Benefits of Quinoa for Natural and Transitioning Hair

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Article also available on Black Girl with Long Hair!

Just when you thought there couldn't possibly be another miracle ingredient on the market.... here comes quinoa. Before your eyes glaze over and you skip to the next article, let me shed a little light on how this super seed can take your regimen and haircare to the next level.

What is Quinoa (keen-wah)?
There is a common misconception that quinoa is a grain. Although it can replace grains like rice in meals, in truth, it is an herbaceous seed native to Central and South America. It has been traditionally used for soups, making beer, and ground as meals for porridges and cakes. In recent years, it has made its resurgence in health-conscious circles as a nutrient-dense superfood.

Quinoa is incredibly protein dense, and is a good source of calicium, fiber, phosphorous, magnesium, iron, and amino acids. It also contains powerful antioxidant compounds such as polyphenols and quercetin that help combat oxidative stress, and improve heart health and metabolic functions. It is also gluten-free.

What Does This Mean for My Hair?
The availability of quinoa presents an awesome opportunity for natural hair care, especially when it comes to protein treatments. Don't run off to Whole Foods to buy ingredients for a DIY Quinoa Conditioner just yet! As JC explains here, most proteins must be hydrolyzed first (i.e. made the appropriate size) to be of any benefit to the hair.

Because it is a complete protein and contains all of the essential 8 amino acids, hydrolyzed quinoa has an enhanced ability to assist in the repair, protection, and conditioning of hair. Hair treated with hydrolyzed quinoa looks and feels smoother after one use, retains moisture better, is stronger, shows less signs of damage, and has better protected cuticles. Hydrolyzed quinoa is also able to penetrate the hair, strengthening it from the cortex and along the surface. Studies utilizing hydrolyzed quinoa showed marked improvement in hair heath and strength after one use, but increase substantially after 5 uses of products with viable amounts of the superfood.

Hydrolyzed quinoa also benefits the hair in the following areas:
  • detangling
  • improved shine
  • ease of wet and dry combing
  • softening
  • binding moisture to the hair
  • soothing irritated scalp
 What Products Can I Use?
Luckily, getting your quinoa fix isn't impossible. Although many products are still using wheat, soy, and oat proteins, there are a few who are hopping on the quinoa train. Be sure to check out:
Do you use any products that contain quinoa? Share!

For more transitioning and natural hair tips from Christina, check out her blog, The Mane Objective. You can also find her on YouTube, Instagram and Facebook.


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