Before he starts to create any new products, Jonathan has a long list of conditions that every ingredient must meet in order for him to use it… For example, every ingredient used in the Curl Keeper® and Curly Hair Solutions® product lines must be water soluble, easy-to-use, clean and natural, and with very small molecules in its composition. All these conditions allow the ingredients to penetrate into your hair shaft more effectively, and are better for the health of your curls. Read below to discover a few of the fancy ingredientsthat you see on your bottle, and to discover why Jonathan uses them in his products.
Silk Amino Acids
To understand the reasons for Jonathan’s choices for ingredients, you must first understand the science of curly hair. Hair is made up of two things: protein-bonds and sulfur-bonds. Sulfur provides the “structure” of the hair, while protein gives “strength” to the hair. You can think of this the same way you think of a house: sulfur is the foundation, and protein makes up all the building blocks for your hair. If you have too much protein in your hair, it can make your hair stringy and brittle. So in his research, Jonathan discovered three distinct types of protein he could use: wheat protein, keratin protein, and silk proteins derived from silk amino acids. Wheat proteins are made up of large molecules, which means that its benefits are largely cosmetic. Similar to silicone, these proteins will make your hair “feel” good, but it won’t actually strengthen the bonds of your hair – it sits on top of the cuticle without penetrating the hair shaft, and thus, only provides surface benefits. Keratin proteins are comprised of smaller molecules. However, if you use keratin protein too frequently, it can cause a major build-up of protein on the hair, resulting in brittle and stiff hair cuticles. However, when he started experimenting with silk amino acids, he found that frequent use of silk protein doesn’t cause any buildup on the hair or scalp whatsoever. Silk is the strongest natural fibre on the planet, and once he found that it can be liquefied to be water soluble, he added it to almost all of his products. In fact, you can find silk amino acids in nearly every ingredient in the Curl Keeper® Styling Line. These silk amino acids help to rebuild extremely damaged hair, and after continued use, they help your hair to grow longer and healthier than before.
As stated before, sulfur-bonds are what gives our hair its structure. In fact, about 39% of our hair is comprised completely of sulfur-bonds. Once these sulfur-bonds are destroyed, they are nearly impossible to rebuild with moisture alone; because they make up a significant part of the structure of your hair, sulphur-bonds profoundly affect the amount of protein your hair is able to absorb. Because of this, Jonathan specifically looked for ingredients that could help rebuild the sulfur-bonds in the hair, and he subsequently discovered Magnesium Sulfate. Magnesium Sulfate provides elasticity and strength to your hair. Once these sulfate bonds in your hair are rebuilt, your hair will be able absorb protein and moisture in the hair properly, allowing your hair to grow softer and stronger than before. This ingredient was essential in the creation of Treatment Shampoo, a shampoo Jonathan created to rebuild your hair with every wash. This sulfate is a very high-quality grade sulfate, so that is gentle enough that it does not strip your hair, unlike commonly used sulfates like sodium lauryl sulfate.
Jonathan first started to play with Lecithin when making conditioners, as he wanted to work with an alternative to silicone, an ingredient known for creating a shiny coating on your hair but not affecting the actual condition of the hair follicle. In his research, he found that many people would use egg to deeply condition their hair. During a trip to a bakery, he also learned that bakers would paint egg yolk on top of bread to make the bread shinier when its finished. He found that it is actually the lecithin in the egg yolk that caused the shininess. When developing our products, Jonathan found that he could derive Lecithin from soybeans, so he added it to Curl Keeper® Styling Cream, which he found made hair soft, shiny, and more manageable. He has now made it the second ingredient in Styling Cream, making the product that much more amazing.
Himalayan Pink Salt
Jonathan started doing research on salts after finding out their substantial benefits for your body. He wanted to use non-dehydrating salts for the hair, so as not to cause dryness in the hair. He found that salts from the Himalayan Mountains tend to act as a carrier of moisture, as the salt molecules tend to hold onto water molecules, and carry them into the body. Knowing this, he wondered what would happen if he added Himalayan salts to his products, as he hoped that adding salts would help water better penetrate into the hair. He also found that by adding the salts to shampoos and conditioners, it even helped to make hair colour penetrate deeper into the hair shaft. This effectively makes hair colour more vibrant, as well as making it last longer. He also discovered that people with skin conditions, such as eczema or cirrhosis, would wash their skin in sea water and would find their skin conditions radically improved. Seeing its benefits for both hair and skin, he decided to formulate his Energizing Shampoo with Himalayan Pink Salt, as it clears scalp conditions with continued use and it allows moisture to better penetrate into your hair. With his research, Jonathan decided to add Himalayan Pink Salts to Curl Keeper® Beach Mist and Energizing Shampoo.
Panthenol is a popular hair ingredient, and Jonathan wanted to add its benefits to his current products. Also known as Vitamin B5, this ingredient pairs perfectly with water-soluble products and makes hair very strong and shiny. Importantly, it also stops products from flaking. He decided to use a very high-quality version of this ingredient in Curl Keeper® Gel, which raised the pH balance of the product, but it produced a light gel, one that doesn’t cause flakiness but still gives great hold!