How do I know if there’s Keratin in my shampoo or hair treatment?

“Keratin amino acids, capryloyl hydrolyzed keratin, cocodimonium hydroxypropyl hydrolysed keratin” are you confused yet?

We now know that keratin is proven to help restore and protect our hair from harsh environmental factors  and pollutants and we know where to find keratin (in shampoo, conditioner and haircare products).

But how do we figure out what to look for when buying a keratin containing product?

How do you understand all the scientific jargon and what’s more – what about all the products that sound like they should have keratin in them, but actually don’t?

For example, this product label reads:

“over time hair loses its keratin, enriched with pro-keratin, new excellence crème strengthens and revitalizes your hair for rich, natural color full of life that makes you look younger,”

It sure sounds like there should be keratin in the product, but when you look at the ingredient list…

Aqua, cetaryl alcohol, deceth-3, propylene glycol, laureth-12, ammonium hydroxide, oleth-30, hexadimethrine chloride, lauric acid, glycol distearate, polyquaternium -22, ethanolamin, silica dimethyl silyate, ci 77891/titanium dioxide, p-amino phenol, 4-amino-2-hydroxytoluene, m-aminophenol, ascorbic acid, hydroxybenzomorpholine, ammonium thiolactate, 2-methyl-5-hydroxyethyalamionphenol, 2-methylyresorcinol, dimethicone, pentasodium pentetate, linalool, proline, p-phenylenediamine, carbomer, threonine, resorcinol, butyphenyl methylpropanal, fragrance.”

There’s no functional keratin in it!

That’s enough to confuse anyone.

Not all keratins are created or extracted equally, the closest to natural hair keratin the better.

When listed on the ingredients as keratin or oxidized keratin, the keratins bring key benefits that make them close to natural hair keratin and so they are most likely to make a positive difference to the hair.

Some keratin derivatives are also named in product labels including:

  • keratin amino acids
  • hydrolized keratin
  • capryloyl hydrolysed keratin
  • cocodimonium hydroxypropyl hydrolyzed keratin
  • hydroxypropyltrimonium hydrolyzed keratin.

Keratin amino acids and hydrolyzed keratin are materials that have been so substantially damaged, degraded and modified from their original source material that they can’t really be considered keratins at all.  It’s like the difference between a pile of sawdust and a piece of wood, or a pile of bricks and a house.

Keratin derivatives bring different benefits, for example hydroxypropyltrimonium hydrolysed keratin acts as a conditioning agent. The keratin in this is limited. The benefit is mostly associated with the modification that has been added on and the fact that there is keratin as part of the name doesn’t make a whole lot of difference.

The best ingredient to look for is Replicine Functional Keratin protein. This is closer in form and function to human hair keratin than any other material.  If keratin or oxidized keratin appears on the ingredients list, then you can be pretty confident that Replicine Functional Keratin protein is inside.

Reversal of hair damage can only be achieved with Replicine brand Functional Technology that contains all of the essential components of the original keratin.

This technology is clever. It gives hair the exact proetins needed for repair, rescue, renewal and protection.

It is proven to repair damaged hair, make hair stronger, improve hair nourishment and moisturization.

It also makes hair smoother and easier to comb, and makes it feel lighter and fresher –

That’s what we all want, isn’t it?

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34 Responses to How do I know if there’s Keratin in my shampoo or hair treatment?

  1. Grace on

    After reading your information on hydrolyzed keratin, Iam very disappointed with the Suave Keratin Infusion Products I purchased today! The very last ingredent listed is hydrolyzed keratin. I was miss lead by this product! This seems to be a very poor way to advertise a product that don’t work. I will never buy another Suave product.
    Thank you so much for educating me on how dishonest advertisers can be.

  2. James on

    Does the shampoo thicken your hair?

    • Keratin Questions on

      Hi James,

      There haven’t been any results or evidence to suggest the shampoos with Replicine™ Functional Keratin® noticeably thickens your hair. The Hair Rescue Treatment with Replicine™ Functional Keratin® has a much higher level of the keratin than the shampoo and will noticeably add volume to your hair.

  3. gauri on

    nice information,but one question comes to mind that does the useful keratin help in strenghtning the hair right from its roots,hair follicles or only the hair strand?what is good for the roots?because mostly losing hair is a problem which needs working on the roots!

