Hair and amino acids: the interactions and the effects

J Cosmet Sci. 2007 Jul-Aug;58(4):347-57.


The interaction and the function of some amino acids in hair care applications are discussed. When amino acids are applied to hair in the form of simple aqueous solution, uptake of the amino acids is mainly controlled by ionic equilibrium. When amino acids were incorporated in a hair conditioner, the result was quite different, suggesting the importance of interaction between the amino acids and the cationic surfactants. Uptake of pyrrolidone carboxylic acid (PCA), a derivative of glutamic acid, is enhanced by combining with arginine, an amino with strong affinity towards hair. Effects of some amino acids on bleached/dyed hair are described. A hair conditioner incorporated with alanine improves hair surface hydrophobicity of bleach-damaged hair. Histidine and phenylalanine improve tensile strength. PCA was proved to be effective to improve color-retention of dyed hair.

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acids / chemistry*
  • Amino Acids / pharmacokinetics
  • Hair / chemistry*
  • Hair Preparations / chemistry*
  • Hair Preparations / metabolism
  • Hydrophobic and Hydrophilic Interactions
  • Pyrrolidonecarboxylic Acid / chemistry*
  • Pyrrolidonecarboxylic Acid / pharmacokinetics
  • Tensile Strength


  • Amino Acids
  • Hair Preparations
  • Pyrrolidonecarboxylic Acid