Protecting Hair From Pollution Damage

We were lucky enough to visit two of the major cosmetics ingredients shows in the past couple of months– In-Cosmetics in Amsterdam and Suppliers Day in New York. Of particular interest to Keraplast are trends that encompass claims for our products and a trend that was very obvious at both shows was Anti-Pollution ingredients for Hair Care.

So what do these other products claim for hair protection?

Many of them have anti-oxidant claims. Pollutants are seen as oxidative stressors as contain other aggressive elements such as PAH (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons) so anti-oxidant claims are to be expected. UV Filtering is an important component of these product claims – for good reason. UV contributes to the break down of the hair surface and is known to exacerbate the impact of pollution significantly. You can read more about this here.And there is a universal claim of “protection” for each of the products. Sometimes it is difficult to know how this is done.

We have a wonderful, natural ingredient that works perfectly for Anti-Pollution function in shampoos, conditioners, masques and other treatments. It’s a Keratin protein called Intermediate Filament Protein and is present in our product FK Protect Plus™.

How does FK Protect™ from Keraplast solve these issues?

Anti-Pollution Effect:

We tested the impact of cigarette smoke on human hair. It turns out that cigarette smoke has a lot of pollutants (I know, right?) including heavy metal and PAHs.

So we used a pack of cigarettes “smoking” one cigarette at a time (by extracting the smoke into a syringe) and introducing that smoke into a confined space with two samples of hair – one as a control, one treated with FK Protect™.

The results were good. This ingredient protects hair from cigarette smoke.

We know that the keratin in FK Protect™ forms films. We actually make films out of it!

With a very high natural cystine content FK Protect has been shown to scavenge free radicals. Combine this with the film forming ability and there is a demonstrable anti-oxidant impact. Because FK Restore™ is gently extracted from sustainable sheep’s wool we can also demonstrate an ability to chelate heavy metals.

Protection from the Effects of UV:

Looking after hair that is exposed to UV is a vital claim for Anti-Pollution actives and there is a good way to test it – exposing hair to UV and measure the impact.

Here’s what we found when we did an experiment.

Tensile Measurement

Mechanical properties maintained when FK Protect™ is applied to hair prior to UV exposure from sunlight. Somehow the hair grew strong when coated with the bio-active Functional Keratin®.


We saw some great anti-pollution claims from competing products at the top ingredients trade shows. When you are evaluating active ingredients to meet this coming trend can you tick these boxes?

  • -Natural
  • -Sustainable
  • -Film Forming
  • -Free-Radical Scavenging
  • -Heavy Metal Chelating
  • -UV Protection
  • -Full Protection from Cigarette Smoke

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