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You may have heard about protein hair treatments and cholesterol hair treatments. These hair treatments are designed to nourish the hair and improve its health, but they have different uses and benefits.
A protein hair treatment is a cosmetic procedure that involves the application of protein-based products such as keratin to the hair. It is done to strengthen your tresses and repair damaged hair. (1)
On the other hand, a cholesterol hair treatment is a conditioning treatment that utilizes cholesterol-based products to moisturize and hydrate the hair. (2)
What to Choose: Protein Hair Treatment or Cholesterol Hair Treatment?
|Factors||Protein Hair Treatment||Cholesterol Hair Treatment|
|Main purpose||Strengthens and repairs damaged hair||Provides deep hydration and nourishment to hair|
|Main ingredients||Protein-rich ingredients such as keratin||Cholesterol-rich ingredients such as oils|
|Issues targeted||Hair breakage, damage, and weakness||Dryness, lack of moisture, and dullness|
|Suitability for hair type||Suitable for damaged, weak, or brittle hair||Suitable for dry, dehydrated, or frizzy hair|
|Mechanism of action||Replenishes lost proteins to improve hair health||Forms a protective barrier to retain moisture in the hair|
|Frequency of use||Typically used once every 4-6 weeks or as needed||Usually used once a week or as needed|
|Potential side effects||Minimal side effects if used as directed||Rare side effects|
Consider these factors when deciding which product is made for you.
Hair type and requirement
Protein treatments are beneficial for intensely damaged and weakened hair, whereas cholesterol treatments work well for dry and damaged hair.
Protein hair treatment for very damaged hair
Proteins, such as the famous keratin protein, are a very important part of your hair’s structure and play a crucial role in maintaining the strength and integrity of the hair.
According to research, when applied to chemically damaged hair, the K31 keratin protein has shown promising results in improving damaged hair. It caused an increase in the diameter of the hair strands by 49% while improving their thickness and volume. (1)
Cholesterol hair treatment for hair dryness
Cholesterol hair treatments have gained recognition for their effectiveness in addressing hair damage, especially in cases of dry hair. Cholesterol treatments work by providing much-needed moisture to the hair and creating a protective layer around the strands. This helps to combat dryness and restore moisture. (2)(3)
Research has highlighted the importance of cholesterol in maintaining hair integrity, as low levels of cholesterol have been associated with increased hair damage.
Dandruff is a common issue that can cause discomfort and embarrassment due to the visible flakes and itchiness it brings.
Interestingly, researchers have revealed a connection between dandruff and low levels of cholesterol in the scalp. (5)
This suggests that replenishing cholesterol levels through a cholesterol hair treatment can be beneficial for tackling dandruff concerns.
Protein hair treatment is highly beneficial for bleached hair as it works to rejuvenate and reinforce the damaged strands. One key protein used in these treatments is keratin.
Protein treatments with keratin help to fill in the gaps and rebuild the damaged protein profile of the hair. This results in increased mechanical strength and recovery of the hair’s properties. (1)
Management of curly/thick hair
Cholesterol hair treatments can also help to keep curly and thick hair hydrated, defined, and more manageable.
Hair fall control
Research has shown that deficiencies in certain amino acids, which are the building blocks of proteins, are common in people experiencing hair loss. Supplementing with specific amino acids, such as L-cystine and medicinal yeast, has been found to improve hair growth and reduce hair shedding. (6)
Additionally, marine protein-based supplements have shown promising results in increasing hair density and improving overall hair health.
Protein hair treatments, such as Brazilian keratin treatments, are popular options for straightening hair.
These treatments make curly hair easier to manage and style. They also help tame any frizziness while improving the hair’s overall color and build, giving the strands a much more wholesome appearance. (1)
Potential side effects
While both protein hair treatment and cholesterol hair treatment are normally safe and well tolerated, they have some negative effects that you should be aware of. However, protein hair treatments generally have fewer potential side effects than cholesterol hair treatments.
Cholesterol hair treatments may cause greasiness, scalp irritation, hair flatness, and product buildup.
What Is a Protein Hair Treatment?
A protein hair treatment refers to the use of protein-based products to improve the health and appearance of the hair. Hair proteins play a very important part in maintaining hair integrity. (7)
Protein treatments work by replenishing the protein content in the hair. The proteins or peptides used in these treatments can penetrate the hair cortex, aiding in the repair of damaged cuticles and strengthening the hair.
These treatments can enhance hair gloss, softness, and manageability, as well as repair the damage caused by chemical processes.
Moreover, the use of peptides and amino acids in hair treatments has shown promising results in terms of hair recovery and cuticle repair. (7)
Some protein hair treatments available include:
- Protein hair masks
- Protein hair conditioners
- Protein leave-in treatments
- Protein hair treatments with keratin
- Protein hair treatments with collagen
What Is a Cholesterol Hair Treatment?
A cholesterol hair treatment is a conditioning treatment that utilizes ingredients rich in fat to nourish and improve the health of the hair.
Although cholesterol is very frequently linked to adverse health effects, it actually has an important function in ensuring the healthy development of hair and improving the condition of the strands. (8)
Research suggests that imbalances in cholesterol levels may contribute to certain hair disorders, highlighting the importance of maintaining healthy cholesterol levels for optimal hair health.
By including cholesterol hair treatments into your hair care regimen, you can provide your hair the nourishment it requires, promoting stronger, healthier-looking hair. (9)
DIY Cholesterol Hair Treatment Recipes
Avocado and Egg Hair Mask
- Grind 1 ripe avocado and mix it with 1 egg.
- Apply the mixture to damp hair, paying extra attention to the ends.
- Leave it on for 20 minutes.
- Wash it off with water.
Coconut Oil and Honey Hair Treatment
- Mix equal portions of coconut oil and honey in a bowl.
- Use the mixture on your hair.
- Wrap your hair with a plastic cap and leave it on for approximately 1 hour.
- Rinse with shampoo.
DIY Protein Hair Treatment Recipes
Egg and Yogurt Hair Mask
- Blend 1 egg with 1/2 mug of plain yogurt in a bowl.
- Use the mixture on your damp hair.
- Leave it on for 20-30 minutes.
- Rinse it off thoroughly with water.
Is It Safe to Use Cholesterol and Protein Hair Treatments Together?
Yes, you can use both cholesterol and protein treatments together for your hair. These treatments work differently and provide unique benefits to your hair.
But take advice from a professional to learn about how to space both treatments and schedule them accordingly.
Which treatment is better for damaged hair?
Protein hair treatments are typically better for damaged hair.
Which treatment is better for dry hair?
Cholesterol hair treatments are often better for dry hair.
Can protein hair treatments make hair stiff or brittle?
Excessive use of protein hair treatments can make hair stiff.
How frequently should I do protein hair therapy?
Protein hair treatments can be done once every 4-6 weeks.
Are cholesterol and protein hair treatments suitable for all hair types?
Yes, both treatments can be helpful for all hair types.
Can cholesterol hair treatments be used on fine or thin hair?
Cholesterol hair treatments can be used on fine or thin hair, but they should be applied sparingly.
Can protein hair treatments be used on natural hair?
Yes, protein hair treatments can be used on natural hair to strengthen it.
Cholesterol treatments provide deep conditioning and moisture, while protein treatments help reinforce and repair damaged hair. The choice between these treatments depends on your hair needs and concerns.