  4. is ahglow keratin hair protek is good for my hair, because my hair very thick and curly and i’ll to the saloon and rebond my hair and now my hair is stragight but its become curly again, what can you suggest, thanks

  5. Damini on

    What is the name of the keratin products? Such as shampoo in which keratin is present.

    • Keratin Questions on

      Hi Damini,

      Quality products that have the three forms of keratin that are available (that’s “Keratin” Oxidized Keratin” and “Hydrolyzed Keratin”) include:

      Keraplast Intensive treatment
      Paul Mitchell Awapuhi Wild Ginger
      Keune Careline

      The Schwarzkopf Liquid Keratin range are a good mid-price range and have “Keratin” and Hydrolyzed Keratin” included in their products.

  6. Jane B. on

    Can l use blonding shampoo as well as keratin shampoo and conditioner cause I am a bottle blond I’m not sure if l can still use it the brand is silk morocan oil please let me know. I put the straightening product in on Tuesday the 7th January thank you

    • Keratin Questions on

      Hi Jane,
      The morrocan shampoo ingredients look fine to use. It’s quite a mild shampoo and it does contain argan oil which is good for your hair. But it doesn’t contain keratin so you won’t have the benefit of the keratin for your hair if you use this shampoo.

  7. Ethemma on

    are the keratins animal-derived? to be more specific, the hydrolysed keratin?

    • Keratin Questions on

      Hi Ethemma,
      The keratin is derived from the wool of sheep in New Zealand. Replicine Functional Keratin is a combination of oxidized keratins, intact keratin proteins, and keratin peptides.

    • Paola C. on

      Hi Ethemma
      Based on what I’ve read in other sites that talk more about hydrolysed keratin, yes it is animal derived. It comes from hooves, horns and other stuff. But Replicine Functional Keratin/oxydized keratin/keratin comes from sheep wool which is humane and thus far better for the hair.

  8. Audrey on

    All products claiming to have keratin in their hair conditioner, have in fact hydrolyzed keratin in them. Do you know which products have oxydised keratin in their hair conditioner please?
    Thank you

  9. Jane on

    Can l use blonding shampoo as well as keratin shampoo and conditioner cause I am a bottle blond I’m not sure if l can still use it the brand is silk morocan oil please let me know. I put the straightening product in on Tuesday the 7th January thank you

    • Keratin Questions on

      Hi Jane,
      The morrocan shampoo ingredients look fine to use. It’s quite a mild shampoo and it does contain argan oil which is good for your hair. But it doesn’t contain keratin so you won’t have the benefit of the keratin for your hair if you use this shampoo.

  10. Marty on

    I have recently went from brown hair to platinum hair and it is so dry and breaking at the ends!!!! I’m ready to cry I have no idea what shampoo & conditions to use!! I have no clue what kind of leave in conditioner to use!!!! I love the color but I need HELP on what to buy and use to keep it healthy and how to use the products like on a daily basis or once a week or however it needs to be done! Please help me I need to know names of products and where I can buy them! My girlfriend said when she bleached her hair she used keratin but I don’t know anything about it or even what products have what I need for dry platinum hair with keratin in it?!?! Please help me with product names and where I can buy them and also how to use them!!!!! Thank you so very much!!!!!!

    • Keratin Questions on

      Hi Marty,
      Keraplast has a great intensive repair treatment that is heat activated called Hair Rescue. It helps to repair and restore dry, chemically damaged hair back to a healthy, shiny state.
      This is an in salon treatment which takes around 30 minutes.
      There is an Intensive Shampoo and Intensive Conditioner to be used as part of your regular hair care routine.
      We will get in touch with you directly to assist you in finding a salon that will provide these products.

  11. Mayar on

    How to know if this keratin is natural or not before using it?

    • Keratin Questions on

      Hi Mayar,
      Keratin is a fibrous protein found in the hair, skin and nails. “Natural keratin” is most commonly used when referring to keratin-enriched skin care or hair care products. Natural keratin is keratin derived from a natural source that has not been treated with chemicals or synthetic substances. The advantage of using natural keratin is that unlike synthetic keratin these proteins are not usually combined with damaging chemicals like formaldehyde. Natural protein is used in a variety of shampoos, relaxers and conditoners.

