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Quinoa packs immense benefits and is loaded with antioxidants. But don't be mistaken: although it is a highly praised food source, there's more to the story.
Quinoa has a deep history sustaining the Incas, but today it's regularly altered for other uses.
To say the least, this superfood belongs in your hair. However, it requires special treatment to soak up all its mane-bolstering benefits. Fortunately, that process is simple. In many cases, it's already done for you.
Don't be mistaken though, store-bought bags are ready to coat your hair in some pseudo quinoa flour. That won't work. it needs to go through hydrolysis. Otherwise, we're just putting dinner ingredients on our heads.
Before you treat yourself with hydrolyzed quinoa, it's important to understand how it could affect you.
Quinoa (Not a Grain): Safety and Ancient Benefits
It's rich history begins thousands of years ago. Originally grown in South America, quinoa is a crop needing a dry harvest and reaching between three and nine feet tall. It sprouts in many colors (green, yellow, red, black, and even purple). The Incas revered this food as sacred. Back when Spain invaded the Incas, this nearly-holy crop was almost destroyed for good.
But this seed made a revival around the 70s. Since then, studies have shown a link between nutrients in quinoa and hair loss (rather that they helped combat it).
Quinoa is not a grain. It is actually a seed more closely related to some weeds. It is classified as part of the goosefoot family (annual herbaceous flowering plants). Why is that important for hair health?
For one, it shows that it does not contain gluten. It is gluten-free. So, its topical application is safe even for those who have gluten allergies.
While rich in fiber and minerals (iron, manganese, phosphorus, copper, calcium, magnesium, zinc), the hair benefits have more to do with its unique amino acid profile (the protein building blocks).
How Quinoa Works in Hair
Quinoa has a full set of essential amino acids. It is one of few complete proteins from plants and is packed with uses for hair and skin.
It aids in hair growth, repairs damaged hair (split ends), and helps retain color. But to claim those benefits and plenty more for our own heads, remember, it needs to be hydrolyzed.
What does Hydrolyzed Mean?
To hydrolyze something is to break it down. It is treated with water. The water breaks into two parts (hydroxide and hydrogen). Those parts are charged differently (one negatively and the other positively). This basically aids digestion but has astounding results for hair treatment too.
When hydrolysis occurs, the fully built proteins break down into their individual amino acid parts.
What's left is a unique profile of individual amino acids ready to get to work. This team of building blocks penetrates the hair more deeply than other plant proteins.
That is key to why it is so effective.
Repairing and Bolstering Hair
Keep in mind that these amino acids not only penetrate the hair but also leave a film. That film is a protective barrier serving a few purposes.
Coating the hair with protein (since the hair is also made of protein) is a natural way to bolster its defenses. Although many protein treatments can dry out your hair, hydrolyzed quinoa helps with moisture retention (goodbye dandruff)! That defends against hair loss, helps the body repair damaged hair, restores hair health, and promotes new growth.
While rehydrating brittle hair and preparing it to grow into a shiny mane, quinoa also guards the hair against cracking and breaking from sun exposure and other weather conditions.
That means the film also serves as a treatment to protect against future damage.
But this barrier isn't only an external resource. It also works on repairing hair internally, reversing shaft damage. What that means practically is that your hair is both protected now and becomes more resistant to breaking down over time.
Volume and Detangling
Between hair strength, color retention, hydration, and shine, quinoa proves itself on the haircare battleground. But the benefits aren't done.
In two exciting ways, it volumizes to hair. Yes, quinoa does boost hair growth, improving volume naturally. But we also aren't waiting for weeks just for the natural thickening (although that alone is worth the wait!).
The film left literally makes the hair thicker. So, with hydrolyzed quinoa, you get a volume treatment now and still more natural volume later.
For that reason, combined with the moisture retention benefits, quinoa is effective for soothing tangly, hard to manage hair. Basically, it helps hair to respond to combing.
In other words, quinoa can help detangle hair.
That makes it a tool in the arsenal for extreme hair care, like detangling dreadlocks. Hydrolyzed quinoa alone won't detangle dreadlocks, but it is an effective weapon during the entire process (which can take several days).
Although many of us aren't so worried about dreadlocks, we do have some other concerns, especially those of us who live where the sun or wind is strong.
Other Reasons this Superfood Belongs in your Hair
For those in places like Florida, where you can stand outside and receive incredible amounts of vitamin D in just fifteen minutes (even in December), you're at higher risk for damaging hair.
While that nutrient absorption is absolutely amazing, and the energy levels are likely up due to the intense sunlight, hair could be burnt out, become tangled and knotted (and ultimately turn into a nest in extreme situations).
Another area to watch out for are places in the world with higher winds. That could be anything from the great plains to the northeast, along the coasts, those living near mountains, or any midwestern state. Anyone hanging out in high amounts of wind is subject to dry hair.
And let's not even dive into the frizz that comes with humidity.
The point is that weather alone can cause an array of issues to hair health. Now, what we do to our hair is yet another factor.
Coloring treatments, hair styling tools that burn hair to keep shape, aerosol sprays (that damage the hair follicles and thin out hair)...all of these lessen the beauty and health of our manes.
Remember, though, that hydrolyzed quinoa combats these things directly. It reverses that damage and protects hair against future damage. It aids the hair shaft, moisturizes, and delivers the nutrients our hair needs to thrive.
And to sweeten things further, we pair our hydrolyzed quinoa with other powerful, natural ingredients that work synergistically with it.
The Amazing Benefits You'll Get With Us
In our Restoring Shampoo you'll reap the benefits of quinoa with
- avocado butter (to reduce inflammation and further the conditioning treatment)
- coconut oil (to help repair damage done to both the scalp and hair)
- nettle (to restore shine, promote growth, boost volume, and halt breakage)
- safflower (to further help with combing, shine, softness, and boost hydration)
The bottom line is that quinoa is a superfood that belongs in your hair products. To get the most out of it, pair it with the other superfoods and natural ingredients in our products that work to transform hair into a glorious, shining mane.
Check out our hair care for even more products that support the health of your hair. We have several to choose from, all of them ready to help you start crafting amazing, healthy hair. Get ready to have more amazing hair days!
1. Neve, H.J., Bhatti, W.A., Soulsby, C. et al. Reversal of Hair Loss following Vertical Gastroplasty when Treated with Zinc Sulphate. OBES SURG 6, 63–65 (1996). https://doi.org/10.1381/096089296765557295
2. Wells, Katie. (2020, July 30). 11 Natural Remedies to Stop Thinning Hair. Wellness Mama. Retrieved From https://wellnessmama.com/429411/thinning-hair/
3. Graf BL, Rojas Silva P, Rojo LE, Delatorre Herrera J, Baldeón ME, Raskin I. Innovations in health value and functional food development of quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa Willd.) Compr Rev Food Sci Food Saf. 2015;14(4):431–445. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7466520/