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The Benefits of Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein: How it Can Improve Hair

April 23, 2021


Verna Meachum

Learn the benefits of using hydrolyzed wheat protein for curly hair

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With extensive experience in the beauty industry, I specialize in writing for curly hair care brands, websites, and magazines.

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I also partner with a friend who holds a Ph.D. in chemistry and works as an R&D Chemist, ensuring our content is scientifically accurate and help us navigate through the misinformation around curly hair care. 

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Last Updated on April 10, 2023 by Verna Meachum

The benefits of hydrolyzed wheat protein are many. It improves the texture and appearance of hair and is a natural moisturizer that can be used to soothe dry or damaged hair. There are many benefits of hydrolyzed wheat protein.

Read on to learn more about what this protein can do for your hair!


One of the products I really like to use for protein is wheat protein. Hydrolyzed wheat protein is an amber colored liquid derived from wheat germ.

The hydrolysis of wheat involves an acidic, alkaline, or enzymatic process to extract the wheat nutrients which include proteins (amino acids) and peptides.

What I love about Green Beauty’s protein is that you get to control the amount of protein usage.

Benefits of Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein

Hydrolyzed wheat protein has been found to provide numerous benefits to hair, especially damaged hair.

Hydrolyzed protein significantly aids hair that has been permed, bleached, colored, or otherwise chemically treated. And, because of its low molecular weight, it easily penetrates the hair shaft and absorbs into the inner fibers of the hair.

FYI – Protein is most substantive to hair (it bonds to the hair best) when it has a molecular weight of 1000 Daltons or less.

According to Journal of Cosmetic Science, studies show that hydrolyzed wheat protein improves the tensile properties of the hair fibers, particularly as they were drying.

In other words, it helps keep the hair elastic by controlling the rate of moisture loss from the hair, which prevents breakage.

The reason why it is able influence the mechanical properties of the hair is because it can penetrate the cortex as evidence by the Journal of Cosmetic Science  studies.

Additionally, the more the damage, the easier the penetration into the hair.

Because hair is made up mostly of proteins, the proteins in hydrolyzed wheat can repair damaged hair follicles, lifting the hair up, and reduce porousness (minute holes) in the lengths of hair shafts.

It does this by fortifying hair cells (and strengthen chemically treated hair) with proteins.

Hydrolyzed wheat protein is a moisturizer and humectant. It is classified as an antistatic hair conditioning agent.

Hydrolyzed wheat protein is known to confer improved combability, smooth feel (silky feel), moisturization and help maintain the natural structure of hair.

While it cannot repair any damage done to the keratin of hair, it can replenish the voids of the hair with cystine and prevent further weakening of the fiber.

Added benefits: this protein also has film forming abilities. SEM studies (Structural Equation Modeling, which is a powerful research methodology) have shown the deposition of these proteins at the cuticle edges suggesting that they can act as ‘adhesive’ layer to keep the cuticles sealed.

How to Use

For high porosity hair- leave on for 30 – 45 mins. Cover hair with cap to give it time to absorb. Without a dryer (45 mins.) With a dryer or steamer (30 mins.). Use twice a month. After 6 months of use, reduce to once a month.

For low porosity hair – mix. 3 Tbsp. Protein, 1/2 C. Conditioner. Use once a month.

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