Protein 101

Amino acids are the basic building blocks of protein. Typical sizes range from ~ 80 mw (molecular weight) to 135 mw. Cystine is the most important amino acid in hair because it forms the (disulfide) bonds that hold hair fibers together in a lateral fashion. These bonds of cystine give the very strength and elasticity (flexibility) of hair. As damage occurs - chemically, mechanically or environmentally - these bonds break and cystine is lost. As damage continues, hair becomes progressively more weak and limp. Some of Jean Alexander's Proteins by Design™ contain an exceptionally high amount of pure cystine to repair damage and naturally fortify hair.

When hair fibers are damaged in any way, a tiny negative electric charge occurs. Proteins that carry a positive electric charge are attracted to these damaged areas because opposite charges attract. Due to this principle, positively charged (cationic) proteins remain in hair longer, with greater substantivity.

Generally, smaller, penetrating proteins repair and strengthen fibers by replacing protein that is lost naturally or due to harmful agents. They provide body and volume to hair. Larger, surface-active proteins form an ultra-thin layer over hair, strengthening the fiber and increasing its natural flexibility. They mend split ends, provide shine and a soft feel, and improve hair elasticity.