      For keratin to be deemed natural it has to come from a natural source. Common sources of keratin include animal hooves, fur, feathers, sheep’s wool and other animal materials. The keratin derived from animal materials is chemically identical to human keratin. Some people believe this makes natural keratin superior to synthetic proteins.

      When looking for hair care with keratin try and find ones that contain oxidized keratin and hydrolyzed keratin. By the ingredient label you will not be able to tell the source of the keratin. Also it is better to find products that are sulfate, sodium, and paraben free.

  12. Kaeren on

    what shampoo and conditioners can you use?

  13. Mansi on

    I have a lot of hair fall, really thin and frizzy hair. Due to religious reasons we are not meant to cut our hair which makes the ends very dry with a lot of split ends. My friend recommended Keratin straightening to me to make my hair manageable. I wanted to know is it best to use the keratin products like shampoo, conditioner and mask or to get a treatment done??

    • Keratin Questions on

      Hi Mansi,
      The condition of your hair doesn’t sound very good.
      You would definitely want to get you hair in better shape, health, and condition before you put any chemicals on it. The chemicals in the straightening treatments could cause further damage.
      Look for shampoos/conditioners that are sodium and sulfate free. Shampoos/conditioners that contain hydrolyzed keratin will help to put moisture back into your hair. Oxidized keratin will help to repair your hair.
      Paul Mitchell and Keraplast are two companies that have these unique keratins.
      You can find them at:


    Keranique shampoo and conditioner are too expensive for my budget but work very well to thicken my very fine hair. Is there another comparable set of products that are less expensive?

    • Keratin Questions on

      Hi Suzette,
      One option you may consider is the Awaphui Wild Ginger hair care line by Paul Mitchell. It contains Replicine Functional Keratin which is comprised of oxidized keratin, intact keratin proteins, keratin peptides and is the closest in form to our own natural keratin. This form of keratin helps to strenghten, add volume and shine to the hair. The price is about $24.

  15. Adnan Tabsh on

    Hi, I actually bought the keratin shampoo , does it help from my hair because I have a patch of my hair that are missing and it didn’t grow since I used products that damaged my hair thanks

    • Keratin Questions on

      Hi Adnan,
      Keratin shampoos will not help to replace hair that has been lost in patches. Keratin will not help to make hair grow in needed areas. It does help to strengthen and repair existing hair. It can help with damaged, dry, and brittle hair.

  16. Kayla on

    I just bought this heat protecting spray and sprayed it in my hair without looking at the ingredients. After I blow dried my hair I looked at the spray and realized it said with keratin. In the ingredients it does say keratin, not hydrolized keratin. will this little bit of keratin give the the effects of a keratin treatment.Also I have kinky curly hair and I’m afraid my hair will have the effects of a keratin treatment, which I do not want at all. If this does happen how do i take out the keratin.

    • Keratin Questions on

      Keratin is a protein found naturally in our skin, hair, and nails. Keratin is placed in hair care products to help repair damage and provide strength, shine, and elasticity. Keratin will not straighten hair.
      The chemicals added to Keratin straightening treatments cause the curly, wavy locks to smoothe and straighten.

  17. Niaina on

    Hi! Thanks a ton for the info! I am confused if i should go for the keratine treatment in a Salon or not because my hair isnt much damaged and i dont want formaldehyde use. Today i saw this advertisement of Schwarzkopf shampoo containing liquid keratine. Does it work like salon keratine treatment (of course mildly ) ??

    • Keratin Questions on

      Hi Niaina,
      Keratin is put into hair care to help repair, strengthen, add shine and elasticity. It can help reduce frizz and dryness but it will not straighten hair unless a flat iron is used.
      The chemicals placed in the keratin treatments are responsible for the straightening process.

  18. Rohan on

    Just wanted to know where the Keratin in the shampoo comes from. Is it chemically created or from animals. I’m against animal cruelty so to know if it is does not have animal ingredients is important for me.

    • Keratin Questions on

      Hi Rohan,
      The keratin that comprises Replicine Functional Keratin is derived from sheep’s wool. Sheep are routinely shorn and the wool is gathered and processed.
      The animals are not endangered in any way.

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