doesn’t sound so appetizing does it? But, hydrolyzed gelatin protein molecules are small enough to slip through the cuticle layer and into the cortex.

For me, it’s a go-to for emergency hair repair and it’s a regular part of my maintenance routine.

Mexican Gelatin Conditioner

According to InStyle, this treatment is reportedly a popular recipe used in Mexico to combat frizz:

1 cup distilled water

1 tbsp unflavored gelatin

1 tsp apple cider vinegar

Dissolve the ingredients in water and saturate wet, clean hair. Leave in for 5 minutes and rinse, wash and condition hair as usual.

ALFS Gelatin Emergency Treatment

Last summer the heavy Atlanta humidity made my hair an unruly, undefined mess. Moreover, I flat-ironed my hair for six months until spring and it was suffering from heat damage. So, I became too heavy-handed with moisturizers and emollients.

Almost immediately, my hair became too soft. Rather than snap, individual hairs fell apart into the sink. I had over-moisturized my hair. The follicle was holding too much water which had begun to change the structure of my hair’s keratin protein bonds. My hair was becoming increasingly porous. The protein and moisture were escaping the hair shaft. I had to do something NOW!

I mixed together these ingredients.

1 cup boiling distilled water

1 package unflavored gelatin

2 tbsp. honey

1 tsp jojoba oil

1 tsp or 1 to 2 capsules vitamin E

Dissolve the gelatin in boiling water and refrigerate for 1 hour but don’t allow it to harden. If it hardens, immerse the container in warm water until it softens.  Then, add honey and jojoba oil.

Application

Section and apply to wet hair (pre-rinsed with apple cider vinegar or a tea infusion), cover with a plastic cap and leave in for 45 minutes. Rinse, wash, condition and seal as usual.

 ALFS Gelatin Mask

 

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ALFS Gelatin Hair Mask with mayonnaise

I use gelatin once or twice a month depending on the season and condition of my hair. It’s an essential part of my regular maintenance routine (In fact, I’m getting ready to do one right now!).

1 cup boiling distilled water

1 package unflavored gelatin

2 tbsp. honey

1 tbsp. olive oil

1 to 2 tbsp. whole milk Greek yogurt or mayonnaise

Optional:  1 whole ripe and softened (not brown) avocado or 1 ripe (soft but not bruised) banana liquified in the blender and strained. Note: you can also use banana, carrot or avocado baby food.

Dissolve gelatin in boiling water. Mix in honey and coconut oil and cool to a soft gel (you can refrigerate it for an hour or so). Add the yogurt and optional ingredients until the mixture becomes a soft creamy gel.

Application

Section and apply to wet hair (pre-rinsed with apple cider vinegar or a tea infusion), cover with a plastic cap and leave in for 45 minutes. Use heat (hot towel, hood dryer or hair steamer) for deeper penetration. Rinse, wash, condition and seal as usual.

Sources:

Knox Basics, http://www.knoxgelatine.com/basics.htm

“What Are The Health Benefits of Knox Gelatin?” Livestrong,  http://www.livestrong.com/article/239995-what-are-the-health-benefits-of-knox-gelatin/

“Unflavored Gelatin Nutrition,” Livestrong, http://www.livestrong.com/article/251986-unflavored-gelatin-nutrition/ 

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